If you are among the parents who are co-sleeping with the baby at night, you may have heard different and sometimes contradictory opinions about this practice. However, recent studies show that co-sleeping can be deadly for babies.
Differences of opinions
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission draws attention to the risk of death from sudden death syndrome or other accidents involving new-born babies sleeping in the same bed with their parents.
On the other hand, other studies have shown that the risks of sudden death are even higher when the baby sleeps alone, at least in the baby’s first six months of life, explaining that the physical contact with his/her parents helps the baby feel safe and, therefore, to develop neurally and emotionally.
Co-sleeping accidents are more frequent
Approximately, 3,500 infants die in their first months of life due to the sudden death syndrome or accidents during sleep.
It should be made a clear distinction between the two terms.
The sudden death syndrome has no known cause but specialists theorized that a possible poor neural development in the intrauterine life may be the culprit, while a co-sleeping accident is a different thing.
According to the recent research conducted by Alabama Health Department’s investigator, Lisa Carter, parents can’t always be careful when they sleep with their babies and, unfortunately, there is a high possibility of suffocation in the infants.
Other specialists and doctors agree with the study.
“The baby could become entrapped, wedged between the wall or sheets or the individual sleeping with them, strangulation could happen, all these horrible things that you never think would happen to you,” said Jeanette Atkinson, a specialist at the Huntsville Hospital.
According to Atkinson, room sharing is advisable instead of bed sharing. Placing the baby’s bed in the parent’s room is recommended for the first year of the baby’s life and co-sleeping accidents are thus avoided.