Post # 1
I don’t have a child of my own, but I see or hear about mothers/fathers sleeping with their babies in bed with them. I guess I always thought that was scary as I would be afraid of rolling over on my baby.
I’m just curious if it’s safe? Only because I see it so much.
(Hoping we can keep this a drama free post)
Post # 3
It’s really not safe! I did a report on causes of infant death, and this one is definitely up there. My friend knows a couple who actually did suffocate their baby this way :(.
Post # 4
We co-sleep. It’s great! At first, we had Addie in a co-sleeper, but moved her to our bed in a sleep positioner when she was about 3 months old. We ditched the sleep positioner a little while ago, after the safety recall. Now we have a mesh guard up on one side of the bed, and she sleeps between the guard and me, with my husband on my other side. I hope we’ll continue to co-sleep until she’s at least a year old, but we’re playing it by ear. If it becomes undesirable to any of us, we’ll stop co-sleeping then.
There’s a lot of benefits to co-sleeping: newborns often sleep better with the physical comfort of their parent(s) especially in the first few months, co-sleeping mothers and babies sync their sleeping patterns making it easier to fully wake up in the middle of the night to attend to baby, it makes frequent night wakings easier since you don’t have to get out of bed to breastfeed, it’s easier for nervous parents (like myself) to check up on a sleeping baby multiple times a night without too much interrupted sleep, etc… Having said that, not everyone (parents and babies alike) are into co-sleeping, and that’s ok, too. It works for our family, but it doesn’t work for everybody.
If you decide to co-sleep, it’s important to do your safety research first. Co-sleeping can be done safely, but you have to create a safe environment for your baby. Rolling over/smothering your baby is actually pretty rare, and even then it’s more likely that a father will roll over the baby than a mother. Usually, accidents happen when people aren’t sleeping safely with their baby, like sleeping with their baby on a couch, or using drugs/alcohol before getting into bed. If you take all the necssary precautions, it can be very safe and even enjoyable for babies and parents! Here’s some links about safe co-sleeping:
Post # 5
I met this guy at a bar who was a firefighter and he said that they answer MANY calls about parents who smothered their baby by accident, by having the baby in the bed with them.
He said you would be shocked at how many times this happens! Scary!
Post # 6
I’ll just point out this link to the CPSC’s 1999 report on co-sleeping. In looking at the report, 121 infant deaths occurred over 7 years from parents rolling over their babies. That’s a little over 17 babies per year. If you look at the link, more babies died of entrapment while co-sleeping than “overlaying” (a parent rolling over them).
Absolutely, even 17 deaths a year are sad and tragic, but what these statistics don’t tell you is how many parents were unsafely co-sleeping when these deaths occurred. How many parents were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time, making them less aware of their babies’ positions? How many of them were fathers, who are statistically less likely be safe co-sleepers because they’re less aware of the baby than mothers are? Co-sleeping can be safe, but once again, it’s up to parents to make it a safe environment first. If parents don’t take the necessary precautions, they are absolutely puting their babies at a higher risk.
Post # 7
As Mrs. Spring pointed out, there are also ways of co-sleeping that don’t involve your kid being in your actual bed, so I think some of the popularity of “co-sleeping” that you’re hearing about isn’t necessary the way you might picture it.
We definitely don’t have a safe setup to bring a kid into our bed (bed is in the middle of the room, dog jumps on bed, etc.) but I think we’re going to go the co-sleeper route, which would protect a kid from my husband’s flailing limbs and my dog’s morning breath.
Post # 8
The U.S.A. is one of the only countries that DOESN’T cosleep, yet we have the highest rate of SIDS. In other countries, it is the norm to cosleep and infant death rate due to suffocation/SIDs is much lower. Darling Husband is writing his thesis on cosleeping and the fact that Americans all think or hear that it is unsafe, but that it is cultural and every study has shown it to be safe UNLESS the parents have alcohol or drugs in their system. As women we have the instinct to sleep in a certain position with a baby and will not roll over onto it in the night. It’s great for breastfeeding too because you can feed throughout the night which is better for baby digestion and sleep patterns. We don’t have children yet, but when we do we plan to cosleep. It’s not a matter of safety, just a matter of culture. But whatever you’re comfortable with is the way to go!
Post # 9
@Mrs. Spring, thanks for the info! some websites show co-sleeping as literally, babies snuggled up in moms arms, sleeping peacefully. But it seems that is not the case since they make little sleeper bed and whatnot.
I rolled over onto one of my cats once. whoops
Post # 10
@Mrs. Spring: So the co-sleeper thing is basically a crib that sits right next to your bed? That’s actually really cool. 🙂
The reports I had seen were just babies laying in parents’ arms, which doesn’t seem nearly as safe!
Post # 11
@ ejs – Lol! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rolled over or kicked my dogs in my sleep (back when they used to sleep in bed with us). I’ve never once even come close to rolling over Addie, though. 🙂 We take a lot more precautions with the baby than we did with the dogs!
ETA: We really liked the co-sleeper, but at some point Addie decided she had enough of it, so we moved her into bed with us. Co-sleepers are awesome, though, and a very safe way to be close to your baby at night without actually bedsharing!
Post # 12
This is a very sad story about this exact subject. A very dear member of my family took a nap in the bed with her infact son. She rolled on top of him. She continued to sleep on top of him for what has been approximated at 6 minutes. Her son suffered severe brain damage due to this. He was on a breathing and feeding tube for over a year after the incident. He is 6 now and is non-verbal and the family will be dealing with the effects of this for his lifetime. The parents have since been divorced siting that the experience feeded a lot of guilt, shame, and blaming in their relationship.
I know that not all situations will end up this way and that this is just one case, but an exhausted mother with a newborn, may not realize what is happening around them.
Post # 13
@Mrs Spring, what size bed do you have? We have a queen and it’s already a little snug considering we don’t sleep very straight but sort of “butts out” if that makes sense.
I guess i’m curious now, too–is co-sleeping in the same bed, or in a basinett type thing right NEXT to your bed?
Post # 14
Thanks laides! That really opened up my eyes. I like the idea of being able to sleep with baby in the bed but it not be directly say in your arms so the chance of rolling over and hurting them is much less. This makes much more sense.
Post # 15
@ ejs – We have a California King. A queen would be too small for us, since my husband is a pretty big guy (6’3″ and over 200 pounds).
As far as terms go, there’s a lot of variance in what is correct:
co-sleeping – can mean anything from having the child in the same room with you in a crib or bassinet to the baby literally sleeping in your arms. It’s the most general, wide-covering term.
room-sharing – specifically refers to sharing a room (but not a bed) with the child. The baby could be in a crib, a bassinet, a pack n’ play, etc… but isn’t in the parents’ bed.
bed-sharing – means the baby is actually in bed with the parents or is in a co-sleeper like the one I linked.
side-caring – is a term used for pushing the crib against the bed like a co-sleeper. Sometimes parents also remove the fourth side of the crib so it’s literally just like a co-sleeper.
Post # 16
I read this article about this poor woman who has accidentally killed two of her babies by suffocating them due to co-sleeping. While I don’t have any kids, I don’t think I’d ever feel comfortable sleeping w/ my baby in my arms, at my side, etc.