Monday, October 6, 2008

Coroner looks at possible co-sleeping deaths

The Peoria County Coroner is looking into whether two separate baby deaths over the weekend were caused by co-sleeping.

An autopsy shows two infants who died in separate but similar incidents Sunday morning didn't suffer from trauma. Instead, the Peoria County Coroner's office is investigating if adults rolled over 5-month old Jaylin Maxison and two-month old Kendrick Franklin Jr. as they slept in adult beds. Both the coroner's office and the police investigation continues. No one is facing charges at this time.

We interviewed pediatrician Dr. Gail Streater from OSF St.Francis Medical Center on the topic of co-sleeping. She concurs with the American Academy of Pediatrics saying babies need to be placed on their backs in a crib with no bumper pads or other toys. She said, "So for the infant's bed, you want to have a firm mattress, maybe just one blanket not a lot of pillows or those soft crib bumper type of things that the child can roll up against and suffocate."

Dr. Streater mentioned these links:

Kids Sleep Habits

Kids on Sleep

Co-sleeping is a controversial topic. Some parents feel like babies are less likely to die if there is co-sleeping because the parent will notice if the baby stops breathing and act fast.

Here's a past blog post on co-sleeping looking at both sides.

What do you think about this story and this topic?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen
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Jenny said...

Well, first off, I am out of the loop with the news from the weekend ... but so sad to hear of two babies dying. How horrible for the parents and families. My heart goes out to them and I hope they are able to get some answers.

As for the co-sleeping ... I have never felt it to be safe. I chose for our family to never do it. They did sleep in a bassinet next to the bed when they were newborns but I am also a believer in getting them in their own room sooner rather than later. It has worked well for us and we have 2 good sleepers (knock on wood). lol

If people are going to do co-sleeping ... it would be safer for them to use the 'bassinet' type bed that can be in the bed or the one that can connect to the side of the bed. That way, each person has their own area, as well as the baby. Personally, I would never get any sleep if my baby were in bed with me as I would be too worried about rolling over on her. And I would feel horrible if I hurt her in any way (or worse).

Maria said...

As I have said many times before, we co-sleep-- me and my son. My husband wasn't really in to it at first, but he also was away for months at a time, so I did what worked for us, which included removing blankets, leaving just one pillow for me, keeping my arm around my son. Most of my friends co-sleep. I do believe in the benefits, which for us included successful breastfeeding for 21 months and counting while I worked full time and he mostly refused bottles (i.e. we reverse cycled). We are happy, my son is well adjusted, and everyone is well-rested. said...

Maria, I was wondering if you ever worried about rolling over on the baby during the first few months? Do you normally not move around when you sleep? My husband rolls all over the bed so co-sleeping really wasn't an option for us. I just wonder if other people figure out a way to do it or they just aren't heavy sleepers who move a lot. Just wondering-not judging!

Maria said...

I was worried at first, but my midwife also encouraged me to co-sleep early on. (I had my baby in Germany where the midwife plays the central role and the doctor secondary in delivery and post-partum care.)

I found out quite quickly that I was keenly aware of my baby's location. I know it sounds strange, but it was like a sixth sense. I felt more rested when cosleeping than crib sleeping, though we did do a combination of that early on until we figured what really worked for us.

Early on, my husband would sleep in the bed and me on the fold down firmer (than the bed) couch with the baby. When he was gone for games, i would move to the bed with the baby. I don't roll around much, and for the most part I kept my arm around the baby. If I felt like "rolling over" I'd switch sides (and arms).

As The boy ages how we cosleep has changed some. Usually, i still sleep with him while my husband sleeps in another bed...when we are in the same country. My husband is very large (6'7", 225 pounds), so he needs space. My son's bed (and mind) has those mesh side rails these days, as he is mobile and would roll out of bed otherwise prior to my joining him at night. We still fit in a queen, but spent most of the past year-- just the two of us in a king bed.

Sorry-- got off topic. yes, i worried at first, but I also found that my awareness was much higher than I thought it would be. I could tell when he was having an apnea episode and would gently rouse him if he didn't do it himself.

Anyway, my belief is that it is not for everyone, but it is for my family. said...

Thanks for sharing! That helps me!

MamaGina said...

Hi, Jen! When we co-slept, I was worried at first. I think that worry helped us co-sleep safely. I followed all the guidelines for safe co-sleeping including those Maria stated. Instinct kicks in. Do we fall out of bed all the time, even when we move around in our sleep? Nope, because we *know* where the boundary is. Our instict is to know that the baby is the boundary. Dads don't always have that instinct, so I slept next to Daddy and baby slept next to me! :)

SallyN said...

Rather than rewrite the code, I'm just going to link to your earlier SIDS post. My comment is second from the bottom and includes links to several sources for safe co-sleeping guidelines.
Scroll all the way down.

And no, actually, I was never worried I'd roll over on DD. And mastering the breastfeeding while side-laying and sleeping was a life-saver. She had some major reflux, so it took a LOT of feedings to get enough to stay down. If we didn't nurse while sleeping, I don't think I'd have gotten ANY sleep! :)

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