Monday, February 23, 2009

New Study on Co-sleeping

FROM CNN: There's renewed debate over the safety of sleeping with your baby. A new study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows a rise in the number of babies accidentally suffocated or strangled in bed.

Dayton West-Mullen's mom thought she was doing the right thing, letting him sleep with her in her bed. But then, when he was four months old, it was about ten till eight and my mother-in-law came in and yelled, you're laying on top of the baby. Dayton suffocated to death, and Lisa says the feeling of guilt never goes away.

No matter how many times people tell me it's not my fault in my heart, the heart of a mom, from the moment Dayton was born it was like I would give my life to protect this child and I couldn't save him.

According to a new CDC report, more than 300 babies suffocated during 2003 and 2004 when someone rolled over them in bed. "If there's a safe way to share a bed with a baby we don't know what it is yet." So then why, are smart, educated parents like Beverly Steiger sleeping with their babies? Steiger says she's heard the warnings, but she's convinced there's no way she'd ever roll over on four-month-old Simon.

It's really hard to explain but you have such a heightened awareness when you're exclusively breast feeding your baby. I would never, ever roll over on him. It would never, ever happen.
In many cultures, all around the world, sleeping with baby is the norm, and is often done safely. that's why some pediatricians say the CDC study doesn't really prove that co-sleeping is dangerous. "I absolutely do feel that co sleeping can be a very safe thing to do as long as
you're doing it right."

But Lisa West says there's no way a parent should ever sleep in the same bed with their small child. "Those people who are advising parents to sleep with their infants in some of those cases they're signing those babies' death warrants."

OK, so where does this leave parents? Different experts advocate different things, but here's one approach from the March of Dimes. They say that after learning about the risks of sleeping with your baby if you still want to do it, follow this advice:
-lay baby on his back
-keep baby away from blankets, pillows
-don't take certain medications

I think I have said this before, but I cannot sleep with people next to me. I can't sleep with my five-year-old next me. I make my husband scoot to the other side of the bed. There is no way I would get any sleep with a little one next me. However, I did solely breastfeed my second son. Where he slept didn't have any impact on that. So this whole topic was never really a consideration for me. I have heard some women say they sleep better with their baby next to them.
-NewsAnchorMom Jen


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