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Is Co-sleeping With Your Baby Putting Them At Risk?

Jaclyn Hughes

What choices you make to raise your baby should be entirely up to you…or should they? There’s a current health scare involving parents co-sleeping with their young babies that has a number of folks up in arms. Co-sleeping is when Mom and Dad decide to have the baby sleep with them in their bed for the night, which has been a common practice for millions of people for hundreds of years. Years ago, many didn’t even have a crib and they just plopped their infant in bed with them and thought nothing of it. So, what’s the big deal?

The issue is that over the past twenty years, there has been a huge increase in infant deaths directly related to co-sleeping. Just recently, a 5 month old baby boy was co-sleeping with his Mother in Wichita, Kansas and the baby died as a result. This marks the seventh infant just in the Wichita area alone that has passed away as a result of co-sleeping. Imagine the total number of deaths from this common sleeping practice that have occurred annually on a global scale.

The attraction to co-sleeping seems to be for various reasons. Some parents prefer it just because they want to bond and love on their baby. Others use the method out of convenience for late night breastfeeding schedules, or to help the baby get back to sleep faster than if he or she could soothe themselves on their own in their cribs. There’s a few health challenges that can pose when opting for this sleeping arrangement, such as rolling over on a young baby and accidently causing their death whilst in a deep sleep. The baby can also suffocate just from getting tangled in a blanket and pulling it over their faces for too long.

Experts reported to KRON4 that there are other ways to stay close to your baby in the same room without putting them at risk by co-sleeping, such as putting their crib or pack-n-play in your bedroom, or getting a bassinet to use next to your bed. Baby monitors also greatly help to notify parents of a fussy baby in the middle of the night, as well as little tips like leaving the bedroom doors ajar during the night, versus closing them and not possibly hearing your baby cry in the evenings.

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