Records show that accidental bed-sharing deaths of a newborn due to suffocation and strangulation are on the rise. If you are a parent who wants to strengthen the bonds with your newborn baby by bringing them into bed with you, you are risking your baby’s life.
The Chicago Tribune featured a full front-page feature on this important issue. The story showed that between 1984 and 2004, these accidental deaths quadrupled nationally. And in Illinois, of the 320 sleep-related infant deaths investigated by state Child Death Review Teams between 2008 and 2010, around 60 percent occurred while bed-sharing.
Legislators in Illinois passed two new laws aimed at preventing sleep-related infant deaths recently. One of them mandates additional training for daycare providers. The second one requires hospitals to provide new parents with proper and safe sleeping information.
During the month of October, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy that advised against bed-sharing. They noted that the risk of sudden death syndrome can be reduced by as much as 50%. Other organizations, like the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Lab at the University of Notre Dame, maintain that bed-sharing can be done safely and with a great benefit to the parental bonds. They believe that parents should be able to make their own decisions about bed-sharing without feeling guilty about their decision.
The Tribune article offers tips from both organizations about bed-sharing. You can access them