Ugh! A local news channel just reported how unsafe co-sleeping is. A friend of mine was interviewed as a co-sleeping mom, but most of the fact based research she mentioned was cut out of her interview. If you have a minute, post a comment on how co-sleeping can be safe. FTR, the medical examiner who was interviewed mentioned a couch death as being lumped in as an example of why co-sleeping is dangerous. Here's the link: http://www.newschannel9.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_1218.shtml
Local News: Bed Sharing is Dangerous
my county just had the 7th baby die from unsafe sleeping conditions. most of the comments are people saying parents who sleep with their babies should be put in prison :( a dad fell asleep in a "desk chair" with his 8 month old a few days ago, the baby slipped down and suffocated and they are using that also as why we shouldn't bed-share. really? that's a bit different but we are just all child-abusers and should be imprisoned. in every case i remember, bed-sharing rules weren't being followed. one parent even had the newborn sleeping on a pillow between the parents!
Don't have the actual source of research - but I remember reading a few different things about co-sleeping while I was in the process of deciding to or not. We did decide to co-sleep and for our family it ended up being a wonderful decision. First of all there are some basic guidlines for safe sleep (common sense)
1. Keep pillows and blankets away from baby
2. Use a firm matress
3. Put baby on back
4. Sleep on your side facing your baby
5. Make sure there are no gaps (such as between mattress and headboard) that baby could get stuck in
6. Do not use alcohol, tobaco, drugs or medications and avoid co-sleeping if overly tired
One very interesting thing I remember reading but unfortunately can't remember the source is that co-sleeping if done using guidlines above is actually much more safe than leaving a baby alone in a crib - when you sleep right next to your baby you are biologically in tune with each other and much more likely to wake up if the baby is in distress. The unfortunate thing about anti-cosleeping propaganda is that every co-sleeping death is lumped together regardless of weather safe practices were being used. I also read that in the majority of deaths that occur in co-sleeping situations that alcohol, tobaco or drugs were a factor. The other really sad thing is that if a baby does die in a co-sleeping situation it is always blamed on the parents, when the death may have been unrelated to co-sleeping. What if the same baby had died in a crib? Then whose fault would it be? As unfortunate and sad as it is, babies die sometimes for reasons that aren't understood and as if that isn't bad enough the parents are blamed on top of it. And - humans have co-slept through out much of human history - for much of our existence until recent times leaving a baby to sleep alone meant certain death - co-sleeping was absolutely essential to survival.