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Why no smoking for cosleeping?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I don't smoke, but my mom does. She expressed an interest in napping with my li'l guy (3 months old) when she came to visit. I sleep with my baby at night and often nap with him and know he sleeps much better that way. I had read that it's safe as long as the adult is sober and doesn't smoke. I understand the need for soberness, but don't see how smoking affects the baby's safety (obviously not smoking in bed with the baby).

Thanks for any insight. =)
post #2 of 10
As far as I know, only maternal smoking matters. I assume that to mean that the toxins that are passed along in the milk may inhibit the child's reactions to the environment (like moving when a blanket goes close to the face). Consequently, your mom's smoking wouldn't have an effect, like dad's smoking wouldn't either. But, then again, I don't think anyone has really established WHY maternal smoking matters, just that it does.

Still, I imagine that the smell and its particles wouldn't be good for your son. So you may want to establish a "no smoke for an hour before sleeping with/holding him." And obviously no smoking in the house with him there.

Hope that helps.
post #3 of 10
the chemicals in cig smoke linger on the smoker's skin and clothes, and the baby will be breathing these in.
post #4 of 10
I just read an article (where oh where did I put that link?) that said anyone who smokes should not cosleep because,
the toxins, poisons and gases STAY in the lungs of the smoker (hours after the cigarette was smoked.) Later while sleeping, the smoker exhales, breathing out these poisons which the baby can inhale...which can endanger the baby, and the baby is more likely to die from SIDS.

Also the recent Mothering cosleeping issue said that moms who smoke during pregnancy should not cosleep even if they have quit...not sure why...something about damage done to the fetus as it develops.
post #5 of 10
Yes, the issue of Mothering reported on a study that found that maternal smoking during pregnancy imparted a higher risk of SIDS, even if the mother quit when the child was born. Presumably, smoking damaged the baby's lungs and respiratory system enough to put it at risk of SIDS.

But I also would not allow a young baby to nap with a person who smokes, even though they may not smoke around the baby. As the others have said, the particles and toxins linger on the smoker's body and clothing and hair, and is in their breath too b/c the particles stick in the lungs. Since your baby is in the prime age range for SIDS, I would not allow it myself.

I do sympathize. I used to smoke occaisonally and quit when I got pregnant. Sometimes I do wish I could have a smoke now and then, but I simply could never expose my DD to the smell and the particles etc.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
That makes sense. I kept thinking, "I know smoking is dumb, but what on earth does it have to do with rolling over on top of your baby?" The second-hand smoke issue makes sense as does the ickiness getting into the breastmilk. Thanks for the clarification. =)

post #7 of 10
it's not just maternal smoke, it's both parents. partners who smoke while ttc can cause problems for the babe, even if the mother doesn't smoke and he doesn't smoke around her. it's not a 2nd hand smoke issue at that point.

Also, as to the shared bed, I think it may have to do with apnea and breathing. Babies are prone to apnea and usually outgrow it.

But, I haven't read anything specific, either. Just don't cuz it's bad. Perhaps it's a tactic to get people to stop smoking? I know that the study results show higher SIDS rates, but they never attempted to figure out why. But, that's probably enough, really...

post #8 of 10

Re: Why no smoking for cosleeping?

Originally posted by MelissaEvans
I understand the need for soberness, but don't see how smoking affects the baby's safety (obviously not smoking in bed with the baby).
a baby in a smoking environment is more likely to die of SIDS.

It does happen, can happen and had it happen in my world to a doula clients of mine, mama to a 6 month old home birthed breastfed girl that co-slept with mama in a smoking house ( all the time). Died while sleeping, ruled SIDS. Mama did not smoke, but her family did.

3 known contributors to SIDS
Improper sleeping ( on tummy, soft bed, )
Not breastfeeding
Smoking around baby

I think the rationale behind the co-sleeping and SIDS thing is that ( trying to explain the best way I understand it)
a healthy baby with healthy lungs can overcome any small problems with breathing that may crop up momentarily with (unsafe) co-sleeping.
A baby exposed to 2nd hand smoke does not have the healthy lung tissue and therefore the strength to survive any amount of oxygen reduction.
post #9 of 10
I think what's neat about these studies' results is that it points to a mechanism for SIDS involving poor breathing arousal reflexes. The hypothesis is that babies have normal apnea episodes but for some reason can't revive themselves. In a normal person, your body will reflexively inhale a breath when carbon dioxide levels get too high. In a SIDS baby, it is hypothesized that this mechanism is faulty (or simply underdeveloped) and the babies simply stop breathing and die. It is this hypothesis that points to cosleeping as being protective against SIDS. Not only does mama's breath provide more carbon dioxide that might help "kick start" the breathing reflex when a baby experiences apnea, but studies show that babies who cosleep don't sleep as deeply as babies who sleep in isolation, plus mama regulates their breathing so they have far fewer episodes of apnea.

KeysMama, how tragic for that family!!! No doubt mainstreamers blamed the cosleeping.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Another SIDS contributor seems to be vaccines, but that's for another thread. =)

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