Co-Sleeping Associated with SIDS

“You…are getting sleepy…GETTING SLEEPY?!?  I’m EXHAUSTED!”  I hear you say, oh,
sorry, you must be the parent of an infant. Well, here is an “eye-opening” study all parents should understand.

Now, SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, isn’t knew, we just didn’t have a fancy name for it until the last several decades.  SIDS, by definition, is the death of a young child, with no known cause, most often occurring during sleep.

Conditions associated with SIDS include:

  1. having the child sleep on the tummy
  2. keeping the house too warm
  3. having soft objects in the bed, like blankets, pillows, stuffed toys
  4. smoking

Protective practices against SIDS include:

  1. breastfeeding
  2. using a pacifier (preferably after well-established breast feeding).

Enter a study from the journal, Pediatrics, on co-sleeping.  Now co-sleeping means the baby sleeps with you, in your bed or on the couch.  After all, you are keeping “an eye” on the infant right?  BUT… what happens when the exhausted “eye” just drifts off for a little nap?

Well, according to this article of 8,000 infant deaths, 70% of the babies were sharing a bed at the time of death, 70% were snuggling close, most likely to a loved one!

The study also showed that 30% had an object in the sleeping environment, usually pillows or blankets.

So, what can you do to decrease the chances of SIDS for your TSK?

  1. Don’t sleep with TSK; for young infants consider a crib beside your bed, at arms’ length, with a firm mattress and NO pillows, heavy blankets or toys.
  2. No smoking or drug use in the home.
  3. When TSK is awake, practice Tummy Time to strengthen those back and neck muscles, so TSK can roll and move more efficiently as early as possible.

Incidentally, once TSK can roll, don’t try to keep him on his back to sleep; no one will be happy, and it can be dangerous to try to insist!

Give that kid a hug, and lay him on his back in his bed as…you…are…getting…sleepy…zzzz.