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WARNING: Newborns more likely to die when sharing a bed with parents

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TORONTO — Newborns who sleep in a bed with their parents are more apt to fall victim to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death, a recent study published in the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics shows.

The study investigated more than 8,000 deaths in infants in 24 states and found that younger victims — newborns less than three months — sleeping in adult bed were about 20 percent more likely to die of SIDS than newborns sleeping alone.

“The predominant risk factor for younger infants is bed-sharing,” the study’s authors wrote.

Older infants — babies older than three months but less than a year — were largely killed by objects near or in their sleep environment, the study showed.

Though the hazards of a newborn sleeping with an adult who is extremely fatigued or impaired have been well-known, this may be one of the first studies to show simply sharing a bed with a newborn even for a moment can increase risk of death.

The study seems to throw doubt on the proposed benefits of co-sleeping, a child rearing movement that alleges a parent’s bed is exactly where a child belongs.

For more information on this study, click here.




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  • cosleeper

    For once, did this study separate obese from non-obese parents? How about smoking parents from non-smoking parents?

    Didn't think so. I certainly did not notice any mention of these factors.

  • DKirk.RN.Wa

    As a health care professional myself, and observations of studies/SIDS deaths, I must ask why no one ever considered to analyze temperature when studying SIDS?

    Why would there be in an increase in SIDS if an infant slept with Mom? Increase in body temp is the only explanation, since physical exam and previous studies ruled out suffocation.

    Most new mothers bundle babies with extra clothes because "mom" is cold. Decrease body surface to get rid of excess heat.

    If we have no a/c in hot summers, how do we feel? Hot, yes … but also groggy with a desire to nap.

    What do adults do when driving long distances in the winter and we feel sleepy? We open the car window – the cold air revives us.

    Seems to me the experts are possibly missing (or at least not reporting on) an obvious factor in this equation?