Home > Babies and Toddlers > Babies > Your Baby and Sleep > SIDs > SIDS and Co-Sleeping: Debunking the Myths
|

SIDS and Co-Sleeping: Debunking the Myths

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of a seemingly healthy infant during sleep. Although the exact causes of SIDS are largely unknown, a recent study released by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found over half of SIDS cases occurred while the baby was co-sleeping with an adult or another child. Of those deaths, many occurred in a potentially hazardous environment, such as in a bed or on a sofa with an individual who had recently used drugs or alcohol. This is the latest argument in a long-running debate on the connection between co-sleeping and the mysterious and devastating occurrence of SIDS.

Does Co-Sleeping Cause SIDS?
In addition to the new study by the BMJ, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cites another study conducted by the European Concerted Action on SIDS that found co-sleeping was a significant risk factor among infants up to 8 weeks of age. Other studies have also suggested the risk of SIDS increases the longer bed sharing lasts during the night, when there are multiple bed-sharers, if the mother or bed-sharer is a smoker, or, as the BMJ study found, if the bed-sharer has consumed alcohol. The AAP also strongly discourages sleeping with an infant on a couch, as this has been shown to be extremely hazardous.

However, the connection between co-sleeping and SIDS is unclear, and additional research is ongoing. The Nemours Center for Children's Health Media found some researchers suggest the risk of SIDS actually decreases because co-sleeping parents and infants tend to wake up more often during the night. Co-sleeping supporters also believe the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was wrong to warn against bed sharing with a child younger than 2, and claim a parent will not roll over onto an infant because they are conscious of the baby's presence, even when sleeping.



|


highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks