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.



|


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 Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

earth day

celebrate our
planet with
these activities
and crafts.

GO

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.