SIDS and Co-Sleeping: Debunking the Myths
Co-sleeping between an infant and adult has long been a controversial topic. According to the AAP, some studies have shown potential benefits to bed sharing, such as maternal-infant bonding and the facilitation of breastfeeding. According to the Nemours Center, supporters of co-sleeping believe the practice has several advantages, including:
Encouraging breastfeeding by making nighttime feedings more convenient.
Making it easier for a breastfeeding mother to sync her sleep cycle with her baby's
Helping babies fall asleep more easily during their first few months and when they wake up in the middle of the night.
Helping babies get more nighttime sleep because they awaken more frequently, but with shorter duration of feedings.
Helping parents who are separated from their child during the day reconnect and regain a sense of closeness to their baby.
However, despite these possible advantages, the AAP, along with the CPSC, believes placing an infant in an adult bed puts the baby at a high risk of suffocation or strangulation (in addition to the possible link to SIDS), and recommends parents do not co-sleep with a child under the age of 2. Strangulation or suffocation can occur:
When an infant gets trapped or wedged between a mattress and headboard, wall, or other object.
As a result of a baby being facedown on a waterbed, regular mattress, or on soft bedding such as pillows, blankets, or quilts.
As a result of a bed frame that allows part of the baby's body to pass through while trapping the baby's head.