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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.


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