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SIDS and Co-Sleeping: Debunking the Myths

If you do choose to bed share with your baby, the Nemours Center offers precautions to follow to make co-sleeping as safe as possible. These tips include:

  • Always place your baby on his back.
  • Always leave your child's head uncovered while sleeping.
  • Make sure the headboard and footboard do not have cutouts or openings that could trap your baby's head.
  • Do not place a baby to sleep in an adult bed alone.
  • Do not use pillows, comforters, quilts, or other soft, plush items on the bed.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medications or drugs that may impair your judgment, keep you from waking, or cause you to roll over onto your baby.
  • Keep your bed away from draperies or blinds that have cords that could strangle your child.
  • Most medical experts would say the safest place for an infant to sleep is in a crib that meets current safety standards and has no soft bedding. The best time to transition a baby from a co-sleeping environment is by the age of 6 months, before co-sleeping has become ingrained and other developmental issues, such as separation anxiety, have time to manifest.

    Where your child sleeps is a personal choice for you and your family to make, and it's important to know the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. Talking to your child's doctor is the best way to learn about possible risks, and possible benefits, to co-sleeping with your child.



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