Tag Archives: Bed-sharing puts infants at risk say experts.

Study: Bed sharing is not recommended for infants

2 Jun

Jean Enerson reports in the KING5 News report, Bed-sharing puts infants at risk, say experts.

When Lisa West welcomed her new baby Dayton home she didn’t want her newborn in a crib.

“We brought Dayton home and I bed-shared with him, just exactly as I had done with my daughter,” she explained.

She said her pediatrician had talked with her about the practice. 

“I was just told all the benefits of bed sharing, that it promotes longer breastfeeding times, that it promotes bonding. You know, it’s easier. The baby’s just right next to you,” West said.

It’s a parenting style that recently caused a stir, when Time magazine featured a mom breastfeeding her three year old. Called Attachment Parenting, it advocates co-sleeping, to promote bonding.  For Dayton his mom’s practice of bed-sharing took a tragic turn.

“I woke up on a Sunday morning, and my shoulder was pressed against his face. He wasn’t breathing. I gave him CPR, and they took him to the hospital,” West recalled….

Dr. Swanson said while the American Academy of Pediatrics recently put out guidelines recommending infants share a room with parents, those guidelines also said infants should sleep in a separate bed from parents. There are other safeguards in the recommendations. They include immunizing your baby, and making sure a baby isn’t overheated while sleeping.

“We don’t want blankets, stuffed animals, sleep positioners or bumpers. Anything like that should be out of the crib. You want a bare boring crib, and you want your baby to sleep alone,” Dr. Swanson said. pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/5/e1341.full


Technical Report

SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment

  1. Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

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Despite a major decrease in the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released its recommendation in 1992 that infants be placed for sleep in a nonprone position, this decline has plateaued in recent years. Concurrently, other causes of sudden unexpected infant death occurring during sleep (sleep-related deaths), including suffocation, asphyxia, and entrapment, and ill-defined or unspecified causes of death have increased in incidence, particularly since the AAP published its last statement on SIDS in 2005. It has become increasingly important to address these other causes of sleep-related infant death. Many of the modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors for SIDS and suffocation are strikingly similar. The AAP, therefore, is expanding its recommendations from being only SIDS-focused to focusing on a safe sleep environment that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths including SIDS. The recommendations described in this report include supine positioning, use of a firm sleep surface, breastfeeding, room-sharing without bed-sharing, routine immunization, consideration of a pacifier, and avoidance of soft bedding, overheating, and exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs. The rationale for these recommendations is discussed in detail in this technical report. The recommendations are published in the accompanying “Policy Statement—Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment,” which is included in this issue (www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2011-2220).

Published online October 17, 2011 Pediatrics Vol. 128 No. 5 November 1, 2011
pp. e1341 -e1367
(doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2285)

  1. AbstractFree
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  3. Full Text (PDF)Free


Dr Wendy Sue Swanson (Mamma Doc), who writes a blog for Seattle Children’s Hospital has a post about getting children to sleep.

In, Sleep Through The Night, Dr Swanson writes:

Sleep Through The Night

Getting your baby to sleep through the night is a major milestone for baby and for you. If I had to distill down the best sleep advice I’ve ever heard it would be these 4 things:

  • Your consistency with the sleep routine is far more important than what method you choose to help get your baby to sleep. The ritual at bedtime (reading, bath, rocking, etc) is one of the most important daily activities you establish for your child from day 1 (or day 30).
  • Letting your baby learn to fall asleep all on her own at 1 to 2 months of age will serve you and your child again and again. Research shows that infants and children who are allowed to learn to self-soothe and get themselves to sleep will often be far better sleepers, even as adults. Consider letting your baby learn to self-soothe and “cry it out” in the middle of the night after 4 to 6 months of age.
  • If you’re concerned about your baby’s sleep challenges, talk directly with their doc. Recent research found that 1 in 10 children under age 3 has a sleep challenge, and often sleep trouble persists from infancy to toddlerhood.
  • Sleep needs to be a priority (for us all). Making sacrifices to support routine bedtimes and sleep routines will always be worth it.

One of the risks for some infants is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. Seattle Children’s has some excellent resources for parents:

Newborn Hearing Test May Warn Parents of SIDS | Seattle Children’s

Video: Find information on the link between newborn hearing screening and a
baby’s risk for developing SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).


Dr. Daniel D Rubens | Seattle Children’s Hospital

SIDS. Research Description Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) claims the
lives of 2,500 infants in the United States every year.


Infant Safety Topics | Seattle Children’s Hospital

unrecognized. Play Video. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)back to top. Videos.
Healthlink: Hearing Test May Warn Parents of SIDS Healthlink


Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) | Seattle

Video: Learn how to reduce your baby’s risk for sudden infant death syndrome
(SIDS). Every year more than 2000 babies die in the US from SIDS.


SIDS: Listening to a Hunch | Seattle Children’s Hospital

It was Beckwith, former head of pediatric pathology at Children’s, who coined the
name SIDS. Dr. Daniel Rubens, anesthesiologist and SIDS researcher.


SIDS: Why I Hate Sleep Positioners | Seattle Mama Doc

bare, basic.”. In 2005, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) issued
an updated guideline on the prevention of SIDS. Though


Good Growing Seasonal Newsletter: Winter 2012 | Seattle Children’s

on their backs to sleep, two more factors – breastfeeding and immunizations – have
been shown to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).


Dr. John P Welsh | Seattle Children’s Hospital

Overview. Research Description My research seeks to understand brain function
in both health and disease and spans SIDS and autism.


Dr. Nino Ramirez | Seattle Children’s Hospital

to find novel ways to treat and cure neurological disorders in children, including
epilepsy, Rett syndrome, brain tumors, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS


Dr. Wilda says this about that ©