Over the past two decades, the number of parents sharing a bed with their child has steadily increased. Parents give several reasons for choosing a bed. Some have a feeling of bondage and some like to give their baby immediate access to the breast that they can take care of. Some even find it traumatic for children to sleep alone in a separate space. Many of them have a hard time getting a baby to sleep in a stroller and rely on getting him to sleep just to get some sleep.
Bed-sharing on the rise
At the national level and in Colorado, the number of accidental deaths caused by suffocation among children as a result of dangerous sleep practices has increased," he says. "One of the biggest is sharing a parent's bed with children."
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, bed sharing increases the risk of sleep-related infant deaths. In a study of more than 8,000 infant deaths in 24 states over eight years, researchers found that 69 percent of children had a shared bed at the time of death. In Colorado, there were 263 infant deaths in sleep between 2009 and 2013. None occurred in a safe sleep environment.
Nevertheless, many parents are reluctant to admit the risk, even though they are theoretically aware of it.
"From the dangerous sleep practices we talk to parents about, they seem reluctant to quit," says Dr. Halbower. "My parents think," I sleep peacefully. I would never have met my son. 'But every new parent is exhausted. Even while breastfeeding, they can wean the baby with their breasts or hands, without even noticing. "
The risks of bed-sharing
In addition to the risk of this happening to the baby, there is also a sleeping environment. The adult bed is not a safe place to sleep. Any soft bedding - pillows, blankets, even loose sheets - poses a risk of suffocation for your baby. The safest way for children to sleep is on their backs, in a sleeping environment where there is nothing but a sewn-on tarpaulin. No blankets, no plush toys, no pillows, no bumpers.
A safer way to co-sleep
However, Dr. Halbower sympathizes with sleeping together. Therefore, she and other baby sleep experts like her recommend putting babies in a basket next to the bed. This will give the parent easy access and connection convenience, giving the child the safest place to sleep.
The term "sleeping together" refers to a parent and child sleeping in the same room, including bed sharing and room sharing. Sharing a room (when a child sleeps in his crib or coat next to his parents' bed) is considered safe.
"It's really important to provide babies with their own sleeping environment, even if they need to sleep in a box," says Dr. Halbower.
She laughs, but she’s not really joking.
How Can We Room-Share Safely?
To keep your little one close, but not in your bed:
- Put a bassinet, play yard, or crib next to your bed. This will allow you to maintain the closeness you need, which can be especially important if you are breastfeeding. When a baby sleeps in a separate room in the same room as the mother, it reduces the risk of SIDS.
- Consider using a night's sleep that is attached to the bed and allows you and your baby to stand side by side, but on separate surfaces. The CPSC recommended safety standards for sleepers, but no study has examined whether these devices prevent SIDS and other sleep-related deaths or injuries.
Experts recommend that children sleep in their parents' room without a bed until their first birthday. If parents prefer to move the baby to another bedroom, it is best to wait until the baby is at least 6 months old.
How to Bed-Share as Safely as Possible
Some parents decide that it is best to divide their families despite the risks. If you decide to have your baby with you, follow these precautions:
- Always put babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Dress your child in minimal clothing to avoid overheating.
- Don't place a baby to sleep alone in an adult bed.
- Do not place the baby on a soft surface, such as a soft mattress, sofa, or waterbed. Make sure your bed mattress is firm.
- Make sure there are no holes or cutouts in the headboard and bed that could catch your baby's head.
- Make sure your mattress fits snugly against the bed frame so your baby doesn't get trapped between the frame and the mattress.
- Don't cover your child's head while they're sleeping.
- Do not leave pillows, quilts, quilts and other soft or luxurious items on the bed. You can put the baby to sleep instead of blankets.
- Do not place the bed near curtains or blinds where the child could become entangled and excited by the cords.
- Do not sleep with the baby on your chest.
- Do not sleep with your baby on cots, cribs or swings.
Also, do not smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs or medications that may alert you or prevent you from waking up.
Avoid sharing beds with children at higher risk of SIDS. These include children under 4 months, premature babies and children with low birth weight.