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Dangers of Sleeping With Baby

Dangers of Sleeping With Baby

Around 4 million babies will be born in the US and Canada this year and if you’re one of the new parents you want to make sure your newbie thrives. Fortunately, since 1992 when the American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) first recommended that infants sleep only on their back to avoid SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) the number of tragic incidences has plummeted and parents have had fewer worries. But there are still around 3,000 unexpected infant deaths every year; so the CDC and APA are campaigning to help parents eliminate others causes.

Their number one target: bed-sharing. It increases the risk of SIDS five-fold. Falling asleep next to your infant is particularly risky if you are overweight, have long hair, soft and cuddly comforters and pillows, are exhausted, a smoker, even a moderate drinker or taking drugs or medications. (There’s something there for almost everyone!)

You can enjoy bringing baby into bed with you to breastfeed or to comfort or cuddle the child–while you are fully awake. But the best arrangement is to have your little one sleep in your room, but not in your bed. So set up a crib with a firm surface, no crib bumpers, no soft bedding or pillows, no blankets or other fabric that could interfere with breathing. Make sure to avoid pacifiers on strings placed around baby’s neck or clipped to clothing and exposure to smoke or illicit drugs. Now, if mom and dad can just get a good night’s sleep too!

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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