Is Co-Sleeping Dangerous?
In the last 10 weeks, four babies have died co-sleeping with their parents or grandparents in Milwaukee, and currently police are investigating a fifth death, of a two-month-old baby boy who died in his mother’s bed on Sunday.
I started reading the news report wondering what could cause so many tragic deaths in such a short time. I’ve always thought that responsible co-sleeping is safe and various respected pediatricians (such as Dr. Sears) and child-care experts (such as Elizabeth Pantley) agree. So what could be happening in Milwaukee? Should other parents in Wisconsin be scared?
The mom of the latest baby to die admitted to police that she had been drinking at a wedding the night her baby died. The previous baby to die in Milwaukee was a six-week old boy. His mother also admitted to drinking before falling asleep with the baby in her bed. Then there was a three-month-old boy who died sleeping on the couch with his grandmother. His grandmother told police she had drunk eight beers that night. And before that, a six-day-old baby girl died sleeping on a couch with her mother. Her mom told police that she was drunk the night before. (Her daughter was SIX DAYS OLD.)
There was only one baby of the five whose caregiver wasn’t drinking on the night her baby died. I read to the end of the report and I want to cry for those babies and I just can’t imagine what their parents were thinking.
I still think co-sleeping is safe, but only if it’s done safely. Not being drunk has to be one of the top safety tips for co-sleeping. Sleeping on a couch with a baby also seems to put a baby at greater risk.