Many parents bring their baby into bed at some time, especially if baby is breastfeeding. In some circumstances, sharing a sleep surface with a baby increases the risk of sudden infant death and fatal sleeping accidents. Current evidence has shown that it is not so much bed-sharing, but the circum stakes in which bed. sharing occours that carries the risk. No sleeping environment is risk free. SI DS and kids recommends sleeping with a baby in a cot next to the parents’ bed for the first six To twelve months of life as this has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
It is NOT safe to share a sleep surface with a baby if:
- You or your partner is a smoker –
- You are under the influence of alchool or drugs that cause sedation, or are excessively tired.
If parents choose to share a sleeping surface with their baby, the following strategies will help to reduce the risk of sudden infant death and fatal sleeping accidents:
– sleep baby on the back from birth, never on tummy or side.
– Make sure the mattress is firm
– Make sure that bedding cannot cover baby’s face (use high weight blankets; remove pillows, doo nas and other soft items from the environment).
– sleep baby beside one parent only (not between two parents) to reduce the likelihood of baby becoming covered by adult bedding.
– Instead of bedding, an infant sleeping bag may be used se baby does not share the adult bedding.
– Do NOT wrap baby if sharing a sleep surface d s this restricts arm and leg movement
– Make sure baby cannot fall off the bed. A safer alternative is to place the mattress of the floor (be aware of potential situations where baby can become trapped).
– Pushing the bed up against the wall can be hazardous. Babies have died after being trapped between the bed and the wall.
– Never place a baby to sleep in a bed with other children or pets
Babies must never be left alone on an adult bed or put to sleep on a sofa, bean bag, waterbed or sagging mattress.
Parents are advised to share the same room as their baby during the first 6- 12 months of life as this practice is associated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death, sharing the same room during a baby’s day time sleep is also protective. Safety of the baby’s sleep environment should be viewed as a priority over sharing the same room as baby for daytime sleeps.