Health Maintenance > Co-Sleeping with Infants?

Co-Sleeping with Infants?

A new report adds to fears that co-sleeping may not be entirely safe.

The number of infants reported to have died by accidental suffocation and strangulation (”ASSB”) in bed quadrupled, starting in 1992, after staying stable for the previous 8 years, as reported in the January 2009 issue of Pediatrics.  Some of the increase might be due to “reclassification” of other types of death, such as SIDS, which appear to be dropping impressively.  However, there is concern that a recent trend towards allowing very young babies to co-sleep with parents may be connected to these tragic accidents.

The Delaware Infant Mortality Task Force strongly recommends against co-sleeping.  I have lost two patients in this way over my 30+ year career.

The issue is controversial, because the recommendation to avoid cosleeping with infants conflicts with some cultural practices.

For more recommendations, this website gives a balanced view:

Nemours KidsHealth:

–  David M. Epstein, MD