An article in this week's Portland Press Herald is cautioning parents against falling asleep in the same beds as their infant children. Though snuggling with your baby is appealing, especially during this brutally cold Winter, this parent/child bonding behavior is not without serious often fatal risks.
Co-sleeping activity has already brought five tragic infant deaths in Maine since the start of the new year. According to the Medical Examiner's office, our state typically sees about 10-12 such deaths per year. All of the five deaths thus far have been ruled accidental by the ME's office.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against all forms of parents sleeping with their babies, even when proper safety measures are taken.
According to a 2013 National Institutes of Health study, parents co-sleeping with infants has increased from 7 percent of families in 1993 to 14 in percent in 2010. This trend surge is reflective of evolving cultural attitudes about family bed sharing.
Advocates of parent/infant co-sleeping activity, believes that sharing a bed allows for better bonding between parents and children, especially during the formative infancy stages. However, though this practice might sound appealing and cozy, it is much better for parents to bond with their babies when awake in order to avoid the aforementioned serious risks.