The number of babies sharing bed with their parents have increased a lot during the past twenty years. So have the amount of babies strangled and suffocated. This is a heated subject which many parents can't discuss objectively. Since dangers are apparent and many lives are saved, how come parents don't use a crib more often?
An article by NYT talks about the fourfold increase in rates of strangulation and suffocation:
The reasons bed sharing has increased are multifaceted. For some parents it is about bonding with their baby, and ease of breastfeeding; for some it is a periodic thing, because a child is sick or frightened, or because the parents just happen to fall asleep with the baby in their bed. It also seems to be cultural — the phenomenon is more prevalent among Asian and African-American households. And sometimes it is out of sheer necessity — the family can’t afford a crib.
You might remember the recommendation that a baby should sleep on the stomach. Advice was changed in 1996, to sleeping on the back, and the rate of S.ID.S plummeted. But bed sharing apparently increased a lot since then. For some reason most parents refuse to believe co-sleeping is less safe.
I see no real problem with sharing a bed with an infant if it's done correctly. Which is rarely the case. Simple steps like removing fluffy pillows, using a firm mattress, removing heavy blankets, and not use a water bed. Removing headboards and footboards, and moving the bed away from the wall is also a good idea to avoid a baby getting wedged in. Plus not going to bed piss drunk.
Not exactly rocket science, but parents often turn a blind eye to these simple precautions. We've used a crib from day one for both our kids and it's worked very well. Our kids have still spent many nights in our bed while being sick or having nightmares. They are both always welcome to our bed but rarely come over. But sharing a bed with kids also often means a crappy sex life with a partner which can destroy a relationship in the long run.
Lets see, much safer for my kids and also more sex. Tough choice……:-)
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