There is a lot more to the whole SIDS story than is currently being reported. Recent studies suggesting co-sleeping increases the risk of SIDS is sending the wrong message to new parents and basically comes off as a scare tactic for those fearing the largely unknown cause of what is termed “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.” If you have ever had a child and slept with them near to you, the last thing that you do is roll on top of them. SIDS is not due to co-sleeping, if anything, co-sleeping can help prevent SIDS.
There are various different degrees of “co-sleeping” from having the kiddo in your room with you in a near-by bed, to runners attached to the side of the bed where the baby sleeps, to curling up with the infant and waking on and off during the night to breastfeed. Co-sleeping in all of these forms has been done throughout all of time. Snuggling with your little one promotes better bonding, increased immunity and greater confidence in this new being. Certainly the idea that suffocating your baby or rolling on top of your baby could occur is enough to scare any parent, but if you have actually slept with a newborn, or any aged baby – you know rolling on them is far from the possibilities of your shallow sleep.
Sleeping with a baby is more common and comes inherent with more vigilance than sleeping with a cat. Though people sleep with their cats all the time, you don’t hear of people rolling on top of them. True, the cat can move itself, but babies are living, warm, breathing entities, not dolls that you so causally forget are laying there. You feel it if you roll on top of your partner’s arm pretty much immediately. The scare of suffocation for new parents with babies is retarding a practice that is extremely beneficial to new babies while covering up other potential risks like vaccines.
Dr. William Sears wrote a book called The Baby Sleep Book and SIDS: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding and Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome where he details his 35 years of co-sleeping with all of his 6 children and how families have been doing this forever. He offers 250 scientific references to the benefits of co-sleeping and how it affects breath, sleeping patterns and development. In Japan, co-sleeping is the norm and they have the lowest SIDS rate in the entire world. Explain that one?
In the nighttime hours, antibodies in the mother increase, so it is an idea time for babies to be nursing, a practice greatly increased by co-sleeping. Snuggling up with your little one also gives moms a chance to sleep more, which is good for everyone. When babies sleep alone, or in another room, the risks for problems including SIDS goes up.
The only time co-sleeping can be an increased risk is when a parent is sleeping with the baby on a couch where they could easily fall off. Bed sleeping, as long as the covers aren’t too thick and sink too deep under the little one, blocking their ability to get air, is a perfectly wonderful way to bond with your baby.
There is more mounting evidence, denied by the medical and pharmaceutical industries, that vaccines contribute greatly to SIDS, as this “unknown” cause of death is most common during the time of life when infants are receiving their first round of shots. Without going into too much detail on vaccines in this report, the prevailing evidence suggests that SIDS is NOT in fact due to co-sleeping. Reports are not telling the whole story and instead are installing programs of fear into new parents who need not be afraid to sleep with their new baby, especially when that feels like the most natural thing in the world to do.
Written by: Stasia Bliss