Don't Share Your Bed
Especially when you're breastfeeding, it can seem much easier to let your baby lie next to you. But the evidence shows that if you and your baby fall asleep after feeding, he'll be at increased risk of both SIDS and suffocation. That's why the AAP discourages sleeping with your baby during the whole first year. Studies have shown that factors like medication, drug use, and smoking play a role in bedsharing deaths, but experts don't know to what degree they're to blame. Until studies offer proof, don't assume that cosleeping can be done safely. "It's unwise for any mother to sleep with her baby, but it's even more dangerous if you've been drinking or taking medication, are obese (and could more easily smother your baby), or have a child who's already at an increased risk of SIDS because you smoke," cautions AAPSIDS Task Force member Maurice Keenan, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, in Boston.