Sharing a Bed with Your Baby

Dr. Alan Greene answers the question, Is it safe to let my baby sleep in my bed?

Question

Is it safe to let my baby sleep in my bed?

Answer

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just came out warning all parents that no one should bring their babies (under age 1) to bed with them because of the risk of suffocation, strangling, and falls. Putting the bed next to the wall or putting pillows on the floor does not lessen the risk.

It seems to me, though, that "just say no" is too simplistic. It's better to teach people the risks and benefits and urge them to decide for themselves. Usually, one parent wakens quite easily to the baby's needs and the baby should sleep next to that parent. Often, the "deep sleeper" that the CPSC warns parents about has been drinking alcohol or taking antihistamines, causing her to be less in tune with the baby's needs.

I think that sleeping together is the best option for many families and that not sleeping together is the best option for many families.

 

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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