A two-month-old baby boy died last week in Toledo after his mother fell asleep in bed with him while breastfeeding. Toledo's WTOL News reports that the mother woke to discover the baby was not breathing. Paramedics could not revive the infant.
NPR.org summarizes the current recommendations for how to help an infant sleep safely and avoid such a tragedy:
Co-sleeping is a catch-all term that needs to be broken down into subcategories. Sharing a room and sharing a bed are quite different practices.
The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recognizes this distinction. It advises that infants should always sleep on their backs and on a firm surface, and on the issue of co-sleeping, recommends that "the baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing)." The idea is that room-sharing embraces the benefit of close monitoring of the baby but avoids any risk of a parent inadvertently rolling over on the child.
Without a doubt, alcohol, tobacco, or other drug use by the parent, or low birth weight in the infant, make bed-sharing too risky.