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How safe is it to sleep with your baby?

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There is renewed debate over the safety of sleeping with your baby. A new study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows a rise in the number of babies accidentally suffocated or strangled in bed.

Dayton West-Mullen’s mom thought she was doing the right thing, letting him sleep with her in her bed. But then, when he was four months old, “It was about 7:50 a.m. and my mother-in-law came in and yelled, ‘you’re lying on top of the baby’”.

Dayton suffocated to death, and Lisa says the feeling of guilt never goes away. “No matter how many times people tell me it’s not my fault in my heart, the heart of a mom, from the moment Dayton was born it was like I would give my life to protect this child and I couldn’t save him,” she said.

According to a new CDC report, more than 300 babies suffocated during 2003 and 2004, when someone rolled over them in bed.

So then why, are smart, educated parents like Beverly Steiger sleeping with their babies?

Steiger said she’s heard the warnings, but she is convinced there is no way she would ever roll over on four-month-old Simon. “It’s really hard to explain, but you have such a heightened awareness when you’re exclusively breast feeding your baby. I would never, ever roll over on him. It would never, ever happen.”

In many cultures, all around the world, sleeping with baby is the norm, and is often done safely. That is why some pediatricians say the CDC study doesn’t really prove that co-sleeping is dangerous.

But Lisa West said there is no way a parent should ever sleep in the same bed with their child. “Those people who are advising parents to sleep with their infants in some of those cases they’re signing those babies’ death warrants,” West said.

For more on the CDC study, and for tips on co-sleeping safely, use the following links.

More on the CDC study:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/123/2/533

Sleeping safety:
http://www.cdc.gov/SIDS/ReduceRisk.htm

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A new study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows a rise in the number of babies accidentally suffocated or strangled in bed.

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Associated poll

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