Sleeping with baby increases risk of SIDS

A recent study in Sweden has warned of the dangers of parents sleeping with newborn babies. SWEDEN, one of the countries where bed-sharing between parents and infants is most widespread, issued advice against the practice for new-born babies warning of an increased risk of cot death.

Co-sleeping can be a delicate subject to discuss and even the most diligent mum can find herself exhausted in the early stages of motherhood and after breastfeeding in bed during the night awake to find baby asleep next to you.

This was my experience and whilst never deliberate when you haven't had a night of unbroken sleep in three years, exhaustion takes its toll.

Our moses baskets are ideal to have by your bedside and I am often asked if the stand for our baskets should be higher.

The stands are made at a height to be placed beside the bed and enable mum to look into the basket to check on baby and access baby easily during the night.

It's important that children under three months sleep in their own beds,'' Kerstin Nordstrand at the National Board of Health and Welfare told AFP.

She said the recommendation was "new'', since the institution had previously only advised against newborns sleeping in the same room as a smoker or in the same bed with a parent under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The information was first published by Swedish medical newspaper Dagens Medicin, which cited a paediatrics professor at Gothenburg University.

"It has been clear in the research in recent years that co-sleeping is a risk factor in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,'' professor Goeran Wennergren told the paper.

The practice is reportedly widespread in Sweden. A 2001 study published in the paediatric journal Early Human Development showed that 65 per cent of three-month-old Swedish babies slept with their parents, the highest rate in the Western world.

A report published by the British Medical Journal which analysed nearly 1500 sudden infant deaths revealed that 22 per cent took place while the baby slept in the parental bed.

According to professor of medical statistics, Bob Carpenter, who was responsible for the study, the risk of cot death for babies sleeping with their parents was multiplied by five compared to those who slept alone.

Other countries including France and the United States recommend sleeping in the same room as the newborn, but not in the same bed.