Experts say bed-sharing can put infants at risk

In 2022, there were 319 infant deaths in the state of Mississippi and around 25% were reported to be due to S.I.D.S.

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – There is a common misconception about the term “S.I.D.S.” also known as sudden infant death syndrome.

Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant has to see more of these cases than he would like in his profession.

He says SIDS is used to give a cause of death when there is not a known health issue.

“S.I.D.S. is not a condition, it’s not a disease, it’s an acronym given as a catch-all phrase when everything has been exhausted, the tests have been done, the autopsy is complete, and there is still no anatomical or metabolic reason for that child to be deceased,” Merchant said.

Various studies have shown that bed-sharing is a possible common factor.

Devi Moon is a family nurse practitioner and a mother.

She understands wanting to sleep with your baby, but she says she never recommends co-sleeping, and it’s not safe or worth it.

“I suggest them sleeping in their bed, a bassinet up to 6 months old,” Moon. “They need to be on their back, not elevated, no kind of bouncer or a car seat. Especially 4 months and under, that chin to chest puts them in a position where they can’t breathe and they’re at a high risk of suffocation.”

“You don’t realize your movement in the bed, or the baby’s movement in the bed,” Merchant said. “Some of the research that’s been done over time shows that people who smoke shouldn’t let their babies sleep with them. Children who are ill, should not sleep with people.”

Merchant says at this age, their systems can easily become compromised and a pillow over the face, a baby being rolled face down, or the position of the baby’s head could compromise the child when co-sleeping.

“Our size is a danger to an infant,” Merchant said. “You don’t have to physically get on this child to cause a problem, just the nature of your weight bearing in the bed in a soft mattress can cause a great problem.”

Moon says her advice is to never start it.

“The baby will sleep on their own,” Moon said. “It takes time and effort. As soon as you get them to sleep, if that’s the way you wanna do, whether it’s rocking them, they need to be placed in a safe crib.”

“Call for help,” Merchant said. “Have some family friends, or your husband or your wife, or mom or dad, take time about and do what’s possible to keep that child out of the bed with you.”

In 2022, there were 319 infant deaths in the state of Mississippi and around 25% were reported to be due to S.I.D.S.

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