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Co-sleeping with baby: Mum-of-five shares her tragic story

Co-sleeping with baby can lead to dangers such as suffocation, choking as well as falls. Just as it happened with Everly Shepherd.

A Kentucky mum recently shared her scary personal experience of co-sleeping with baby and shocked parents across the globe. 

In an emotionally-worded Facebook post that has now gone viral, Catrina Shephard shared how her daughter fell out of her bed and accidentally smashed her face. 

The mum-of-five who lives in Madisonville, Kentucky posted pictures of her daughter Everly before and after the accident. And her ordeal has left many parents horrified, but also thankful for highlighting what happened so similar incidents can be prevented.  

Mother shares her shocking story about co-sleeping with baby

Shepherd began by revealing, "Last night was one of the scariest nights of my life... something happened last night something that a mother's nightmares are made of, something that I thought could never happen to my child." 

"Everly went to bed around 6pm, I put her in the middle of the bed with pillows on each side as I always do and always did with all my babies. I checked on her periodically and with every check I found her in the same spot I left her fast asleep. Around 10 or a little after I checked on her and she was fine," she continued. 

"It got closer to 11 when I thought I heard her, so I stopped what I was doing to listen I heard nothing so I just went on with what I was doing, a few minutes later something told me to go check on her, once I made my way into the room I didn't see her on the bed at all," Shepherd shared. 

Shepherd then frantically started looking for her daughter. And at last she heard a muffled cry.

"I get on the bed and see her two little feet sticking up in the air. She was stuck upside down between the mattress and wall," shared the horrified mum who then pulled her out. 

She then called her husband Paul and showed him Everly's smashed face. 

"The bottom of her eye was sunk in and she could hardly hold her head up," wrote Shepherd. The horrified parents then immediately called 911 and doctors rushed in to help. 

Everly suffered a pressure sore from her fall!

The parents got to know that Everly received a pressure sore (facial fracture) from her hard fall. 

"When we got to the ER they sent her for a CT scan and and full body x-ray, the CT scan came back good but the x-ray showed a fracture circling her left ear. The sore under her eye is called a pressure sore. It's from her face sitting on the wood while all the blood was rushing to her head. This sore can be made in just a few minutes of pressure," she explained. 

Shepherd added that her daughter was then flown in to the UK for more checkups and x-rays. Here, the doctors confirmed a facial fracture.

"If she was there for just 10 more minutes she may not have been with us today...They (doctors) also kept reassuring me that she is OK and accidents do happen," shared Shepherd who added that she felt like a terrible parent.

"Please just pray for her that she heals with no problems especially the major ones, and pray for me, I mean I know accidents happen and I know I'm a good mommy, but I still can't believe that I let this happen, I am so mad at my self and heartbroken that I failed her...," she posted on Facebook. 

However, instead of a backlash, she received adulation, prayers and love from fellow parents. They also thanked her for sharing her story. 

Shepherd's story shows that accidents can happen, despite safety precautions and constant checks on little ones. 

co sleeping with baby In some instances, co sleeping with baby might not be a very good idea.

Co-sleeping with baby: safety measures 

As you know co-sleeping with baby is a sleep practice where parents sleep with their babies or kids either in the same bed or the same room. However, as with anything child related, there are some safety guidelines to keep in mind if you are co-sleeping with baby.  

  • Be wary of using heavy bedding and blankets — these may accidentally cover your baby's face. 
  • If you have sleep disorders like snoring or sleep apnea, co-sleeping may not work for you.
  • Co-sleeping, though not impossible, can be very difficult with more than two kids. If you have two kids (infant and toddler), make sure you separate them when they go to sleep.  
  • You should not be under the influence of alcohol and drugs, including medications that affect your sleep, when you go to bed. 
  • Preferably use a queen or king sized mattress, and avoid water beds. 
  • Push one side of your bed flush against a wall and ensure there are no gaps between the bed and the wall for baby to slip through. 

If your baby sleeps alone 

  • Remove curtains or blinds from the cot because they pose as a strangulation hazard.
  • Keep the space above the cot free of objects that could fall onto your baby.
  • Set the mattress base to the lowest position. Do this before your baby can sit up.
  • Remove large toys or pillows from the cot if your child can stand.
  • Make sure that the cot has no more than two legs.
  • Regularly check the nuts and bolts in the cot. Make sure they are tight.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

As for Catrina, we at theAsianparent feel her anguish and are glad that little Everly is recovering well.  

Sources: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Facebook

Also read:5 safe baby products that may be dangerous if not used properly