Tuesday (June 20) was a very sad day for the parents of a newborn – just 36 days old – who died after co-sleeping in the same bed as her parents the previous night.
The Straits Times says that the baby’s parents decided to let her sleep with them because it was easier to feed her that way.
In the morning, the little one’s father reportedly felt something was not quite right. That was when he noticed his daughter had stopped breathing.
Her parents rushed their baby to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, but it was too late. The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital, says the Straits Times.
Police are reportedly still investigating the baby’s death.
Co-sleeping: The do’s and the don’ts
Having your baby sleep with you can certainly offer sleep-deprived parents much-needed respite. Proponents of co-sleeping also point out the benefits of this practice, including ease of nursing in the night and an enhanced sense of security for the baby.
However, as with all things baby-related, there are clear-cut rules when it comes to co-sleeping too, to ensure the safety of the baby.
While some experts are completely against babies sleeping with their parents, on the claims that an adult can easily roll on a small child and suffocate them (this risk is present with bedding too), others advise that you proceed with caution.
Here are some safety tips from Dr. James McKenna, anthropologist, Director of the Center for Behavioral Studies of Mother-Infant Sleep, Notre Dame University and author of Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping.
His first spot of advise is related to the ‘ideal’ co-sleeping family: sober, non-obese, non-smoking and breastfeeding. Dr. McKenna also advises that the best way to co-sleep with your little one is on the floor, on a mattress in the middle of the room.
Other than this:
- Ensure that the headboard and footboard of your bed are tightly fitted in to the frame. That way, your baby cannot become wedged in a gap.
- Think about installing a bedrail, so your child cannot fall off your bed.
- Never leave a baby alone in an adult bed.
- Avoid co-sleeping with newborns.
- No water beds, fluffy pillows or thick bedding that can increase the risk of suffocation.
- Ensure the temperature in the room is not too warm. Overheating can be a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Babies should always be placed on their back to sleep.
- Never bedshare if there is another child, or pet in your bed.
We at theAsianparent are extremely sorry for the loss of this little life. Parents, do use this sad story as a cautionary tale. Practice safe co-sleeping always and remind your friends who are new parents to do the same.