BMJ article reassesses the link between bed sharing SIDS

(39 Posts)
LikeCandy Tue 21-May-13 06:30:04

"Sharing a bed with a newborn baby increases risk of sudden infant death syndrome five-fold, research claims" (full article here)

This seems to contraindicate previous thinking that bed sharing can be done safely if baby is full term, healthy and breast fed, and if Mum abstains from tobacco/alcohol/drugs and is not over tired.

I have to admit that after reading this I have put my 8w old PFB back in her (co sleeper) cot this morning.
I am in two minds however.
I love bed sharing (we've been doing it for a week or so now) she is EBF, I don't drink/smoke/take drugs.
I also don't use a duvet/ pillows, there is no way she can fall off the bed and no where for her to get stuck.
These points aren't addressed in the article.
A month isn't long to wait in the grand scheme of things (the study also found that there is no increased risk of SIDS when bed sharing with breast-fed infants over 3months when parents do not smoke, and whose mother does not take 2 or more units of alcohol or drugs and does not cosleep on a sofa)

I would be interested to hear if anyone else will be changing their sleeping habits taking this latest evidence into consideration.

ooievaar Tue 21-May-13 09:58:18

To be honest I'm sceptical about all BBC-reported / headline stories based on press releases after seeing the mess made of the Weinraub et al. longitudinal sleep study at the end of last year (turning an analysis of normal waking patterns into an admonition to let babies cry it out - at an unspecified age - based on an interview given with one of the authors and dressed up as the 'results' of the study, which were none of the sort. And yes, I did read the whole study).

So for those, like me, who co-sleep (planned, if not full-time), having taken steps to minimise all risk factors, here's a measured scientific response to the Carpenter et al. study which basically says they've got the wrong end of the stick, yet again... Evolutionary parenting

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Tue 21-May-13 10:02:14

I honestly think its all about the breastfeeding. It just stops you sleeping in that sparked out way, you are somehow always aware of the baby there? Plus realistically you back awake every few hours to feed again and reassess your sleeping, covers, positiions etc. i had a basket hater so we just set up a safe cosleep, did it for six months while baby was EBF. When he went off the bewb we had a bit of a battle with the cot but he sleeps in there now. Personally i am sleeping different now hes off the bewb and to co sleep does not feel as natural or safe at all.

LikeCandy Tue 21-May-13 11:05:06

ooirvaar thanks so much for that fantastic link!

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 11:07:55

Excellent link ooovar. Thank you!!!

mrsmartin1984 Tue 21-May-13 11:10:29

I co sleep with my 3 1/2 month old. Started when she was a 7 weeks old and we went from having no sleep and being quite hysterical because of the lack of sleep and worrying about my husband driving to work with no sleep. Now I sleep well and so does my baby. I wake when she stirs and can feed her calmly. When she was in her moses basket I wouldn't wake until she was screaming and then she was a nightmare to latch on. I have been arguing with people ever since that I am doing the right thing by her.

I EBF, don't smoke, drink, and I never use my duvet above my waist. Does this just give you another thing to feel guilty of. My doctor, HV and the breast feeding network all recommended me to co sleep.

imaginethat Tue 21-May-13 11:18:12

The data is very old.

When I had dd 10yrs ago, I had her in my bed against health professional advice. When I had 2nd child, the advice has changed and the hospital staff actively encouraged bed sharing. But soon after, a newborn died while co-sleeping in the mother's hospital bed so the advice changed again.

On the whole there is a link between infant suffocation while co-sleeping with a parent who has consumed alcohol or drugs including some prescription meds. Pillows and duvets can be easily flicked over their heads, too.

When i think back, I was pretty sure my babies were safe in my bed but possibly we were just lucky.

mrscog Tue 21-May-13 12:50:28

Poppadompreach no, of course not but I was feeding DS and only had 1 hand and it was the first article I could find to point out the flaws in this lastest BMJ study, which are namely that they didn't control for people following safe co-sleeping guidelines, which are hugely important. The ISIS response would have much better scientific consideration.

TwasBrillig Tue 21-May-13 13:04:12

This study has controlled for safe sleeping though hasn't it? They're looking at those not drinking, smoking, taking drugs and breastfeeding.

mrscog Tue 21-May-13 15:20:24

Only partially, they haven't controlled for whether the baby is between both parents or just by the mother and whether there are duvets/pillows present.

LikeCandy Tue 21-May-13 15:53:53

Also TwasBrillig they didn't consider exclusive breast feeding, only partial breast feeding (ie may not exclude those who FF at night from the breastfeeding group)

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 17:26:19

Twas 15% of their data had not discounted those using drugs/taking alcohol.

Helsbelscm Tue 21-May-13 19:06:02

Picked up this thread with interest as saw this article on the news today. I am currently bedsharing with my DD now 5 but have been sharing for a while. Of my current new mum friends i don't think i know anyone who is managing to follow every aspect of the SIDs prevention guidance to the letter as their babies won't sleep if they do! My take on it would be that we should have all the information & be aware of the guidance but everyone needs to weigh up their own personal circumstances. SIDs is thankfully not common & if there is a very real & present danger you might crash your car due to exhaustion then maybe you do what you need to in order to sleep. I don't think people should discount this paper, it has shortcomings but then so do most, but having seen it if I have another baby who wants to spend all night at the mummy snack bar & hates sleep like this one does I would make the same decisions again.

eagerbeagle Tue 21-May-13 19:20:44

I think it's also useful to read UNICEF's analysis which identifies some significant flaws in today's study.

galwaygirl Wed 22-May-13 21:26:03

Just on the EBF thing, if you FF you don't necessarily sleep more heavily or for longer. I am the lightest sleeper ever and DD was FF'd and slept worse herself than the BF babies in our group and I would wake at the slightest snuffle from her and still do two years on!

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