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New Guidelines - no cosleeping before 6 months!

(20 Posts)
sweetkitty Wed 11-May-05 09:59:27

Saw on GMTV this morning that there has been some new research that shows that cosleeping with your baby can be a cause of cot death and they reckon that 25% of cot deaths are cause by cosleeping! The other big no nos of smoking/drinking etc were also banded about. The advice now is the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a cot next to it's parents bed.

I just wonder what the cot death rate is like in countries where cosleeping is the norm.

assumedname Wed 11-May-05 10:08:34

In the days before feet first, back to bed and co-sleeping my first dd slept in my bed. When she was newborn (at home), she had great difficulty sleeping by herself. One night I picked her out of the cot (don't know what made me wake up and check on her) and she was really cold. She was in my bed most of the time after that, with the full support of the midwife.

Really handy for b/f too - neither of us had to wake up!

sweetkitty Wed 11-May-05 10:40:32

DD coslept with us from a few days old, for me it made more sense to have her close to me and as you say BFing is easier

suzywong Wed 11-May-05 10:43:56

that's a shame
a shame a baby died to get it in the headlines and a shame that people will be afraid to co-sleep

throckenholt Wed 11-May-05 10:46:37

I would want to know more about how they came up with that figure - sounds really high.

When my 3 were little sometimes the only way any of us got to sleep was them sleeping on DH's chest.

suzywong Wed 11-May-05 10:47:47

if it's the same woman as the one on the BBC news website then was it pointed out that she was a smoker too?

Hulababy Wed 11-May-05 10:52:12

I noticed that too. The woman on TV early (not sure which channel - BBC I think) was a smoker. The news iten mentioned confusion over guidelines - that a smoker didn't realise it was not okay to co-sleep BECAUSE she was a smoker. Apparntly some smokers think that they are safe to co-sleep so long as they aren't smoking in bed. Which IMO is a completly different thing. It doesn't mean that co-sleeping for NON smokers isn't safe.

Hulababy Wed 11-May-05 10:54:56

The BBC link

Parents who smoke are being urged not to share a bed with their baby after a survey found many did not know this raises the risk of cot death.

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths found a third of 428 parents polled had shared a bed with a baby.

In a campaign, it will be highlighting the higher risk of cot death associated with smokers sleeping with their baby, even if they do not smoke in bed.

FSID says the safest place for any baby to sleep is a cot in the parents' room. Its advice particularly applies when the child is under six months old.

Its survey found 95% of parents knew it was unsafe for a baby to bedshare with a parent who smokes in bed, but 22% thought it was safe for a baby to bedshare with a smoker who never smoked in bed.

In fact, it makes no difference where or when they smoke - if a smoker bedshares with a baby it increases the risk of cot death even if they never smoke in bed.

This is because children of smokers tend to be smaller, and to have damage to their respiratory system, and so are vulnerable to the tiny risk associated with bedsharing, which is so small that it is not a factor for more robust babies.


Rosemary Dodds, of the National Childbirth Trust, said it was right to emphasise the risk of cot death was increased if smokers bedshare with their babies.

However, she added: "It's not clear that sharing a bed with your baby is risky if you don't smoke or have other risk factors.

"There is some evidence that mothers who breastfeed and co-sleep with their babies, are more likely to continue breastfeeding.

"As not breastfeeding is associated with increased short and long term health risks, we are worried that telling women not to co-sleep may reduce the duration of breastfeeding."

Andrew Radford, of the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, said it was not realistic simply to tell all mothers not to bed share.

"Mothers have the right to expect full information about both the benefits and risks of bed-sharing, the risk of accidents and how to reduce them, so they can make informed choices."

Hulababy Wed 11-May-05 10:55:47

Other info:

Survey findings
34% of parents bedshare with their babies at some point
38% of smokers bedshare with their baby
28% of smokers who bedshare wrongly think this is safe so long as they never smoke in bed
17% of parents mistakenly thought it was safe for a parent to fall asleep with a baby on a sofa or armchair

Minimise the risk

Do not let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby
Place your baby on the back to sleep
Do not let your baby get too hot
Keep baby's head uncovered
If your baby is unwell, seek medical advice promptly
Do not share a bed with your baby if you or your partner smoke, having been drinking, taking medication or are very tired

sweetkitty Wed 11-May-05 11:04:04

Thanks for the info.

I was thinking yuck who would smoke in bed with a newborn baby sleeping beside them?

WestCountryLass Wed 11-May-05 11:49:09

Shitabrick, imagine smoking in bed and co-sleeping

FWIW, I personally think that every aspect of child safety is a risk and you have to weigh up the risks based on your own circumstances.

I co-sleep, I don't moke or drink, I function on very little sleep, DH sleeps in the spare room while I co-sleep so I think we are of low risk of CD BUT there is always a risk, however everyone getting a good nights sleep, BFing and the comfort and closeness of CS far outweighs that risk (for us).

compo Wed 11-May-05 15:38:01

I don't understand why if you are a smoker it is more dangerous to co-sleep than if you don't. Persoannly I don't smoke and i don't co-sleep. just can't see how it can be that safe as me or dh could roll over onto baby or baby could fall out of bed.

sweetheart Wed 11-May-05 15:42:50

my mw told me it's because the nicotine comes out of your poures during the night and can effectivly suffocate the baby - thats why it's more dangerous for smokers to co-sleep.

Pruni Wed 11-May-05 15:49:21

Message withdrawn

compo Wed 11-May-05 16:15:12

omg! nicotine comes out of your pores? That's disgusting!! Pruni - that makes a lot of sense

SofiaAmes Wed 11-May-05 17:52:19

compo, smokers STINK of smoke. I am asthmatic and I find that just standing next to a heavy smoker even if they aren't smoking can trigger an asthma attack for me. Imagine how that could affect a newborn who already has weaker lungs etc. because their mother smoked during the pregnancy.

hatsoff Wed 11-May-05 17:57:09

I wonder if Andrew Radford thinks that fathers have the right to full information. Or is it just none of their business? Presumably they're too busy doing man's work. Sorry but confusing "mother" and "parent" is one of my biggest bug bears.

MarsLady Wed 11-May-05 18:00:27

Ah well.........too late now!

morningpaper Wed 11-May-05 18:05:10

I find that statistic hard to believe. I bet that the 25% of co-sleeping cot-deaths are REALLY caused by drunk parents rolling on babies or similar.

JulieF Wed 11-May-05 23:36:40

The other interesting thing about co-sleeping cot death statistics is that they do not differentiate between babies who died whilst safely co-sleeping in the recommended way and babies who dies when their parents fell asleep with them on the sofa or a chair.

Studies have also shown that breastfeeding mums automatically adopt a protective position around their babies (something to do with hormones they produce) and having had both a bottlefed baby and a breastfed one I can anecdotally vouch for this.

Hatsoff, the UNICEF quote I think was part of the trying not to put breastfeeding mothers off co-sleeping when the original scare story came out, hence the use of the word Mother as father's can't breastfeed

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