Q: My mother slept with me when I was a baby and I wasn’t harmed. Why wouldn’t it be the same for me and my baby?
A: We now know more about why babies die when sleeping with parents, or in adult beds or on sofas and chairs. Those deaths were once thought to be Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but now we know that many babies die from suffocation when sleeping in those unsafe places.
Q: Aren’t you making a big deal out of nothing? Isn’t it very rare for babies to die from unsafe sleeping arrangements?
A: It is quite common for babies to die this way. An average of 10 healthy babies die in Rochester and Monroe County every year who would be alive today if they had been put to bed in a safe sleep environment.
Q: Isn’t it just parents who are drunk or high on drugs that end up smothering their babies in bed?
A: No. Even parents who have no drugs or alcohol in their system smother their babies in bed. Co-sleeping or bed-sharing is dangerous no matter what your condition is.
Q: I don’t want my baby to be cold in his crib. How do I keep him warm if I can’t put a blanket in bed with him?
A: Blanket sleepers or “sleep-sacks” keep your baby warm without the risk of fabrics which could smother.
Q: How can I breastfeed my baby if I can’t bring him to bed with me?
A: Nursing mothers can have a bassinet right beside the bed and place the baby back in it as soon as they are done nursing. Safe sleep habits and nursing can go together without a problem.
Q: My baby sleeps best in her infant car carrier. Isn’t that a safe alternative to sleeping in a crib?
A: No. Infant car carriers have been cited in deaths because babies don’t lie flat, and they can suffocate when their heads tip forward, blocking the airway. They are safe when properly positioned strapped in the car.