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Old 04-10-2005, 03:35 AM   #1
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Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

My stepdaughter called us Friday to tell us her best friend and his wifes baby had died, only 7 weeks old I asked her if it was SIDS and she said no. The baby had been fussy Thur. night and around midnight they had brought the baby into the bed with them so Mom could get some rest while she breast fed him. The parents were exhausted and fell asleep. When the Dad awoke around 5am, he saw his son from the waist up was under his sleeping wife. It was too late despite rescue efforts by the parents and EMT's the baby was dead. An autospy showed the cause of death was compression suffacation. There was enough weight on the babies chest from Mom that the baby couldn't get any air. My kids all grew up with this couple and the Mom & Dad were the first ones of their group to marry and have a baby so the gang all in their mid-20's has been over at the house every chance to play with the little guy. There are no words to describe the horror and confusion these young people are feeling. There is no way to comfort the Mom & Dad. I had heard this kind of accident could happen but in almost 50 years I never knew any one it did happen to. It happens alot more then I thought. A friends husband who is a local EMT said he gets 2 or 3 calls a year on this type of infant death in our city. Cosleeping or bed sharing with your toddler or older child is a seperate issue. Moving a very young infant from a crib with a firm mattress,no pillow, stuff animals or heavy blankets into a bed with a soft mattress,pillows,big sheets,comforter,blankets and some 300 to 400 lbs of sleeping exhausted parents is where the accident rate soars. Please be careful, I have 3 kids and realize now how close I came to having the same thing happen to one of mine is frightening. As far as these young parents go none of us even know what to do or say I just told my kids and their friends to listen if the Mom and Dad need to talk,just be there for them.

 
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Old 04-10-2005, 03:52 AM   #2
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

I am so sorry to hear about this devastating loss. My husband is a police officer and has been trained as a Family Liason Officer. This means that whenever there is a death in a family he will sometimes get put with the family to help them through the loss. Last winter within 6 weeks he saw two couples go through this tragedy. Both couples had brought their baby into bed with them, fallen asleep and rolled over onto the baby. One of the babies was 6 weeks old, the other 4 weeks. The families were beside themselves with the guilt and pain of this overwhelming loss. Both of these cases deeply affected my husband and now that I'm expecting our first baby in the fall he's made a definate ground rule. Our baby will never be in bed with us.

My heart goes out to you and your friends. Please take care.

xx

 
Old 04-10-2005, 04:02 AM   #3
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

Thanks for the reply I'm amazed how many people are adding to the lost by passing judgement on the couple. I was talking to one mother of 6 who reacted in a way I never expected. She was like how could she do that I would never roll over on my babies. implying the Mom did not have some kind of mother rader. That she had to be a bad mom to have this happen. Rumors are flying like the parents had to be drunk or stone, That it happen because both the Mom and dad are heavy. Believe me the police did drug and alchol testing and both parents were free of drug and alchol. Yes the Mom is a little chubby who isn't 7 weeks after giving birth. It happen to good sweet first time parents who adore their new son . Mom and Dad were exhausted and not aware of the danger. I did a web search on the topic and found more infants under 12 months die this way then in car accidents here in the US.

Last edited by off kilter; 04-10-2005 at 04:05 AM.

 
Old 04-10-2005, 06:44 AM   #4
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

My heart aches for that family.

I remember when my DD was that small and coliky and I used to sleep sitting up on the couch with her on my chest, just for that reason. All of my friend laughed at me saying that you couldn't roll over on the baby because you would just "know". I never believed that. Now that she is older. if she is sick or something and I let her in my bed, I don't really worry, she would get up and move.

I can't even imagine how that poor Mother is feeling right now. It breaks my heart just to think about it. I hope your stepdaughter is good support for them right now.

 
Old 04-10-2005, 07:15 AM   #5
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

Thankfully both of the couples my husband dealt with received a lot of support and grief counselling. Of course these parents were exhausted and worn out..what first time parents aren't? Why anybody would accuse them of being drunk or stoned is beyond me. This happens a lot more often then people realize. I'm keeping your friends in my thoughts and prayers.

Nicole x

 
Old 04-10-2005, 08:53 AM   #6
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

No one said those things to their face just rumors are flying. Anytime something like this happens there are some people who explain why it could never happen to themselves by implying it happen because the parents did something wrong. used drugs or were too young. They must be bad parents in some way to be punished, to have something so horrible happen. No one wants to think it happens to good people. Also it is human nature to have the discussion of something like this change as more and more people have heard about it. As the story of what happen is spreading ,the story is having things added to it and facts are being changed. All this will accomplish is to add to this families pain.

 
Old 04-10-2005, 01:47 PM   #7
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

i read this post about 3 hours ago, but i did not reply at that time. i read it aloud to my husband and we both cried. my newborn is only 3 weeks old and he sleeps with us. he is one of those babies that will sleep soundly if he is touching you, but wakes up every 20 minuets if he is not. i lay on my back and hold him in the crook of my arm so he is on his back as well. as far as i know, i have woke up very easily when he wakes up. i have also been on pain medication durring this time because of my c-section. i have always been a light sleeper so i guess i always thought it would be ok. that being said....

i am not trying by any means to say that it won't happen to me. this post just hit so close to home because i can not imagine how devestated they are right now. as a mother to a NB myself, if that happened i don't think i could make it through. so my husband and i are going to bring up the bassinette and put it next to the bed and do whatever we can to comfort our little one from there. but then i have to wonder out the stats form all over the world. in some cultures co-sleeping is the norm. i guess it is just being aware of the risks and going from there.

my heart goes out to the family and all of those who have lost a little one.
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Old 04-10-2005, 02:00 PM   #8
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

Nyxin. I read about co-sleeping around the world and remember we are talking right now about very young infants. The danger seems to be more in America and other developed countries because of the types of beds we sleep in. In many 3rd world countries and long ago in earlier cultures. The beds and bedding the parents used are or were more sparse then in our modern culture often only a thin mattress or matt, very simular to the cribs and bassinetts we use now to keep our babies safe.. It seems from the study I read our love of big mattress, high beds,sheets,blankets,pillows ,comforters and quilts have tremendously increased the risk of young infants getting tangled up,air passage blocked or trap between the bed and wall. It all seems so basic and simple ( the risk). Untill this happen I never really thought about it. You are not being mean, just like most of us including me I never thought this would happen to me and it didn't. Tomarrow night is the Wake, Tues. morning is the funeral.

 
Old 04-10-2005, 03:59 PM   #9
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

and i have all those things... the high bed, the down comforter with the du-ve (sp?) cover, the 12 pillows... the only thing is that the bed isn't up against the wall. i thank you for letting me know about this.
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Old 04-10-2005, 06:41 PM   #10
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

Nyxin- give your little one a hug for me and enjoy him. Having an older one you know soon enough your infant will be leaving his own toddler bed and crawling up between your husband and you to snuggle.

 
Old 04-11-2005, 06:32 AM   #11
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

i wanted to say that Morgan did stay in the bassinette last night. my DH and I woke up about 5 times to check on hime even though he was inches away from my side of the bed. i hooked up this vibrator thingy that also has the sound of the ocean (well, a pathetic replica, but whatever..) Morgan slept great! i guess we are the ones that need the security! thanks again, i am going to really stick with this as best i can for everyones piece of mind.
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Old 04-11-2005, 06:11 PM   #12
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

What a tragic story. It is so sad to think that sometimes little angels have to go back to Heaven so soon. The parents certainly should not feel guilty or be made out to be bad parents. If the infant had died of SIDS in thier crib or if they had been in a car accident would they be bad parents then? Accidents happen and while it is unfortunate outsiders should not make the situation even worse by speculating on things they could never understand. My prayers are with the family. May God bless all our families!

 
Old 04-11-2005, 09:03 PM   #13
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

my heart goes out to the poor families that have had to endure such tragedy...i cannot imagine what they are going thru. this is a huge fear of mine. my princess is 2 mo. old and i am so paranoid of sids that she sleeps with me every night. i don't sleep w/ pillows (i have one propped up against the top of the bed to lean against during night feedings) under my head and i sleep w/ my head level with or lower than hers. we also only sleep w/ a light blanket...and iplace her in the middle of the bed. my dh works graveyard so his needing the bed isn't an issue. i also don't move while asleep and wake up everytime she does. besides me not being able to sleep from my paranoia my dd has colic and skin contact seems to be the most comforting thing for her. after reading all these posts i wonder if i have taken enough precautions and if i am doing the right thing for my dd. i just worry allll the time..and i want my dd to feel safe and loved so that she can sleep instead of shrieking and crying. i'm so confused!

 
Old 04-12-2005, 02:35 AM   #14
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

SIDS is a huge fear of every parent and there are studies that cosleeping reduces the chance of SIDS happening. The studies I read pointed to the increase in America of cosleeping in response to this lower SIDS rate in countries where cosleeping is common. But suddenly there was a dramatic increase in accidental deaths like the one this couple have to deal with. So the experts looked into it further and studies show the lower rates in some cultures may not be because of the prescence of Mom in the bed but the lower rate may have been because the infants laying on a matt,or firm surface were on their backs ( which was the norm in those countries) next to Mom instead of on their tummys as was recomended for years in our country. I guess what it boils down to is not to cosleep with very young infant, or at best to eliminate high risk items in the bed like pillows,blankets. and to becareful about how tired your are. In general I'm a very light sleeper but I know I usually was exhausted when my kids were infants. Some parents reduce the chance of this type of accident by using some type of bed side bed for the baby, one which attaches to the side of the parent bed but keeps the baby in it's own space. My friend who is an EMT had seen this type of accident so often he had his wife place their infant in the baby's car seat on the bed between them for the first 3 or 4 months so they could get their rest but pat the baby if they needed to settle him back down. Don't drive your self crazy your child is little for only such a short time, enjoy your little one. If anything just be aware of the enviroment around your child for hidden dangers. The first time my husband and I traveled to stay with his parents after my oldest was born, my Mother-in-law was careful to get a new crib mattress for the older crib she had. First night in it I awoke to my infant crying went over and reach in the crib and could not find the baby. I put the light on and found my son stuck between the side of the mattress and crib bars. I was lucky his face was facing the bars not the mattress. My second son we took to a family event and made him a clear space on a family members bed to nap ( not something the recomend now) only to check on him and find there were 1/2 dozen coats over him, people at the party not realizing a baby was on the bed just open the door and threw their coats on the bed. The boys are 27 and 25 now. My 7 year old has benifited by the mistakes I learned from with his brothers. Just double check for hidden dangers and trust your instincts. I knew even 27 years ago using my husbands old crib at his Mom's house was not a good ideal but I was afraid to speak up to his Mom. Hope I reassured you. Your not alone.

 
Old 04-12-2005, 10:31 AM   #15
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Re: Danger of cosleeping with very young infants

I read this post a few days ago and it took me forever to respond because I was trying to figure out how I felt. I co slept with my son for 5 months and my new little daughter has been sleeping in our bed too. I have always been VERY careful about keeping pillows, blankets, etc away from her. I also use a safety co sleep positioner that keeps her on her back in the bed and prevents me from rolling over on her. I have alway been a very light sleeper, especially when I had babies in the room.

We are in a difficult situation because we are having to keep her in our room until the military moves us into a bigger house with an extra bedroom, and I can't sleep when she's in her bassinet. She won't stay swaddled, and is a very noisy sleeper on her back. Constantly startling, grunting, snoring, etc. So I hear every little sound. She sleeps much more soundly next to me, and I just feel safer having her in the bed with me. Her bassinet has a used matress (we have a new crib mattress, but nowhere to put the crib) which raises the SIDS risk, so it makes me nervous to have her in there, too. I seem to be always aware of where she is, even in my sleep, and of her breathing and stuff. I suppose because I am used to co sleeping. I also position myself between her and DH, because he isn't used to it like I am. I always leave tons of room for her.

Reading this post is still scary though. My heart goes out to that family, and I can't imagine their grief. And the nerve of people to blame them. You know she must blame herself anyway. It's just SOOO sad. I'm just so paranoid about everything through this newborn stage. I don't think I rested easily with my son until he was 5 months old. I've been stressing the last few nights about leaving her in the bassinet and the SIDS risk (she's also been congested and snoring in there the last few days, and having a hard time clearing her passages out) and worrying about suffocating her accidently.

It's so hard... babies are most likely do die of SIDS in the crib at night, and babies on their backs have died of SIDS. But as you said, accidental deaths have increased and do happen. I think every parent has to make a judgement call. Bad things happen either way.

I do recommend buying a co sleeper or a positioner with a firmer surface if you do decide to keep the baby in bed with you.
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