Sharing bed with baby very risky
Parents are being warned that sharing the bed with their baby may be far riskier than originally thought.
Newly released research shows that bed sharing leads to a five-fold increase in the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Sids) for young babies whose parents do not smoke.
There has long been agree- ment that sleeping with a baby increases the risk of Sids if the parents smoke, or if the mother has been taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
But there has been conflicting opinion whether bed sharing presented a risk to the baby when these factors were not present.
Ed Mitchell from the University of Auckland initiated the study and says that if parents were made aware of the risks of sleeping with their baby there could be a substantial reduction in Sids rates.
In New Zealand more than 50 per cent of deaths occur while parents slept in the same bed as their baby.
‘‘More parents need to know the risks from bed sharing, especially for babies under 3 months,’’ Professor Mitchell says.
The study says babies can be brought into the bed for comforting but should be in a cot next to the bed for sleep.
The university study is the largest of its kind – researchers examined individual records of 1472 Sids cases and 4679 control cases in five major studies.