It’s tempting to lay down, sleep or feed your baby in bed; it makes for cute photos to share on social media or seen as a good bonding moment, but many people don’t know how dangerous that may be for the baby. Each year, many infant deaths are related to unsafe sleeping habits, including parents sleeping with their infant or letting the infant lay down in their adult bed.
Feeding Your Baby in Bed
Babies eat at all times of the day and night, regardless of how exhausted their parents may be. And due to their exhaustion, a common practice is for parents to let their babies sleep next to them in the adult bed so they easily can feed the baby when feedings occur in the middle of the night. They don’t realize that this arrangement is not safe for their baby. Feeding in bed is not recommended. It poses the risk that a tired parent will fall asleep with the baby. However, if a parent is going to feed the baby in bed, it is recommended that they place a bassinet or a Pack ‘N Play alongside their own bed so the baby can easily be reached for future feedings, but sleep safely.
Napping with Your Baby
Bonding with our babies is an important part of their development. However, it is important to ensure their safety as well. Some parents enjoy having their new baby nap on their chest or alongside them while relaxing on the couch or in a chair. This is especially dangerous for infants. It increases the risk of suffocation if they are face down or if something accidentally lays over their face. Parents may also fall asleep while their baby is sleeping on them or nearby. Without realizing it, parents can easily roll over, causing the baby to fall or become wedged between themselves and another object, resulting in another tragedy. This becomes another important reason why babies should always sleep ALONE, on their BACK, in a safe CRIB.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Concerns surrounding safe sleep environments for infants have been ongoing for decades. According to the New York State Department of Health approximately 1,200 New York state infants who are less than a year old die each year. Most of those deaths are attributed to genetic abnormalities and birth defects, multiple births, prematurity and low birth weight, infections and diseases. About 7.5 percent of New York state infant deaths are referred to as sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) and are attributed to either unsafe sleep practices or, because no cause can be identified, labeled as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Spread the word about safe sleep for babies, and don’t nap with your baby or feed your baby in bed. The risk is not worth the likes on Facebook.