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Co-sleeping boosts SIDS risk

baby sleepingYou see it as a bonding experience, but experts see co-sleeping as a serious danger to your infant’s health. A study found that sleeping with your baby in your bed increased the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies younger than 3 months fivefold for parents who didn’t engage in risky behaviors normally associated with increased SIDS risk, such as drinking, smoking or using illegal drugs. (Even breast-fed babies, who are normally considered very low risk, were not immune to the increased risk.) For parents who do partake in risky behaviors, the risk was even higher.

After studying data on more than 6,000 SIDS and non-SIDS cases, researchers concluded that 88 percent of deaths in infants that occurred while sleeping in parents’ beds would probably not have happened if the baby had been placed in his or her own crib. They also estimate that about half of SIDS deaths occur while co-sleeping. So play it safe: Always place baby back in the crib for safe night’s sleep.