Infant/Parent Co-Sleeping Essay

2220 Words9 Pages
There are many questions about where, and how, your infant should be put to sleep. These questions are confusing for both parents and health professionals, with research that can be contradictory. One hot topic is the issue of parent-infant co-sleeping, and how it affects an infant’s risk for SIDS. SIDS is the leading cause of death of infants younger than one year old, and despite extensive research, its cause is still unclear (Lavezzi, Person, &Wolf, 2002). In this debate, there are two main camps: those who say co-sleeping increases the risk of SIDS, and those who say it promotes breast feeding, which decreases the risk of SIDS. Both sides have numerous studies and papers out, supporting their stance on the issue. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission both say never to sleep with your infant, while UNICEF refuses to support blanket recommendations against bed sharing (Spangler, 2001; Mace, 2006). Some of the questions asked include; does co-sleeping increase the risk for SIDS; does co-sleeping encourage breastfeeding; does breastfeeding decrease the risk of SIDS; and who is actually sleeping with their infants. In this paper I am going to analyze some studies on co-sleeping, breastfeeding and SIDS. I will review the data and decide what my stance is on this issue. The first study I want to discuss looked at whether co-sleeping increases the risk for SIDS. It was performed between 1991 and 2000, using autopsy files from Upstate New York county coroners’ offices, on infants who died unexpectedly younger than one year old. This retrospective view included deaths in which SIDS was implicated, or that were “undetermined”. Cases were excluded if any significant medical history, trauma, or abuse could have contributed to the deaths (Lavezzi, 2002). Data collected included race, age, sex, medical history, and the cause of death.
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