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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

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boigrrrlwonder
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

Two days, five babies die in their sleep

Darren A. Nichols and Joe Menard / The Detroit News

WAYNE -- Five babies were smothered to death this week while sleeping, including three who were in bed with their parents, prompting Wayne County on Wednesday to launch a campaign aimed at ending the practice of bed sharing.

County Executive Robert Ficano said that although the practice may have been passed on down generationally, it's still unsafe.

"We're trying to send out the message that we realize that this might be a family tradition or one that you feel is harmless in sleeping in with a child," Ficano said. "(But) for us, it's very obvious that this has led to the increase in the number of unfortunate deaths in Wayne County. It may be a very beloved tradition for some families to do, and (they might) not realize what they are exposing their child to."

Five children, ranging from 27 days to 3 months old, died on Monday and Tuesday. Four lived in Detroit, and one was in Ecorse, Wayne County Medical Examiner Carl Schmidt said.

All five cases remain under investigation.

"That's a lot in a short time, which means something needs to be done to get through to people that this actually could happen," Schmidt said. "If you have a crib, use it for your child. Don't use it for storage."

The county plans to give away 200 cribs as part of its effort to get parents to put their babies to sleep in cribs.

About half of all parents are sleeping at least part of the time in the same bed as their babies, said James McKenna, a biological anthropology professor at the University of Notre Dame who runs the university's Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory.

"There is nothing intrinsically dangerous about bed sharing," said McKenna, who wrote the book "Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping." "The problem is not everyone bed shares safely."

He rejects efforts to eradicate the practice, saying co-sleeping and bed sharing has several benefits, especially for breastfeeding mothers.

Co-sleeping allows mothers to quickly respond to the infant if it cries or chokes, or needs to be warmed or cooled. The physical closeness between mother and baby also helps regulate the infant's breathing, sleep state, arousal patterns, heart rate and body temperature, McKenna said. "It's quite expected and normal and healthy that mother and baby are sleeping on the same surface," he said, adding the decision of whether to co-sleep "belongs only to the mother and father."

"It's not a recommendation that everyone should bed-share," he said. "A one-size-fits-all strategy doesn't work for anything."

In Wayne County, the goal of Operation Safe Sleep is to save babies from premature death by educating people about unsafe sleeping positions and places. Other concerns are people who wrap babies too tightly or have them sleep with stuffed animals in the crib.

The overall infant mortality rate in the county is 11 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005, officials said. The statewide rate for the same time period is 7.9.

But when broken down by race, three black babies die for every one white baby that dies before its first birthday, officials said.

Deaths of children caused by sleeping with their parents and being smothered have risen from 44 to 50 from 2005 to 2006, officials said. There have already been 30 deaths so far this year, but officials said if the trend isn't stemmed, the yearly total could reach 60.

The Wayne County Department of Public Health will work with area hospitals and community organizations to help spread the message through brochures printed in English, Spanish and Arabic. The brochure can be downloaded from the county's Web site www.waynecounty.com. "We see a trend we want to get out in front of," said Loretta Davis, the county's director of public health. "This is a very important. We need to work toward reversing this trend."

You can reach Darren A. Nichols at (734) 462-2190.

Safe sleep tips
Wayne County is urging people not to share a bed with a baby, but some experts offer guidance if they do:
# Don't sleep with baby while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which can make it harder to wake up if the baby is in danger.
# Don't put the baby on pillows or cover its head with a blanket. Also, keep stuffed animals off the bed.
# Make sure there are no gaps between the bed and the headboard where the baby can get stuck.
# Don't take your baby to bed if you smoke.
# Don't let infants share a bed with older children.
Source: James McKenna, biological anthropology professor at the University of Notre Dame

adcaela
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

I was always taught that co-sleeping reduced SIDS. For me I will always cosleep with any infant I parent because I believe the benefits outweigh the risks.

Wonderwall
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

I don't understand why they couldn't have spent the money on an educational campaign re: how to co-sleep SAFELY. The "back to sleep" campaign has worked pretty well, right? Most moms I know have heard of it.

mamatessa
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

I totally agree! It's good that they're showing that co-sleeping can be dangerous but the good outweighs the bad. I co-slept with my oldest and the only reason I didn't with Aidan is because he moves around so much that he slept better by himself. I think instead of handing out cribs why don't they hand out pamphlets of how to co-sleep safely? Its such a good thing especially for breastfed babies. I would sleep topless and when Ian woke I would just get in position and let him nurse until he was done. It was a good way to get alot of sleep since I went back to school when he was 3 weeks old. Plus not all of those deaths were the babies co-sleeping. Only 3 out of the 5. Thats not saying to much. It's almost 50/50

iLAnA
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

i might sound ignorant but when gabriel was born and i put him in the bed with me any movement he made or bd made i instinctively woke up to make sure he was okay. im assuming all mothers must have the same instinct unless under the influence of something. i also agree that the benefits out way the risk when it comes to co sleeping. if you really think about it a baby is inside of you for 9 months all warm and cozy and then when the baby is born you are going to put the child in a crib by themselves without any human contact for x amount of hours? i hear a lot about people whose babies will only sleep like 1 or 2 hours during the night and most of these people but the babies in cribs. when gabriel was born he slept through the night every night only waking to feed where i just kinda rolled over a put a booby in his mouth...well until he started teething those were the restless nights. n e way my point is that the best thing for a newborn especially, is to feel the comfort and warmth of another human being especially while sleeping.

Earth_moves
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

You said it Ilana...

When Ais was born I didn't know much about co-sleeping, which is hard to believe considering I was here for most of my pregnancy.... but anyways! So when the Nurses put her in her bassinet, I just went along with it.

And we were in the hospital for 6 days, with next to no sleep..... And I wondered why my milk wouldn't come in! :roll:

When I brought her home, I put her in the bassinet, and wasn't that kid up ALL NIGHT...... it was getting to the point that we were ALL getting pretty cranky...... and one of us was always trying to calm another one of us down!

And then finally my Mom was like, 'Take her to bed with you.'

WORDS OF WISDOM, right there!!!!

So that's what we did..... that kid slept and slept...... only woke up to nurse, and would go back to sleep, we were all well rested, my milk supply was abundant........

Like a pp suggested.... the money that they are using to purchase cribs would be better alloted towards a campaign promoting safe co-sleeping.

katg
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

I didn't know a lot about co-sleeping either. I had Zoe in the bassenette at first -- mostly because she was so small that I was a bit afraid of smooshing her in my sleep.
After a week or so of getting up four or five times a night to feed her, I came up with the great idea of having her in bed with me! It worked out beautifully. We co-slept until she was two and she got her own room. Even now, if she's having a hard time, she will climb into bed with me.

notyouraveragemomma
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

I love the idea od cosleeping. I plan on doing it with all of my kids. My mother, on the other hand, strongly disagrees with me and ALREADY ags me about it :roll:

I really wish they'd help make it safer rathe than talk paretns out of a great way to sleep that might be better for them personally...

mamamayhem
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

Exactly. I remember sitting at a table of me and my coworkers at lunch once. Out of the four of us only one didn't have a child. She asked one day what the risk was. "Couldn't you roll over on your baby or something?" We all spoke at the same time. Two unanimously saying "Yes!" and me saying "No." Turns out the other two had never slept with their children, whereas Matt had been sleeping with me for three years at the time. Definitely don't listen to people who've never done the thing you're asking about, you'll get a lot of trumped up misinformation.

If you aren't under the influence (and that includes not only drugs or alcohol, but also prescriptions that make you drowsy, or cold medicines or any OTC medication with a drowsy effect) and you aren't using a bunch of heavy blankets and quilts, you'll be fine. Until Matt was a month or so old, he slept in the crook of my arm and I was waking up very stiff because I was afraid to move with him there. Later he still slept in the crook of my arm, but I learned to roll him with me when I rolled over, what resulted was better sleep for me, and a very deep sleeping child. LOL I guess he'd have to be to learn how to sleep through being rolled over. :P

Hathor the CowGoddess does a comic/e-zine, and did a very informative series about cosleeping with a lot of awesome suggestions.

http://www.thecowgoddess.com/?cat=7

That's a link to all the shared sleeping comics, and if you explore the site keep in mind she's VERY attachment oriented. Like she says, take what information you will, and leave the rest. :D

mamatessa
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

I used to do almost the same thing. The like first 2 weeks Ian would sleep on my chest. And one night I woke up and had to take a HUGE breath because I was all light headed. He had gotten too heavy to sleep on my chest like that. Then I slept with him in the crook of my arm and would go very stiff and then I'd have to wake up when he was hungrey to roll us over. Then when he was about 5 months or so I put him on the far side of the bed by the wall and would just scoot over to him so he could bf. I had a huge bed for just the 2 of us so it was perfect. Ian slept a million times better in bed with me than the crib. Aidan was the exact opposite. He owuld sleep horrible in bed with us even tho I was bfing. It just depends on the mother and the child. Each experience is differant just like everything else in life. And just like everything else they should educate not discourage! It can be a huge bonding experience

clilysfucoula
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

Hylianbabe89 wrote:

I really wish they'd help make it safer rathe than talk paretns out of a great way to sleep that might be better for them personally...

I completely agree with you on this. Why not discuss the pros and cons, and risks and safer ways of co-sleeping than trying to encourage others to not consider it?

SunshineBlossom
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

I was co-sleeping with Ariana before I knew it had a name. I didn't feel safe with her in a crib and I got more rest with her next to me. And with Peyton I tried the whole bassinet thing but as others have said getting up four or five times a night to breastfeed was really hard and it was so much easier to roll over and feed her.

Kaylala
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

i'd like to be sarcastic for a second and say i ALWAYS cover mallys head when we go to bed..........jk...lol..

and also its unsafe to sleep on a waterbed with a baby...

it's a miracle i survived i think...lol

sherylsue
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

I heard coverage on this on my local NPR station, although I think it was a national show and it was 100% bias against co-sleeping and said never do it ever and made me VERY mad. Its just another way moms are made to feel bad about our decisions...grr I wish I could remeber what show it was so you all could be mad with me :)

new_mom
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

i still co sleep

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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

most people are just not made aware of what could be the dangers. i think if we looked at the stats of children that died while cosleeping we would find lots of reasons that they died were not differently related to cosleeping. if your under the influence of ANYTHING you shouldn't cosleep. so how many mamas smoothered their children when cosleeping because they were under the influence? i think if you follow the basic rules (ie no big blankets or pillows, not being under the influence, etc) we wouldn't have as many deaths.

mamamayhem
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

In addition to that, chicamocha, I want the stats of SIDS cosleep incidents compared to SIDS cribsleep incidents. No one talks about how many kids die in cribs, they just point out when it's a couch, or other unsafe place, or when it's an unsafe family bed. Unsafe family beds can be corrected.

tyroneasaurus
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Handing Out Cribs to Prevent Co-Sleeping (Argh!)

mamamayhem wrote:
Until Matt was a month or so old, he slept in the crook of my arm and I was waking up very stiff because I was afraid to move with him there. Later he still slept in the crook of my arm, but I learned to roll him with me when I rolled over, what resulted was better sleep for me, and a very deep sleeping child.

i did that too. when d and z were babies, i was so scared of smothering them that i slept very uncomfortably. but it was the only sleep i could get.

i had to find a way to co-sleep with two babies. i dont think i put them in danger at all, even when they would nurse at the same time while we all slept on top of eachother. if i hadnt co-slept i would have been a complete zombie. and i really loved falling asleep and waking up next to my wonderful babies

D and Z are almost 5 and they still come to my bed almost every night- its getting harder though, because they are so big and now that SO lives with us pretty much full time we are trying to fit 4 people in one bed!!!