Is it dangerous for babies to sleep in their parents' bed?
For many mothers and fathers, it goes without saying that they bring their offspring into the marriage bed. However, sleeping with the baby in a bed is often discouraged, as this should increase the risk of so-called sudden child death. But is that really true?
Do not take babies into the parents' bed
Couples who have just become parents often want to concentrate fully on the baby in the first few weeks. Even when sleeping, the little ones are still watched. And often also in a double bed. However, mothers and fathers are usually advised against taking their offspring to bed with them, as this could be dangerous for the baby. A study published in the British Medical Journal shows that this is really the case.
Increased risk of sudden child death
According to the study, babies should not go to bed because this significantly increases the risk of sudden child death.
For the study, the team of researchers led by Robert Carpenter of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine evaluated five previous studies on the causes of sudden child death and came to the conclusion that “88 percent of sudden child deaths that occurred during bed rest together would not have happened if the bed had been avoided ”.
Probability increased threefold
The scientists use data from a trans-European study and four national studies from Scotland, New Zealand, Ireland and Germany with more than 1,400 cases and compared them with control cases.
It was shown that if a baby slept in the parents' bed, the likelihood of a sudden child death, in the best case - that is, if the babies were breastfed and the parents did not use drugs, alcohol or tobacco - increased almost three times.
The exact cause has not yet been clarified
In the worst case, i.e. children who were bottle-fed and both parents were smokers and alcohol users, the risk of sudden child death was even 15.6 times higher.
What makes sleeping in a common bed so dangerous for babies has not yet been clearly clarified. Overheating of the babies is suspected as a possible reason, but in many cases an increased risk of suffocation is also thought to be the cause of the risk of sudden child death when sleeping in the parents' bed.
Minimize the risk of sudden child death
In order to minimize the risk of sudden child death, which occurs in most cases during sleep, the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) recommends that the child is placed on its back, not with a blanket, but in a sleeping bag in its own bed.
Babies should also change their head positions to avoid deforming the back of the head.
However, the increased risk does not mean that the little ones should not be temporarily taken to bed together - for example, for breastfeeding. It is better to sleep in your own cot. (ad)