Co-Sleeping With Baby – Why It Is So Controversial?

by Elizabeth Peters September 19, 2016

Co-Sleeping With Baby – Why It Is So Controversial?

Co-sleeping with your baby or letting your baby sleep with an adult caregiver has been a famous scenario throughout the world. This is usually done to make sure that if the baby wakes up during the night there is someone always there to attend to the baby’s needs.

However in the last few years, many parents or caregivers have woken up in the morning only to find their worst nightmare has come true. These types of infant deaths are often termed as Crib Death by the professionals of the U.S and Cot Death by the U.K professionals.

What is the Controversy?

In the modern western society, there has been significant research done in the field of child health. One of the biggest achievements has been a campaign called ‘Back to Sleep’ – which was started way back in the 1990’s.

According to the results of the campaign, the main reason for the increasing number of Crib Deaths was a new disease called the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or more commonly known as SIDS. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the only prevention to this disease was to make people aware that children must be left alone to sleep at night in a crib or bassinet with no blankets, stuffed animals, or other items with the potential for suffocation. However, this solution not only faced heaps and bounds of criticism from the public, but also from the inside of the department.

What is SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, more commonly referred to by the professionals as SIDS, is the name of those unexplained infant deaths, which usually occurs during the sleep of a healthy baby – seemingly less than a year old.

This death is sometimes referred to as crib death, because it commonly occurs when the baby is sleeping in a crib. Although the reason behind this death is still unknown, it is said that the disease is related to the abnormalities in the brain, which controls arousal from sleep and the baby’s breathing.

Recommendations by the Professionals:

  • First, you need to try to put infant on their backs while they sleep.
  • Keep soft bedding out of the crib and use a firm sleeping surface.
  • Make sure you do not smoke during your pregnancy.
  • Keep the proximity of your baby’s crib close, but avoid co-sleeping with your baby.
  • Consider offering a pacifier at bed or nap time.
  • Do not use commercial devices which claim to reduce SIDS, and avoid overheating of your child’s bedding.
  • Make sure not to use devices with a long cord, such as some older home monitors, in order to reduce the risks of SIDS.

The Bottom Line:

Co-sleeping with your baby is a controversial topic according to the leading pediatricians; such acts not only increase the risks of SIDS, but a number of other fatal diseases falling in this category.

However, despite a strong opposition from the medical authorities all around the globe, the western society continues to disregard the prevention of such diseases, and is continuously adopting night-time infant care-giving patterns.

Elizabeth Peters
Elizabeth Peters


Elizabeth Peters is a mother of two and freelance writer who specializes in the parenting/family niche. When she is not writing for clients she can be found blogging about parenting on her own blog at She currently resides in Alabama with her husband and two young children. Connect with her on Twitter: @themommyvortex

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