Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Can Bed-Sharing With an Infant Be Done Safely?
An anonymous nanny contacted Be the Best Nanny Newsletter yesterday asking what she can do about parents that don't have their baby sleep in her crib but have their baby sleep with their baby in their bed.
She's not only frustrated that the baby can't sleep in her crib at nap times while the nanny is working, she is more concerned about the dangers of bed-sharing.
When babies sleep near one or both parents, it’s considered co-sleeping. Bed-sharing is when a baby sleeps on the same surface as mom and/or dad.
Dr. William Sears coined the term Attachment Parenting as it relates to babies and children forming a strong emotional bond with their parents, and sleeping together is an essential ingredient. Bed-sharing advocates tout the easier breastfeeding access, more and better quality sleep for parents and babies, and more literal bonding. Dr. Sears lists ways to keep a baby safe when sharing a bed and there are articles all over the Internet describing how parents can sleep safely sharing a bed with their babies.
However, while the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages room-sharing, the practice of bed-sharing is strongly discouraged due to the risk of injury or death to infants because of the potential for such hazards as suffocation. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages bed-sharing because it can lead to accidental suffocation of the infant in a number of ways.
What can this nanny say to the parents about the dangers of sharing their bed with their baby?