Carma Hanson and Susan Zelewski, Grand Forks, letter: ‘Co-bedding’ is unsafe for babies, toddlersIt’s the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Safe Kids and many other organizations that co-bedding is not a safe option for babies and young children (especially under 1 year of age). To prevent SIDS, babies need to be in a crib, alone and on a firm mattress.
By: Carma Hanson and Susan Zelewski,
GRAND FORKS — In the wake of a Herald story, we feel compelled to provide some background about some of the practices associated with “attachment parenting” (“There’s much more to ‘attachment parenting,’” Page B1, June 26).
While attachment parenting has many wonderful attributes, we would like to provide information on co-bedding.
Over the years, much as been learned about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and ways in which it can be prevented.
It’s the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Safe Kids and many other organizations that co-bedding is not a safe option for babies and young children (especially under 1 year of age).
To prevent SIDS, babies need to be in a crib, alone and on a firm mattress.
Adult mattresses are much too soft for babies and should not be used as a sleeping option.
Also, adults change positions frequently during their sleep and can easily roll over onto the child, causing their face to be pushed into the mattress and leading to suffocation.
As a health care system, Altru Health System watches closely our injury and death data trends.
Recently, we have seen incidents of SIDS-related cases where the child was exposed to a non-recommended sleep position.
To better educate parents and caregivers, we are launching a Safe Sleep campaign to include the following ABC’s of Safe Sleep:
** A — ALONE: Babies should not sleep with other children or adults. There should also be no bumper pads, stuffed animals or blankets in the crib with the baby.
** B — On their BACK: Babies should be placed to sleep on their back. During awake time and when supervised, babies should have “tummy time” to develop their neck muscles.
But sleeping should be done on their back.
** C — In a CRIB: Babies should only sleep in an approved crib or playpen with a firm mattress.
Adult mattresses, couches, or chairs are too soft and not recommended.
Car seats are also not a good option for sleeping (unless being used in a vehicle for transportation).
With one of the principles of attachment parenting being co-bedding, we would suggest that there are safe ways in which to have a child at your side during the night. Having a bassinet or playpen (a separate sleeping environment) near the parent’s bed is certainly a great option that provides a safer alternative to having the child in the bed with an adult.
For more information on safe sleep, visit the Safe Kids Grand Forks website at safekidsgf.com.
Or, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.
Carma Hanson and Susan Zelewski
Hanson is coordinator of Safe Kids Grand Forks. Dr. Zelewski is an Altru Clinic pediatrician.