In the United States, 14 percent of babies sleep with other people. According to the latest research, the incidence of this life-threatening practice has nearly doubled since the 1990s.A survey of nearly 20,000 caregivers across the country showed that the rate of babies sleeping with other babies jumped from 6.5 in 1993 to 13.5 in 2010. Eighty-eight of the infants are sleeping with one of their parents, and the rest are sleeping with another adult or child in the same bed.
Co-sleeping can be dangerousInfants sleeping in a bed with an adult or another child are at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as whooping cough and other sleep-related deaths. To reduce this risk, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the same room but separately with their parents.
"It's important for doctors to tell newborn babies about their sleeping habits and to inform them about the dangers of sleeping together," JAMA Pediatrics said in a September 30 issue.
The wicked fish is the sudden, inexplicable death of an infant before the age of one. More than half of the caregivers questioned since 2006 say they have not received information from their doctor about sleeping on the same bed. Recent research also revealed that caregivers who heard about the dangers of sleeping in one bed had a sleep rate of 34 percent less than babies who had not received such training.