Thursday, February 17, 2011

need another reason to co-sleep?

Reports Medical News today: "Cribs, playpens, and bassinets are associated with more than 9,500 injuries in young children each year, according to a retrospective analysis of a national injury database."

Among the findings:
  • Most of the injuries involved cribs (83.2%), followed by playpens (12.6%) and bassinets (4.2%).
  • Falls accounted for two-thirds of injuries overall, although that proportion increased with age, likely because of increased mobility and climbing skills.
  • The most common diagnosis was a soft-tissue injury (34.1%), followed by a concussion or closed-head injury (21.1%).
  • The two most frequently injured body parts were the head or neck (40.3%) and face (27.5%).
  • The vast majority of children were treated and released (93.9%); 4% were admitted, transferred, or held for observation; 1.2% died; and 0.9% left against medical advice.
  • Most of the deaths occurred in infants younger than 6 months and involved a diagnosis of cardiopulmonary arrest or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Hospitalization, transfer, or being held for observation was more common in children younger than 6 months and in those with fractures.
What I find particularly striking about these findings is that most deaths occurred in infants younger than 6 months, involving a diagnosis of cardiopulmonary arrest or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). We chose to bed-share because of recent studies (including Dr. Sears' personal study of his wife bed-sharing with their children, reported in their Attachment Parenting book) indicate that co-sleeping encourages the baby's breathing to synchronize with its mom's, and because when bed-sharing we wouldn't have to get up to go check on her; she would be right there with us and we would know she was fine. Of course, it was also so much easier for me not to have to get up at night to nurse, and we were lucky in that it was easy for us to nurse lying down from the beginning, which I know is not the case for many.


  1. My guess is there are so many injuries associated with cribs in large part because the majority of infants and toddlers spend so much time in them. Same reason so many injuries occur in the home (people spend so much time there). And any quick tour of the available crib models at Babies-R-Us or wherever will show you how shoddily made (and expensive) many of them are. No wonder so many kids end up in substandard ones.

    There are plenty of risks with cosleeping as well. In fact a study of 184,000 infants in England found that infants were more than twice as likely to die of SIDS while cosleeping ( Although there were a lot of factors that made cosleeping more dangerous to the infants:
    * recent parental use of alcohol or drugs
    * cosleeping on a sofa
    * infant using a pillow
    * infant cosleeping swaddled
    * mother smoked during pregnancy
    * infant born preterm
    * infant in fair to poor health

    The study particularly encouraged warning parents on the dangers of cosleeping after the use of alcohol or drugs and cosleeping on a sofa.

    So sad in general, though, that parents are so worried about their kids dying all the time. Parenting would be so much more fun if we could just relax and feel good about our choices. And get a good night's sleep, no matter where it occurs.


  2. I really think that they're not that reliable anymore based on the reports. Parents should probably find alternatives to such things.

    chicago chiropractor


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