More parents letting infants fall asleep with them, despite warnings

LA QUINTA, Calif. - When you ask moms and dads what they think about babies falling asleep in bed with them, you'll get mixed reviews.

"I let them sleep in bed with us and that was the biggest mistake we made," dad Mike Hannan said. 

"My children slept in bed me with me and their father as infants on up as long as they wanted to," mom Holly Hunter said. 

"When I was completely exhausted, I let them sleep with me so I could get some sleep," mom Sally Imel said. 

A study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, shows the number of parents sharing a bed with their infants has doubled in the past 20 years. It says the upward trend is strongest among African-Americans.

"If we could and we knew it was 100% safe, we would want to keep kids by our side all the time," Eisenhower Medical Center family medicine physician Kinder Fayssoux said. 

The study notes the dangers of bed sharing - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation, and getting trapped in bedding.  

"You're exhausted up at all hours of the night and day breastfeeding, you really aren't in a state to know you aren't going to fall into a deep sleep and pull the covers over your self and not realize you now have them over the infant's nose and mouth. And severe cases where people are so tired they will literally roll over their baby," Fayssoux said. 

If you really want your child as close to you as possible, "They make co-sleepers now where you attach it to your bed but the baby is separate. Tight-fitted sheets, none of the fancy stuff. That's what causes problems. If you really want your baby in the bed they make baskets you can put in the bed," Fayssoux said. 

One parent tells us the bottom line.  

"There's risk with anything. I think you need to be aware of the dangers when you do anything," Imel said. 

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