Now, don't get me wrong. I agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics on a lot of things and I respect the board's research and knowledge. But I have to agree with McKenna on his statement below:
Book Disputes Advice Against Co-Sleeping
A new book, "Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping", disputes advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers fro Disease Control and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission and makes a case for parents sleeping in the same beds with their babies.
The Platypus Media book written by James McKenna, director of the mother-baby behavioral sleep laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, explores issues around co-sleeping while claiming it is important, it may be done safely and it has become intertwined in politics.
McKenna and Platypus Media cite statistics that out of 720,000 infant deaths over a recent 18-year periods, only 102 can be confirmed as having suffocated on an adult bed while an adult was present - meaning that fewer than six infants in the US each year are confirmed as dying this way out of 4,000,000 births annually. Babies put to sleep in cribs have a suffocation death rate more than double that of babies who sleep with an adult on an adult bed, according to McKenna.
"The vast majority of scientific studies on infant behavior and development conducted in diverse fields during the last 100 years suggest that the question placed before us should not be 'Is it safe to sleep with my baby,' but rather 'Is it safe not to do so?'"
McKenna says it is a natural part of the mammalian biology and 5,000 years of human civilization for parents to sleep with their babies, and he said specific steps make it safe. He said certain situations and environments promote and protect maternal infant health while others pose risks.
Reports from the American Academy of Pediatrics caution against co-sleeping, saying the practice of bed-sharing can increase potential for suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome.