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Why doctors say your babies should not sleep in your bed

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QUINCY (WGEM) -- October is Sleep Safety Awareness Month and local doctors want to remind you not to sleep with your baby in your bed. According to the CDC, if you do that, you put them at a higher risk of sudden unexpected infant death.

Each year about 3,400 babies die from sudden infant deaths, which include accidental suffocations and syndromes like SIDS in the United States, but health officials said many of those deaths were avoidable.

Quincy SIU Center for Family Medicine Doctor Dr. Kerstin Stitt said Tuesday there are measures you can take to protect your baby.

"All babies under one year are safer in the parent's room, but not in their bed. So a firm mattress with just a fitted sheet. Babies don't need pillows or blankets or crib bumpers. All of those increase the risk of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome," Stitt said.

Stitt said there are certain babies who are already at a higher risk of SIDS as well. Those who are less than four months, those who were born at a low birth weight, those who were premature, and those who were born to mothers who smoke.

"Other things you can do that lower the risk is not smoking in the house, breastfeeding the baby can help lower the risk and doing tummy time when the baby is awake. That helps the baby build muscles, and strengthen them so they can protect themselves better," Stitt said.

She said it's important you're watchful, so if your baby stops breathing while they're asleep, you can respond quick and get them help.

Charity Bell

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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