Professor Bob Carpenter has released a new research paper relating to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome stating that there is a 5 fold increase in a chance of SIDS if you share a bed with your newborn breastfed baby.
I've never made a conscious decision to co-bed with my children but I can hand on heart say that I have on a regular occasion when sleep deprivation has been too much brought them into bed with us to get a better nights sleep.
I'm not an advocate of bed sharing but I can see the benefits of it if done safely but if I am fully informed of all the risks would I actively choose to co-bed? The answer to that is no. It is for me a personal choice I followed the Safer Sleep advice and had my children in their own cot/moses basket in the same room as me for the first 6 months (longer in some cases) so that I could tend to them immediately and would become aware of any changes.
The Lullaby Trust are not a finger pointing charity, they are not telling you what to do or what not to do, they are merely making all parents aware of the risk factors involved with co-bedding and letting parents make an informed decision based on all those facts.
We need to look at the wider picture and we need to keep our heads. No one wants to scare parents this is not about causing hysteria it is merely highlighting a risk factor in SIDS.
There are pros and cons and each family will do things their own way but by getting that message out there and keeping people informed then for me today's report is a good thing. It's getting the word out there that this silent killer happens and it happens to families like us. It leaves us devastated and heartbroken and leaves us with a perpetual WHY?
I will forever question my actions as a mother, it's how we are built. I didn't breastfeed, could I have tried harder? Would that mean Alexander would've had a better chance? what if I hadn't left him to sleep that morning? Could I have saved him?
There are too many what if's and more and more research is required to keep us as parents fully informed of the best actions to take with regards to our children.
Any research into SIDS for me is keeping that momentum going, if this research saves just one baby's life then isn't it worth it? If by sharing my story just one family feel like they are not alone in their suffering then it is more than worth it.
I would do anything to have Alexander back but I know hand on heart that there is nothing we could have done to prevent his death. No one is to blame and we don't know the cause but I will keep fundraising and fighting to find out why it was my son.
For more information on Safer Sleeping and The Lullaby Trust see their website at
These are my thoughts and mine alone on today's report please tell me what you think...
What The Lullaby Trust has to say ...
Francine Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the safer baby sleep charity, The Lullaby Trust (formerly FSID), said: “Professor Carpenter is the leading statistician working in the field of sudden infant death research and we welcome his substantial new paper. The paper identifies that bed-sharing is associated with a five- fold increase in the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) for breastfed babies, less than three months old, whose parents do not smoke.
“All Lullaby Trust resources for parents and professionals include information that bed sharing, under certain circumstances, increases the risk of SIDS and we will be incorporating his new findings into the evidence base which informs our recommendations.
“As a charity with a proud track record of promoting safe sleep advice, which helped to dramatically reduce the numbers of sudden infant deaths in the UK over the last 20 years, we have never actively promoted bed sharing. However, we recognise that some parents will choose to sleep with their babies as opposed to placing them in a cot or a Moses basket next to their bed. The Lullaby Trust supports parental choice but we would also urge every new mother and father to weigh up the known risks of sharing a bed with their baby and, in light of their own situation, take appropriate precautions.
“We have also known for many years that parental smoking is a very significant risk factor for SIDS and that bed sharing with a parent who smokes, has drunk alcohol or taken drugs, dramatically increases a baby’s chances of dying. Professor Carpenter’s paper provides us with even more evidence of the dangers, identifying a 65-fold increase in SIDS risk for two week old babies who share a bed with parents who both smoke.
“We are currently working very closely with a coalition of organisations to help reduce the numbers of mothers who smoke during and after pregnancy. If we can encourage many more pregnant women to quit then we should make great leaps forward in achieving our goal of halving the numbers of SIDS deaths by 2020.
“The Lullaby Trust is committed to preventing the unnecessary death of any baby which is why we believe that every family should have all the evidence on SIDS risk factors so that they can make an informed choice on how best to care for their baby.
Our core message remains that the safest place for a baby to sleep for the first six months is in a crib or cot in the same room as a parent or carer.”