Co-sleeping may increase risk of SIDS

Sharing the bed with your baby could increase risk of SIDS

Guidelines relating to cot death, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) often talk about laying your baby on his/her back for sleep safety, but new guidelines talk about the risks of co-sleeping.

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New draft guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) say that sharing a bed with a baby might be linked to a higher chance of SIDS.

Under the new guidance, midwives, GPs and health visitors will be expected to tell parents that "co-sleeping" could increase the risk, and that the dangers are likely to be higher if parents smoke or have recently drunk alcohol.

Risks are also higher if parents are drug-takers, or if the baby had a low birth-weight or was premature. However, studies up till now have only been able to show links between these factors and an increased risk – not actual causation.

Under the new guidance, advice over co-sleeping applies to parents of all babies under the age of one.

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