Dangers of Improper Bedding For Infants


By Evie Allen
By Andy Shofstall

CARBONDALE -- Medical experts warn about the dangers of so-called co-sleeping after the death of a local newborn.

It's an experience no parent wants to go through. Yet experts say it's very easy to fall asleep while with your baby and that can lead to tragedy.

First time mother Whitney Allen admits she has caught herself falling asleep with baby Titan in her arms.

"I was sitting up in bed and I was just dozing off right away. I was so tired," says Allen.

Whitney and her husband have invested in three types of bedding for Titan. A basinet, that stays in the bedroom, a Pack 'n Play and a travel bed. But even with all the right equipment, moments of dozing off in other places still happen.    

"You're exhausted, you're tired and I mean it can happen to anyone," she says.

Titan is 15 days old and Whitney has chosen to breastfeed. Professionals say breastfeeding puts a mother in a relaxing state. Which is why they recommend avoiding comfortable places while feeding.

"Get out of bed. Don't use a comfy chair," says Mary Jarvis.

Jarvis is the parent educator cooridnator with Memorial Hospital of Carbondale. She says parents sharing a bed with infants can lead to suffocation. Children can wind up under their parents, or under heavy bedding and have trouble breathing.

"Co-sleeping means that it is in the same room. Not necessarily in the same bed," explains Jarvis.

Jarvis says the hospital provides classes for parents that go over do's and don'ts to prevent those types of deaths from happening.

"It's a very terrible thing for any mother or parent to endure. So we need to make sure that the parents are educated," says Jarvis.

Jarvis encourages parents to follow the a-b-c's. Have babies sleep alone, on their back and in a crib. 

Professionals recommend a four-sided bed with no pillows, comforters or stuffed animals. Parents should also use a firm mattress in the crib, with a fitted sheet.

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