Skip to comments.Baby Dies When Sleeping Father Rolls Over
Posted on 09/24/2005 6:40:31 AM PDT by DuckFan4ever
PORTLAND -- Police say a 3-month-old boy died while "co-sleeping" with his father.
The medical examiner determined that the father rolled over on his son while they were asleep. The father does not face any criminal charges, but it renews a hotly debated issue: Is sleeping with infants a good idea?
The medical director of Legacy's pediatric clinic says when it comes to co-sleeping there are some pros and cons.
Police called the death of the northeast Portland boy Wednesday a "tragic accident," but no law was broken.
Dr. Paul Horowitz says studies have shown that sleeping with babies improves the bonding between infants and their parents, and it supposedly improves breastfeeding rates. However, he says lots of factors can make it risky:
"Especially if the parents smoke, are obese or have been drinking alcohol or taken anything that may impair wakefulness," Horowitz said.
It's not clear in what kind of bed the baby who died was sleeping, but Horowitz says most of the time adult beds are too soft for babies and there are usually too many blankets on adult beds for an infant.
Ultimately, Horowitz says it's a personal choice. But if parents want to sleep with their babies, he says they should ask their doctor about making the experience safe.
Agreed, though this sounds fishy. I can't imagine how anyone could roll over on to a baby and not wake up.
(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,
When they went on the SIDS sleep on the back kick a few years ago, my wife said, "the babies will be startling awake all night!" Now I hear they don't really think it helps all that much in the prevention of SIDS. But think of all those sleep deprived parents who for the last decade had their babies on their backs.
There are some cultures in which 'co-sleeping' is very prevalent. Some Hispanic families are very much in favor of the practice. This has been a rather contentious topic among pediatricians and some Hispanic groups...
A drawer is free.
Think about this some more and repost.
Oh man, this is so horrible... I would sleep next to both of my children when they were infants, quite honestly it is one of my favorite memories. That being said, I don't really think I ever "slept"... My eyes might've been closed but the sleep was by no means anything deep, I'd have woken up at the drop of a feather...
This happens more often than gets reported. It's very sad.
Only modern economic progress in the US has made separate rooms and separate beds a standard. While I certainly grieve for this family, I also view this kind of occurrence the same way I view those incredibly rare malarial deaths in the US, a chilling reminder of how different (and more advanced) we are from the rest of the world. There but for the Grace of God...
Now as a grandma I see all our daughters sleeping with theirs (7). Precautions are the key to rational co-sleeping. In general, the baby is kept away from dad on the other side of Mom. Mom has hormones that attune her to the child's waking and cries.
Also, if breastfeeding, one can go back to sleep and not really wake up for night feedings. This and feeding on demand, along with carrying the child during the day in a sling pr pack, causes the mother not to ovulate(not perfect, but reliably). Child spacing of 2-3 years is an advantage to any baby's development. This natural spacing mechanism was disrupted after co-sleeping and artificial feeding (and mother working elsewhere) became Western norms.
Former LLLI leader --
sling OR pack
Also washing our hands and having closed sewers contributes to disease control in the West, not sleeping in separate beds.
This seems key.
I tried sleeping with my babies, but the constant slight crinkling noises from their diapers or diaper-covers kept me awake, I could not breast-feed on my side without smothering them, and frankly it turned out to be easier to keep them in a bassinet next to the parental bed for awhile. It's impossible for me to imagine anyone who was not drunk rolling over on top of a baby and not feeling the big lump under his back.
If co-sleeping is deemed dangerous, what about putting your baby in a car? I bet far more babies have died in auto accidents or because someone left them in a hot car.
My aunt who is 61 still talks about sleeping with a baby duck when she was five years old and rolling over and killing it. I can't imagine how much worse it is for this man, and it will probably haunt him.
Thank goodness there is someone rational on this thread. : )
He must be devastated. Prayers on the way.
Wow! There ought to be a law! People should have plenty of laws to advise them on their sleeping arrangements. This is an opportunity for a progressive lawmaker to right one of society's wrongs actually two wrongs: (1) lack of adequate guidance on family management and (2) insufficient number of laws.
With that said - there is a right way and a wrong way to sleep with your infant. Of course the PC police will show up and tell you it isn't true that women may be a bit more capable of it than men.
But you and I know it is true.
There is nothing weird, bizarre, strange , odd or abusive about sleeping with your own infant. But if a person is a heavy sleeper, has been drinking or doing drugs, has taken a bunch of cold medicine or is obese they shouldn't sleep with their infant.
Men are heavier sleepers than women when children are around- it is common sense.
What is inevitably left out of these kinds of stories is how many infants have been killed while sleeping in cribs. LOL Does that make sleeping in cribs dangerous? Not necessarily....but you don't place alot of pillows and junk in the cribs, you make sure the slats are appropriately spaced and you don't place them by a window where they can potentially strangle in miniblinds.
Co sleeping requires the same kind of common sense that is used with cribs.
22cal- Good post.
LLL attachment parent-ers are the greatest! :-)
For a nursing mother to crush her child while sleeping is practically unheard of. Cases of co-sleeping injuries caused by fathers who are not drunk or mind-altered are also extremely rare. Breastfed babies who sleep with their parents are *less* likely to die of SIDS than little ones who sleep down the hall or are not fed human milk.
I don't have children but look forward to co-sleeping with them when I do. I slept next to my godson a number of times when he was an infant, and there is nothing better than waking up with a baby's hand on your cheek or hearing their little sighs as they dream. :-) I found my sleep cycles to be different when my godson was with me-- I slept more lightly and was always conscious of him even in my sleep, and I would wake up every time he stirred. I think it might be different for dads/men though.
My "candles and sandals" BIL & SIL do this. Their boys seem perfectly fine to me at nearly three and almost one; the older one has a near-genious IQ for his age though he is on the quiet side, and the little one is pretty darn articulate for eleven months; he's ready to walk, no, RUN, already. :)
Their Papa stays home with them and their Mama works. All sharing a bed seems to work for them, though I know (as they've stayed with us) that they do have a barrier-type thing they used when the boys were newborns to prevent a tragedy from happening like this family must now endure.
The sleeping arrangements probably have nothing to do with it, though. What probably makes the difference is that these kids are totally loved and cared for by their own parents (who "spell" one another) and were not institutionalized at birth.
Sad that what used to be a normal, everyday family is now the exception, isn't it?
I, too, will pray for this father. BUT...
What aren't they telling us? Was this father obese? Did he go to bed sober? Was he on medications? Not trying to blame the father, but one senses that we are not being told the whole story. [Why would any FREEPER believe that?]
Our babies usually slept between my wife and me. Although it as been a few years, I distinctly remember times when I would start to roll over towards the baby, and all it took was the slightest touch and I was suddenly wide awake. [Could this be "intelligent design?"]
While others complain that the babies would keep them awake and thus advocate babies sleeping in another room, I feel very strongly that sleeping with parents actually helps infants. Every once in a while I would come out of my normal sound sleep to realize that the baby was troubled. And then a little hand would touch me, and there followed an enormous sigh. I understood. The baby was having a bad dream or something, and as soon as the baby confirmed that Mom or Dad was there, everything was better.
it's not talked about because its basically accusatory, but some docs think that many cases of SIDs are actually cases of baby being in bed with mom or dad and being rolled upon....
those are not my words......just read them somewhere a few years ago....naturally, they are controversial.....
I tried nursing my babies in bed during the night but I had to force myself to get up to the rocking chair, because I was falling asleep and was so afraid for the baby....
I breastfed and frequently slept with all 4 of my babies for portions of many nights - we all survived just fine.
I suspect an important key to survival is to not be drunk.
If the little baby needs to be between parents because it is sick or needs to be watched, I would roll a big towel or small blanket on each side of the child so no adult could roll over on the kid. Could have been prevented that easily. Should not have been an issue.
What she said! Reminder for tomorrow. I am not awake! nite! Our 3 survived nursing 3 years, each in turn in our bed and now lead their classes with reading scores off the top off the charts, violin, cello and viola, too danged smart for their britches, etc. I treasure the memories and peace at night ... still accidents happen - all I know is that it seemed we were constantly aware of "baby" but still got in our ZZZZs. 'Course mama did all the tough stuff. ;-)
>it's not talked about because its basically accusatory, but >some docs think that many cases of SIDs are actually cases >of baby being in bed with mom or dad and being rolled upon....
I can imagine great guilt and grief in the parents-- thinking they might be at fault. Surely human nature tells us a few would lie that the baby was in its own bed when found.
But what was the actual cause of the SIDS? Suspicion is not proof is it? I remember an Australian study (old) showing a complete absence of SIDS deaths in aborigines who breastfed and co-slept. That study was not the only one whose results may seem 'accusatory' of Western ways of child-rearing.
>those are not my words......just read them somewhere a few >years ago....naturally, they are controversial.....
Such unsubstantiated gossip, as you must realize, usually is.