WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police say another baby died Friday due to co-sleeping. Police say the 5-month-old baby boy was co-sleeping with his mom.
Police say the baby co-sleeping death is the seventh this year. Last year, there were seven co-sleeping deaths total in Wichita.
Experts say remembering one thing will keep your kids safe.
“What we really want families to know is the ABCs of safe sleep. We want babies alone, on their back in a crib,” said Christy Schunn, Kansas Infant Death and SIDS Network Executive Director.
Here are some safety measures from KidsHealth.org.
How to Room-Share Safely
To avoid the risks of bed sharing while enjoying the benefits of room-sharing, parents have lots of options. To keep your little one close by, but not in your bed, you could:
- Put a bassinet, play yard, or crib next to your bed. This lets you keep that desired closeness, which can be especially important if you’re breastfeeding. The AAP says that having an infant sleep in a separate crib, bassinet, or play yard in the same room as the mother reduces the risk of SIDS.
- Buy a device that looks like a bassinet or play yard with one side that is lower, which attaches to your bed to allow you and baby to be next to each other while eliminating the possibility of rolling over onto your infant.
How to Bed-Share as Safely as Possible
Despite the risks of bed-sharing, some parents decide this sleeping arrangement is best for their family. If you do choose to share your bed with your baby, follow these precautions:
- Don’t share a bed with an infant under 4 months of age — a bassinet or crib next to the bed is a better choice.
- Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Dress your baby in minimal clothing to avoid overheating.
- Don’t place a baby to sleep alone in an adult bed.
- Don’t place a baby on a soft surface to sleep, such as a soft mattress, sofa, or waterbed.
- Make sure your bed’s headboard and footboard don’t have openings or cutouts that could trap your baby’s head.
- Make sure your mattress fits snugly in the bed frame so that your baby won’t become trapped between the frame and the mattress.
- Don’t cover your child’s head while sleeping.
- Don’t use pillows, comforters, quilts, and other soft or plush items on the bed. You can dress your baby in a sleeper instead of using blankets.
- Don’t drink alcohol or use medicines or drugs that could keep you from waking or might cause you to roll over onto, and therefore suffocate, your baby.
- Don’t place your bed near draperies or blinds where your child could be get caught in and strangled by cords.
- Don’t fall asleep with a baby on your chest.
- Don’t sleep on couches, recliners, or rockers with a baby.