Co-sleeping deaths on the rise for babies

Experts are sharing safe sleep techniques
According to the CDC, about 3,500 babies in the US die each year as a result of co-sleeping.
Published: Oct. 16, 2022 at 4:49 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Data is showing that the practice of co-sleeping with your baby is on the rise. Officials are saying it’s also the reason behind some infant deaths.

According to the CDC, about 3,500 babies in the US die each year as a result of co-sleeping. Some of those deaths are happening right here in Virginia.

“We do know that about 83 percent of Virginia moms are practicing safe sleep techniques which is lying the baby to sleep on their back only but we see disparities when it comes to race with black mothers having a lower percent of placing their babies to sleep,” said Kenesha Smith Barber who works for the Virginia Department of Health.

VDH is also reporting that co-sleeping is more common among low-income populations.

“These parents are obviously at a disadvantage, unable to purchase a crib for their infant so they automatically put them in the bed with them,” Barber explained.

VDH said practicing safe sleep techniques with your baby means taking any toys or soft bedding out of their crib, laying them on their back and making sure they’re going to bed in their own crib. It’s also a good idea for parents to sleep in the same room as their baby.

“If there was any way for the mom to just put the baby on a firm, flat non-inclined surface and not sleep next to them that is still safe for baby,” Barber stated.

If you’re in need of a crib, the Virginia Department of Health has a program called the Safe Sleep Program. It allows low-income families to get a free portable crib and also receive education about the importance of safe sleep techniques.