Deadly consequences for couple who co-sleeps with their child
Adrianne Suits and her family
A Southern Illinois couple faces charges in the death of their baby after co-sleeping with the infant while drunk. It puts the issue of co-sleeping back into the spotlight. While some doctors' groups advocate against it. Some parents feel very strongly co-sleeping is the right choice for them.
"She would go right back to sleep. I could hear her breathing. I knew everything was ok she was right there," says Adrianne Suits.
Adrianne Suits co-slept with both of her daughters from the time they were born until they were 4-months old. Illinois has no law when it comes to co-sleeping with a child. But most doctors advocate against it.
Authorities say a Swansea, Illinois couple killed their 20-day old baby this summer after one of them rolled onto their child while they were all sleeping in bed together. The couple allegedly was drunk. They're now charged with endangering the life of a child. But advocates of co-sleeping say what happened to this family is not the norm.
"I went to Babies 'R Us and bought a co-sleeper. And what it is is there is a mat and what you would call like a little wall around it and the baby can lie right there in the middle in between you and your husband," says Suits.
"Accidents do happen, parents don't mean to do something and every year you hear about it," says Dr. Bill Renk.
The Winnebago County Coroner's Office reports in the last two years there have been six babies who have died from co-sleeping with a parent. Most are not because the parent rolled onto the child but they suffocate in the bed.
"Adult beds aren't set up for little babies, they're soft, they have fluffy pillows they can slip between the bed and the head board," says Dr. Renk.
Instead of co-sleeping, Dr. Renk suggests parents sleep with the baby close to or next the bed with in a bassinet.
Though Suits does not continue to co-sleep with her kids she says it's something each mother should decide for themselves.
"I would really say if you know what's best for you," says Suits.
Dr. Renk strongly recommends parents not sleeping with an infant under four months.