When it comes to how your baby sleeps, a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics says "room-sharing" with babies lowers of the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by as much as 50 percent.
A Sacramento State professor with a background in pediatric nursing, on the other hand, says the report is not encouraging co-sleeping, just having the baby in a bassinet or crib in the parents' bedroom.
Some viewers disagree with the method. But one ABC 10 viewer works at the Child Abuse Prevention Center in Sacramento and says there really is a correct way of doing things.
"You can room-share, but not bed share," says Stephanie Biegler, Chief Program Officer of the Child Abuse Prevention Center.
The Child Abuse Prevention Center of Sacramento tells parents this all over the county. Stephanie Biegler says without their outreach, this is what happens.
"Every other week an infant dies in Sacramento County from a sleep-related death," Biegler said.
Biegler says they've been investigating every child death in Sacramento County for the past 25 years. And when the deaths are sleep related, it's usually because a baby is sleeping in an adult bed.
Studies find babies don’t have enough muscle control to move themselves if they’re in a position from which they can’t breathe, so whether it’s from soft bedding or an adult accidentally rolling over them, they suffocate.
But as with almost anything involving parenting styles, there are some who disagree.
"A mother will say to her daughter who just had a baby that I slept you with me and you were fine. What we would say is the types of bedding we have now are different than what we had years ago. They're pillow-top. They're soft. And what we would really say is your mother was just lucky," Biegler said.
The Child Abuse Prevention Center focuses on five steps to keeping your baby safe during sleep:
- Sleep baby alone.
- Sleep baby on his back.
- Sleep baby in a crib. Always!
- Put nothing in baby's sleep area.
- Do not overdress baby.
For more information from the Child Abuse Prevention Center, visit www.thecapcenter.org or call (916) 244-1900.