A charity is warning parents to never fall asleep with their baby on their chest due to an increased risk of suffocation.
Co-sleeping is a controversial subject and while in many cultures around the world babies and adults have always slept together, some critics insist that it can pose fatal in some circumstances.
Now, Lullaby Trust, an organisation providing expert advice on safer sleep for babies, is warning against parents who might fall asleep on the sofa or in an armchair while holding their babies saying that it can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by up to 50 times.
What’s more, one of their reports states that in England and Wales approximately one-sixth of infants who died of SIDS were found sleeping with an adult on a sofa.
“Sleeping on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby is one of the most high-risk situations for them,” a spokesperson told HuffPost UK.
“Not only is there the risk of accidents or suffocation but it can increase the risk of SIDS by up to 50 times.”
Instead, the Lullaby Trust suggest that if you think you might accidentally fall asleep with your baby you put them down beforehand in a separate Moses basket or cot.
Alternatively, if you are breastfeeding, they charity says it’s best to have someone else stay up with you or feed the baby in a position that you’re confident you won’t fall asleep in.
The charity’s updated advice comes after a dad recently spoke out about how he lost his son in a similar circumstance.
Dr Sam Hanke, from Kentucky, U.S., fell asleep holding his four-week-old son, Charlie in April 2010, only to find that when he woke hours later, his son was tragically no longer breathing.
Issuing further advice, the Lullaby Trust also suggest that you should never co-sleep with your baby if either you or your partner smokes, has drunk alcohol or taken drugs, are extremely tired or if your baby was born prematurely.
Current NHS guidelines advise that parents should ‘never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.’
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