Kidalog/Baby Love Products, Camrose, Alberta, Canada

Issues Surrounding Co-Sleeping and SIDS Risk

James McKenna, PhD, and Lawrence Garner, MD, spoke on "Issues Surrounding Co-Sleeping and SIDS Risk" at the LLL conference #17. McKenna discussed the US consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) recommendation that parents never sleep with their children. The CPSC report made headlines in newspapers and on television stations across the United States when it was released three years ago.
McKenna explained how the commission's data was obtained and how this influenced its conclusions. The CPSC's conclusion that cosleeping is dangerous to infants was drawn from summations of information from death certificates, many of which provided insufficient information about the environment in which the baby died and possible causes.

McKenna pointed out that the commission did not account for where the cosleeping took place (some of the deaths occurred when adults and infants were sleeping on couches), or whether the parent was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. McKenna said that proper research techniques were not used to gather data to support the recommendation that the only safe place for a baby to sleep was in a CPSC-approved crib.
McKenna and Gartner agreed that sleeping with infants promtes breastfeeding. They both said it is inappropriate for agencies to recommend against cosleeping.
New Beginnings Magazine, Sept/Oct, 2001