Is sleeping in bed with your baby safe? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Is sleeping in bed with your baby safe?

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Bringing your baby into bed with you is a relatively common practice, but as one Moline couple found out, that can have consequences.

"As someone who works closely with families, I would say that's a tragedy," said Missy Denning, Program Director of the Family and Children's Council of Black Hawk County.

 Terri Wells and Anthony Schlieper, of Moline, Ill. are charged with child endangerment. Police believe their baby died in bed in June with the sleeping couple. Authorities think the couple was drinking, but is sleeping with your child safe otherwise?

"Co-sleeping has been around for generations, many many many parents grew up with the belief of sleeping in the same bed as their children," Denning said.

"When you're desperate for sleep, you will do anything to comfort a baby, that includes having them sleep with you," wrote one woman on the KWWL Facebook. “Freak accidents unfortunately happen in all aspects of life."

Many parents agreed with her. Some didn't.

"My kids are 11 and 16 now, but I never had them co-sleep with me because I was afraid I might roll over and smother them,” wrote another mother.

“Many families subscribe to the belief that they're able to have a stronger bond with their child,” Denning said.

On the other hand, The March of Dimes organization, which tries to improve infant health, believes co-sleeping can be linked to SIDS. The Center for Disease Control says the same.

“The crib is the safest place for your baby to be,” Denning said. She coaches parents that their children should sleeping in a safe crib, flat on the back, with no items to strangle on.

But, in the end, co-sleeping is legal when sober, and is a personal choice.

“With parenting, we have to make choices, and we make our choices based on our own beliefs and values,” Denning said. “So for some families, their value system subscribes to co-sleeping and they do it successfully and safely.”

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