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The devastating deaths of three babies have prompted a policeman to warn parents about the dangers of co-sleeping.

Senior sergeant Grant Ralston, stationed in Queensland, has been summoned to three homes in Logan this year where babies’ deaths have been linked to co-sleeping, as reported in the Courier Mail.

“When we’ve investigated the deaths as Sudden Unexpected Death in Infants, it’s been a scenario where the child’s been asleep in the common or main bed,” the Logan Child Protection and Investigation Unit officer said.

There is No Law Yet

“There’s no law out there, there’s nothing in legislation to say you can’t sleep with your infant. But we just want parents to be aware that there are some dangers.”

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Mum Jennifer Yardley shares her pain of losing a child this way.

Dylan Nicholls, her 15-week-old infant boy sadly passed away next to her on in August 2013 after they had fallen asleep together in her bed.

“We had coslept since birth … he wasn’t rolling yet so I wasn’t worried about him falling off,” she told the Courier Mail.

“I sat up and turned towards him and my whole world came crashing down around me. All I could see was his beautiful brown hair, he was face down.”

So Risky

Since Dylan’s tragic death, Ms Yardley has been actively fundraising and raising awareness about the importance of safe sleeping.

“I don’t recommend it,” she said. It can be risky.

New Parents Are Warned About Safe Sleeping

Logan Hospital’s midwives routinely warn mothers about the dangers of co-sleeping with their baby, said Nurse unit manager of maternity Margaret Wendt.

“QLD Health recommends that mothers do not bed share with their babies. This is because of the increased risk of SUDI (Sudden unexpected death in infancy),” she said.

“The biggest message with all of this is really not bed sharing if you smoke, if you drink alcohol or use drugs because those exponentially increase the risk to those babies.”

She said while some people believe sharing a bed with their baby can increase breast feeding rates, she said “there is no evidence to suggest that”.

“Exclusive breast feeding rates certainly can still be met by having babies in their own safe sleeping space,” she said.

Queensland Police Service is also sending out a safe sleeping message with pamphlets being distributed by officers at Logan Hospital to help get the word out.

“The last thing we want is another child death, we don’t want families to go through that,” Sergeant Ralston said.

“If we prevent just one, we’ve done something.”

  • Oh, I felt so sick reading this, those poor parents (and babies) I was too scared to co-sleep for fear of elbowing my baby or rolling on them.

    Reply

  • Ooooh, I’ve never understood co-sleeping, but each to their own. I don’t imagine I could have slept for fear and worry about suffocating my baby. It’s not a practice we shared. It was always bub in his own crib/cot/bed.

    Reply

  • There are so many people out there who still co-sleep. I just can’t understand why you would want to first of all and also why you would risk your baby’s life for the sake of ‘I’m too tired’ or ‘I enjoy the closeness’.

    Reply

  • So sad. I’ve always co slept with my 3, not every night but just on those nights where we’re tired and baby has been unsettled. We always use to sleep on the edge of the bed while baby was in middle.

    They have those cots that attach to your bed now anyway

    Reply

  • The story is a bit vague because there is no proof that it was the co-sleeping arrangement that cause the death, it may have still happened if the baby was in its own cot.
    I co-slept with my baby for years but always with a separate blanket, and as a light sleeper I would wake often and check. I never fell asleep easily and maybe for heavy sleepers and those who fall asleep easily it might not be wise, a cot close to the bed might be a better option. My mum brought us up with a cot next to the bed so she could reach out and check and touch baby without having to get up. I could not imagine a separate room where you would not know if anything was wrong.

    Reply

  • So sad. I’ve co-slept with both of my kids as I’m a really light sleeper. Its one of those topics that gets parents riled, they talk about SIDS and cot deaths, babies getting tangled in blankets etc, but then they also tell you that co sleeping is dangerous. No matter what you choose to do there’s someone telling you it’s unsafe, I think this is for every parent to decide on their own.

    Reply

  • Any death of a child is devastating. :(

    Reply

  • So tragic !!
    I don’t know how often I fell asleep during breastfeeding….
    I remember one time I woke up and my baby was on the floor, he must have dropped out of my arms while I was breastfeeding him (luckily our bed was low and we had carpet, so he landed soft).

    Reply

  • Really heartbreaking. It was always a fear of mine each night and I often would just watch bub sleep in her cot

    Reply

  • So sad! I some times have a nap with my little one. I tend to wake up as soon as she moves but still try not to do it often as I worry about these kinds of things!

    Reply

  • How sad. I remember that feeling of being so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open when my son was a newborn so didn’t like to co sleep with him as it would be so so easy to fall asleep. RIP little ones


    • It is such a tiring time of life for everyone.

    Reply

  • Tragic for the families. I for one dont support co sleeping

    Reply

  • Tragic for the poor families

    Reply

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