Jonesboro pediatric hospitalist warns about co-sleeping

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 10:47 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 11:00 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A 2020 study from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences shows that Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is the leading cause of death in children from birth to one year of life.

Dr. Hilliary Sismondo, a pediatric hospitalist at St. Bernards Medical Center said it is a parent’s worst nightmare to wake up to their child not breathing.

“Oftentimes, it’s not until they wake up the next morning and realized they have suffocated their child while they were sleeping,” Dr. Sismondo said.

Dr. Sismondo expressed that co-sleeping with your baby puts them at higher risk of suffocation by either falling between the bedframe and the wall, sleeping under comforters, blankets, and pillows not meant for babies, or a parent accidentally sleeping on top of their child.

To prevent putting your child a risk, the doctor mentioned the child can sleep in a bassinet that is “within arms reach” of the bed, and they can sleep in a swaddle or a light sheet.

As a mother, she said she understands how exhausting waking up in the middle of the night with a newborn can be, adding she “got out of bed and sat in a chair” to keep herself awake.

A Jonesboro mother says she has tried to avoid co-sleeping with her son when he was an infant.

“Even with your best intentions, you really do not live up to those expectations,” Casey Kidd said.

Kidd mentioned her son would either sleep in a bassinet or a swing in her bedroom, or she would use a DockATot for her son to sleep in to avoid suffocation, adding some nights were hard for her to put him inside the bassinet.

“You don’t want to do anything to put your child in danger,” she said. “Sometimes when you feel their sleeping right next to you, they are most safe because you can put your hand on them, and you can feel that they’re breathing.”

Kidd reminds parents that they are not perfect and cannot always follow every rule in the book, adding “it’s okay to make mistakes.”

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