Infant sleep expert James McKenna
World-renowned sleep researcher James McKenna, Ph.D., is among those challenging the recent conclusion by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) task force on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) that sharing a bed with your infant is more dangerous than putting her in a crib.
I think there is a slightly added risk of overlay for extremely obese women. But an obese mother could well be aware of her situation and perhaps keep herself a little bit farther from her infant, acknowledging the capacity of the baby to roll toward her due to the compression of the bed by her body. The same applies to an obese father. And no one should sleep on a couch with an infant.
What is your advice for parents who want to bed-share but are concerned?
Parents should read the scientific papers cited in the AAP’s statement [http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/peds.2005-1499v1] and educate themselves about bed-sharing at www.nd.edu/%7Ejmckenn1/lab/faq. html. They should also remember this is their decision to make.
— Kim Acosta