Victoria Charnaud shared her bed with all three of her children when they were newborns, including Lucy who is 3-months-old. She believes co-sleeping creates an emotional bond between parents and their babies.
"I love waking up to her every morning and she is smiling every morning," Charnaud said.
Now, the largest study looking at sudden infant death syndrome finds babies under 3 months old who share a bed with parents are five times more likely to die from SIDS.
"It's totally devastating to people that I don't think it's a risk worth taking," said Robert Carpenter of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
In the U.S., pediatricians recommend against sleeping with babies. But in Britain, only parents who smoke or who have been drinking are advised not to share a bed with their baby. The number of crib deaths in Britain and the U.S. fell dramatically following a campaign that advised parents to put babies to sleep on their backs. Doctors also recommend putting babies on a firm mattress with no pillows or bumper pads, making sure a baby does not get too warm while sleeping, staying current on immunizations, breast-feeding if possible and trying to put the baby to sleep with a pacifier.
Charnaud says she's doing what she thinks is best for her family.
"You have to make your own decision and do what is most comfortable for you really," Charnaud said.
Despite the research, Charnaud plans to keep her daughter as close as possible for as long she can.
The research has prompted the British government to ask health experts to review recommendations on bed sharing.
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