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    Hey all you co-sleeping parents! It's come to our attention that we've got some rebels out there. Despite all the awareness raised about the dangers of sleeping with your babies, bed-sharing is on the rise. You're getting the warnings from your doctors, and yet more and more of you are choosing co-sleeping anyway. What's that all about? Is it because of all the benefits -- or do you just love defying your doctors' orders? I suspect it's the former. But even if you have strong convictions about co-sleeping, it can be hard to defend yourself in the pediatrician's office. Here's a few points you can bring up when you talk with your baby's doctor about co-sleeping.

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  • Say What!?

    6 Reasons Parents Lie About Co-Sleeping

    posted by Danielle Tropea September 27, 2013 at 8:57 PM in Baby
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    More parents than you'd think are bedsharing. Around the world, families traditionally bedshare (and there's a very low incidence of SIDS) yet in the United States, only 66% of babies have ever shared their parents bed. Or have they? Bedsharing is one of parenthood's best kept secrets. 

    If you ask your best friend, she might 'fess up to having had her babies in her bed but if you ask a general population (for example, if you're the CDC), you are likely to get the answer you want. And since we are warned time and again that you can kill your babies by sleeping with them, we're afraid to admit it but we're still doing it.

    So why are we lying?

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    The Back to Sleep campaign scared the daylights out of many parents, making us worry that an infant sleeping on her belly increased her chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. When my daughter starting rolling over in her crib from back to tummy, I was stressed out about it. That campaign, however, is said to have decreased the infant mortality rate by 50 percent in the United States, so it's a great thing we all heeded the warning.

    But just like we hear in those commercials how, when curing one thing, there is a laundry list of side effects that could occur, such is the same with infants sleeping on their backs. It could cause a condition called positional plagiocephaly.

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    Of all the things that scared me when my daughter was a baby -- and trust me, there were many -- SIDS was the one monster I just couldn't shake. I would find myself waking in the middle of the night with a start, unable to go back to sleep until I'd snuck into her nearby nursery and checked to make sure she was still breathing. Call me neurotic. Or just call me a parent.

    SIDS is called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome for a reason -- because we don't know when it's coming. Nothing could be more terrifying.

    But there is good news for parents. These days, we actually know how to reduce the risk of SIDS.

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    Another day, another scary baby product recall. Today's news is a big deal for any new parent desperate for solutions to help their babies sleep better -- in other words, every new parent. More than 150,000 Nap Nanny baby recliners have been recalled, covering Nap Nanny Generations One and Two, and the Chill model infant recliners. All were sold between 2009 and 2012.

    The recall comes after at least five infant deaths and dozens of reports of children nearly falling out of the recliners. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Nap Nanny poses a serious risk to babies, due to defects in its design, warnings, and instructions.

    It's important information to share, because the manufacturer hasn't actually agreed to the recall, and has now gone out of business. Unless parents hear about the recall through the major retailers pulling the Nap Nanny from their shelves, they may have no idea about the CPSC's complaints about the product.

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    The first time I babysat my niece, I think I checked her about every five minutes to make sure she was still breathing. I was absolutely paranoid something horrible would happen the first time I was alone with her. I was terrified of SIDS. Nothing did go wrong, thankfully, but a new gadget that's designed to give parents more peace of mind while babies sleep might have helped.

    The Snuza Hero is a device that clips onto your sleeping baby's diaper, and uses a motion detector to constantly monitor your baby's movement. What a great idea!

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    It's hard to find much emotion beyond blame and outrage when it comes to the case of Vanessa Clark. The Texas mother lost a baby, son Christian, in 2009 after he was reportedly suffocated while co-sleeping with her and her husband. In 2010, her 2-month-old son Tristan died in a nearly identical manner -- while co-sleeping in bed with her and her husband. How could she let something like that happen twice?

    Now, according to the Houston Press, she's been convicted of felony child endangerment, and faces two years of prison time for what the defense called SIDS deaths. The autopsy couldn't determine the specific cause of death, but there's no evidence that either was anything but horrific accidents. So doesn't she deserve some sympathy?

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    We've discussed this before: Smoking and babies don't mix. Although I'm not sure why it's an actual discussion rather than a declaration. But I'm sure some of you will fill me in with your comments. But even if you are totally clear that smoking in your baby's face is wrong, would you be so bold to tell another mom and dad that same thing?

    What if you saw a mom strolling down the street puffing away with her baby strapped onto her chest via Baby Bjorn?

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    A few years ago, my husband and I had a friend whose long-term girlfriend had started vigorously hinting that she’d like a ring on her finger. I wondered how the guy would make his decision, since it was obvious he was on the fence about things. Would he eventually pop the question? Would she grow impatient and move on? How would he know if this was the right girl, the one he wanted to spend his life with?My husband's advice to him was, “Dude, you’ll know when it’s right. You’ll just know.” I didn't tell my husband this at the time, but I thought that was terrible advice. While I’m sure lots of people just know when it’s the right time to embark upon a major lifestyle change, I sure as hell never have.

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    There's nothing quite as heartbreaking as the sudden, unexplained death of an infant. When I heard about the 4-month-old baby who was found dead this week after being put down for a nap at a daycare center in Levittown, Long Island, I literally felt physically ill. I can't even begin to wrap my head around the anguish those parents are experiencing.

    But there's another reason why this death was tragic. Already the question is being raised: Is a 4-month-old baby too young to be in daycare in the first place?

    Not only is this unfair to the parents of this baby and Karen Shriver, the owner of the daycare center (autopsy results aren't in yet, so we don't know why this baby died or if Shriver is at fault), it's unfair to the millions of parents who have no choice but to put their infants in daycare and the millions of loving professionals who care for those babies.

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