Three month old baby dead after sleeping with parent -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Three month old baby dead after sleeping with parent

October 31, 2007

Albany -- A three-month old South Dougherty County girl died as she slept in her father's bed.

Investigators say the baby's 20-year old father denies rolling over on the child and cut off her breathing, and Investigators say there is no evidence that he did.

He discovered the child wasn't breathing when he woke up about 7:00 Tuesday morning at his home on Impala Lane. An autopsy ruled out any foul play, and no charges have been filed.

Investigators say it was a regular routine for the Father to sleep with the baby in an adult bed. Doctors say parents sleeping in their adult beds with their babies is an unnecessary danger. Many parents occasionally put their baby in bed with them, but experts say they should stop.

Kelly Mullins is a new mother, but knows that her bed is not meant to be shared with her daughter Leah. Mullins said "I never know what I am going to do in my sleep. I don't think any of us do. And I'm not taking that risk of rolling over and not knowing I did it, and hurting her."

Pediatricians say an adult's bed is a danger zone for babies, even more so when the parent is next to them. Pediatrician Dr. Bruce Smith said "A baby has obligant nose breathing we call it, if the nose was blocked they don't know how to breath through their mouths for the first few months of life. So if the babies nose gets in the bedding somehow, or lays against it in a certain way, they may just quit breathing all together."

Dr. Smith recommends that all babies sleep in an approved baby bed on their back at all times. Dr. Smith said "the baby needs to be in his or her own bed, because those mattresses are especially fitted and especially made that we know the baby is not going to sink down in them."

 Kelly makes sure Leah sleeps safely in her own bed, never with her parents, taking one other worry away from young parents. Mullins said "why take that risk, shouldn't do that." Babies are one of the great joys in a parent's life, and experts say not sleeping with them is an easy, but important way to avoid heartbreak.

Dr. Smith says hospitals should teach in parenting classes the danger of babies sleeping in adult beds.