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Sleeping with your baby 'increases risk of cot death'

New mothers should be warned that sleeping with young babies is linked to a higher risk of cot death, health officials have said.

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Cot death advice 'ignores reality'

A parenting charity has warned that draft guidelines warning new mums not to sleep with their new babies does not 'reflect the reality' of family life and could lead to parents concealing information from health officials.

Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, raised concerns over draft guidelines aimed at reducing the number of babies who die from sudden infant death.

We know that around half of UK mothers bed-share with their baby at some point in their first few months.

Nice guidance needs to reflect this reality.

We are concerned that these guidelines will lead to parents hiding the fact that they are bed-sharing, or doing so through desperation or exhaustion without safety strategies in place.

– Brenda Phipps

However, she said that parents should be warned about the risk of sharing a bed with their young children in higher risk situations, including when babies are underweight or premature, or when parents have been smoking or drinking.

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