Family

There is no doubt that safe sleeping campaigns have had a huge impact.

Indeed, over the past two decades the rate of SIDS in Ireland has declined from 134 deaths per annum in the 1980s to a low of less than 30 deaths in more recent years.

And the message is clear - don't have your baby in bed next to you, especially in the first six months of their lives.

However, now a new study has confirmed what many parents have long suspected: mums and dads lie about co-sleeping.

Why? Largely because the stigma around it is so strong - and those who have their baby beside them in bed are often accused of not prioritising their newborn's health and wellbeing.

The study in question was conducted by sociology professor Susan Stewart in the US. She found that half of co-sleeping parents interviewed didn't want anyone else to know, and lied about their sleeping habits to friends, family, and even pediatricians.

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However, Harvard researchers have previously written that in Japan parents usually sleep in the same bed as their babies - and that country has one of the lowest rates of infant mortality globally.

Thankfully, SIDS is extremely rare. The HSE says that the safest place for a newborn in the first few months of their lives is in a basket or crib in their mum's room. And it's vital that parents who've been smoking, drinking, or who have taken any kind of medication do not ever share a bed with their baby.

Otherwise, make sure to remove pillows and try to use layers of sheets rather than duvets.

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research, co-sleeping, SIDS, co sleep