Co-Sleeping Plus Alcohol May Increase Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

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red wine in glass

A new study indicates that parents who drink and co-sleep with their babies may increase the risk for SIDS. Credit: digimist, Flickr

The risk factors for SIDS are more subtle and varied than once thought, according to a new study, and may include co-sleeping with a parent who recently consumed alcohol.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, followed all babies born in a southwest region of England from 2003 to 2006, in order to identify common circumstance and behaviors involved in SIDS deaths. ABC News reported that researchers found a higher SIDS risk when babies are co-sleeping with a parent who had recently consumed alcohol.

"The findings suggest that much of the risk associated with co-sleeping may be explained by the circumstances in which the SIDS infants were found," Peter S. Blair of the University of Bristol told ABC.

Seventeen percent of children who died of SIDS were more likely to be co-sleeping with a parent, but the risk increased dramatically -- to 31 percent -- was co-sleeping with a parent who had recently drank or used drugs.

The study recommends that the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a crib close to the parents' bedside, ABC reports.

Do you drink and co-sleep, and will this study change your habits?

Related: Infants Shouldn't Sleep in Car Seats

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