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According to a recent study by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 59.5 percent of infants who died suddenly where sleeping with someone else at the time. The study found that around 76 percent were sleeping in an adult bed and 68.2 percent were sharing a bed with an adult. In 68.3 percent of the deaths, soft bedding was found in the sleeping area.

Researchers looked at over 7,500 sudden and unexpected infant deaths in the U.S. from 2011 to 2020. In the study, the researchers evaluated the babies' sleep environments and demographics. Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, spoke with Fox about the dangers associated with unsafe sleep habits in infants. The doctor warned that although it may seem "natural" for a child to be in bed with a parent, especially new parents, it can result in tragic consequences. Siegel pointed out that out of the 1,300 to 1,500 cases of SIDS (sudden infant death) each year, almost all of them were associated with the child sleeping in the bed with a parent. You know why? The surface isn’t firm enough," he said. "When you sleep, you have a mattress you want to feel comfortable with — but in the crib, [it should be] a very firm mattress. These are key issues — you don’t want to have your child sleeping on their stomach when they are very young." Siegel noted that in previous studies, SIDS has something to do with the way the baby is exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide. "It’s also related to what you do when you’re pregnant," he said. "You don’t want to be smoking, you don’t want to be drinking alcohol. All of that increases the risk of SIDS."

The American Academy of Pediatrics has shared specific safe sleeping guidelines on their website saying that parents and caregivers should place infants on their backs for sleep in their own dedicated spaces such as a crib, bassinette, or a portable play yard with a firm and flat mattress. Their sleeping area should only have a fitted sheet with no loose blankets, stuffed animals or plush toys.

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