Healthcare Experts Discourage Co-Sleeping

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- More infants are losing their lives in the state of Iowa, and it's all because of where a baby might be sleeping.

Just this year, four babies in Des Moines have died due to accidental smothering; three of those deaths happened this week.

Compared to 2014, there were two deaths from similar causes.

Due to the rise in deaths, healthcare workers are urging parents to heed the warning.

New mom, Adria Jones, said she likes to be around her 6-week-old baby as much as possible, but there's one exception to the rule.

"Co-sleeping isn't safe, it's not good to do," Jones said. "There are just too many factors, too many things that could happen."

The worst case scenario for many families is accidental suffocation.

In Linn County, 50 percent of infant deaths were directly related to unsafe sleep practices in 2010 and 2011.

As a maternal child educator at St. Luke's, Deb Oldakowski said babies need to sleep alone.

"In their crib, on a firm mattress, with a fitted sheet and a wearable blanket with no bumper pads, no toys, no extra blankets," Oldakowski said. "The research shows that babies that sleep in an adult bed are at a 20 times greater risk of accidental suffocation."

That's why Jones said she keeps her baby in her room, but not in her bed, so if something happens she's within ear shot.

"It's really close to our bed so we can hear her," Jones said. "I think just those mommy instincts when they're right there, you're gonna hear them if you need to."

The best advice for practicing safe sleep is to start good habits early.