If you’re passing out drunk, though, next to you is the last place your baby should be. As one British mom recently learned, drunken co-sleeping can be fatal. The risk of smothering or crushing the baby skyrockets when any adult in the bed is intoxicated.
In general, co-sleeping is a safe choice, and a brilliant move for breastfeeding parents. But if you’re not sober, you’re not a safe sleeping partner for your baby.
We’re not talking about a beer with dinner, here. The British mother who smothered her child had drunk an entire bottle of wine on an empty stomach before passing out with her little girl in her arms. When her husband came home, he found her unconscious with the infant dead at her side.
A formal inquest into the girl’s death couldn’t link the death definitively to the mother’s actions, so no charges are being pursued against her. That’s in spite of the testimony she gave in which she clearly blames herself:
Mrs Hector cried as she gave evidence at the inquest.
She said: ‘It is awful what has happened and I am not proud of my behaviour. No mother should be drinking at all. Since that day I have not taken one drop of alcohol. I should have been 100 per cent sober and that is what I have to live with. It has happened and I believe I have failed completely because I am her mum.’
Jeanne at the Stir thinks this mom should go to prison for her actions. I agree she’s to blame, but it’s not clear a prison term would do anyone any good. Certainly it wouldn’t improve the lives of her two surviving children.
It’s a shame that headlines like this make some people afraid of co-sleeping. It’s not sleeping with an infant that’s dangerous, it’s parenting while dead drunk. She could have made any number of fatal mistakes caring for a baby in that condition. Getting trashed while caring for a baby is something you should never do.
What do you think? Does this mom deserve jail time for killing her baby?