Co-sleeping is already the cause of much bickering between parenting experts, and it's likely that the debate will be getting more heated. A couple from Lufkin, Texas has been indicted after losing their second baby in two years, and prosecutors say the babies died because they were sleeping with their parents.
ABC News reports that Mark and Vanessa Clark lost their first child in May 2009, when the boy was 39 days old. After police investigated and an autopsy was performed, it was determined that the child died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome while he was sleeping with his parents. No charges were filed, but the Clarks were ordered to take a course on infant sleep safety through CPS. A spokeswoman for the department says the first instruction in the class is "Sleep alone."
It seems the Clarks ignored this warning, and in July 2010 a second three-month-old baby died while sleeping in their bed. They were charged with child endangerment. Prosecutors say they "intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence" put the child at risk of "imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impariment, by sleeping with said child in the same bed when said child that was less than four months of age." Cosleeping isn't illegal, but a local CPS Special Investigator says negligence is an issue because the couple had completed safe-sleep training.
Kids have slept in their parent's beds since ancient times, and the practice is still common all over the world. There are many who would argue it's always dangerous to sleep with a young child, but cosleeping advocates say the practice is natural and increases the bond between parents and children. Yet even passionate cosleepers may be hesitant to leap to the Clarks' defense. ABC reports: