Sweden Advises Parents to Stop Sleeping with their Babies

January 1, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. sudden /ˈsʌdn/ (adj.) – happening in a very unexpected manner
Example: He was surprised by the sudden visit of his parents.

2. seemingly /ˈsimɪŋli/ (adv.) – based on how someone or something appears
Example: Babysitting is seemingly an easy job; but it is actually a difficult task.

3. threat /θrɛt/ (n.) – the risk of something bad happening
ExampleThreats of illness worried the baby’s mother.

4. highlight /ˈhaɪˌlaɪt/ (n.) – the most important or the best part of something
Example: The highlight of our family’s vacation is when we visited the mountain shrine.

5. applicable /ˈæplɪkəbəl, əˈplɪkə-/ (adj.) – can be used in a specific setting or condition
Example: The new law is applicable to all citizens of the country.


Read the text below.
The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare suggests that parents should not sleep in the same bed with their babies because doing so increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

SIDS is a condition in which a seemingly healthy baby suddenly dies during sleep. Its cause is unknown and it also has no clear symptom, making it difficult for experts to diagnose the problem.

Parents sharing their bed with their babies are quite common in Sweden. But because of the threat, the Swedish health officials have implemented a set of guidelines to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Previous studies have shown that bed-sharing between parents and infants increases SIDS risks. A report from the British Medical Journal even revealed that 22% of the 1500 sudden infant deaths happened as the babies shared the bed with their parents.

One highlight of the new guidelines is that babies should have their own beds so they can have more space to move in. This guideline is applicable to babies under three months. Before, health officials only banned parents who smoked or are in the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Other countries also implement guidelines similar to that of Sweden’s. For example, the US and France do not allow parents to sleep together with their babies; although they are allowed to sleep in the same room.

To further avoid cases of SIDS, the new guidelines recommend that babies should be put to sleep on its back. Also, the bed should have enough space for the babies and the room temperature should not be too high.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think some parents sleep in the same bed as their babies?
·         Is it right for the Swedish National Board of Health to discourage parents from doing so?

Discussion B

·         How can parents ensure their baby’s safety and well-being?
·         What do you think are the advantages of parents and children sharing the same bed? Please explain briefly.


January 1, 2014