Mom hopes baby’s co-sleeping death serves to warns others


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids, Michigan, baby likely died because he was sleeping in bed with his mother, and now the mom is turning to social media in hopes of preventing a death like this from happening to another family.

Everett James was 5 months old when his father came home to find him in bed with his mother, Angela. She was sleeping and he was not breathing and unresponsive.

The parents called 911 and attempted CPR unsuccessfully. Everett died on May 16, the day he turned 5 months old.

“This will be the hardest thing for me to write in my life,” Angela wrote in her post. “But if it saves even one life, it is worth it…”

A recent study reportedly found that nearly half of all parents admits to sleeping with their baby. Eleven percent said they do it on a regular basis.

Doctors at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital say they hear about co-sleeping deaths every year.

“Taking that risk and saying ‘maybe it won’t happen tonight’ — it’s just not worth that risk,” Dr. Bill Bush, Pediatrician in Chief at the hospital said.

Bush says doctors at Helen DeVos talk about sleeping conditions with every mother who gives birth at the hospital but says that information is part of a lot of other information mothers get before they’re sent home.

Bush says he’s had to speak with parents after they have lost a child to co-sleeping.

“Every situation that happens – it’s so sad for us as a community and for a family… A preventable death,” Bush said. “We can really, hopefully decrease the number of times that I ever have to have these conversations with families.”

Grand Rapids police are investigating the Everett’s death. They say they’re waiting for toxicology reports to confirm their initial suspicion that the child died due to co-sleeping with his mother.

Angela, who asked that we only use her first name in this report, says she hopes her story hits home.

“As much as you love to snuggle and cuddle your little one, please resist the temptation to do so in bed. No matter how difficult it may seem at the time, put them to sleep in their own crib and avoid the greatest pain that one can experience in life — the pain that we are now experiencing,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “Your child’s life is too valuable.”

The family is hoping to raise awareness on social media using ‪#everettjamesawareness on Twitter and Facebook.

10 thoughts on “Mom hopes baby’s co-sleeping death serves to warns others

  • January 4, 2016 at 8:32 PM

    There’s a LOT of details missing from this. What was the sleep surface like? Where were pillows and covers? Was the mom formula-feeding or breastfeeding? (Almost all “co-sleeping” deaths are with formula feeding mothers or on couches or other unsafe sleeping surfaces.)

    Also, many babies die alone in cribs each year–likely more than those who die in “co-sleeping” situation–yet no one says to get rid of cribs to save those babies. Without further info, this article is not helpful to anyone.

    • January 4, 2016 at 10:35 PM

      I agree, is there even a way to tell if the baby died because of SIDS rather than coccaine sleeping.

    • January 5, 2016 at 9:56 AM

      I raised 5 and all slept with me as babies, then the grand babies, when i had them as babies, 6 babies slept me me as well…..So I would be apt to say that the baby died of something else..BUT we never know..I feel for this mom…

    • January 5, 2016 at 11:52 PM

      I agree! To much missing on this story. I don’t think just sleeping with Mom is going to cause death, unless she rolled over and the baby could not breath. To much info missing!

    • February 9, 2016 at 5:00 AM

      I salute Andrea b’s comment. There is alot of missing information in this article. I feel so sad for the family of the baby that died, but the cause of death is not established. It is irresponsible reporting.

  • January 5, 2016 at 6:47 AM

    What is co-sleeping death and why does it happen?

    • January 5, 2016 at 10:16 AM

      Karen, read the article.

  • January 5, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    The beginning of this story states that “the baby likely died” from cosleeping with the mother.
    They do not know this for fact.
    That poor woman is grieving the worst grief a Mother can have and along with it the worst GUILT of it being her fault when they don’t even KNOW if that was the cause.
    I’ve never heard of this happening. I’ve heard of this happening all the time with babies alone in a crib.

    I pray for Jesus to wrap His Loving arms around this Mother for peace, comfort & so much love. Also for the truth to be uncovered that it was NOT in fact her fault for the loss of her precious child.
    God, please Bless & hold close this woman and give her peace in knowing her precious child is safe in your arms.
    In Jesus name I pray….. Amen.

  • January 5, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    I woke up one night so tired from a busy day with a 3 week old baby, nursed her and set her in the middle of the bed and went back to sleep, my husband woke up about an hour later thinking the dog was in the middle of the bed and was about to toss it out. He woke me up when he realized it was the baby. Don’t put the fricking baby in the bed. Last time I co sleep. 🙂

  • January 6, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    I agree. There is so much missing from this article. Before going off about how dangerous it is you have to have the facts. I co-slept with all 4 of my children. Didn’t lose any of them. But I used safe sleeping habits. I never had pillows, near the babies head. No blankets. Only a sleeper for the baby. Bottle fed babies should not co-sleep. Only breast fed babies. I feel sorry for the mom.


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