A Florida mom was arrested this week after her infant was smothered during “co-sleeping,” the controversial practice of parents sleeping in the same bed as their children, local outlets reported. This was the second time she had smothered a baby.
Erin Piche-Pitts, 25, had previously killed her 13-day-old baby daughter by accidentally smothering her while co-sleeping in 2009.
In October of this year, she repeated the same tragic actions, sleeping with her newborn son in the crook of her arm. She woke up about two and a half hours later with the infant under her, unresponsive, covered in blood and vomit. He was only 18 days old.
Piche-Pitts was warned against co-sleeping by her doctor, and given proper instructions for how to put an infant to sleep in a “Healthy Start” training program, authorities said.
Because of this, she was charged in November with aggravated manslaughter of a child due to negligence, while the earlier death was ruled accidental. She was arrested only this week while prosecutors reviewed the local sheriff’s affidavit and reports.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics: "Approximately 3500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related infant deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)... and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed." The Academy advises putting babies to sleep on their backs in the supine position on a firm sleep surface, sharing the same room but not the same bed, and avoiding soft bedding and overheating.