Co-sleeping and Alcohol: Drunk Mom Charged With Manslaughter After Suffocating Son

Co-sleeping and alcohol never mix, a lesson that a mother in Cottage Grove, Minnesota tragically learned the hard way.

Toni Annette Medrano, 29, who has admitted to co-sleeping with her infant son after drinking a fifth of vodka, has been charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter, reports the Star Tribune. The first charge is for “culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk” and the second for “committing or attempting to commit a violation.”

Last November 21, 2011, Medrano returned to her home after consuming nearly a fifth of vodka. She then fell asleep on the couch with her three-week-old son, Adrian Alexander Medrano, positioned between her and the back cushion of the couch. She states that she woke up around 3:00 in the morning and fed her son some formula. She then returned to co-sleeping with her baby, awaking a few more times throughout the morning but never leaving the couch.

At about 10: 30 am, Medrano woke up and discovered that her son was “cold and purple.” She reportedly screamed to her husband, “The baby is dead!”

Because she had mixed co-sleeping and alcohol, Medrano had accidentally suffocated the baby in her sleep. As reported on The Huffington Post, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office concluded in an autopsy that the baby had died from asphyxia after being laid on while sleeping.

According to the criminal complaint against Medrano, her husband told her that “she should not lie on the couch with the baby as she could fall asleep and suffocate the baby,” reports Babble.

By the time the authorities arrived at the house, Medrano’s blood alcohol content was measured at 0.11. The legal limit for driving in the state of Minnesota is 0.08.

Although organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics do not recommend co-sleeping in which a caregiver and a child share the same sleeping surface, parents who do chose to bed-share with their babies are advised never to mix co-sleeping and alcohol.

If convicted, Medrano faces up to ten years in prison, reports CBS affiliate WCCO.

Do tragic stories about bed-sharing in which parents carelessly disregard the recommendations for safe co-sleeping change your views on co-sleeping?