New Mexico

Las Cruces police investigating second infant death in three days

Two infant deaths in Las Cruces in three days

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - The deaths of two infants in the past three days has shocked many in Las Cruces.

On Saturday Las Cruces Police and firefighters responded to a home on the 900 block of Madrid Avenue. Investigators say the parents of a 4-month-old baby awoke to find their son not breathing. The baby was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

Tuesday, a mother living at the 900 block of east Hadley Avenue discovered her 4-month-old son was not breathing, according to LCPD. The baby also died. Investigators say the infant was sleeping in the mother's bed.

"We don't know the circumstances completely. We're still trying to conduct a very thorough investigation on both incidents," LCPD Spokesman Dan Trujillo said. "So we don't know exactly how the children died in each incident, so we're continuing to investigate."

The deaths prompted ABC-7's New Mexico Mobile Newsroom to ask an expert the proper way parents should sleep with their infants.

Vera Ulibarri, co-owner New Mexico Dulas,  and newborn care specialist says parents should not sleep next to their baby, but it's a common problem.

"New parents are tired so if they only thing that baby will do is sleep on their chest, moms and dads are going to dose off in that scenario," Ulibarri said.

Ulibarri says according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should sleep in the same room as their baby for the first 6-months to the first year. But the baby should sleep in it's own separate space.

"That's a bassinet, next to the bed with a tight fitting sheet," Ulibarri said. "There are no loose blankets, or stuffed animals."

Ulibarri said babies should also be placed on their backs at all times because babies don't have head control, and can suffocate themselves.

"This also helps with the spit up reflex being on their backs and can reduce SIDS by 50%," she said.

Ulibarri said it's important for new parents to be educated and ask for help if needed.

"We spend a lot of time focused on birth and labor and we all focus in on those things," Ulibarri said. "And it's really important to know how to care for that little baby when you come home."

According to the New Mexico Department of Public Health: between 2009-2014 there were 5.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in New Mexico. That was less than the national average, which was 6.1 infant deaths per year.

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