LEWISVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – A mother will not face charges after she rolled over onto her newborn in bed, causing the 3 week old’s death.

Sadly, such tragic, accidental deaths happen more often than many may realize.

“Co-sleeping is very common because many parents do not recognize the real risks of co-sleeping and because those first few months are hard, tiring and co-sleeping seems like a better option,” explained pediatrician Justin “Doc Smitty” Smith, M.D.

Tired mother sleeping with her baby. (photo credit: Getty Images)

“Some people love that image of a baby and mom or dad asleep on the couch together-but this is one of the most dangerous sleep positions,” said Dr. Smith.

Three-thousand-five-hundred infants die each year in the U.S. due to sleep related deaths, according to Cook Children’s Medical Center.

Unintentional suffocation is the leading cause of injury-related death among children less than 1 year old. Many of these deaths are due to unsafe sleeping situations that lead to unintentional suffocation.

With infants sleeping more than 50 percent of the time, and newborns sleeping almost 70 percent of the time in the first couple of weeks, it’s important parents take extra precautions.

Dr. Smith offers the following ways to better protect your little one, and hopefully increase your peace of mind, too.

  • When possible try nursing and holding your baby in an upright position.
  • When possible have someone else help if you feel like you can’t stay awake.
  • If you feel exhausted, it’s ok to place the baby in the crib awake and try to get some sleep.