Area healthcare professionals say even though they caution new parents to practice safe sleeping habits, sometimes their warnings are ignored.
One St. Joseph pediatrician shares an experience he had in the emergency room.
"I was called to receive an infant who had been found by the mother wedged between dad and the back of the couch," said Dr. Douglas Evans.
Dr. Evans saw the outcome of unsafe sleeping habits.
"[The father] had come home, he was tired. [He and the baby] laid down on the couch together, doing like any father would do. But he was so tired, he didn't feel that baby change positions. She got wedged and the mother came in and found her not breathing. We were not successful. The baby died," he said.
Dr. Evans says losing a newborn to a preventable death is something caregivers will never get over.
"The father has had to live with the knowledge that he was responsible. Whether or not he knew it was dangerous, it was his fault," Dr. Evans added.
He says it's very frustrating as a healthcare professional to give life-saving advice that falls on deaf ears.
"People come in our office and ask for our advice, of course that's why they're there, and we tell them things, and if they don't do it- there can be tragic outcomes," Dr. Evans said.
"I continue to see preventable deaths of children and I think these children deserve a chance," said Detective Trenny Wilson, St. Joseph Police Department.
Wilson says there have been 10 infant or child deaths in the area over last two years. She says even one death is one too many, and now she's working on a campaign to educate new parents about safe sleeping.
"We have to educate them. We can't be around parents 24/7. We have to educate them so that way they know the appropriate methods in order to take care of their children," she said.
Experts warn against the common, and dangerous, trend of parents co-sleeping with their children.
"In less than a minute can become hypoxia enough to where the heart rate starts dropping. Any adult in a deep sleep may not notice that struggling infant," Dr. Evans said.
Even if a child gets to that stage and survives, they could suffer severe brain damage.
"Having the knowledge of what is dangerous is the most powerful tool we can give them," Dr. Evans said.
Doctors say the safest way to put babies to sleep is in their own bed, on their backs, without anything around them.
This week kicks off the year-long campaign for safe sleeping. Heartland is hosting an event for parents this Saturday to learn more.