Is co-sleeping a safety concern in other cultures?
There are lots of mixed opinions about co-sleeping. And, yes, it does vary quite a bit world-wide. However, there is always a safety risk to co-sleeping (sharing the same bed or sleep surface) if your little one is younger than 12-months-old. For examples, in predominantly Asian countries and regions, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Japan, the majority of people co-sleep. However, they do so on a futon placing a little one on her back, which is the safest sleep position. In the United States, people often sleep on soft mattresses with soft comforters or blankets. These things can increase risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or suffocation. You should also be aware of other risks related to co-sleeping. For instance, if you – the caregiver – is under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs that cause sleepiness, or any other substance – there is an increased safety risk for your infant if you co-sleep. If you have a sleep disorder of your own and you co-sleep, that also makes it more risky than typical. So, yes, there are some safety concerns related to co-sleeping worldwide.
There is a lot of information on this website about safety when your child is sleeping, including other posts about co-sleeping, such as this video from Dr. Melisa Moore , or this post by Dr. Deb Babcock
Also, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Guide to Safe Sleep!
About Dr. Ariel Williamson