When is bed-sharing, a form of co-sleeping, extra risky?
Bed-sharing is a family choice, but poses risks. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes that parents do bed-share with infants, it also recommends against bed-sharing. Room-sharing, on the other hand, is recommended for the first 6 to 12 months. Also considered to be a type of co-sleeping, room-sharing is when the baby sleeps on a separate surface than the parents. The AAP updated its Safe Sleep recommendations in October 2016 and included some circumstances under which bed-sharing is extra risky.
• Bed-sharing with babies younger than 4-months-old (even for breastfed babies)
• Bed-sharing with preterm or babies with low birth weight
• Bed-sharing if the mother smoked during pregnancy
• Bed-sharing with an adult who smokes, even if the person does not smoke in the bed
• Bed-sharing with an infant who has been exposed to alcohol or drugs before or after birth
• Bed-sharing with an infant when the adult is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Bed-sharing with an adult whose alertness is impaired due to fatigue, medication, and/or other substances
• Bed-sharing with a non-parental caregiver
• Bed-sharing on a soft surface (waterbed, old mattress, sofa, couch, or armchair)
• Bed-sharing with soft bedding (pillows, blankets)
Also – should my infant twins sleep together?
Since the safety of having infant multiples share a crib or sleep surface is not known, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that they sleep on separate surfaces.
About Dr. Erin Leichman