Share a room with your baby, not a bed

Although sharing a bed with your infant can be common, sound research recommends against it. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends infants and their parents share a room, but not a bed.

The AAP updated their policy statement on “Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths” in 2011 with specific recommendations that infants sleep on their own sleeping surface.

Having an infant sleep in a crib or bassinet decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent. Room sharing without bed sharing allows for parents to be close enough to easily feed, comfort and monitor their baby.

Although parents feel they can easily monitor their children while asleep and bed sharing, studies have shown an increased risk of infant overheating, airway obstruction, head covering and exposure to tobacco smoke that can increase the risk of SIDS.

An adult bed is simply not designed for an infant, even with the best of parent intentions.

Babies younger than 3 months who were born premature and/or with low birth weight are at the highest risk from bed sharing due to low muscle strength and immature motor skills.

Parents need to be informed that bed sharing is dangerous. Sharing a room with your child facilitates bonding, feeding and comforting during the night without any risk to the infant.

Ask your pediatrician if you have further questions about infant sleep safety, or visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website.

Elizabeth Super, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Pediatric Sleep Disorders Medicine Program
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

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  1. I completely agree on NO co-sleeping. We only shared our room with our baby for the first two weeks. He’s been sleeping great in his own room, in his own crib since 2 weeks old.

About the Author

Tamara Hargens-Bradley is associate director of media relations in the OHSU Strategic Communications department.
Doernbecher Best in the Country U.S. News & World Report


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