Sharing beds is not safe for infants experts warn, and age matters, new research suggests.
An analysis of 8,200 bed-related infant deaths, published in Pediatrics suggests that newborns face slightly different risks than older infants. While almost 74% of the infants 3 months old and younger had been bed sharing, that figure dropped below 60% among those between 4 months and 1 year of age. Younger infants were also more likely to be sleeping in an adult bed or on top of a person when they died.
By contrast, older infants were more likely to have been sleeping face down and surrounded by objects, such as blankets or stuffed toys.
The study team concluded that bed safety risks can change with age even during the first year of life and that parents should be warned about the dangers of bed-sharing, particularly in newborn to 3-month-old infants. They also state that parents should be reminded that cribs should be clear of objects.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines, with health information for your entire family.