Bed sharing has been promoted as facilitating breastfeeding but also may increase risks for sudden, unexpected infant deaths. This prospective cohort study was performed to determine the prevalence of adult and infant bed sharing and its association with maternal and infant characteristics. Demographic data were collected from 10,355 infant-mother pairs at birth hospitals in Eastern Massachusetts and Northwest Ohio, and follow-up data were collected at 1, 3, and 6 months by questionnaire. Associations with bed sharing were estimated using odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals from multiple logistic regression models while adjusting for confounding variables. At 1, 3, and 6 months, 22%, 14%, and 13% of infant-mother pairs shared a bed, respectively. On multivariate analysis, race/ethnicity and breastfeeding seemed to have the strongest association with bed sharing. These factors need to be considered in any comprehensive risk to benefit analysis of bed sharing.
1Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Ohio/Mercy Children's Hospital, Toledo, Ohio
2Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Ohio/Mercy Children's Hospital, Toledo, Ohio; National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
3Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
4Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
5National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland
6National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland
Received September 2003; accepted March 2004.
Address for reprints: Rosha C. McCoy, M.D., Suite 1602, Richard Ruppert Health Center, Medical College of Ohio, 3120 Glendale Ave., Toledo, OH 43614; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presented in part at the Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., May 2000, and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., November 2001. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.