Study: Infant Death May be Five Times More Likely With Bed Sharing

From Michigan Council on Maternal & Child Health:


Sharing a bed with an infant significantly increases their risk of dying from sleep-related causes, according to a new study published online on May 20 in BMJ Open.

Even if the parents are non-smokers and the mother did not abuse illegal drugs or drink alcohol before bedtime — other risk factors for sudden unexpected infant death — bed sharing still increased the risk of a child dying from SUIDS more than five times.

"The current messages saying that bed sharing is dangerous only if you or your partner are smokers, have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs that make you drowsy, are very tired or the baby is premature or of low-birth weight, are not effective," the authors wrote in the study, adding that doctors need to "take a more definitive stance against bed sharing for babies under three months".

SUIDS is when an infant unexpectedly dies when they are less than 1 years old with no obvious explanation for his or hear death. It is the leading cause of death among infants under 12 months and the third-leading cause of all infant deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates that there are 4,200 SUIDS deaths annually.
Rates have declined more than 50 percent in the U.S. thanks to parents being advised to put sleeping infants in the supine position or on their backs, but rates are still disproportionately higher for non-Hispanic black and American Indian/Alaska Native infants, the CDC stated.