Objective: To measure bed sharing (BS) activity in healthy term infants.
Methodology: The sleep-wake behaviour and place of infant sleep were recorded for infants aged between 2 and 24 weeks. Infants were then identified as BS or non bed sharing (NBS) according to each of four different definitions of bed sharing.
Results: The mean proportion of infants who spent any time BS during a 24-h period was significantly greater (P < 0.05) between 2 and 12 weeks (40.9 +/- 1. 4%) than between 13 and 24 weeks (36.5 +/- 1.5%). A significantly greater proportion (P < 0.005) of infants bed shared for more than 2 h (25 +/- 1%) than for either 1-2 h (10.5 +/- 1.1%) or for less than 1 h/24 h (3.2 +/- 0.5%) during the whole study period. Each of the definitions of BS used in the study separated infants on the basis of the amount and frequency of BS activity.
Conclusion: : Bed sharing activity was common and varied in this cohort. It was possible, using quantitative definitions, to identify those infants who routinely bed share.