Bed sharing and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome: can we resolve the debate?

J Pediatr. 2012 Jan;160(1):44-8.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.06.052. Epub 2011 Aug 24.


Objective: To conduct a meta-analysis on the relationship between bed sharing and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) risk.

Study design: Data from PubMed and Medline were searched for studies published after Jan 1, 1970. The search strategy included articles with the terms "sudden infant death syndrome," "sudden unexpected death," and "cot death" with "bed sharing" or "co-sleeping." To further specify the potential risk of bed sharing and SIDS, subgroup analyses were performed.

Results: Eleven studies met inclusion criteria and were included in the final meta-analysis. The combined OR for SIDS in all bed sharing versus non-bed sharing infants was 2.89 (95% CI, 1.99-4.18). The risk was highest for infants of smoking mothers (OR, 6.27; 95% CI, 3.94-9.99), and infants <12 weeks old (OR, 10.37; 95% CI, 4.44-24.21).

Conclusions: Bed sharing is a risk factor for SIDS and is especially enhanced in smoking parents and in very young infants.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Beds
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Paternal Behavior
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep
  • Sudden Infant Death / epidemiology*
  • Sudden Infant Death / etiology*