Sharing a bed with a baby is potentially more deadly for newborns than for older babies, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Sudden infant death syndrome and other sleep-related causes of death have several risk factors, the study looked at whether those factors were different for younger and older infants.
Researchers looked at sleep-related infant deaths in 24 states from 2004-2012, and looked at the age of the child and where the child was sleeping when they died.
Of those deaths, almost 74% of newborns, age 0 to 3 months, were bed-sharing; meanwhile, 59% of older babies who died, age 4 to 12 months, were bed-sharing.
The conclusion of the study stated that “the predominant risk factor for younger infants is bed-sharing”. “Infants at this age do not yet have the motor ability or strength to move their head or reposition their body when in an asphyxiating environment” the study went on to say.
Older infants who died, age 4 to 12 months, were more likely than younger infants to have an object in their sleep environment that they rolled up against at the time of their death. Almost 40% of the older infants who died had an object in their sleeping environment. Those objects included blankets, pillows, bumper pads, stuffed toys, bags, and other items.
Read more about the study here.