Toddlers Sharing Bed OK'd by New Study
The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions against bed sharing when children are infants because it may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, but not much research has been done on the risks of sharing a bed with a child older than 1.
"The idea that bed sharing may be bad for toddlers is mostly based on folklore," says study researcher R. Gabriela Barajas of Teachers College of Columbia University in New York City, according to WebMD. "From what we see, there is no additional risk of behavioral and cognitive problems among toddlers who share a bed with their parents."
For the study, researchers looked at 944 children from low-income families. The children we assessed at ages one, two, three, four, and five.. While children who shared a bed between the ages of one and three were more likely to have behavioral or cognitive problems at age 5, these issue were deemed to be due to factors other than bed sharing, such as socioeconomic influences and maternal education levels.
Around 50 percent of families said they had shared a bed at least once. 73 percent of the families in the study were living below the poverty line.