Infant Bed Sharing Doubled Since 1993

Sharing more common among black and Hispanic infants

TUESDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Sharing a bed with an infant has doubled over the last two decades and is higher for black and Hispanic infants, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Eve R. Colson, M.D., from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues surveyed 18,986 nighttime caregivers of infants regarding infant bed sharing from 1993 to 2010.

The researchers found that 11.2 percent reported sharing a bed with an infant as a usual practice, increasing from 6.5 percent in 1993 to 13.5 percent in 2010. Blacks and Hispanics showed a significant increase in infant bed sharing throughout this period, while whites only showed a significant increase until 2000. Factors influencing bed sharing included level of education, race or ethnicity, household income, region of the United States, infant age, and premature versus full-term birth. Among the 46 percent who reported talking to a physician about bed sharing, sharing was less likely when physicians had a negative attitude towards it (adjusted odds ratio, 0.66) but more common when physicians presented a neutral attitude (adjusted odds ratio, 1.38).

"Our finding of a continual increase in bed sharing throughout the study period among black and Hispanic infants suggests that the current American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation about bed sharing is not universally followed," Colson and colleagues conclude.

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