Bed sharing when parents do not smoke: is there a risk of SIDS? An individual level analysis of five major case–control studies

23 May 2013 | Child & Youth Mortality Review Committee

This article from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) seeks to resolve uncertainty as to the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) associated with sleeping in bed with your baby if neither parent smokes and the baby is breastfed.

Despite the marked reduction in SIDS[1] following the advice to place babies to sleep on their back (supine),[2] SIDS remains the major cause of infant death in the postneonatal period (28 days through to the first birthday) in high income countries. For instance, in the USA, SIDS remains the leading cause of postneonatal mortality where 2353 babies died from SIDS in 2008, about 0.6/1000 live-births.[3] Some countries give advice to parents in their ‘Reduce the Risks’ literature not to bed share with their babies under any circumstances.

Read the full article on the BMJ Open website, by clicking the link below.


  1. Willinger M, James LS, Catz C. Defining the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): deliberations of an expert panel convened by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Fetal Pediatr Pathol 1991;11:677–84. 
  2. Gilbert R, Salanti G, Harden M, et al. Infant sleeping position and the sudden infant death syndrome: systematic review of observational studies and historical review of recommendations from 1940 to 2002. Int J Epidemiol 2005;34:874–87.  
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Compressed Mortality File 1999–2008. CDC WONDER Online Database, compiled from Compressed Mortality File 1999–2008 Series 20 No. 2N, 2011. cmf-icd10.html(accessed on 19 Mar 2012) 8:38:13 AM. 

Last updated 19/10/2021