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Co-sleeping for Infants

The terms “co-sleeping” and "bed-sharing" are often used to describe the same thing, but there are differences.

Co-sleeping: A parent and child sleep within a "sensory" distance of each other, meaning that each can tell that the other is near, by their touch, sight or smell. Co-sleeping between infants and parents is common and accepted in the majority of cultures around the world.

Room-sharing: Parents have a crib in the same room where they sleep, such as a bassinet or portable crib near the bed, a separate crib attached to the bed, or a similar arrangement.

Bed-sharing: Parents share their bed with their children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does encourage room-sharing (sleeping in the same room but on separate surfaces) in its policy statement regarding SIDS prevention, but it does not recommend bed-sharing with infants.

The University of Chicago Department of Pediatrics offers this resource to help define co-sleeping, as well the benefits and dangers.