It is common for babies in England to share a bed with their parents and breastfeeding is strongly associated with bed-sharing, according to a recent study (1).

Data from 1,356 infants found that almost half of all neonates bed-shared at some time with their parents and that on any one night in the first month over a quarter of parents slept with their baby.

Breastfeeding was strongly associated with bed-sharing, both at birth and at 3 months.

A separate study from New Zealand (2) concludes that bed-sharing babies experience warmer temperatures than cot-sleeping infants, but that they are able to thermoregulate to maintain a normal core temperature.

1. Blair PS and Ball HL (2004). The prevalence and characteristics associated with parent-infant bed-sharing in England. Arch Dis Child 89:1106-1110

2. Baddock SA et al (2004). Bed-sharing and the infant's thermal environment in the home setting. Arch Dis Child 89:1111-1116