What is the difference between co-sleeping, room sharing and bed sharing?

First Candle
Co-sleeping is a term used by many as an umbrella for anything from bed sharing to room sharing and anything in between. It is a vague term that is very confusing for parents. This confusion can be cleared up by using two distinct terms, bed sharing and room sharing.

Bed sharing is the practice of falling asleep on the same surface as your baby. This practice can be very dangerous and increases the baby’s risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), suffocation and accidents during sleep.

Room sharing is the practice of placing babies to sleep near the adult bed, but in his or her own separate space. This protects the baby AND helps make breastfeeding easier. Breastfeeding and bonding in bed are fine, but when it’s time to go to sleep parents and caregivers should place the baby alongside the bed in his or her own separate space.

If we could gain widespread understanding and acceptance of room sharing instead of bed sharing, we could literally save thousands of precious lives each year for generations to come.

Continue Learning about Sleeping & Napping In Babies

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.