Infant bed-sharing: supporting parents to make an informed decision
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Infant bed-sharing: supporting parents to make an informed decision

Layla Lavallee Research midwife, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford, Oxford, England
Meredith Scannell Clinical research nurse, Center for Clinical Investigation, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

The practice of infant bed-sharing remains controversial in countries such as the UK and the US, despite its prevalence, and healthcare professionals are often faced with the task of advising parents on bed-sharing without the support of consistent or up-to-date guidelines. This article explores UK and US recommendations on infant bed-sharing, considering the existing evidence. The possible relationship between infant bed-sharing and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is explored, alongside other factors that may be linked to SIDS. Areas where further research is required are identified and appropriate resources are provided, with a view to empowering healthcare professionals to support parents in making an informed and proactive decision about infant bed-sharing.

Nursing Standard. 31, 30, 42-51. doi: 10.7748/ns.2017.e10427


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 27 January 2016

Accepted: 30 June 2016

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