Sharing a bed with their baby may be a way for tired parents to try to get some extra sleep, but a new study says the controversial practise results in the child waking more frequently.
Researchers at Uni Research in Bergen, Norway, surveyed 55,831 mothers about their child's sleep habits. They found the longer a child shared a bed with their parents, the greater the chance they would experience shorter sleep duration and frequent wake-ups at 18 months of age.
Waking for feedings was common at six months of age, but not associated with sleeping problems later, the study said.
The study appears in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.
Health Canada recommends against parents sharing a bed with their infants because of safety concerns for the child, including that the baby could roll off the bed or an infant could suffocate if someone rolls onto it or a pillow or comforter covers the baby's face.