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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Room Sharing

What is room sharing? Room sharing is placing your baby to sleep in a crib, cradle or bassinet next to your bed, in your room.


Bed sharing or co-sleeping is not safe and can increase the risk of SIDS. These terms mean the baby shares the same sleeping surface with another adult or child. This is not safe because:

  • An adult or child can roll over on to the baby
  • The baby can get caught between the sleep surface and the body of an adult or child, or a wall
  • Adult sleep surfaces usually have soft bedding which can increase the risk of suffocation1

Items that further increase the risk of infant death while bed sharing:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol or drugs
  • Extreme tiredness
  • A soft sleep surface
  • Lying on a water bed, sofa or armchair
  • Sharing a sleep surface with more than one person or with a pet

Parents frequently fall asleep with their infants while breastfeeding. It is safer to breastfeed in bed rather than on a couch or chair if feeling tired. The infant should be placed bakcin a crip, cradle or bassinet once the parent awakens.

baby in crib

Room sharing for the first 6 months helps your baby sleep safely and lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Date of creation: March 25, 2013
Last modified on: August 27, 2018

Related Content



1Public Health Agency of Canada. (2012-12-01) Safe Sleep for your Baby. Retrieved from
2American Academy of Pediatrics (2016) SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment.