Tips for Safe Infant Sleep Practices on the Road

Members of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on SIDS answer questions about safe infant sleep.

Q. Is it OK to sleep in the same bed with baby?

A. No. Studies show that bed sharing between an adult and an infant, two adults and an infant, a child and an infant, and a pet and an infant can lead to situations that increase the likelihood of accidental injury and death. This can include suffocation or overlay (e.g., when the bed sharer rolls on top of the infant), and an increased risk of SIDS.

The Task Force on SIDS recommends that babies sleep in the same room as parents, but on a separate surface designed for infants, such as a safety-approved* crib or portable play yard. The crib can be right next to the caregivers’ bed. Sharing a room, but not a bed, for at least the baby’s first 6 months and ideally up to 1 year of age, helps to avoid dangerous situations. Room sharing is estimated to reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 50% and helps to reduce other risks associated with bed-sharing, such as suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment.

Parents who bring baby into an adult bed for feeding or comforting should remove all soft items and bedding from the area, especially if there’s any chance that the parent will fall asleep. Parents should put the baby back in his or her separate sleep area when the baby or the parent is ready to go to sleep. If parents falls asleep while feeding or comforting baby in the adult bed, they should put baby back in his or her separate sleep area as soon as they wake up.

A baby should never sleep on a couch, sofa, or armchair, with or without another person. The risks of SIDS or accidental suffocation when sleeping on couches, sofas, or armchairs is extremely high.

Download Safe sleep Environment Handout