Parents who share a bed with their child can sleep better in light of new research in the journal Pediatrics that finds the practice doesn’t give rise to learning or behavior problems.
Researchers at Teachers College, Columbia University asked 944 low-income mothers where their child slept regularly — defined as five of seven nights — and looked for an association between between kids who slept with their mom at ages 1, 2 or 3 and behavior or learning problems at age 5. Initially, they discovered that bed-sharing was linked to lower scores on cognitive outcomes and some behavioral problems. But after controlling for socioeconomic status and race, the association vanished. In other words, any association between bed-sharing and behavioral or learning problems can be attributed not to the sleeping arrangements but more likely to socioeconomic status or race.