1. Newborns
  2. Sleep
  3. Sleep options

Sharing a room with your baby

0-1 years

Where your baby sleeps is up to you, but the safest option is for your baby to sleep in a cot next to your bed for the first 6-12 months. This reduces the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and fatal sleeping accidents.

How sharing a room affects SUDI risk

Where your baby sleeps is a personal choice. It’s best made after you think about your own family’s needs and situation.

But it’s important to know that there are some things, including where babies sleep, that affect the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and fatal sleeping accidents.

It’s recommended that you sleep with your baby in a cot next to your bed for the first 6-12 months. This kind of room-sharing, with separate beds for you and baby, has been shown to reduce the risk of SUDI including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents

You can read more about how to reduce the risk of SUDI including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents in our article on safe sleeping.

Room-sharing in separate beds: other advantages

Parents who share rooms with their babies and have their babies in cots next to their beds say it has the following advantages:

  • If your baby is in a cot next to your bed, it lets you be close and respond quickly when your baby wakes.
  • You can check on your baby when you want to during the night.

And parents also say that room-sharing in separate beds has these advantages over co-sleeping with baby:

  • You get better sleep. Babies sleep very lightly, and their movements can disturb a parent sleeping in the same bed.
  • If babies are used to settling in their own beds, it’s easier for them to sleep away from their parents at child care centres or in the care of friends or relatives.
  • It’s easier to start babies off in their own beds than to change the sleeping arrangements at a later stage.

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Last updated or reviewed
08-07-2017

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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