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Bed sharing has been promoted as facilitating breastfeeding but also may increase risks for sudden, unexpected infant deaths. This prospective cohort study was performed to determine the prevalence of adult and infant bed sharing and its association with maternal and infant characteristics. Demographic data were collected from 10,355 infant-mother pairs at birth hospitals in Eastern Massachusetts and Northwest Ohio, and follow-up data were collected at 1, 3, and 6 months by questionnaire. Associations with bed sharing were estimated using odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals from multiple logistic regression models while adjusting for confounding variables. At 1, 3, and 6 months, 22%, 14%, and 13% of infant-mother pairs shared a bed, respectively. On multivariate analysis, race/ethnicity and breastfeeding seemed to have the strongest association with bed sharing. These factors need to be considered in any comprehensive risk to benefit analysis of bed sharing.

(C) 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.