The prevalence and correlates of sleeping in the parental bed among healthy children between 6 months and 4 years of age are described. One hundred fifty children were enrolled in an interview study on the basis of "well-child" care appointments in representative pediatric facilities. The sample created was similar in demographic characteristics to census data for the Cleveland area. In this cross section of families in a large US city, cosleeping was a routine and recent practice in 35% of white and 70% of black families. Cosleeping in both racial groups was associated with approaches to sleep management at bedtime that emphasized parental involvement and body contact. Specifically, cosleeping children were significantly more likely to fall asleep out of bed and to have adult company and body contact at bedtime. Among white families only, cosleeping was associated with the older child, lower level of parental education, less professional training, increased family stress, a more ambivalent maternal attitude toward the child, and disruptive sleep problems in the child.
- Received July 25, 1983.
- Accepted October 4, 1983.
- Copyright © 1984 by the American Academy of Pediatrics