To assess whether the traditional pediatric prohibition against cosleeping in the parental bed requires reconsideration for urban ethnic minorities, cosleeping and sleep problems were studied in a sample of Hispanic-American, east Harlem, New York City, children 6 to 48 months of age. The incidence of frequent all-night cosleeping was found to be 21%, significantly higher than the documented rate of 6% found in a representative sample of white middle-American urban children of the same age and sex. For occcasional cosleeping, however, there were no significant ethnic differences, and frequent part-night cosleeping was significantly less common than noted in the white sample. There were greater ethnic differences for sharing the parental bedroom compared with cosleeping in the parental bed, approximately 80% for Hispanic-Americans vs 10% for the white population. Within the Hispanic-American group, frequent all-night cosleeping was significantly more common among single parents and those living in multiple households and less common among infants and later-born children in the family. Frequent all-night cosleeping was also significantly associated with sleep problems.
- Received May 2, 1988.
- Accepted October 21, 1988.
- Copyright © 1989 by the American Academy of Pediatrics