Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Wolfson Fellow

Publication details for Prof Helen L. Ball

Ball, Helen L. (2007). Bed-sharing practices of initially breastfed infants in the first 6 months of life. Infant and Child Development 16(4): 387-401.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This paper explores the manner in which bed-sharing is practised by breastfeeding infants in the UK, and examines how alternate definitions and interpretations of breastfeeding and bed-sharing can lead to confusion in understanding what bed-sharing entails. Longitudinal studies on parent-infant bed-sharing practices are scarce, but are vital to our understanding of normative bed-sharing behaviour. We present data from a longitudinal study of sleeping and feeding practices in England involving 97 initially breastfed infants from birth to 6 months of age whose behaviour was monitored weekly for a 6-month period. Results demonstrate that bed-sharing practices covary with breastfeeding practices, and that a single model of bed-sharing behaviour does not adequately reflect the experience of all infants. Our findings have ramifications for the way in which case-control studies attempt to measure bed-sharing, and our understanding and interpretation of bed-sharing risk factors.