Room sharing with a parent or care-giver for the first 6 to 12 months is recommended as one of the six steps for safe infant sleeping and has been associated with a reduced risk of a sudden unexpected death in infancy.

Room sharing allows for increased observation, supervision and responsiveness. Parents will be able to see and hear if baby sounds distressed, gets stuck, is covered by bedding or has moved into an unsafe position and will be able to respond quickly. There is also some thought that sensory stimulation of the baby, as they can hear and smell the parents when room sharing, adds a level of arousal and reduces deep sleep which may be protective.

If the parents room is too small to accommodate a cot and the baby has to sleep in a cot in a separate room, then parents should regularly check baby to ensure baby is safe or alternatively, an adult could sleep in the baby’s room to facilitate this increased observation and supervision.