Co-sleeping is one of the many nighttime parenting techniques that you and your partner can choose from to help your baby develop healthy sleep patterns. When they co-sleep, a parent and child sleep within a sensory distance of each other, which means that they can touch, see, and smell each other. The two forms of co-sleeping are room-sharing and bed-sharing.
When room-sharing, parents keep a crib, bassinet, or other child's bed in their room, often near their bed. Room-sharing is fairly common, especially early on in a baby's life, when night-time feedings need to be frequent.
When bed-sharing, on the other hand, parents share their bed with their baby; however, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against bed sharing, since there are major concerns about accidental injury to the baby when parents are asleep, including suffocation and death. Bed-sharing is common in many non-Western cultures, where infant death rates, especially from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), are low. However, other cultural differences could have an impact on these results.
Co-sleeping is a topic with many points of view, and it has both benefits and drawbacks, but ultimately you and your family must decide what sleep style is best for you and your baby.
Again, a variety of U.S. medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, warn against placing infants in adult beds and bed-sharing. Doctors do, however, recommend room-sharing, however, as this reduces the risk of SIDS in infants, so long as they are safely in their own space.