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Safer Sleep - supporting The Lullaby Trust

Nearly half of mums admit to fibbing to GP about co-sleeping

Concern raised as mums who deny co-sleeping are missing out on vital safety advice

Nearly half of mums asked admitted to denying they co-sleep with baby

46% of mums fear being judged by GPs so deny co-sleeping with their baby

Mums deny co-sleeping

  • 46% of mums admitted to denying co-sleeping to a health professional

Mum and dad and baby feet at the end of the bed

For fear of being judged, nearly half of mums asked admitted to denying they sleep with their babies when asked by a GP, a new survey has found.

The study carried out by Gentle Parenting and released to coincide with Safer Sleep Week, found that out of the hundreds of British women asked, 46% of those who slept in the same bed as their baby had lied to a midwife, health visitor or GP, telling them they never sleep in the same bed as their baby.

Common reasons for co-sleeping were linked to breastfeeding and a way to increase parental bonding. 

As co-sleeping has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), many experts advise that parents don’t share a bed with their baby, particularly under the age of six months.

The findings raised concern that those who aren’t admitting to co-sleeping are missing out on vital advice on sleep safety when co-sleeping.

There are strict guidelines for parents to be aware of if they choose to co-sleep which you can find here.

Official advice does not tell mothers not to take their babies into bed with them. But it says the safest place for a baby to sleep for the first six months is in a cot in its parents' room.

Experts on safer sleep for babies, The Lullaby Trust advises parents follow the below:

Things that can help: 

Always place your baby on their back to sleep

Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth 

Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months 

Breastfeed your baby

Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition 

Things to avoid:

Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby 

Don't sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, or if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight 

Avoid letting your baby get too hot 

Don't cover your baby's face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding.

Mums deny co-sleeping

  • 46% of mums admitted to denying co-sleeping to a health professional

Nearly half of mums admit to fibbing to GP about co-sleeping