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Bed-Sharing Precautions

The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a safety-approved crib or bassinet in the same room with a parent or caregiver. Adult beds are not made for babies and may carry a risk of accidental entrapment and suffocation.

Last year in Texas, Child Protective Services investigated 150 infant deaths where bed-sharing (also known as co-sleeping) was a factor, although the exact causes of most of those deaths are not known.

Warnings

  • Avoid crevices between the mattress and a wall that could entrap an infant.
  • Never sleep with an infant on a soft mattress, couch, recliner, or any soft surface.
  • Avoid blankets, stuffed animals, and pillows that could cover a baby's face.
  • Don't let other adults or older children sleep with your infant.
  • No adult should ever sleep with an infant if he or she is:
    • A smoker or under the influence of alcohol.
    • Using illegal drugs.
    • Sick, unusually tired, or taking medication that causes sleepiness.
    • Very upset or angry.

Statistics

Statewide Total Infant Deaths where Bed-Sharing (Co-Sleeping) was a factor
Year Number of Fatalities
2013 156
2012 164
2011 174
2010 162
2009* 167
2008* 172

Please Note: These numbers represent child deaths investigated by Child Protective Services (CPS) in which infants were bed-sharing. Numbers from 2008 and 2009 come from hand counts from case reviews. Since 2010, caseworkers have recorded these numbers during the normal course of investigations. These two sets of numbers are similar but not directly comparable.