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Risks and benefits of parent/child bed sharing

Authors


Mary C. Sobralske, PhD, MSN, FNP, College of Nursing, Washington State University, P.O. Box 1495 Spokane, WA 99210–1495.
Tel: +1 509-324-7208; Fax: +1 509-324-7341;
E-mail: marysobralske@wsu.edu

Abstract

Purpose: To recognize the concerns for and against parent/child bed-sharing (co-sleeping) practices.

Data sources: Review of the literature and the clinical experiences of the authors.

Conclusions: The decision to bed share ultimately lies with the parent, but it is the responsibility of the nurse practitioner (NP) to discuss risks and benefits of parent preferences and to help families make a safe decision regarding the sleeping arrangement for their child.

Implications for practice: If NPs know the benefits and risks regarding co-sleeping and bed sharing, they can better promote safe and culturally congruent family centered care.

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