Objective: To establish the prevalence of various types of bed sharing in Norway and investigate the relation between bed sharing and breastfeeding.
Methods: 193 Norwegian mothers completed two questionnaires, the first one during pregnancy and the second one when their infants were approximately 6-7-months-old. Data on sleeping and breastfeeding expectations and realities were obtained and analyzed.
Results: 23.4% of the infants shared a bed with someone else last night. 40.3% bed shared with their mothers at least once during the last week. 69.5% bed shared with their mothers an average of at least once a week during the first month. 91.2% ever bed shared. Current bed sharing was significantly related to current breastfeeding (p = .001), but not significantly related to exclusive breastfeeding the first 6 months (last night p = .432, last week p = .428). Early bed sharing was significantly related to exclusive breastfeeding the first 6 months (p = .033), but not significantly related to current breastfeeding (p = .489). Usual bed sharers were significantly more likely than both usual room sharers (using fisher’s exact test, p = .020) and usual solitary sleepers (using fisher’s exact test, p = .003) to be currently breastfeeding. Although room sharers were more likely than solitary sleepers to be currently breastfeeding, this relation was not significant (p = .194).Although most of the reported infant bed sharing occurred in the presence of the mother or the mother and one other adult, without the presence of other children, a substantial minority of the responding mothers reported other types of bed sharing.
Conclusion: Bed sharing is common in Norway. Recent bed sharing is strongly related to current breastfeeding. Early bed sharing is related to exclusive breastfeeding the first 6 months. Current breastfeeding is significantly related to usually bed sharing, but not usually room sharing. Most infant bed sharing occurs in the presence of the infant’s mother and without the presence of other children.