Bedsharing and Co-sleeping with older siblings

Though it may be easier for parents to bed share and co-sleep with their little ones, placing a 0-12 months old in the same bed as a toddler or older sibling can be dangerous as it can increase the risk of sleep accidents.

Unsafe co sleeping of siblings

Though it may warm the cockles of your heart when you see an older sibling nestling down and sleeping with their mini-me, it is not advised.

Bed-sharing with siblings can increase the risk of sleep accidents and SIDS.

Children are often deep sleepers who can sleep in the most unusual places. It is possible for an older child to roll onto their sibling and not wake up, even at signs of distress.

As they are still growing themselves, they haven’t got to the development stage where they are as in tune with distress signals as a parent would be. We’ve all heard stories of kids sleeping through the most horrendous noises without even stirring.

A note about co-bedding twins

Sometimes parents and carers of twins may need to sleep twins in the same cot

There are a few things to remember when placing twins into the same sleep space to sleep:

  • Place babies on their back with their feet at opposite ends of the cot
  • Never place the babies in the cot with any other children or pets
  • Do not use bedding
  • Wrap the babies separately according to Red Nose recommendations for wrapping
  • When one of the twins starts to show signs of rolling or is becoming a little more mobile in the cot space, it is important to separate them into different sleep spaces. This is because there is a risk that one twin could accidentally cover the other and interfere with breathing
  • Cease wrapping when babies show signs that they may begin to roll soon

This doesn’t mean you have to give up sharing the bed for storytime, cuddles or feeding. Just ensure that you are always supervising and when your baby is ready for sleep that they are placed in their own safe sleep space.

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Last modified: 15/9/23