Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arch Dis Child. 2006 Dec;91(12):1005-10. Epub 2006 Jul 18.

Randomised trial of infant sleep location on the postnatal ward.

Author information

  • 1Parent-Infant Sleep Laboratory & Medical Anthropology Research Group, Department of Anthropology, Durham University, Durham, UK.



To determine whether postnatal mother-infant sleep proximity affects breastfeeding initiation and infant safety.


Randomised non-blinded trial analysed by intention to treat.


Postnatal wards of the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVI), Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.


64 newly delivered mother-infant dyads with a prenatal intention to breastfeed (vaginal deliveries, no intramuscular or intravenous opiate analgesics taken in the preceding 24 h).


Infants were randomly allocated to one of three sleep conditions: baby in mother's bed with cot-side; baby in side-car crib attached to mother's bed; and baby in stand-alone cot adjacent to mother's bed.


Breastfeeding frequency and infant safety observed via night-time video recordings.


During standardised 4-h observation periods, bed and side-car crib infants breastfed more frequently than stand-alone cot infants (mean difference (95% confidence interval (CI)): bed v stand-alone cot = 2.56 (0.72 to 4.41); side-car crib v stand-alone cot = 2.52 (0.87 to 4.17); bed v side-car crib = 0.04 (-2.10 to 2.18)). No infant experienced adverse events; however, bed infants were more frequently considered to be in potentially adverse situations (mean difference (95% CI): bed v stand-alone cot = 0.13 (0.03 to 0.23); side-car crib v stand-alone cot = 0.04 (-0.03 to 0.12); bed v side-car crib = 0.09 (-0.03-0.21)). No differences were observed in duration of maternal or infant sleep, frequency or duration of assistance provided by staff, or maternal rating of postnatal satisfaction.


Suckling frequency in the early postpartum period is a well-known predictor of successful breastfeeding initiation. Newborn babies sleeping in close proximity to their mothers (bedding-in) facilitates frequent feeding in comparison with rooming-in. None of the three sleep conditions was associated with adverse events, although infrequent, potential risks may have occurred in the bed group. Side-car cribs are effective in enhancing breastfeeding initiation and preserving infant safety in the postnatal ward.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk