FRIDAY, Feb. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Fewer than half of mothers practice and intend to practice recommended infant sleep location practices of room sharing without bed sharing, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Pediatrics.

Ann Kellams, M.D., from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and colleagues surveyed 3,260 mothers from 32 U.S. hospitals with infants aged 2 to 6 months regarding care practices, including usual and all infant sleep locations in the past two weeks and intended locations for the following two weeks. The correlations between sleep-location category, demographics, feeding method, doctor advice, and theory of planned behavior domains were examined.

The researchers found that 45.4 percent of the mothers practiced and intended to practice room sharing without bed sharing, while 24.2 percent intended to practice some bed sharing. African-American race and exclusive breastfeeding were associated with intended bed sharing; the highest likelihood of bed sharing was seen in association with perceived social norms favoring bed sharing and positive attitudes toward bed sharing (adjusted odds ratios, 5.84 and 190.1, respectively). Women were less likely to intend to practice bed sharing if they had a doctor’s advice to room-share without bed sharing (adjusted odds ratio, 0.56).

“Future research could be directed at designing and testing the efficacy of interventions to change attitudes and social norms and enhance the consistency of doctor advice to ultimately change infant sleep practices,” the authors write.

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