Room Sharing

The safest way for your baby to sleep

Room-sharing without bed-sharing is the safest way for your baby to sleep. This means your baby sleeps in the same room with you, but in his or her own safety-approved crib, bassinet, or play yard.

Adult beds are not made for babies. They can interfere with your baby's ability to breathe. Babies can get smothered by soft bedding or trapped between you and the mattress.

Room-sharing allows your baby to be close to you without sharing a sleep surface that could put your baby at risk.

Why Not Bed-Sharing?

Bed-sharing, also known as co-sleeping, creates risks for your baby. How? There are several ways:

  • Babies can get stuck between the mattress and wall.
  • Sleeping on soft surfaces like an adult mattresses, couches, or recliners can make it hard for a baby to breathe. Very young babies are especially at risk because their neck muscles are not strong enough to turn their head away from anything that may block their nose and mouth.
  • Blankets, stuffed animals, and pillows found in adult and child beds can cover a baby's face and cause suffocation.
  • When you or an older child shares a sleep surface with a baby, there's a risk of rolling on top of the baby.  Even if you think your baby might be safer right next to you, keeping a baby within arm's reach on a separate sleep surface is much safer.

Bed sharing is particularly dangerous if:

  • The baby is under three months old.
  • There are multiple people in the bed - even other babies.
  • An adult is very tired, or is a smoker, or using alcohol, medications or illegal drugs.

Statistics

Total Texas infant deaths where bed-sharing was a factor.

Year Number of Fatalities
2020 92
2019 140
2018 163
2017 142
2016 158
2015 159
2014 200
2013 169
2012 167
2011 174
2010 166

Note: Caseworkers have recorded these numbers during the normal course of investigations. Each year represents a state fiscal year covering September 1 through August 31.

Detailed Statistics

Total Texas infant deaths where bed-sharing was a factor.

  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011

fiscal year through 05/05/20

Category Fatalities
Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 15
Non-Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 77
Total Fatalities 92
Age Fatalities
Under 1 yr 91
1-3 yr 1
4-6 yr 0
Over 6 0
Total 92
Gender Fatalities
Male 61
Female 31
Unknown 0
Total 92
Race/Ethnicity Fatalities
African American 25
Anglo 24
Hispanic 32
Other 11
Total 92

fiscal year through 8/31/19

Category Fatalities
Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 8
Non-Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 132
Total Fatalities 140
Age Fatalities
Under 1 yr 135
1-3 yr 5
4-6 yr 0
Over 6 0
Total 140
Gender Fatalities
Male 64
Female 75
Unknown 1
Total 140
Race/Ethnicity Fatalities
African American 43
Anglo 46
Hispanic 42
Other 9
Total 140

fiscal year through 8/31/18

Category Fatalities
Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 22
Non-Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 141
Total Fatalities 163
Age Fatalities
Under 1 yr 157
1-3 yr 6
4-6 yr 0
Over 6 0
Total 163
Gender Fatalities
Male 104
Female 58
Unknown 1
Total 163
Race/Ethnicity Fatalities
African American 54
Anglo 44
Hispanic 57
Other 8
Total 163

fiscal year through 8/31/17

Category Fatalities
Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 15
Non-Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 127
Total Fatalities 142
Age Fatalities
Under 1 yr 141
1-3 yr 1
4-6 yr 0
Over 6 0
Total 142
Gender Fatalities
Male 79
Female 62
Unknown 1
Total 142
Race/Ethnicity Fatalities
African American 54
Anglo 39
Hispanic 42
Other 7
Total 142

fiscal year through 8/31/16

Category Fatalities
Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 25
Non-Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 133
Total Fatalities 158
Age Fatalities
Under 1 yr 153
1-3 yr 5
4-6 yr 0
Over 6 0
Total 158
Gender Fatalities
Male 95
Female 63
Total 158
Race/Ethnicity Fatalities
African American 52
Anglo 46
Hispanic 55
Other 5
Total 158

fiscal year through 8/31/15

Category Fatalities
Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 19
Non-Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 140
Total Fatalities 159
Age Fatalities
Under 1 yr 156
1-3 yr 3
4-6 yr 0
Over 6 0
Total 159
Gender Fatalities
Male 90
Female 69
Total 159
Race/Ethnicity Fatalities
African American 49
Anglo 45
Hispanic 50
Other 15
Total 159

fiscal year through 8/31/14

Category Fatalities
Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 23
Non-Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 177
Total Fatalities 200
Age Fatalities
Under 1 yr 196
1-3 yr 4
4-6 yr 0
Over 6 0
Total 200
Gender Fatalities
Male 113
Female 87
Total 200
Race/Ethnicity Fatalities
African American 65
Anglo 55
Hispanic 71
Other 9
Total 200

fiscal year through 8/31/13

Category Fatalities
Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 17
Non-Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 152
Total Fatalities 169
Age Fatalities
Under 1 yr 163
1-3 yr 6
4-6 yr 0
Over 6 0
Total 169
Gender Fatalities
Male 90
Female 79
Total 169
Race/Ethnicity Fatalities
African American 53
Anglo 38
Hispanic 72
Other 6
Total 169

fiscal year through 8/31/12

Category Fatalities
Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 28
Non-Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 139
Total Fatalities 167
Age Fatalities
Under 1 yr 161
1-3 yr 6
4-6 yr 0
Over 6 0
Total 167
Gender Fatalities
Male 94
Female 73
Total 167
Race/Ethnicity Fatalities
African American 54
Anglo 53
Hispanic 54
Other 6
Total 167

fiscal year through 8/31/11

Category Fatalities
Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 19
Non-Abuse/Neglect Related Fatalities 155
Total Fatalities 174
Age Fatalities
Under 1 yr 168
1-3 yr 6
4-6 yr 0
Over 6 0
Total 174
Gender Fatalities
Male 106
Female 68
Total 174
Race/Ethnicity Fatalities
African American 53
Anglo 43
Hispanic 65
Other 13
Total 174

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