The Relationship Between Co-sleeping and High Body Mass Index (BMI)

Brown teddy bear - Co-Sleeping

Written by: Guest Contributor

Published: Oct 27, 2021

You may have heard about co-sleeping and are wondering if it’s right for you or not. It may be even more of a concern or on your mind if you also have a high BMI and are unsure if it’ll be safe and the impact of it on you and your baby. Continue reading to get more information around what co-sleeping is and recommendations based on what experts advise in general and if you have a high BMI.

What is Co-Sleeping?

Simply put, co-sleeping is the practice of parents bringing their babies into bed with them to sleep. It’s important to note that this practice is associated with an increased risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and also fatal sleeping accidents in some circumstances. It may be even more so of a risk if you’re tired or unwell or your baby is less than three months old. It’s also essential you never wrap or swaddle your baby if you’re co-sleeping.

As a risk to consider, it might also lead to poor sleep quality for everyone involved. It may be a harder transition getting your child into his or her own bed if you choose to co-sleep and they’re familiar with staying with you. If you do choose to co-sleep then it’s recommended you place your baby on the side of one parent and never in the middle of the two adults.

Other Options

If you have a high BMI and are worried about the consequences of co-sleeping then be glad to know you have other options. Instead, it’s advised that babies sleep in the same room as their parents, in a crib or bassinet, for at least six months, but preferably a year. You can reduce the risk of SIDS by putting your baby on its back to sleep. In this case, you might want to invest in and look into the different cots and cot beds you can purchase so you have options when the time comes to sleep. Co-sleeping may be an issue if you and your partner don’t agree on the topic or your bed is not set up safely for co-sleeping.

Studies & Findings

Many studies have been done on co-sleeping and high BMI. What they have found is that maternal body weight is not an independent risk factor for SIDS and it does not increase the risk of SIDS with bed-sharing. However, when it comes to the child’s weight and BMI, studies find that co-sleeping is linked to a significant decrease in the likelihood of these children becoming overweight. When it comes to having a high BMI before, during, and after pregnancy, worse sleep quality tends to be higher with an elevated BMI. It’s important to keep this in mind if it’s determined that you have a high BMI and are obese during pregnancy. 


A good night’s sleep is essential to you and your baby staying happy and healthy. When you co-sleep you are not only putting your baby at risk for SIDS but also that you each not get a proper night’s sleep. The decision is ultimately yours but you now have some more information around the topic and its relation with having a high BMI. 

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