We all know that sleeping in a bed with your toddler isn’t great — primarily because it’s uncomfortable. But there may be a much more serious implication to sharing a bed other than a sore neck.

Researchers at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands found that toddlers who share a bed with their parents may develop asthma later on in life. Medical News Today states that the researches collected information on asthma symptoms and sleeping patterns from 6,160 parents, for the first six years of their child’s life. The conclusion? Children who didn’t share a bed with their parents when they were infants but did so as a toddler were more likely to develop “wheezing” between the ages of three and six. These children were also at a higher-risk of developing asthma at age six.

toddler asthma

However, this finding isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm. The increased wheezing may have only been reported by bed-sharing parents because they are physically there to hear each breath. “This could suggest that bed-sharing increases the risk of asthma in some way, but this study does not provide causal evidence of this. There could be a number of factors at play here. For example, bed-sharing families might be more likely to report wheezing because they are more attentive or aware of their children’s breathing. Alternatively, families might perceive wheezing as problematic and as something that could lead to sleep problems, which might in turn elicit bed-sharing to better monitor these problems.  More research is needed to identify the factors that may impact on the development of asthma through bed-sharing,”  Dr. Maartje Luijk from the University said.

Of course, it’s important to decide what sleeping arrangements are best for you and your child, however this study is definitely interesting. Read the full text here.

What do you think of this asthma study?


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