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Nulty, Alison K.; Thompson, Amanda L.; Wasser, Heather M.; & Bentley, Margaret E. (2022). Directionality of the Associations between Bedsharing, Maternal Depressive Symptoms, and Infant Sleep during the First 15 Months of Life. Sleep Health, 8(1), 39-46. PMCID: PMC8821130


OBJECTIVES: To identify predictors of infant sleep arrangement and examine the directionality of the relationships between maternal depressive symptoms, infant sleep problems, and bedsharing.
DESIGN: Secondary analysis of longitudinal data from the Mothers and Others: Family-Based Obesity Prevention for Infants and Toddlers randomized trial.
SETTING: Central North Carolina, USA.
PARTICIPANTS: Four-hundred and twenty-eight predominantly low-income, non-Hispanic Black mother-infant pairs.
MEASUREMENTS: Data were collected at 28 weeks pregnancy and 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 months postpartum. Maternal depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale and infant sleep variables were measured using the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire.
RESULTS: The prevalence of reported bedsharing increased from 16.7% at 1 month to 35.6% at 15 months postpartum. Bedsharing was associated with shortened breastfeeding duration and maternal perception of an infant sleep problem. Concurrently, maternal perception of an infant sleep problem, but not presence of maternal depressive symptoms, was associated with an increased likelihood of bedsharing. Longitudinally, neither maternal perception of an infant sleep problem nor presence of maternal depressive symptoms predicted bedsharing. Bedsharing predicted an increased likelihood of maternal perception of an infant sleep problem and presence of maternal depressive symptoms.
CONCLUSION: Prevalence of bedsharing increased over time and was predictive of maternal depressive symptoms. Providers should discuss the conflicting infant sleep recommendations with their patients and provide safe-sleep guidelines for mothers who intend to bedshare.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Sleep Health


Nulty, Alison K.
Thompson, Amanda L.
Wasser, Heather M.
Bentley, Margaret E.

Article Type




Data Set/Study

Mothers & Others Study


United States of America


North Carolina






Bentley - 0000-0002-1220-0208
Thompson, AL - 0000-0002-5872-738X