Across the UK parents have been put off sharing a bed with their new babies following official advice which states that it is safer for all children under the age of six months to be put in a cot in their parents' room.
The statement was based on research which appeared to establish a strong link between "co-sleeping" and sudden infant death syndrome - or cot death.
However, the new British study has found that sharing a bed with a baby was only more dangerous if other factors were also involved, which include - parents drinking alcohol.
Other risk factors include parents smoking or taking drugs, use of heavy bedding, adult pillows and soft mattresses, and when parents were "excessively tired" - defined as having had less than four hours sleep the night before, reports the Telegraph.
The study has also shown that infants are at the greatest risk of all if they and their parents fell asleep on sofas.
However, it parents avoided all the other risk factors, sleeping in a bed with their baby proved no more risky than putting them in a cot in their parents' room.
Researcher Dr Peter Blair, from the University of Bristol, who will present the research to a conference of the charity Unicef, in Glasgow, this week, said: "This study shows that it is not co-sleeping that is unsafe, but the circumstances under which some parents co-sleep that create risks".