Babies Sleeping In Their Own Room

Scott Olson

Meanwhile babies who continued to room-share beyond 4 months got about 8.3 hours, and babies who room-shared beyond 9 months got 7.4 hours.

The new research also finds that room-sharing is somewhat of a gateway to bed-sharing - a big no-no so far as the AAP is concerned, since the practice significantly increases the risk of unintentional injury, SIDS, and other hazardous habits found to be unsafe for babies, like the use of blankets and pillows.

And the researchers found another trend: Parents who kept their babies in the same room to sleep were much more likely to bring their infants into their adult beds in the middle of the night -- a practice that the AAP says is unsafe for babies. In 2015, the past year for which data is available, around 1,600 babies died of SIDS out of almost 4 million births, and fewer than 10 percent of those babies were over 6 months old. "Waiting too long can have negative effects on sleep quality for both parents and infants in both the short and long term".

The US researchers looked at 230 pairs of mothers and children, finding that room-sharing babies had lower odds of going to sleep by 8pm. He noted that sleep experts have been saying for a long time that after the first few months, parents should "transition your baby into their own room to help how well and how long the baby sleeps".

Parents who reported bed-sharing with their newborn were excluded from the analysis because the goal was to compare those who were sleeping in a separate room from parents with those still room-sharing.

A new study is changing recommendations about where babies under the age of one should sleep. The findings contradict the latest guidance from the pediatrics group, which recommends that parents and babies share a room, and there's some disagreement regarding the optimum time for giving babies their own room. She went on to say that room sharing was not completely without benefits, it reduces the stress of the parents, helps to encourage breast feeding and reduces risk of SIDS. "It also conflicts with other data that room-sharing is associated with more sleep disruption for mothers", wrote Paul in an email.

At 9 months, babies in their own rooms slept 40 minutes longer at night and over 20 minutes longer overall, compared with those who were still sharing a room with their parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies 4 to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours every day, including naps, while newborns may sleep longer.

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However, members of the AAP Task Force on SIDS have already responded with some objections, including one hypothesis that infants who sleep longer could be at higher risk of SIDS. This, she said, was adequate as seven hours is more or less the normal sleep time for these babies.

Sharing a bedroom with a baby is a guarantee that the parents will lose sleep.

This research was supported by grant R01DK088244 and the Ashley Nicole Shellenberger SIDS Research Fund at the Penn State College of Medicine.

Dr. Moon warned in response to Paul's study that just because sleep is uninterrupted it does not mean it's better. This, she said, is a direct risk factor for SIDS.

Researchers admitted that this was a small scale study and was not representative of the whole population and also ended up with most participants being white and more than half having a family income of $75,000 or more.

Previously, the AAP said that babies should sleep on a separate surface, in the same room, at least until six months and preferably until 1 year old to decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), from which the CDC says 3,500 infants die each year.

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