Babies may sleep longer in their own rooms, study says

by Joy Montgomery June 7, 2017, 15:40
Babies may sleep longer in their own rooms, study says

The study showed resulted that children who slept independently in their own room averaged 45 minutes longer stretches of continuous sleep than those who shared a room with a parent.

Babies rooming with their parents at four months of age were more than twice as likely to have unsafe objects around them like blankets or pillows that increase the risk of sleep-related deaths, the study found. Infants in their parents' rooms also had more than four times the odds of sleeping in their parents' beds, another practice associated with an increased risk of SIDS.

Paul added,"Inadequate infant sleep can lead to obesity, poor sleep later in life and can negatively affect parents".

The American academy of pediatrics analyzed surveys from 230 first-time mothers.

The infants were placed into one of three categories: early independent sleepers (those who were placed in their own room by four months of age), later independent sleepers (those who had their own room between 4 and 9 months), and those who still slept in their parents' room at 9 months. The responsive parenting group received guidance such as encouragement to move their child's sleep location at the age of 3 months to the room they would prefer the infant to sleep in at 1-years-old, while the control group received education regarding prevention of SIDS.

A new study is changing recommendations about where babies under the age of one should sleep.

The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't want to revise its new recommendations about room sharing, but it does acknowledge that parents want to get more sleep and that more research needs to be done to consider whether it should reverse its new policy. 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. However, Dr. Fern Hauck, a professor of family medicine and public health sciences at the University of Virginia who helped draft the AAP guidelines, disagrees.

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"Among room sharers at 4 months, the longest sleep period was about 7 hours compared with 7 hours and 49 minutes among the solitary sleepers".

The study said the early decisions had lasting effects, with babies at 30 months sleeping 45 minutes more per night than those who had shared a room at 9 months old.

"The recommendation beyond 6 months was not based on real data but more on expert opinion", Paul said. Risks for SIDS include loose bedding, sleeping in the same bed as parents, sleeping face-down and living at home with a smoker.

Room-sharing has been estimated to lower the risk of SIDS by as much as to 50%, according to the report Moon co-authored.

Dr. Moon warned in response to Paul's study that just because sleep is uninterrupted it does not mean it's better.

The study team did note that its research had limitations and that parents should best discuss and receive advice from their pediatricians about the best sleep arrangements for their newborns. This, she said, is a direct risk factor for SIDS. She said that they believe a lot of the problems with SIDS is that babies don't arouse and that experts have suggested that if babies sleep for too long or too deeply, this may put them at risk. "If parents are in the room, they're responding unnecessarily".

What's important is that parents know the recommendations, and the facts behind those recommendations.

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