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Infants should sleep in own room, not with parents

Infants should sleep in own room, not with parents

Researchers found that "early independent sleepers", babies who slept in their own room before 4 months, slept longer, and for longer stretches, than babies who slept in their parents' room. Total sleep over the night was also greater for the babies who were in their own room.

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 risky for babies. The "early independent sleepers" were the four-month old babies who slept in their own room and constituted 67 percent of the participants.

For more about room-sharing with your baby, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics. The guidelines were issued as an attempt to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which can occur while an infant is sleeping. In 2015, the a year ago 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.

Paul said, "The recommendation beyond 6 months was not based on real data but more on expert opinion".

The study's author did say the study had limitations.

They're cute and they're cuddly, but they should really stay out of your bedroom.

Some experts also believe that moving an infant out of the parents' bedroom sooner could help babies sleep better before they develop separation anxiety, said Paul, chief of academic general pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine.

They are twice as likely to be "fed back to sleep", which can get young children into the habit of needing attention, a bottle or breastfeeding before they can fall asleep again.




The study was actually about obesity prevention, but researchers found that there were differences in bedtime routines.

The device, which retails for $279 with a floor stand, measures babies' sleep behavior throughout the night by observing how they move. Both customs have been linked to sudden infant death, including by suffocation. Risks for SIDS include loose bedding, sleeping in the same bed as parents, sleeping face-down and living at home with a smoker.

Over 3,700 babies died from unexpected, sudden causes in 2015, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accounting for around 92 deaths per 100,000 live births. "That's a known and very established risk factor for SIDS", Paul said.

The researchers also found that infants in this category had higher odds of having an unapproved entity with them in bed such as pillows or blankets vis-à-vis non-room-sharing babies. "In this case the AAP just went a little too far", he says.

The Penn State sample was also "not terribly diverse in terms of socioeconomic or racial diversity", which could cast doubts upon how much this research speaks for the general population, Moon said. Basically, families in this study were overwhelmingly white and wealthier than the average American.

The recommendations of the study titled "Mother-Infant Room-Sharing and Sleep Outcomes in the INSIGHT Study" contradict the suggestions the American Academy of Pediatrics has laid out.

Hauck, who helped draft the pediatrician association's guidelines, cited benefits of room-sharing: Research suggests it reduces the risk of SIDS, helps encourage breast-feeding, and provides "peace of mind for parents as they can keep a closer watch on their baby and be nearby to comfort the baby", she said.

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