A new research suggests it is better for babies to sleep in their own room, as they spend more time sleeping if they do not share a room with their parents. Starting with four months of age, infants acquire an average of extra 40 minutes of sleep if they are moved in a room of their own. Also, they are less likely to die during sleep.
Babies are more distracted in their parents’ room
Dr. Ian Paul from Pennsylvania State College of Medicine said that babies wake up briefly during the night all the time, regardless of the room where they sleep. However, if parents see the baby waking up, they respond and thus disrupt both their sleep and the baby’s sleep.
If parents respond to the baby’s awakenings all the time, they would teach him to expect a response any time he wakes up. Therefore, putting him in a separate room allows parents to react only when the baby needs something, and prevents the unnecessary attention the baby receives during the night.
The risk of SIDS is higher in the parents’ room
Parents usually keep babies sleeping in their room to avoid the risk of SIDS. However, if he doesn’t sleep in a crib without soft pillows or bedding, the risk is still present. Usually, they are more likely to spend the night in their parents’ bed, surrounded by blankets or pillows which increase the SIDS risk.
The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies should share a room with their parents at least during the first six months of their lives, and sometimes even up until one year of age. However, given these risks, AAP should revise their guidelines and recommend room-sharing only until the age of four months.
The study did not constitute a controlled experiment which analyzed how the sleeping environment of babies influenced the quality, duration, or safety of their sleep. It was merely observational, and discovered that a single room provides better sleep for infants.
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