Doctors always advise parents to sleep in the same room as their babies, as this will reduce the risk of sleep-related deaths, especially sudden infant death syndrome (or better known as SIDS). It also makes diaper change and night feedings easier.
But when should they start sleeping on their own?
Rachel Moon, a SIDS expert at the University of Virginia, recommend sharing the same room for up till a year. While SIDS typically happen in the first 6 months of a baby’s life, there are other benefits for room sharing.
Babies sleep more when they are alone.
However, a research conducted in 2017 found that babies get more sleep when they are in their own rooms. The study, published in research journal Pediatrics, claim that babies who were sleeping in their own rooms when they’re 4 to 9 months got more nighttime sleep than babies the same ages who shared a room with parents.
When they’re 9 months of age, researchers found that babies who had sleep alone since they’re 4 months old slept an average of 40 minutes more than room sharers. However, there were no differences in sleep duration between babies who are 12 months old.
The differences surface again when they are 30 months, with children who sleep in their own rooms earlier on sleeping an average of 45 minutes longer compared to their counterparts.
Sharing a room with your baby interferes with your sleep too.
Parents who want their babies to sleep alone should do so when they’re around 6 months old. If you continue sharing a room with your baby, it will affect your sleep too, says Ian Paul, a pediatrician at Penn State.
This is because normal nocturnal rustlings turn into full-blown wake-ups. You and your baby probably face brief arousals during sleep, but when you are right next to your child, you are more likely to respond to their arousals, which completely wakes you up. Your right will then be awaken by your arousals. This sets up a bad cycle.
However, take the research with a grain of salt, as it is still in the preliminary stage. Do whatever you feel is best, and remember to consult your doctor.
Source: Science News.