New research has found that babies who sleep in separate rooms from their parents take less time to hit the sack and get way more shut eye. They are also less likely to wake up for a feed, and in turn, mum and dad are better rested.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
According to the study’s lead author Dr Jodi Mindell from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, independent sleeping is the best way to ensure both the child and the parents are getting their forty winks.
“There are a number of possible reasons that babies sleep better in their own room,” Mindell explains.
“One main reason is that they are more likely to self-soothe to sleep.”
The study – which was published in the Sleep Medicine journal – analysed questionnaires completed by the parents of 6,236 infants aged between six and 12 months in the US.
However, the findings contradict the advice of the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), which recommends babies be put to bed in the same room as their parents for the first six months of life to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
“Paediatric providers have been struggling with what to tell parents since the release of the AAP recommendations,” Mindell says.
“Once a baby is past the risk of SIDS, by six months of age, parents need to decide what works best for them and their family, which enables everyone in the family to get the sleep they need.”
But the co-author of the APP guidelines, Dr Lori Feldman-Winter, isn’t sold on the method.
“If the only goal is to increase sleep, then the results may be compelling,” she says.
“However, since we don’t know what causes SIDS and evidence supports room sharing as a method to decrease SIDS, giving up some sleep time may be worth it.”