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SIDS recommends that parents’ share a room (but not a bed) with infants for the first 6  to 12 months. This reduces the risk of SIDS. But not everyone seems to agree!

Quite often the guidelines change, and there seems to be a grey area around this info.

According to reports, Ian Paul, lead author of a study published in American Pediatrics, claims that 4 months is actually the best age.

He and his team analysed data from 230 participating families where half of the mums were encouraged to consider moving the crib when their baby turned 3 months old, and the other half received intensive advice on reducing SIDS risk from nurses who visited the home and provided specific feedback on improving the safety of the sleep environment.

What they discovered was that more than half the infants were sleeping in their own room by 4 months old, and just over a quarter were sleeping independently between 4 and 9 months.

What’s more, infants who slept in their own rooms after 4 months slept longer. For example, 9-month-old infants who shared a room slept an average of 9.75 hours per night, while those who began sleeping alone at 4 months slept 10.5 hours.

“One of the reasons we wanted to explore this is that the evidence is really weak for 6 to 12 months,” Paul said about the AAP’s guidelines. “I think in [the Academy’s] strong desire to prevent every single case of SIDS, they have looked at the data with a biased perspective.”

Paul argues that continuing to encourage parents to keep children in their room until 1 year old may be counterproductive, because that is the same age when separation anxiety peaks.

“There are so many other factors in child and parent health that are consequences of this decision. That’s the worst time to make a change from a developmental perspective,” he said.

SIDS recommends

1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side.

2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered.

3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after.

4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day.

5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult care-giver for the first six to twelve months.

6. Breastfeed baby if you can.

More info on SIDS recommendations here.

Share your comments below

  • We moved our son into his own room when he was 9 months old because he was waking every time we moved at all. Our 6 month old is in our room, mostly in our bed, and when she is ready we will have to move her. Her bedroom is too far away for my liking so I would prefer it if she stayed with us for a lot longer. Have to just follow her lead though.

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  • Advise is always changing. It must be hard for young mums and dads nowadays to keep abreast of things !

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  • Guidelines and information does indeed get updated and it is so important to keep abreast of the most current information and also seek the support of professionals.

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  • SIDS recommendations seem pretty wise to me.

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  • My boys never slept in our room but as the house is so small we set them up in our loungeroom, which is just outside our door, until they were old enough to sleep in their own room. SIDS was never talked about in those days.

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  • It’s not uncommon for a SIDS problem to occur during the day, and no one can be 24/7 awake with the child. Can understand the problems if you have had a SIDS death, but we all have to live our own lives sometime. I just managed to save my baby and it was mid-morning when she stopped breathing.

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  • I suppose our mothers did things differently and we turned out ok

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  • I think SIDS recommendations are based on research and long-term study and I was happy to base my decisions on those.

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  • I worked with an Ambulance Volunteer. He was upset as he had been out to a SIDS case the night before. He told us that each one he had been to the baby had a strong ammonia smell, usually from a wet nappy.

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  • I think it is all dependent on the baby. My first was a premmie baby and a horrible sleeper. To be fair she suffered silent reflux, so that didn’t help. As such, we co room slept until she was 22 months (a month after she finally started to sleep through) so I could quickly resettle her for us all to sleep better. My second, no reflux and she consistently sleeps better from birth than my first did. She may leave our room sooner than our first did, but probably wont be in the first year still.

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  • My youngest has been in her own room (of course with baby monitors) since the day she came home from hospital. She has been the best sleeper of all. With my others I co-slept.

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  • my youngest has just moved into the room with his brother because he is a horrible sleeper, he is 3 next month and still both are bad sleepers

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  • We’ve always co slept with all our bubs. As much as I’d love my own space to stretch out and sleep babies literally spend their entire development in pregnancy with mum. Always being “held”, hearing your voice and being warm, imagine how distressing it would be to go from so much contact and comfort to none during sleep? Once I looked at it from that perspective a little lost sleep on my part is nothing. I’m always careful to make sure babies are safe and can breathe easily during sleep.

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  • My son was in his own room from the first night we came home from hospital. But it was a tiny house and he was in the room next to ours. He was sleeping through the night at 10 weeks and sleeping 13 hours straight at 6 months. The first year was so easy. I miss that.

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  • I breastfeed and safely co-sleep. I wouldn’t move my child out of our room just for an extra .75 of sleep.

    Reply

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