RESEARCH finds sharing a bedroom with a baby impacts on sleep for both parents and baby.

Researchers say babies lose the ability to soothe themselves and are also at risk of tantrums and childhood obesity.
Infants over 6mths can lose on average 40 minutes of sleep a night.

In a new study published in the journal Paediatrics, researchers led by Dr. Ian Paul, professor of paediatrics and public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, took a close look at the effects that sleeping arrangements have on young children.

They studied 249 pairs of mums and their first-born infants; nurses visited the mums at home when the babies were one, four, six and nine months old, and the mums answered detailed questions about their babies’ sleep habits, like where they slept, how often they woke up at night and their longest stretch of slumber.

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They found that at nine months, babies who had slept in their own rooms before they were four months old slept on average 40 minutes more than babies who were still sleeping in their parents’ room at nine months.

Babies who went to their own rooms after four months slept about 26 minutes more. The effects seemed to last, too.

Even at 2.5 years old, the toddlers who slept with their parents for nearly a year were still sleeping less than those who had been moved to their own room earlier.

“This decision in the first year has potential longer term consequences,” says Paul.

HOWEVER the findings are counter to the recommendations that parents share a room – but not a bed – with their infants for at least six months and preferably until they reach their first birthday. These guidelines are meant to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, which may occur while an infant is sleeping.

While there’s evidence to recommend room-sharing with infants for 3 to 6 months, data simply doesn’t support continuing the practice beyond that age.

While some parents may find this information confusing, doctors can use the new study to give better guidance to room-sharing parents who may be more likely to bring their baby into bed overnight, possibly putting them at risk.

SIDS does recommend to sleep baby in a safe cot in the parents room.

Six ways to sleep baby safely and reduce the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy:

  •  Sleep baby on back
  • Keep head and face uncovered
  • Keep baby smoke free before and after birth
  • Safe sleeping environment night and day
  • Sleep baby in a safe cot in parents’ room
  • Breastfeed baby

Did you have your little one in your room at all? How did you find it?

Share your comments below..

  • follow the guidelines! they are there for a reason and should be paid attention


  • My baby isn’t six months yet, but I feel that my husband, baby and myself sleep more soundly in the same room. As she still feeds while asleep, it means no one has to wake up and move around the house as much.


  • My eldest is 10 and I still get up and check him and wake at every noise. He slept next to me till he was almost 1 but slept right through the night from 3 months. Everyone is different.


  • On one hand they say baby whould sleep in their parents’ room…….then they say that baby and parents both sleep less.


  • Guess it depends on how much room you have in your house as to how you manage a baby’s and other toddler’s sleeping habits.


  • My baby’s cradle was in our room for the first four months. It worked for us.


  • Lol, I can’t exactly remember how I did it with my eldest children, but my youngest has always slept in her own room and is great at self soothing and putting herself at sleep. The first couple of years we always used a baby monitor.


  • My son was in his own room (which was so close to ours they pretty much shared a doorway) from when he was born and he slept through from 10 weeks and was sleeping 14 hours a night at 12 months. The only time he’s ever been a bad sleeper was when we gave up the dummy.


  • My daughter slept in her own room since the first night we came home from hospital. The main bedroom was just across the hall and I had the sound monitor always on. During the first 2 months, when she used to wake up in the middle of the night, I breastfed her in her bedroom and then moved her to our bedroom in a small pram where she spent the last few hours before waking up. Luckily it was just for 2 months, then she started to sleep through the night, so she never disturbed our sleep. I am sure that having a baby in your bedroom constantly doesn’t allow you to rest much.


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