HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – A new study calls into question where a baby sleeps and for how long.
The American Academy of Pediatrics tells parents to keep babies in the same room for a year to protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
New research says that may be doing more harm than good.
Katie Nissley is proud of the way her newest baby sleeps. Three-month-old Noelle sleeps in the same room with mom and dad and all three rest comfortably.
“I’m more confident, I’m not constantly checking on her.”
The mother of four said Noelle can sleep for five hours at a time.
“Some of my mom friends I know, they say every little noise wakes them up so they don’t like the babies in the room because they feel like they don’t get more sleep,” Katie said. “I feel the comfort of knowing the baby is okay.”
But a study by the Penn State College of Medicine suggests parents only need to keep babies in the same room for six months.
Researchers found that children older than four months who have their own rooms sleep an extra 45 minutes. Doctors added that children with poor sleep habits are at risk for obesity later in life.
Experts also found by waiting too long, infants begin to experience separation anxiety, which can create negative sleep quality for both babies and parents.
“We like them in our room,” Katie said. “I know some parents don’t but for us, it’s what works best for us.”
Penn State researchers say children who share the same room as their parents could also be at risk for being put in the same bed, which no medical professional recommends.