According to a new report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents sharing a room with a new born baby is beneficial to the baby’s health. As much fun as decorating a baby’s room can be, new parents might want to hold off on that for a while. For the first six months of the baby’s life, parents and the baby should sleep in the same room. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend sleeping in the same bed. Research shows that having parents nearby leads to better sleep for the baby. Also, it lowers the chances of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
Pediatricians Recommend Sharing a Room
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep on a separate surface that is within the same room, like a crib. Children should never sleep on a soft surface, like an armchair or a sofa. The optimal age for moving a child into their own room is one year old. Infants should benefit from about twelve months of sharing the same bedroom with their parents.
These guidelines would reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Also, they would reduce the chances of other forms of infant death that can happen when the baby is asleep, such as suffocation. Specialists call these deaths among infants sleep-related infant deaths.
Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter is a member of the Task Force on SIDS. She co-authored the report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“The whole phenomenon of SIDS implies that we don’t know 100% what is responsible for the death, but we have theories,”
said Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter.
Lowering the Chances for SIDS
The theories about SIDS range from brain development to genetic traits. One possibility is that the infant’s brain is not developed enough to regulate breathing in an environment that can aid asphyxia. Soft furnishings in the baby’s crib can lead to nasal obstruction. The baby’s brain simply cannot process the information to regulate the baby’s breathing. Another possibility is that some babies are more vulnerable to SIDS. That could be due to genetic traits. It could also be due to certain physical traits.
But the good news is that something as simple as sharing a room with your baby can reduce the risk of SIDS. The Report from the American Academy of Pediatrics says that risk of SIDS goes down by as much as 50% when an infant sleeps in the same room as his or her parents.
“A baby that is within reach of their mother may have more comfort, or physical stimulation form being in an environment with another person,”
said Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter.
Having the baby close to the mother benefits the baby in more ways that one. With the baby closer it is easier for the mother to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is beneficial to the baby’s development and immune system. But it can also lower the chances of SIDS. According to research, breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS by 70%. According to Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter, breastfeeding protects babies from many adverse outcomes. SIDS is just one of them.
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