Study: Babies get more sleep in separate room

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Where's the best place for babies to sleep? A new study suggests it may not be in mom and dad's bedroom. (KABC)

Where's the best place for babies to sleep? A new study suggests it may not be in mom and dad's bedroom.

Six-month-old Landry Miller sleeps alone in his own room. His mother, MacKenzie Miller of Westchester, believes babies get better rest that way.

"They're not going to sleep as well because they can smell you," said Miller.

Her opinion is in sync with a new Journal Pediatrics report. Researchers found babies between the ages of 4 and 9 months who slept in separate rooms got on average about 45 more minutes of sleep per night.

Dr. Danelle Fisher, Chair of Pediatrics at Providence Saint John's Health Center, said, "This latest study is in support of babies sleeping in their own room after six months."

Fisher said the findings run counter to the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines which suggests waiting until 12 months.

But Fisher says getting your infant settled in his or her own room will provide better sleep for the whole family.

"If the baby is not sleeping well, the parents are not sleeping well," said Fisher.

In addition, researchers found babies who slept in the same room with their parents had four times the odds of moving to the parental bed during the night. Pediatricians said that's an established risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome.

"The problem is, bed-sharing in the beds that we sleep in is unsafe for the baby," said Fisher.

Safe sleeping practices include a crib with a tight-fitted sheet, no blankets, no stuffed animals or bumpers. Experts advise always placing babies on their backs.

Two-month-old Eloise Linares sleeps in a bassinet in her parents' room. So did this study convince her parents to move Eloise out in a few months?

"It's kind of just up to her. We'll see if it works. We won't force it," said John Linares of Westchester.

Researchers say it's important for all new parents to weigh the pros and cons of room-sharing.
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