According to a new study, babies sleep less at night and sleep for shorter periods when they sleep in their parents' room after 4 months of age. Without a doubt, sharing a room can facilitate closeness with your baby and works well for many families around the world. It makes it easier to breastfeed and continue breastfeeding, which we know is healthy for both mother and child. And breastfeeding itself reduces the risk of SIDS).
If it works well for your family, there's no reason to stop it. In the long term, sharing a room in childhood does not seem to be associated with any sleep problems or behavior in later childhood. A study of children aged 6, 7 and 8 showed no evidence of problems after sharing a room in childhood and some improvement in prosocial behaviors, although the sample size and effect size were small. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that “babies sleep in the parents' room, near the parents' bed, but on a separate surface (dormitory room).
When your baby can fall asleep and stay asleep on their own, both parents and baby sleep better at night. In that study, babies with separate rooms actually slept longer than babies who shared a room with their parents. However, another problem that has interfered with baby's sleep decision making is that they may be getting conflicting advice from experts about where babies should sleep. Anyone who has shared a room with their baby knows that babies make a lot of noise when they sleep.
Obviously, this is a very complicated decision that has to take into account your baby's health, mental health, and the sleeping places available in your home. For those persistent nighttime problems, see The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (Infants) or The 5-Step System to Improve Sleep for Toddlers (Toddlers). Sarah Mitchell tells Romper in an email that it really depends on parents when, and if, they allow their baby to sleep in their own room. Sleep is one of the areas that changes most often during the first year, and deciding when to put the baby in a crib can be difficult to understand.
This may be because parents and caregivers are more likely to fall into unsafe sleep practices, such as putting the baby in their own bed or falling asleep with the baby during feeding if the baby is in the parent's room rather than in the baby's own room. Remember that babies should not have stuffed animals, blankets or pillows in their sleeping space, so don't give them something with a familiar smell because it's a choking hazard. In my experience, it seems to me that after 4 months of age, when babies are more aware of their environment, when they can see their parents, they tend to want them more than not to be able to see them. It's a simple fact that since breast milk is digested faster than formula milk, breastfed babies tend to eat more often than formula-fed babies.
At 9 months, these babies slept better, not only compared to those who slept in their parents' room, but also those who transitioned to their own room between 4 and 9 months.