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Science Flip Flops And Advises Against Co-Sleeping

Parenting Co-sleeping Baby Health

Ever have a baby that slept so deeply and well, that you had to check in on them frequently to make sure they were breathing? Chances are the child was an independent sleeper. New science has caused sleep recommendations to be reverted back toward sleep autonomy for babies verses co-sleeping, and showed that independent sleepers fare way better than co-sleeping babies when it comes to duration and quality of sleep.


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Babies Sleep Better Independently

First, science recommended co-sleeping with infants as per The American Academy of Pediatrics, who recommended that infant-parent room-sharing was beneficial until age one.

Now, science has flipped-flopped back toward independent sleeping, according to a new study that confirms babies who sleep independently, in their own cribs, sleep better, and longer, than those who co-sleep with Mom and Dad.

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By Comparison Independent Babies Sleep Longer

For this study Moms completed a Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire at 4, 9, 12, and 30 months for their babies. They reported sleep duration and overnight behaviors, and were compared among early independent sleepers (own room less than 4 months), and then later compared with independent sleepers (own room between 4 and 9 months), then compared with room-sharers at 9 months.

The study found that at 4 months, reported overnight sleep duration was similar between groups, but compared with room-sharers, early independent sleepers had better sleep. At 9 months, early independent sleepers slept 40 more minutes nightly than room-sharers and 26 more minutes than later independent sleepers. The longest stretch for early independent sleepers was 100 and 45 minutes more than room-sharers and later independent sleepers, respectively. At 30 months, infants sleeping independently by 9 months slept >45 more minutes nightly than those room-sharing at 9 months.

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Science Shows Co-sleeping Disrupts Baby’s Sleep

In the end the study concluded that room-sharing, or co-sleeping at ages 4 and 9 months is associated with less nighttime sleep in both the short and long-term, reduced sleep consolidation, and unsafe sleep practices previously associated with sleep-related death.