To avoid SIDS, infants and parents should share a room, report says

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For at least the first six months of their lives, infants should be sleeping in the same room as their parents, but not the same bed, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The academy recommends children sleep on separate surfaces within the same room, such as a crib, but never on a soft surface, armchair or couch. Optimally, infants should sleep in the same room as parents up to age 1, the organization said.


The aim is to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, known as SIDS, and other forms of infant death that can occur when a baby is sleeping, such as suffocation. These types of death among infants are collectively known as sleep-related infant deaths, or sudden unexpected infant deaths.

“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, member of the Task Force on SIDS and co-author of the report.

These theories include that a baby’s brain may not be developed enough to regulate respiration combined with an environment — such as soft furnishings — that aid asphyxia or nasal obstruction and simply that certain infants may just be more vulnerable due to genetics or physical traits.

The AAP report, launched during the the AAP national conference in San Francisco this week, states that evidence shows parents sharing a room with their infant can reduce the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%

“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 Winter, adding that mothers being near their babies also facilitates breastfeeding, which in itself has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS by 70%.

“Breastfeeding protects against many adverse outcomes,” she said.

How common is SIDS?

There are an estimated 3,500 deaths from SIDS and other sleep-related deaths in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Forty-four percent of these are caused by sudden infant death, with 25% accidental strangulation or suffocation and the rest unknown.

SIDS is defined as deaths that occur during a baby’s first year of life, but they most commonly occur between the age of one month to four months, and90% of SIDS cases happen before a baby is 6 months old — hence the timings for the ruling.

“Babies should share that sleep environment for up to one year, because there is a slight risk of SIDS that persists,” said Winter.

Increased awareness of SIDS due to safe sleep campaigns in the 1990s led to a decline in their number that decade, but rates have since plateaued.

The new recommendations hope to enable this initial decrease to start up again.


  1. Tiffany Hotham

    October 24, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Kyle Lloyd 6 months I guess we should set up the crib in our room now.

  2. Stephanie Scott

    October 25, 2016 at 12:47 am

    I remember waking up every with every little squeak, movement or grunt my little man made in the first few weeks. As crazy as that sounds, I truly did not sleep for a while because I was so afraid of SIDS. I don’t think I would have been comfortable with him not being in the room with us.

  3. Simi Kaur

    October 25, 2016 at 1:15 am


  4. Rhiannon Mills

    October 25, 2016 at 1:35 am

    I know a family whose baby didn’t die because mom heard her stop breathing in the middle of the night. This may not work for everyone but if you can then it’s definitely a good idea!

  5. Lisa Self

    October 25, 2016 at 2:09 am

    I had my children’s cribs set up in my bedroom for first 7-9 months. I just thought you were supposed to according to my mother. I just helped with night feedings and getting to them quicker. Helped get my youngest sleeping through the night at few weeks old, slipping pacifier in before wide awake

  6. Yalda Kia

    October 25, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Sanaz Gh

  7. Yanet Montero Mayeta

    October 25, 2016 at 4:00 am

    I shared room with my daughter until she was 3 months old, because my husband snores like a bear in agony (seriously!) and wake her up every single night! But when I did it, I bought Angel Care breathing alarm and I already had a monitor, so that gave me a HUGE peace of mind. That bip, bip, bip, noise from Angel Care every 1 second, might b anoying for other people but for me was like music to my ears, because I know my princess was ok.

  8. Marisela Rodriguez

    October 25, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Yes duh! More parents should do this if they are able. I don’t know how you could have your newborn in another room without you

  9. Anna Zuk

    October 25, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Dannielle Sparks guess Helen had a point!

  10. Amanda Lee Ross

    October 25, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Raymond Ross

  11. Rachel Elaine Smith

    October 25, 2016 at 11:16 pm


  12. Victoria Lussier

    October 26, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Child must have own room and own bed!!!

  13. Fahima Dayan

    October 26, 2016 at 1:33 am

    Hmmm. Really??!! You don’t say!!

  14. Lee

    December 31, 2016 at 6:59 am

    For an article about baby safety, you really shouldn’t be showing a photo of a crib with bumpers. They are dangerous, and showing this image in this context is irresponsible. Please remove immediately.

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