3

At what age should my child sleep in his or her own room to greatest decrease the risk of SIDS?

It sounds like the risk for SIDS is greatest at age 2-3 months or 2-4 months, and that it is no longer classified as SIDS if the baby is 1 year old. So would the answer be after the first birthday, or second best, at 5 months or any later time?

The child is not known to be at greater risk for SIDS.

Please note that the parents do have a video baby monitor.

EDIT: I see why my question was ambiguous. I realize that moving the child to his/her own room does not seem to decrease the risk of SIDS. But if the chance of SIDS is reduced by having the child in the same room as the parents, when can I most safely move my child to his/her own room? I realize that this is likely a statistical probability question.

  • 3
    I dont think it has anything to do with what room they're in so much as the conditions of their sleeping area. If you put them on a huge squishy pillow they might suffocate no matter what room they're in. – Kai Qing Feb 28 '15 at 0:04
  • 1
    @KaiQing, that's incorrect, in fact sharing the room with a caregiver is very important. "Room sharing — keeping the baby's sleep area in the same room where you or others sleep — reduces the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death." (nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/sids/conditioninfo/pages/… ). See also lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep , lullabytrust.org.uk/document.doc?id=300 , isisonline.org.uk/where_babies_sleep/room-sharing – A E Mar 1 '15 at 20:27
  • Also "Room-sharing without bedsharing is recommended — There is evidence that this arrangement decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%" SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment, American Academy of Paediatrics Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome 2011 – A E Mar 1 '15 at 20:32
  • @AE: And yet there are meta-studies that question the "room-sharing but not bed-sharing" findings... (Sorry, don't have it at hand, hence no link. But I'm not disagreeing with your comments.) I'm afraid that this it going to be an ongoing discussion for the next decades. What I found with my children, is that all scientific recommendations aside, they decided how and where they would sleep. – Stephie Mar 2 '15 at 8:54
  • Hoppe, could you perhaps clarify a bit what your question targets? Shortest answer: you don't need to move a child out of the bedroom ever, if everyone involved agrees with these sleeping arrangements. – Stephie Mar 2 '15 at 8:57
6

This answer might be a bit might "longish" because this question can't be answered with a simple date...

On SIDS in general:

First things first: SIDS has been a subject of extensive research, but there is still no "final" answer what causes it. Statisticians have gone wild on potential risk factors, determining an entire list of what increases the risk of SIDS. I'm not going to repeat this here, there is plenty of material available online.

You are correct in your assumption that young babies should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents, A E has given a bunch of useful links in his comments above, so I won't repeat this here either.

In theory, your otherwise healty, breastfead baby is at minimal risk if:

  • He/She sleeps on his back in a sleeping bag
  • He/She sleeps on a rather hard mattress in his/her own cot
  • His/Her bed does not have cushioning, fluffy blankets or stuffed toys
  • The parent is non-smoking

Note: No time frame given for this risk-reducing factors.

So far, so good. Should your baby agree on these terms, congratulations. Mine didn't.


This is how it went for us:

As a first parent, I meticulously placed my baby on its back in the crib / stroller /... - where he would either not fall asleep or wake up really soon. He slept fine on his stomach or on his side. With hindsight, I could have realized sooner that both parents prefer to sleep that way, too... Was the same with child 2.

Also, child 1 slept almost exclusively with body contact, from day 1 on in hospital (after 53 hours of labour and a C-Section, no less), so not co-sleeping simply didn't work for us.

Was I worried? Sure I was. Especially as a first parent one is inclined to follow each and every advice and to do everything by the book. What calmed me was that the absolute risk for SIDS is not terribly high for healthy babies and that we did what we could to avoid the risk factors our babies agreed upon too - no overheating, no smoking parents, breastfeeding,...


Some practical advice on co-sleeping or sharing a bedroom

You ask when you should move your baby to his own bedroom to decrease the risk of SIDS.
The answer:
There is no reason to move your child out of the parents bedroom to reduce the risk of SIDS.

You could argue that the risk of SIDS is the highest between 2-4 or 2-6 months and is only minimal after the first year. So you might conclude that sharing the bedroom is not necessary any longer (with regard to SIDS-risks) after 6 months or a year. There are other reasons why you might want to continue these sleeping arrangements, but discussing them here would be definitively off-topic.

But I can understand the wish of having your bedroom to yourselves again. You are not only parents, but a couple, right? This has been discussed here, for example. One word of advice: Bedroom activities need not be restricted to a bedroom...

2

I did some pretty extensive research on SIDS when a colleague told us that used mattresses were shown to cause SIDS -- even going so far as to download read original research on the subject (by the way, used-mattresses DO NOT contribute to SIDS, well proven).

The main thing I learned is that SIDS is poorly understood, and that cultural and econmic factors seem to be driving forces, although what cultural factors are relevant isn't well understood.

This is just my opinion, but I don't think SIDS should be a factor in deciding when to put your kid in her own room. I think the relevant factors are your comfort and the child's well being.

As a parent of a 15 month old who still sleeps in our room I have the following observations:

  1. When my son wakes up at night, having in his own bed (neigboring ours) means I or my wife can give him our hand and about 90% of the time he just goes immediately back to sleep, comforted that we're there. This means he disturbs our sleep less than he would in another room.
  2. I can't give any compelling evidence for this, but I am 100% convinced that he's happier and more well adjusted this way. It absolutely feels right.
  3. Our current plan is to put him in his own room when he a) can verbally indicate that he likes the idea, and/or he can walk to our room if he needs us for some reason.

The only real downside is our sex-life is a bit more a pain. Generally we have sex in the guest room with the baby monitor on.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.