New study sparks confusion on the best place for newborns to sle - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New study sparks confusion on the best place for newborns to sleep

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Infant sleep death is a serious and under-reported problem in Louisville this year, and a new study suggest newborns may rest best in their own room.

The report released this week from the Penn State College of Medicine sparked conversation and confusion on safe sleep practices.

Researchers found at four months, infants who slept independently averaged 45-minute-longer stretches of continuous sleep than those who shared a room with their parents. 

At nine months, the gap widened to stretches of one hour and 40 minutes.

Those babies who shared a room were also more likely to fall into dangerous sleep practices than those who shared a bed with mom and dad.

We took the latest sleep information to the minnows swim class (four months to 12 months) at the Louisville All about Kids location off Blankenbaker Drive. 

"It seems like every year they come out with a new study," said Jackie Rosati, mother of 6-month-old Vivian.

Rosati, a mother of three, sleeps with her newborn in a bassinet at her bedside. 

"It's confusing, but I think it's to each its own," said Kim Mills, mother of 9-month-old Reese. "If you are comfortable, then you do it. If not, then you keep your baby in your room longer."

Mills transitioned baby Reese into her own room at two-months-old. 

Mills and many other mothers found the latest baby sleep report confusing, because in some ways it conflicts with a recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP recommended keeping babies in the room with their parents through the first year to combat Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. 

"Sleep-associated deaths are on the rise in our city and in our state, and it's a very serious problem," said Dr. Erin Frazier, a pediatrician.

Frazier serves as the medical director for Norton Children's Prevention and Wellness. She supports the AAP approach of room sharing but cautions where an infant sleeps is less important than how they sleep. 

"Whether they are in your room for six months or 12 months, they must absolutely be in their own sleep space alone on their backs at all times," Frazier said. 

Norton Children's Hospital says the city is losing at least one infant a month in a sleep-related death. Frazier said she lost a patient just three weeks ago.

"More information and study needs to be done on this topic," she said. 

The Penn State report followed a sample of 279 mothers and their babies after birth.

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