A new study is encouraging parents of babies to put them to sleep in their own room, finding they sleep on average of 40 minutes more a night by nine months of age than their counterparts sharing a room with at least one parent.
“We know from prior research that babies experience brief awakenings overnight regardless of where they sleep,” said lead study author Dr. Ian Paul, chief of academic general pediatrics at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine in Hershey.
The findings could be a controversial, though. They fly in the face of latest guidance of the very group doing the study which recommended parents share a room — but not a bed — with their infants for at least the first six months.
“Our research suggests that parents respond to these brief awakenings, which interrupts both parent and child sleep when they are room-sharing, but not as much when the baby is sleeping in a separate room,” Paul told Reuters.
“This could set up a cycle where parents respond to the infant and then the infant grows to expect a parent response in order to get back to sleep.”
The guidelines to keep baby closer were meant to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, which may occur while an infant is sleeping.
But the practice of having babies sleep in their own room might actually be safer. Infants were more than twice as likely to have unsafe objects around them like blankets or pillows that increase the risk of sleep-related deaths, the study found.
The American Academy of Pediatrics got some bad news for parents relying on the television or computer to babysit their kids: two hours of screen time may be too much.
CNN reports that group is tweaking outdated screen time rules in the age of 24/7 digital media – but it won’t be easy.
“It doesn’t make sense to make a blanket statement [of two hours] of screen time anymore,” said Dr. Yolanda Reid Chassiakos, lead author of the “Children and Adolescents and Digital Media Technical Report” and assistant professor at UCLA.
There is nothing cute about the toddler at the table next to you playing with mommy’s cell phone.
Babies under 18 months should be kept from all digital devices, the researcher said. “The TV should not be a babysitter,” she said. “It’s much better to talk to a child or read from a book.”
Children 2 to 5 years of age should be limited to one hour a day and older children should have defined restrictions by their parents on screen time, Chassiakos added.
Babies addicted to opioids – methadone, heroin and oxycodone – have doubled since 2010, according to a story by the News-Press in Fort Myers.
Using newly obtained hospital records, the newspaper found 2,487 Florida newborns showed signs of drug withdrawal or were otherwise affected by exposure to narcotics in 2015.
That is an increase from 1,903 the previous year and 1,336 reported in 2010, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
When babies are born addicted to opiates it is a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome. A recent state report noted that hospital charges for such patients average more than $53,000 – a bill commonly sent to taxpayer-supported Medicaid plans.
Neonatal intensive care unit staff in Southwest Florida commonly see a half dozen babies any given day.
“When I first started, you’d see maybe one occasionally,” said Heather Polland, a supervising nurse in the Golisano NICU. “Now, we could have four, five, six, seven sometimes.”