Ideally, babies should stay in their parents' room at night for a full year, according to recommendations released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Sleeping in the same room, but not in the same bed, may reduce babies' risk of SIDS by up to 50 percent, said Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter, a co-author of the AAP guidelines and pediatrics researcher at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey.
"The majority of sleep-related infant deaths occur when babies are sleeping on their stomach, or with soft bedding nearby, or when bed-sharing with their mother, other caregiver or other family members," said Dr. Fern Hauck, a pediatrics researcher at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville who serves on the AAP task force on SIDS.
"Parents need to make sure that everyone taking care of their baby follows the A-B-Cs of safe sleep," Colvin added by email. "Their infant should always be placed to sleep 'A' Alone, with no bed sharing or objects in the sleep area, 'B' on their back, and 'C' in a crib or bassinet only." said senior study author Dr. Jeffrey Colvin, a pediatrics researcher at Children's Mercy Kansas City.