Planning the perfect nursery for your baby, setting up colorful toys, painting up those walls, and installing a homey crib all through pregnancy might be exciting. While all this planning might keep you up at night, things might not exactly go according to plan.
You might be thinking about how happy your baby would be in their new home, but as soon as your newborn enters this world, your bedroom might be the first place they’ll crash right in!
Once your baby is home from the hospital, it’s quite convenient for them to snuggle right into your bed. But it’s not just the baby, room sharing might seem the best option if you’re scared to let your baby out of sight.
But now that your baby is older and you’re planning to move them into their own room, it might cross your mind whether your baby is ready or not. Is it time? How do you make this change a bit easier for your child?
Simply put, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that room sharing is ideal for kids under 6 months of age. Having your baby’s bassinet in the same room, closer to your bed might even calm your anxiety, as it reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by as much as 50%. If you’re not big on bed sharing, attach your baby’s crib to your bed, and let your sweet angel sleep in their own crib. Try to avoid shifting rooms before your baby is 6 months old, it’s best after their 1st birthday.
Let’s dive deep and answer all your questions regarding when to move the baby to their own room, and how to do so. So fasten your seat belt, as you’re in for a long ride!
Can Babies Sleep Alone?
Letting your baby sleep in a separate room might be a big change for you and your little one. All the anxiety might have you wondering if babies can even sleep alone or not.
If your baby is too young, they might need your assistance to fall asleep. The American Academy’s guidelines suggest room sharing till 6 months of age.
Make sure you practice safe sleep practices, to avoid any mishaps. Babies older than a year might be able to sleep in their own room. This might help them develop independent sleeping habits.
Is It Okay For Baby To Sleep Alone From Birth?
Having the bedroom all to yourself might seem like a dream but as pleasing as it sounds, evidence suggests that children under the age of 6 months should not be sleeping in a separate room.
AAP recommends room sharing ideally till 12 months to avoid sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or other sleep-related deaths.
Why Is Room Sharing Endorsed?
Room sharing is surely convenient for mothers who have to breastfeed their baby’s every 3 hours at night. You can keep your kid safe at night, and even if they wake up, you will be there to cater to their needs.
Keep in mind, room sharing but not bed sharing is endorsed, so make sure you move their crib into your room. Parents can let their little ones sleep in their own bed, which could be attached to the parents bed.
From that onwards, you can help your baby learn independent sleeping, by building them their own sleep space, their own room!
Do Babies Sleep Better In A Separate Room?
If your baby is older than 6 months of age, then you might consider shifting them to their own room. As brutal as it may sound, your presence might ruin the good night’s sleep of your little one. Room-sharing might result in more night waking or less nighttime sleep for you and your baby.
Not getting enough sleep might end up affecting your baby’s health in a negative way. We don’t want a fussy baby on our hands, now do we? Getting them their own room might help them sleep longer to fight off the fatigue.
Moreover, this might help you establish good sleep habits, making sure that when your baby steps out of infancy, they’ve got the right attitude.
When Should I Transition My Baby To Their Own Room?
Moving your baby to their own room might be a big decision. It might have you thinking, is your baby ready for this big change or not?
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, it is best to share a room with young babies as long as they are 6 months old. This doesn’t suggest bed sharing but you can connect their crib mattress to your bed.
Recent studies suggest that children can sleep in their own rooms as early as 4 months of age, but make sure the transition is slow. The American Academy’s most powerful evidence rating suggests that room sharing till 6 months is an important part of safe sleep practices, making sure the baby is safe while they’re sleeping.
How Do I Know My Baby Is Ready For Their Own Room?
With that being said, there’s no rule as to when you should move your babies into their own room. If you’re wondering what’s the best age to transition, giving you a number simply won’t do it.
As cliché, as it may sound, it depends on you and your baby. Some babies can easily move out of their parents’ room sooner. It can be as early as 4 months of age, while most babies take 1 year to do so.
Here are some signs that might help you understand if your baby is ready for this big change or asking for it.
Baby Is Old Enough
Transition your baby only if they are older than 6 months of age, doing it while they’re younger increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. You can ideally delay this time till up to 1 year of age, as per AAP’s recommendation.
You might come face to face during this time with the 4-month sleep regression but do not shift your baby because of that. Hold on to room sharing to keep your baby safe around this time.
Most parents shift their babies around 6 to 7 months of age as they grow more familiar with the environment they are sleeping in.
Setting up an ideal sleeping space for your baby around this age might be a good call because it won’t be harder for them to adjust.
Frequent Night Waking
If the tossing and turning on your bed is loud enough for your baby to get up, you might end up finding your little one up at odd hours in the night. It might be your snoring or coughing that might end up stimulating your baby.
And it could be that it’s not you behind those night wakings, but it’s just a sleep regression phase your baby is going through. You might find your baby crying in their sleep as they transition from light sleep to deep sleep.
You might count the number of times you have to get up to feed your baby throughout the night as it might guide you if your baby can sleep on their own, without you having to nurse them for a few hours or so.
Most parents feel comfortable switching if their baby needs less than 1–2-night feedings so that they don’t have to rush into their rooms every 2 hours.
Sleep training during nap routines is a bit easier as compared to sleep training through the whole night. It might require you to make some big changes, such as shifting your baby into their own room.
It might seem difficult to sleep train while sharing rooms, so if you’re planning to sleep train your wee one get ready to set your baby their own sleeping space, out of your room.
Tips To Smoothly Transition Your Baby In Their Own Room3
You’ve made the final decision to shift your baby to their own room, but the question is, how to make this easy for the baby? We’ve laid down some tips and tricks that might help you make this transition smooth for your baby.
Let Them Spend Time In Their Own Room
It is not about the transition only, it’s about the comfort of your child. Let them grow familiar with their own room, by letting them spend most of their daytime in the same room.
Be it just napping throughout the day or practicing those new milestones, letting your baby use their new room for day-to-day activities might ease the transition.
You might start slowly, with just spending 10 to 20 minutes in their new room playing their favorite games with their favorite toys. As your baby’s room grows on them, moving your baby out of the room might be a bit easier.
Continue With A Consistent Bedtime Routine
Setting a solid and consistent bedtime routine is the first rule in the book, so make sure you’re past that even when room sharing.
It might be difficult to follow the same bedtime routine you’ve been following till now, especially if you’re planning to shift into the baby’s room, but it’s better to do so.
Your baby might be able to read the sleep cues as you practice the usual sleep routine, even after they’ve shifted. But be consistent so that your baby knows what to expect in the bedtime routine you’ve planned.
Napping In Their New Sleep Space
Let your little one grow used to their new sleep space, and make sure they sleep in their new room even during daytime naps. You can start off gradually, with initially one nap per day in the new room and then finally to all naps.
Keep Up With Those Sleep Cues
Sleep cues might help your little one get the idea of when it’s time to sleep. Use the established sleep cues that you were already practicing. This will signal your baby that it’s bedtime.
Do Not Rush The Big Change
How quickly you bring about this change depends on you and your family dynamic. Younger babies tend to adapt quickly while older babies take time to adjust to their new space.
As your little one grows older than 8 months, they become more aware of their surroundings. This might make it difficult for them to accept the change.
Be patient with your baby, this big change is not easy for them, so try to be supportive and consistent. Consistency goes a long way! So be patient and keep up with those good sleep habits, and things will turn out the best in no time!
Set A Good Sleep Environment
Good sleeping arrangements equal a good night’s sleep, so make sure the room is perfect for your baby. Use a white noise machine if needed to set the tone right when it’s bedtime. Dim those lights and offer them their pacifier if they need it.
Is There A Risk For SIDS In Babies If They Sleep Separately?
As per The American Academy of Pediatrics protocol, the risk of Sudden Infant Syndrome (SIDS) is increased only if your baby is younger than 6 months. This is a vulnerable time period, and your baby needs surveillance so make sure you share your room with them, without sharing your bed, during this time.
Sharing a room for more than the said months is not backed up by evidence but AAP recommends room sharing for the first 12 months of life.
How To Reduce The Risk Of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?
If you’re planning to shift your baby into their own bedroom but are still worried about the risk of sleep-related deaths, here are some ways you can protect your little one from SIDS.
Make sure the crib mattress is clean and flat and put the baby on their back whenever they are about to sleep. Make sure your baby’s sleep space is free of stuffed animals or even pillows. Ill-fitted sheets or bedding are a big no-no, as they may increase the chance of sleep-related death.
Other healthy practices that might help your baby sleep include, maintaining a smoke-free household and offering breastmilk whenever they ask for it.
Avoid swaddling if your baby is old enough to roll over. If your baby has underlying medical conditions, try consulting a board-certified pediatrician who might help you decide if it’s safe to move your baby into their own room.
How To Decorate Baby’s Room?
With all of that out of the way, it is finally the time you’ve been waiting for! With months of sleepless nights, it’s time to put the baby’s nursery to use! But how to make sure the baby sleeps safely in their own bedroom?
If you’re wondering how to decorate your baby’s room, here are some tips you can ponder over to get an idea of what is fun and safe for your baby.
Before starting fieldwork, make sure to plan out the theme, color schemes, and vibe of your baby’s room. You can make a mood board to set the tone. Look out for inspiration online or through magazines. Make sure you’ve set your budget beforehand.
If you’re planning to paint your baby’s room, try to do it earlier so that you air it out before your little one moves in. It’s good to get furniture that is baby safe. Bedding should be kept low key, and make sure it’s tightly fitted. Keep your baby’s crib free from all toys and pillows.
Use colorful blackout curtains for your baby’s nursery to make sure daytime naps are easier. Get a white noise machine for your baby to help them sleep better at night!
It is common for parents to worry about how to transition their baby into their own space, especially if they feel the child is ready. You might be concerned about your child’s health and the risk of sleep-related death. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents room share till the baby is 6 months of age. After that, you might want to consider moving the baby into their own room.
If you are wondering if your baby is ready for this change, look into how many night feedings they want and whether they are able to sleep independently or not. Make the transition slow by starting off with just one nap per day. You can let your baby spend most of their day playing in their new room so they can grow familiar with the new environment.