When to Get Your Baby Out of the Nursery

To lower the risk of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises placing a crib, bassinet, portable crib, or play yard in the parent(s)’ bedroom. The majority of sleep-related fatalities in infants occur in the first six months of life, while there is no concrete data to suggest whether it is safe to move a baby to their own room before 12 months.

What does a baby room or nursery look like?

There are necessities and wants when it comes to a baby’s bedroom. A safe place to sleep is at the top of the short list of necessities. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety criteria should be met by any crib, bassinet, portable crib, or play yard that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Let’s now discuss the nice-to-haves. In an ideal world, the nursery would serve as both a sleeping area and a peaceful bedtime ritual, allowing your child to sense when it’s time to go from playing to slumber. Incorporate a space designated for changing diapers and storing little pajamas and sleep sacks to ensure that getting ready for bed is a regular part of your schedule. Also beneficial is a cozy chair for feedings.

Considerations for acoustics and lighting can also help to create a comfortable atmosphere. We love continuous white noise a lot. If your siblings, pets, or neighbors have noisy rooms, you may want to consider getting a noise machine for the nursery.

For pre-sleep feedings and lullabies, a dimly lit bulb is ideal, and black-out drapes or shutters can assist darken the room before bed. During the summer, when the sun is still shining at bedtime, these can facilitate a baby’s sleepbaby’s sleep and help avoid premature awakening.

Can babies sleep in their own room from birth?

The AAP does not advise against it. For the first six months of your baby’s life, they advise you to share a room (but not a bed) with them in order to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Room sharing is not only seen to be safer, but it may also be more practical. It can be simpler to feed, soothe, and tend to your baby through the night if they are near by.

“Room sharing without bed-sharing is protective for the first year of life, and there is no specific evidence for when it might be safe to move an infant to a separate room before 1 year of age. However, the rates of sleep-related deaths are highest in the first 6 months, so room sharing during this vulnerable period is especially important.” (Moon, Carlin, & Hand, 2024) Consult with your pediatrician if you have questions about transitioning your young baby to their own room.

Do babies sleep better in their own room?

Most likely. After the neonatal period, parents’ presence in the room frequently affects their child’s ability to sleep at night. Anecdotally, our room-sharing clients say they sleep less overall and wake up more often at night. Additionally, studies indicate that room sharing is linked to worse sleep consolidation and less total overnight sleep.

Parents’ normal nocturnal sounds, such as coughing, snoring, and shifting, might make their infant wake up (and vice versa). Furthermore, if a child sees, hears, or smells its parents, it may be more difficult for them to go back asleep on their own. Let the cries for their parents begin.

Which age is optimal for transitioning a baby to their own room?

The “optimal age” is determined by your main objective. We suggest transferring an older infant or toddler between 6 and 9 months of age if you want to enhance sleep and reduce the difficulties that may arise.

Individual decisions must be made by parents who wish to act when it is emotionally correct for them to do so. At four months, one caregiver could be content with the transfer, but another might not be until their child is two years old.

After your child turns one, it’s the best time to move them to a new room if your aim is to minimize the chance of sleep-related mortality. Below, you can see our safety-based chart:

Signs your baby is ready for their own room

Sign #1: Your baby’s 6 months or older

It is commonly known that during the first six months of life, sharing a room is safer than either bed sharing or solitary sleeping (when the infant sleeps in a separate room). The AAP advises waiting a little while longer to minimize the risk of sleep-related injury and death, even if it may be tempting to return to your room during the 4-month sleep regression.

Sign #2: Your baby’s waking frequently

To be clear, it’s common for newborns to wake up in the middle of the night for comfort or nursing. Furthermore, studies have revealed that throughout the first year of life, newborns will occasionally wake up during the night, even if they don’t cry out for their parents. Going back to having a separate room from your infant might assist cut down on the number of times your kid wakes up throughout the night (assuming it’s not solely from hunger or discomfort).

Sign #3: Your sleep is suffering

It’s true that parents frequently wake their infant in the middle of the night, but it also works the other way around. Babies can sleep noisily at times! Putting your infant in their own room might help you sleep better if sharing a room is causing you trouble.

Sign #4: You’re expecting a new baby

A new child is on the way? As soon as the baby arrives, you should think about how you will sleep. We advise moving the sibling to their own room as soon as possible if you intend to share a room with the infant alone. This will guarantee that your older child doesn’t feel left out by the new baby and give them time to get used to the new situation.

Sign #5: You’ve decided to sleep train

It is possible to sleep train while sharing a room. But room sharing might provide additional difficulties if you’re trying to sleep train your child for the whole night, rather than just naps or bedtime. Since kids are more likely to yell for their parents when they wake up in the middle of the night when they can see or hear them, we usually find that clients who share a room will move more slowly.

Tips for smoothly transitioning your baby to their own room

Tip #1: Spend time in the new room

Acclimate your infant gradually in advance of the change. For a few days prior to the move, allow the kids to play in the new space for ten to fifteen minutes at different times during the day. If you want your kid to feel secure, keep the mood pleasant. Try reading aloud, playing peek-a-boo, or belting out energetic tunes.

Tip #2: Use established sleep cues

If you share a room, establish a pre-bedtime ritual. Maintaining a regular bedtime ritual might help youngsters feel safe and comfortable by letting them know what to expect—that is, that sleep follows after the routine.

Once you start putting your baby to sleep in their own room, stick to your schedule for bedtime and naps. This can provide your infant a clear indication when it’s time for them to go to sleep in the new room. Even if they’re in a new place, it can assist young children realize that it’s time for bedtime routines.

Tip #3: Set the speed that’s right for your family

It’s okay to start putting your kid in their room for naps, bedtime, and the whole of the night if you’d want to make the switch more quickly. Younger babies usually benefit the most from this.

Infants that are above 8 or 9 months old have a tendency to be more conscious of their environment. Because of this, they could take longer to become used to their new room, which could cause problems sleeping, such as fighting sleep. Then, you may choose to implement the modifications gradually.

If you want a more progressive approach, begin by putting your infant to sleep in the new room for their first nap of the day, then gradually work your way up to all naps. As an alternative, put your infant to bed alone in the new room and have them share it once they wake up for the first time. This is most effective when the infant has a sleeping surface in their own bedroom (like a crib) and another in the parents’ room (like a bassinet or pack and play).

Tip #4: Be patient

It’s possible that your youngster will require some time to get used to the new room. Their age and temperament will determine how soon it happens (some kids adjust more rapidly than others). A younger infant will often adapt to changes in sleep patterns far more quickly than an older youngster who has grown more cognizant of their surroundings.

Transitioning your baby to their own room FAQ

Q: How long does it take to transition a baby to their own room?

A:Whether you want to gently transfer your kid to the new room or place them in it for all sleep times will determine how this turns out. Be prepared for your infant to need anywhere from a few days to a week to get used to each change.

Q: Can a 1-year-old sleep in their own room?

A:Indeed. As long as appropriate sleep practices are observed, it is generally deemed acceptable for a 12-month-old to sleep in their own room.

Q: Can a 6-month-old sleep in their own room?

A:When it comes to your newborn, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises room sharing (not bed sharing) for the first six months of life. Consult your pediatrician if you’re unsure if it’s appropriate for your child.

Q: Can babies sense parents in the room?

A:Infants who have parents in the same room as them could be able to see and hear them at night. According to research, infants may also be able to detect their mother’s aroma in a space.

Q: Do babies sleep better next to mom?

A:It’s hard to determine. A 2017 study discovered that babies who room share with their parents between 4 and 9 months are more likely to have less sleep at night, even though individual newborns may sleep better next to their moms.

The material on this website should not be used in place of medical advice from your physician, pediatrician, or other healthcare provider; rather, it is provided for informative reasons only. A medical expert should be contacted if you have any queries or concerns.

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