Are you thinking about moving your baby into their own room and wondering how to do it? Here are some tips for a smooth transition.
First of all, moving your baby into their own room should be your decision and you need to feel comfortable with it. It shouldn’t be done under pressure from well meaning family members, friends or anyone else.
Safe sleep guidelines are for baby to sleep in the same room as you for the first six months of their life to reduce the risk of SIDs. You might want to keep them in even longer – it’s all about making an informed choice and working out what is best for your family.
From around five/six months of age, sleep cycles have matured and you might find that your baby is more aware of his or her surroundings and it is possible that you can disturb each other during the night, perhaps by snoring, noise getting into bed or popping to the loo in the night. If this is the case you may well see improvements in sleep when you move them into their own room.
We advise not to move them during a period of illness or significant changes such as a new sibling (if they are older), or if they are just starting nursery. Do it when you can devote time to your baby and things are feeling balanced at home.
How can you help the transition?
If they are in bedside crib or co-sleeping you might want to first move them into a cot in your room if you have space. Or you can go straight for it! There are no rules to this.
Slept-in bedding can be really helpful, so it smells familiar and feels safe to them. If they’ve not slept in that bedding before you could sleep with it in your bed the night before you put it on. You can also introduce a comforter before you move them so that they have something familiar in with them.
Be brave and confident and stay calm. Keep a consistent bedtime routine, with a series of steps in the same order as usual.
If you have a fairly laid-back child the transition could be really easy. If they fall asleep independently normally, you don’t need to change anything.
If your child is more sensitive to change then you might need to spend some time supporting them – for the most sensitive you could put a mattress next to their cot and sleep with them as they go through the transition. However, so many babies are really adaptable and parents are surprised. See how you get on!
Make sure the environment is consistent and primed for good quality sleep– nice and dark, black out blinds etc. and white noise if you use it.
Keep their cot clear and safe (no cot bumpers etc.)
Keep their room to a safe temperature that supports good quality sleep – the ideal temperature is between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. Baby sleeping bags are really useful to keep baby a comfortable temperature whilst letting them move around freely.
Some babies can be a little unsettled by change, but you can support them through it. Baby will sleep I promise. Do it when you feel ready. Good luck!