Baby's transition from parents room to their own room.
Moving your baby into their own bedroom can feel daunting for some parents! As it can feel another big step from helpless newborn to little person! Many parents just feel they don't want their baby out of their sight!
The current guidelines recommend babies sleep in their parents room for the first six months of their lives, unlike when I had my sons many years ago, we were told to move our little ones out of our rooms within a few weeks of coming home from hospital. But the decision has to be one you are comfortable with!
Are there drawbacks of not moving baby into their own room until six months?
Well one drawback I hear parents say is when they eventually move their six month old out of their room is they are far more aware of their surroundings. So when baby wakes up without you nearby they may cry more in the beginning, sometimes very frequently. One mum told me she was up no less than nine times the first night! Each time the baby monitor screeched into action, instead of just reaching across from her nice warm bed she had to pad down the hall and into baby's room to comfort her! It can feel that moving baby into their own bedroom for a better nights sleep was wishful thinking!
Benefits of having baby in your room:
Many new parents set up baby's crib next to their bed (mums side). So that when baby wakes up mum barely has to get out of bed for night feeds; they wake and they are fed when they want it! This is fine while they are newborn as it makes it much easier to get up in the middle of the night for feeds and nappy changing; but as they grow many will still expect to be fed as soon as they wake and won't settle unless they are fed, which can make sleeping for longer periods of time tricky!
Instead of learning to self soothe and to fall back to sleep on their own, the easiest route to getting your baby back to sleep is often to feed them. We have all been there, particularly when you are sleep deprived!
Babies rapidly grow and by around 10 weeks old many parents find they have started to out-grow their cribs. You start to notice they want to stretch out more and you are squeezing them into their sleeping space.
You also start to become more aware of each snuffle, snore and movement. Whilst many mums find this comforting and reassuring hearing all of these sounds, but it soon starts to hinder a decent nights sleep for all. You find you stumble around in the dark when you go to bed, no matter how quiet you try to be and quite often you wake them up! Then getting them back to sleep can prove challenging, as they can now see mummy or daddy, so it can't possibly be time to lie down and go to sleep! Eventually you get them back to sleep but then any shift of position or a trip to the loo in the night risks another wakening!
Once you have decided to move your baby into their own bedroom I would suggest before you make that transition you get baby used to their new cot in your room first (if you have room) along with any bedtime toys, nightlight or routines, so this will give them continuity and familiarity.
If your baby is still sleeping in their crib or Moses basket when you decide to move rooms then keep them in this until you decide to put them in their big cot.
If your baby is older and is going to sleep in a cot, you may find sleeping with them in their new room may help, as they will have you nearby for the first few nights.
Continuity and being persistent is really important for your baby. If you are prepared for a few nights of broken sleep and getting up frequently then you will have greater success in getting a better nights sleep once they get used to the new environment!
The move may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how long they have been in your room.
Try giving your baby lots of comfort in his new room, then try to resist bringing them back to your bedroom, as this will only confuse them and a baby will then think they are being rewarded with being back in your bed or room if they cry hard enough.
Remember with consistency they will soon be sleeping confidently in their own room, and some babies actually sleep better in their own space.
Karen Langston founder of Parents & Co runs new mum & baby course's in Hertfordshire, offering practical non judgemental advice, tips and solutions on topics such as sleep, weaning, massage etc.......