You probably already know that experts recommend that babies start out sleeping in their parent’s room, but there will eventually come a time when your little one will need to transition to their own room.
If you think your baby is nearing this point, you and your partner are most probably wondering when exactly should a child sleep in their own room, and are there any signs you should look out for?
The exact age at which a baby should move to their own room will vary, but typically babies transition into their own room between the ages of 6 to 12 months.
Some factors to consider include how long they can sleep for in one stretch, the proximity of their bedroom to yours, and how well you and your child are sleeping while room-sharing.
Let’s find out more.
What Age Should A Child Sleep In Their Own Room?
According to experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centres For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children should sleep in the same room as their parents for at least the first 6 months.
Incidentally, this is a big reason why parents often favor bassinets initially, because bassinets are purposefully designed for newborns and very young babies, so given their smaller size they are easier to fit beside your bed compared to a crib.
So why does expert guidance promote room sharing for at least the first half a year?
The reason why experts recommend babies sleep in the same room as their parents for at least the first 6 months is because studies show that co-sharing a room with your child can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
To be more specific, the AAP state they they recommend room sharing because it can decrease the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%, which is a hugely significant reduction.
It’s also worth noting that sharing your bedroom with your child will also make it easier when it comes to feeding, comforting and watching your baby (more on these later).
Can Babies Sleep In Their Own Room From Birth?
As every parent to a newborn will be quick to tell you, caring for a young child can be exhausting, particularly because you’re having to function on less sleep than normal.
You might therefore be thinking about making things a little easier on yourself by having your baby sleep in their own room from birth – but is this advisable?
According to experts you should not let your baby sleep in their own room until they are at least 6 months old, because room sharing will greatly help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old).
Moving Baby To Own Room At 4 Months: Too early?
A lot of parents wonder if 4 months is too early an age for their child to sleep in their own room, but is this a good idea?
This is a tricky one, because researchers have discovered that “early independent sleepers,” which is defined as those who slept in their own room before 4 months, slept longer, and for longer stretches, than babies who slept in their parents’ room.
The research found that at 9 months, these “early independent sleepers” were better sleepers than children who moved to their own room between 4 and 9 months.
However, it worth stating that moving your child to their own room before the 6 month mark goes against expert recommendation, particularly as room sharing can help prevent SIDS and support breastfeeding.
So moving your baby to their own room at 4 months is not a decision you should make lightly, and for piece of mind it’s a good idea to speak to a pediatrician first.
What To Consider When Moving Your Child To Their Own Room
Transitioning when to transition your child into their own room can be difficult because there is no one-size-fits all.
Aside from the AAP’s recommendation of waiting until your child is at least 6 months, some other things to think about include:
1. Is Everyone Getting Enough Sleep?
One of the first things to consider is how well everyone is sleeping, and this works both ways.
You shouldn’t automatically assume a baby will sleep better in your room, and quite often the opposite is true, because just as your baby’s movements and noise can wake you up in the night, what you do can also interfere with your baby’s sleep as well.
So if your baby is over 6 months old and you think the adults, child or all concerned will sleep better if your little one is in their own room, it might be time to consider transitioning.
2. The Length Of Your Baby’s Sleep Stretches
Some babies are able to sleep for 6 hours or more from a very early age, whereas others may only be able to sleep in stretches of 3-4 hours before needing a feed or waking up naturally.
So if you need to regularly wake up two or three times each night to comfort or feed your child, then they’re probably not ready to sleep in their own room.
3. How Far Away Is Your Baby’s Room?
It’s also worth thinking about the logistics involved, particularly how far away your bedroom is from your child’s room.
If your baby’s room is relatively far away from yours, you might struggle to hear them if anything is wrong in the night, even if the doors are open and you or your partner are light sleepers.
The use of a baby monitor might make you more comfortable with the situation, but bear in mind monitors can still interfere with your sleep, which might negate the reason why you’ve transitioned your little one into their own room in the first place.
4. What Is The Effect On You & Your Partner’s Relationship?
Last up, you should consider what impact your sleeping arrangement is having on your relationship with your partner.
Even if you are using white noise you may still need to tiptoe around in the dark to prevent your baby waking up, and this can make it difficult for parents to be intimate, which is something that is important for a strong and healthy relationship.