Ideally, your baby should be sleeping in their crib from the moment they are born. However, there is a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to this topic.
This blog post will answer some common questions about safety and how long you can allow your baby to sleep alone.
Parents need to know what is safe so that they don’t have any regrets later down the road and set up healthy sleep habits right off the bat!
Our exclusive range of baby nursery products will help create the perfect baby nursery for your baby.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
When Is My Baby Ready to Sleep in Their Room?
Deciding where a young baby should sleep will depend on several factors, the most important being your own beliefs and values.
Some families have children sleep in their room for years; others want them in their room from the start, and then there’s everything in between.
If you want to move your baby to his/her room, rest assured that two months is not too young to sleep independently in the crib.
However, he/she is too young to expect that he/she will sleep through the night. If getting up and walking to her room for feedings will make you more tired than you already are, you may want to wait a bit for the big move.
When you decide to transition your little one to his/her room, help him/her prepare for the change by making her room a safe, familiar place.
During your baby’s alert periods, make sure he/she spends some time in her room with you playing and reading. And use his/her bedroom for diapering and bedtime and naptime routines.
You might also want to gradually get him/her used to the crib by starting with naps and then bedtime, which is often the more challenging transition.
With these warm and nurturing experiences, your baby will learn to connect his/her room with cozy, safe feelings.
While most babies cannot sleep through the night without feeding until they are between 4 and 6 months old (ask your pediatrician to be sure), you can help your little one begin learning how to put himself/herself to sleep now.
Because babies are so incredibly adorable and cuddly, we hold them, rock them, feed them, or sing them to sleep.
This is great for both parent and baby since it makes the two of you feel close and bonded. (It also makes it easier for them to fall asleep!)
The problem is that when babies connect these actions with the process of falling asleep when they wake up during the night (as we all do), they need that rocking or singing or feeding to fall back asleep.
So, the secret is to create a loving and to nurture bedtime routine with lots of cuddling, talking, and singing together, but when you put your baby to sleep, you put him/her down awake.
He/She will soon learn how to soothe himself/herself to sleep—a skill he/she’ll use all the rest of her life. And in the short-term, you might even get a little more sleep, too!
When to Move Your Baby to His Room
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should sleep in their parents’ room—but not in the same bed—for at least the first six months of life, ideally for the whole year, to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by as much as 50 per cent.
Precisely why room-sharing dramatically lowers the likelihood of SIDS is still unclear. Still, it’s thought that having other people in the room makes babies sleep more lightly, possibly leading to a reduced risk.
Keeping a baby within mom’s reach also makes it easier to breastfeed, which, in and of itself, has been shown to slash the risk of SIDS by 70 per cent.
Keeping a baby in your bedroom for those first 12 months can also help boost your bond. The parent-child relationship is greatly enhanced by allowing the child to sleep in your room for as long as possible.
A baby learns he can count on you to be there as he adjusts to life outside the womb, he explains and is comforted by the sounds of your breathing.
That said, a year is a long time, and it’s understandable—and okay—if you’re ready to move the baby into her room before then.
Every baby is different, and sometimes pediatricians recommend taking into account what’s best for everybody in the family.
It comes down to what works best for your family dynamic. Babies tend to become more alert and aware of their surroundings after six months so that the process can be more challenging after that age, but it’s by no means impossible.
How to Tell If Baby Is Ready for Her Room
Suppose you want to wait until the 12-month mark before transitioning the baby to the crib; great! But if you’re ready to move the baby before then, keep a few things in mind.
First, check with your pediatrician to ensure the baby is growing well and doesn’t need middle-of-the-night feedings.
Another sign your child may be ready for the move? If she can roll over from her belly to her back.
If the baby can sleep for six hours or more, it’s a great time to consider shipping the baby out.
Even if he’s a great sleeper, consider logistics carefully.
It’s essential to be close to the baby during the night so you can get to him quickly if something seems off.
If your bedroom and baby’s nursery are on the opposite sides of the house, you might want to wait 12 months before moving the baby into his room.
Tips for Moving Baby to His Room
First, it’s essential to set up a baby’s room for safe sleep.
That means having a crib with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet and keeping it completely clear of bumpers, toys and blankets.
You can also have blackout window shades and a white noise machine.
Once everything is in place, start transitioning the baby to the crib by taking naps in the nursery to get him comfortable sleeping in the new space.
Once he gets the hang of that, have a baby sleep in his room overnight.
To help keep an eye on your little one, have a good video baby monitor that allows you to see and hear your child from any point in the house.
Having a sleep routine and sticking to it is essential for a smooth transition.
Go into the room for a diaper change, dim the lights and read a story, then turn the lights off and sing a lullaby while rocking the baby to the point of drowsiness.
Finally, put the baby into the crib slowly and with a smile and leave the room.
These cues are vital in helping the baby know that sleep is coming next and that it will be taking place in this cozy room.
If you’re a little freaked out about your little one sleeping on her own, it’s okay for you to stay in the baby’s room for the first few nights.
But try not to stress about how the baby is doing: moving the baby to her room is often harder on the parents than on the child. Looking for blankets for a baby cot? Look no further. My Baby Nursery has you covered.
How to Sleep Train Your Baby
Start a Regular Routine
The latest research shows that infants can be taught the difference between night and day from the get-go. You simply need to provide the cues that allow this to happen.
Wake your baby up early on day one, and get into the routine of rising at the same time daily. Position their crib near a window and keep the blinds up.
The natural light helps babies organize their circadian rhythms. Letting them nap with the blinds up also promotes this process.
If they wake from a nap in the daylight, they understand it’s time to get up. If they wake at night in the dark, they’ll learn to go back to sleep.
At nighttime, begin some quiet rituals. Decide on a specific bedtime routine. Dress your child in their pyjamas and put them down in their crib for the night with the lights out.
Before tucking them in, read a story or sing a song, which helps your baby’s motor and sensory system slow down.
Practice Makes Perfect
On day two, focus on building the consistent routine you began. If your child still requires nighttime feedings, it’s an excellent time to accentuate the difference between day and night.
Keep night feedings very relaxing, with the lights low. Do everything you can to avoid stimulating your baby.
And during the day, make feedings a time of high activity, when you tickle their feet or sing songs, so they begin to perceive the difference.
Pay careful attention to what soothes your baby in the evening too. A bath may be calming for one child and invigorating for another.
You might also want to try adding white noise. The hum of a fan or air conditioner or a radio set on static works well for many infants.
The good thing about white noise is that you can fade it out over time, once your baby begins to sleep more predictably.”
The Crying Begins
Steel yourself: Day three involves putting your child down in their crib while they’re still awake. It’s the most critical thing you can do.
If they fall asleep at your breast during their bedtime feeding, for example, arouse them enough that their eyes are open when you place them in the crib.
Of course, a little—or a lot—of crying may ensue. But rest assured, it will be tougher on you than on your baby.
Parents naturally find it unbearable to listen to their little one cry, but just keep reminding yourself that the result—sleep!—will benefit the whole family.
Get over the worry that ignoring your baby while they cry will do psychological harm. If you’ve been meeting their every need in other ways, this situation certainly won’t lessen their sense of security.
Nor should you worry about letting a very young baby cry. In fact, the younger the infant, the easier the process will be.
Babies older than 5 or 6 months are naturally going to be more upset because you’ve changed the rules on them.
Sleep training a 3-month-old, on the other hand, is more accessible because they only know the routine that you create. With younger babies, parents always think the crying will go on longer than it usually does.
Infants under five months often last only for 15 or 20 minutes.
If a bedtime battle does ensue, periodically check on your baby and reassure them that you’re there; aim for every five minutes the first night.
But keep your visits brief:
Don’t turn on the light.
- Remove them from the crib.
- Offer them a pacifier or a bottle.
If they fall asleep with one of these crutches, they’ll cry for it again if they wake up or at bedtime tomorrow night.
Tough it Out
Day three was a long one. Expect an improvement on day four. Your baby will remember a little sooner that crying doesn’t produce results.
When they protest, lengthen your response time to every ten minutes. And whatever happens, don’t give in.
If you’re inconsistent, the baby learns to hold out—they’ll just up the ante and cry twice as long tomorrow night.
The Baby Settles In
Most babies get with the program in three to five days, so this could be your lucky night. If your child is still holding their own, lengthen your response time to 15 minutes.
Some babies need the frequent reassurance that you’re checking on them, but others find it a tease.
Checking on the baby is really for the parents’ benefit. If you notice that you’re feeding your child’s reaction every time you go in and you can tolerate staying away, it’s OK to do so.
Just peek at them through a crack in the door instead, so they don’t see you.
The other frequent problem at this point is night feedings. At about 12 pounds or 3 to 4 months, most infants are ready to give them up—but you can’t just stop cold turkey with a younger baby.
You can, however, keep them as brief and quiet as possible:
Cuddle your baby but don’t sing to them.
- Keep the lights out even during diaper changes.
- Settle them in the crib as soon as they’re done.
Don’t fall for the myth that bigger babies wake up because they’re hungry. Heavier babies have less need for night feedings if they weigh more than about 12 pounds, so they’re likely to wake up out of habit.
Bigger babies are sometimes night owls precisely because they’re being overfed. Overfeeding means, they’ll have wet diapers, which makes them wake up again.
Baby Sleeps Through the Night
It sounds like bliss. But chances are you’ll be wandering the halls a little anyway. You may find yourself getting up to check on the baby—but relax.
Dress them in warm PJs, so you don’t need to worry about kicked-off covers, and turn the monitor down so that you hear them only if they’re really in distress.
Now that you’ve made so much progress don’t wreck it by rushing in too quickly. Let your child soothe. You also need to relax so that you can fall asleep!
You Sleep Soundly Too
Give yourself a big pat on the back. Not only have you regained your sleep, but you’ve given your baby a vital gift: Good sleep habits are as critical as good hygiene to a child’s well-being.
Of course, there will be setbacks, such as an illness, a new sibling, or an unfamiliar hotel room.
Even children who are good sleepers will have problems now and then. But fall back on our foolproof plan whenever the need arises.
Your child will respond with even less difficulty the second time around because they already know the drill.
If you try transitioning the baby to the crib and it just doesn’t go well, it’s okay to move the baby back to your room and try again in a month or so.
Don’t get discouraged. Just because you didn’t get it in six months doesn’t mean you won’t get it in seven months.
When it comes to moving the baby to his room, remember that he’s pretty resilient. Check out our range of baby nursery products and furniture for all your baby needs.
Even if we have a few tough nights, your child will learn to love his new sleep space if you give him that opportunity. Having your room back won’t be so bad either.