How Long Should A Baby Sleep In Your Room?

 When you find out you’re pregnant, one of the first things that will cross your mind is creating the nursery. You’ll search Pinterest for the cutest ideas, find all the decor, and make your baby’s new room perfect.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently updated their Safe Sleep Guidelines. Did you know that it’s recommended for baby to sleep in the parents’ room for at least the first six months? So, while you’re setting up the new nursery, keep in mind what might be helpful to have in your room as well for the baby to sleep {safely}.

Why should a newborn sleep in the parent's room?

The most important reason to keep your newborn close by in your room is to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs). The AAP released safe sleep guidelines and has seen a major decrease in infant deaths since the 1990s. This is amazing! We want our babies to be safe while we all sleep. The best place is for them to be nearby. The AAP recommends that your new baby should be sleeping close to the parents’ bed but in their own sleep space. This will lower the risk and ensure your baby is safe while they sleep.

Another reason to keep your baby nearby is for the ease of feeding. Your newborn will need to eat frequently overnight, especially the first month of life. When your baby is in your room, you’re able to meet the needs of your new baby. Once a baby is fed, it’s important to place them back in their own sleep space.

When should the baby move to their own room? 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for babies to sleep in their parents’ room at a minimum of six months to reduce the risk of SIDs. At the same time, you are the parent and are able to make the best decisions for your family. When you decide to move your baby to their own room, it’s important to have a reliable monitor. This will help you monitor your baby and respond to their needs as needed.

Do babies sleep better in their own room?

Babies are all unique and different. There is not one size fits all. Some babies sleep better when they are near their parents and others find comfort in being in their own sleep space.

Being a sleep consultant, I have found that moving a child to their own sleep space provides the space for the baby to sleep well without being interrupted. When I work with families, their baby is typically waking frequently in the night or waking early in the morning. Parents are getting up for the day, alarms are going off, and the household noises are waking the baby. In cases like this, moving a baby to their own room may be a better option, so parents aren’t waking their baby in the early morning hours.

On the other hand, there are babies that find comfort in having their parents nearby. Whatever works for your family  is best!

Can babies sense mom in the room?

Babies are able to sense their mothers nearby. Did you know babies can actually recognize their mother’s scent and their voice? Your baby has been hearing your voice in the womb and is very keen on your scent as well.

When your baby is born, they are able to differentiate your breast milk from another’s. This scent allows them to find the breast, snuggle up against you, and helps aid in the initial bond between you and your baby. Now, if breastfeeding is not an option for your family, your baby is still able to recognize the scent of your skin. This will also help solidify your bond.

While your baby was in utero, they were able to recognize your voice and even differentiate it amongst other noises and sounds. As your baby gets older, they will be able to recognize the mother’s face as well.

All of that to say, your baby can sense Mom in the room.

How do I transition my baby to his own room?

When you’re ready to transition, it is so important to spend a lot of time in your baby’s new room. I always recommend doing bedtime routine and nap time routines in the nursery so your baby is familiar with their room.

Another great way to spend time in their room is to initiate play. Bring their favorite toys into their nursery and just spend quality time together. When your baby recognizes that their nursery is a safe place, they will find comfort in being in their own room.

When you have an older baby or toddler, it is so important to spend a lot of quality time in their room. It will be very difficult if you make the transition overnight without introducing this new space to them beforehand.

With my own children, I had them sleeping in our room but we would always go into their rooms for feedings, reading books, and a simple sleep routine. During the day, I utilized the nursery to change diapers and to play. The nursery was just a part of our everyday routine so when it came time to transition, my babies were able to do so with success!

How do sleep sacks and swaddles help babies sleep better?

A swaddle is recommended for a newborn who is not yet rolling. Swaddles are designed to help regulate your newborns' Moro or “startle” reflex. A swaddle also provides a sense of comfort to your baby by giving them a snug feeling like they were in the womb. There are so many swaddles on the market. It’s best to find one that your newborn is unable to wiggle out of.

 

Shop Dreamland Baby Sleep Sacks & Swaddles

 

Once a baby begins to roll, it’s important to transition out of the swaddle into a transitional swaddle or sleep sack. When you refer to the safe sleep guidelines, you will see that it’s recommended that your baby be placed on their back without any loose items in the bassinet or crib. This means, a baby under the age of one should not have a blanket, pillow, or stuffed animals in their sleep space. So, to keep your baby warm, you can implement a sleep sack, a wearable blanket, that will ensure your baby is warm and cozy while they sleep.

Tips for your baby’s sleep space:

  • Refer to the Safe Sleep Guidelines when creating your baby’s sleep space. This will help keep your baby safe and sound while they sleep.
  • Remember, you know your baby best! If you decide to move your baby into their nursery before the recommended age OR if you decide to keep your baby in your room for longer, it’s okay. You make the best decisions for your family.
  • Seek help when you need it! If you make the transition and your baby regresses in their sleep, need help transitioning to a toddler bed, or just need better sleep in general, let’s connect. Investing in help from a sleep coach is just what you may need! You can see the services and sleep guides we offer here: https://thesleephaus.com/sleep-packages
  • You can also find FREE tips over on instagram @thesleephaus
  • Just remember, it is possible to sleep again and we can help!

Lesley Marbach is a baby and toddler sleep consultant, mama of two, a Kindergarten teacher, and founder of The Sleep Haus. She believes that sleep is vital for the well being of the family. You too can sleep again! Visit her website https://thesleephaus.com/ or find her on Instagram @thesleephaus

 

Dream Weighted Sleep Swaddle, 0-6 months