If you’re anticipating the arrival of a new baby, you’ve likely been doing a LOT of research. Especially with all of the warnings about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), one of the most stressful issues for new parents is making decisions about sleeping arrangements.
One of the most common questions that parents have about sleeping arrangements is: “When can baby sleep in his or her own room?”
If this is a question you have been asking yourself, take heart! Many recent studies have shed a great deal of light on this question:
What the Pros Say: The First 6 Months
Based on studies completed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the safest and healthiest place to keep baby for the first 6 months of life is right in your own room (but in their own bed/crib).
This is in large part because room-sharing has proven to decrease the risk of SIDS by a surprising 50%. There are numerous other benefits to room-sharing for the first 6 months as well:
- Baby feels better: Babies are less stressed when they can hear and feel their parents near them and will tend to fuss less. But, even when they do fuss, you will be able to easily reach over and calm them if they are in a basinet next to your bed rather than in a separate room.
- Baby eats better: It is much easier to breast feed throughout the night when baby sleeps in the same room versus traveling back and forth to a different room multiple times, disrupting sleep.
- Everyone sleeps better: Finally, while some parents worry that sharing their room will mean less sleep and privacy, because of all of the above benefits, babies who share their parents’ room tend to sleep much better and consistently throughout the night, meaning everyone gets more sleep.
Creating Peace of Mind When It’s Time
Room sharing is ideal for the first 6 months of life. But after that, assuming baby is healthy and parents feel ready, you can move them into their own room.
In fact, new studies are recommending not waiting much longer than 6 months, as the baby becomes more aware and will have a harder time transitioning to a new space the older they get.
But this transition can still be stressful on baby and parents alike.
So, to help with the transition and make it as stress free for everyone as possible, here are some quick tips:
- Buy a baby monitor: if you didn’t already get one before baby was born, you definitely want to purchase one when it’s time to move baby to his or her own room. Baby monitors, like the Fredi camera, will not only allow you to see and check on your baby throughout the night whenever he or she moves, but will also allow you to hear and talk back to help soothe them. This will make the transition a little less foreign, since you both will still be able to hear each other.
- Practice the ABCs: even though your baby is older now, you should still continue practicing the ABCs of baby sleep safety to decrease the risk of sides: Alone, on their Back, in a safe C Alone here means no fluffy blankets, stuffed animals or toys that baby could get tangled on or could choke on. Until your little one can roll over and lift him- or herself up independently, you should continue putting them to sleep on their back.
- Create a routine: to help everyone adjust to this new sleeping arrangement, it can be very helpful to create a bed-time routine. This will help your baby learn that it is bed-time and can help get baby relaxed and sleepy so that once you put them down and leave the room, they will be able to go to sleep on their own. Give baby a bath, read a book, sing a song, and “tuck” them in.
They Grow Up So Fast
Even though you may have just brought your new precious little one home, before you know it, they’ll be ready for their own room and growing and changing faster than you can blink.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about preparing your baby room and station, finding the right baby monitors, or just getting helpful advice for all of these changes, we here at Best Baby Station would love to help you out. We’ve got reviews and buyers guides for just about every monitor out there, and lots of advice articles from parents who’ve been there.