In A Nutshell:
Wondering when to when to move your baby to their own room? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents share a room (not a bed) with their baby for at least the first six months of baby’s life.
Doing so can help decrease the risk of SIDS.
Keep reading to learn more about when to move their baby to their own room and how to do it.
One question every parent asks at some point is when they should move their baby into their own room.
Should you do it on Day One? Is it okay to wait until they are a toddler?
What are the pros and cons of moving a young infant versus an older infant?
Keep reading and find out when to move your baby to their own room
When Should You Move A Baby Into Their Own Room?
Moving your baby out of your room and into their own room often feels like a monumental change. It can be strange to not hear your baby’s little grunts and kicks.
Is there an age that is best to make this transition? In some ways, it is easier to move a young baby than an older baby. But, there are also some downsides to moving a young baby to their own room.
It is typically pretty easy to transition a young baby to a new room. Young babies sometimes don’t even seem to notice the change.
If you move your baby to their own room as an older infant or a toddler, like at 12+ months, the transition can be a bit trickier and take a bit longer.
This is because an older baby will be more aware of the change than a younger baby. Be sure to spend some time just playing with baby in your baby’s new room before you start using it for sleep.
Please note that this does not mean you must transition your baby at a young age. It is just something to keep in mind when making your decision so you can help your baby have as smooth of a transition as possible.
Do Babies Sleep Better in their Own Room?
Until about 3 months, babies tend to sleep through parental noises fairly well. Many babies become more sensitive as they get older, and this can affect their sleep.
If you move your baby to their own room at four+ months, parents often report that everyone seems to sleep better.
Parents sleep better because they don’t hear every single noise and movement that baby makes. Likewise, babies seem to sleep better when they don’t hear their parents come to bed or wake in the morning.
Keep in mind that before 6 months of age, it is very normal for babies to still need feedings at night.
If you do decide to move your baby to their own room before about 6 months old, you’ll may need to get up and go get your baby several times a night for feeding or soothing.
If you are bottle feeding your baby, this doesn’t usually make middle of the night feedings any less convenient since you have to get up and leave your room to prepare a bottle anyway.
But, if you are breastfeeding, moving your baby to their own room can make middle of the night feedings a little more inconvenient.
When Should I Stop Using Bassinet?
Your baby is too big for the bassinet when they outgrow the height or weight limit, or once they reach developmental milestones like rolling over or sitting up.
Many bassinets have a weight limit of 20 pounds, but most babies will hit the physical milestones of rolling over or pushing up on their hands and knees before hitting the weight limit of 20 pounds.
Like everything when it comes to babies, when to move your baby out of the bassinet will depend on your baby as well as your bassinet model.
Once your baby is reaching these developmental milestones, or hitting the age or weight limit set by the bassinet manufacturer, it’s time to transition out.
You can transition your baby to a crib at this point, or put them in a Pack N Play if you want to keep them by your side.
How Long Should A Baby Sleep In the Room With Its Parents?
The most current advice as of early 2023 from the American Academy of Pediatrics is to have your baby sleep in your room for at least 6 months.
They used to advise parents to room-share for 6 to 12 months, but changed their recommendation in 2022.
Like the AAP, the NHS in the UK also advises parents to share a room with their baby for the first 6 months.
Why 6 months?
Research has shown that the risk of SIDS drops pretty dramatically at 6 months of age. It has also shown that room-sharing reduces the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.
Those two pieces of evidence are why the AAP and NHS advise parents not to move their baby into their own room before 6 months of age.
However, it is important to note that the SIDS risk does not increase when babies sleep in their own room before 6 months.
While the SIDS risk drops below the baseline risk if a baby sleeps in a shared room with its parents, it does not increase above the baseline if a baby sleeps in its own room.
Do keep in mind that this is when safe sleep guidelines (alone in bed, on baby’s back, in a crib/bassinet) are followed.
It is also believed that parents will be less likely to co-sleep in particularly risky places like couches and recliners when they share a room with their baby, which is another reason why room-sharing is recommended.
Can You Move Baby to their Own Room at 4 Months?
Keep in mind that the AAP and NHS advice is blanket advice. It is best for most families but cannot account for each family’s unique situation. Sometimes, there may be valid reasons to consider making the change before 6 months.
For some families, the benefits of sleeping in separate rooms before 6 months may outweigh the risks of sleeping in separate rooms.
Sleep is vital for mental and physical health. Sometimes there are situations when the best thing for baby is for mom or dad to get better sleep by sleeping in a separate room.
If you are considering moving your baby to a separate room before 6 months, I suggest having a conversation with your pediatrician and asking their advice based on your particular circumstances.
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