When should a baby sleep in a crib in his own room?
There’s no doubt in the fact that parents want to keep a constant eye on their newborn and hence prefer that he sleeps in their bedroom rather than alone in a nursery. It is an ideal approach since the baby would always be safe with the parents and it would also help the entire family develop a parent-baby bond. Besides, who wouldn’t love to have their baby right beside them for late night feeding sessions? However, it’s only fair for parents to reclaim their own space after a while. This raises a huge question that when is the perfect time to move the baby in a nursery where he can sleep alone? Or when is it ideal to shift the baby from his bassinet to a crib? Or when should a baby sleep in a crib in his own room?
This argument has been going on for years because every parent has a different perspective and hence acts differently. However, we bring to you the views of experts from around the globe that would help you decide the perfect age of transition from your bedroom to their own nursery. You’ll learn perfectly when should a baby sleep in a crib in his own room.
The best time for transition
The incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome increases significantly if the baby is made to sleep in the same bed as parents or if he’s left alone to survive in a nursery. To reduce its incidence, American Academy of Pediatrics came up with a solution that every newborn should sleep close to their parents but in a separate bassinet or crib. Bed sharing is not recommended in any case. This pattern of sleeping should continue for about six months to one year of age. Only then can a baby be transferred to a crib to sleep alone in a nursery, that too with a baby monitor by his side.
Daniel Ganjian, a pediatrician in California, states that letting the child sleep with you helps strengthen the parent-child relationship during the formative years of a baby’s life. A little movement in the room like sounds of breathing and the presence of mother helps comfort the baby during sleep and thus allows him to sleep peacefully. However, every baby is different and pediatric authorities find it okay if every family wants to take this decision as per their feasibility. As Pam Edwards, certified infant and child sleep consultant once stated that it’s absolutely fair if this decision is based on how the family dynamics function. The average time however is sometime between twelve to fifteen months of age. If you can’t decide which crib is best going to suit your child’s need, then read our post on the Best Baby Cribs 2018.
Signs that your baby is ready for this transition
If you want your baby to reach the 12-month mark to shift him to his nursery, it’s absolutely fair. However, your baby might show signs quite early in childhood that he’s ready for a brand new crib and his own nursery so you don’t have to wonder about when should a baby sleep in a crib in his own room. It’s essential that you notice these signals and make the decision likewise.
If the baby is growing well according to his pediatrician and doesn’t wake up often for midnight feedings. It may indicate that he’s ready for the transition phase.
Wake up during night to see if your baby can roll over his belly from his back. This might show that he can have his own crib now because he’s growing out of his bassinet.
If your baby is completing six hours of sleep in one go without waking up in between. It might be okay to move him in his own nursery and check him at intervals for feeding.
How to shift the baby to his own room?
Change is never easy for any parent and has a great impact on the baby as well. However, measures should always be taken to make this transition as smooth as possible. Here are a few things that you can implement to make this change easy on your baby.
Set up a nursery:
Before you make the transition, it’s important that you set up an entire room for your baby that is equipped with all the necessities. The room should have a crib with a firm mattress and tightly fitted bed sheets. A white noise machine is an optional choice as it may help your baby drift into deep slumber.
Take it slowly:
If you intend to leave your baby in the nursery for a nighttime sleep. No wonder he’s going to get cranky and keep you on toes all night. The best way is to adapt to this approach slowly and gradually. You may start by making him sleep in his crib just for afternoon naps so he can get used to his new surroundings. Once he’s accustomed to this change, you can switch on to the nighttime approach. A video baby monitor would help you keep a constant eye on the actions of your baby throughout night.
Develop a routine:
Scientifically speaking, all individuals have a built-in biological clock that gives them a hint on when it’s time to sleep. You can help set this clock to perfection by carefully timing the sleep of your baby. Set the routine by changing his clothes, reading him a book or singing him a song and then slightly dimming off the lights so the baby knows that it’s sleep time. Having a timely sleep routine would help the baby accept this transition way quickly.
It’s understandable if you’re too cautious to leave your baby alone in his room. You can sleep with him in his nursery for the first few nights to make your baby realize that’s he’s not left alone.
Making this change is often more challenging for the parents than the baby himself. Stay hopeful throughout the entire process. There’s no need to be disappointed if your baby does not accept the change. You can always try a few months later to see if the results improve.
The final word on the matter
Every baby has a different personality. Hence there’s no strict rule as to what’s the perfect time for a baby to be sleeping independently. However, if everything is planned smoothly, one year of age would be the perfect time for transition of an average baby. However, you always have the liberty to customize the schedule as per your convenience.