Dr. Sarah Mitchell
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Moving Baby to Own Room? 5 Helpful Tips for a Smooth Transition

You might be wondering when is the right time to be moving your baby into her own room?

When to Move Baby to Own Room?

Most parents have their baby sleeping in a crib or bassinet in their room for weeks after birth since your newborn feeds so many times in the night it is often easier.  In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room sharing, not bed sharing until at least 6 months of age and ideally 1 year of age.  This recommendation is to help reduce the incidence of SIDS that peaks around 1-4 months of age.  Personally I think 6 months to 1 year is a really really long time.  I discuss why that is in this article “when can I move my baby out of my room” and quote a research article that discusses how most kids over the age of 4 months old sleep better in their own room. There’s no one way to raise your baby, you have to decide what resonates and works for you and your child.

How to tell if Baby is Ready for her Own Room?

The decision to move your baby out of your room is really more about your frame of mind rather than when your baby is ready. Many parents feel more comfortable having their babies close by in the night. There is no sign that your baby is "ready" to make the move, it's more about when Mom and Dad are ready.

Do Babies Sleep Better in their Own Room?

A study published in 2017 in Pediatrics, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, concluded that "Room-sharing at ages 4 and 9 months is associated with less nighttime sleep in both the short and long-term, reduced sleep consolidation, and unsafe sleep practices previously associated with sleep-related death." Meaning that babies older than 4 months of age had longer stretches of consolidated night time sleep, less wake ups, and an increase in overall amount of sleep, they slept longer. In my experience I find that after 4 months of age when babies are more aware of their surroundings, when they can see their parents they tend to want them more compared to not being able to see them.   For parents who have no choice but to have their children in their room I often advise to try be out of the line of site of their children such as with a fake wall or curtain.


When Should Baby Sleep in Their Own Room?

I'm taking the world "should" out of my vocabulary when it comes to babies and sleep.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  It is all what works for you and your family. That being said if you have a toddler who is in your room and you continue to struggle with night waking, it might be time to consider other sleeping arrangements as your presence may be too stimulating.  Toddlers want what they want!  And sometimes seeing you is more distracting than helpful, but every situation needs to be looked at individually.

You’ve decided it’s time to transition your baby from your room to the nursery. Here are 5 tips to help ease the transition.


  1.  Get your baby used to being in that new room during the day.

Start playing with your baby during awake time on the floor in that room.  I suggest that you don’t use the crib for playtime.  You’ll want to send the message that the crib is for sleeping rather than playing but you do want a positive association with the room your baby is going to sleep in.


  1. Start performing your bedtime or nap time routine in the nursery, but then have your usual put down in the bassinet or crib in your room.


  1. Get your baby used to sleeping farther and farther away from you in your room.  If your bassinet is right beside you, you can move it 3 feet away over a few nights until its as far away as possible from where you sleep.  Get your baby used to sleeping further away from you over the course of 3-6 days. 


  1. Move the bassinet into the nursery and perform the bedtime and nap routines in that room.  Have your baby sleep there.

  2. Move your baby into the new crib at bedtime when the drive to sleep is the greater and continue with all sleep in the crib in the nursery from here on out. 


For babies who go down relatively easily and have few night wakings, these steps aren’t even necessary.  You could go straight to moving to the crib in one night starting at your put down.  

Babies less than 5 months of age don’t really have a great awareness of their environment yet.  They do know when they are in arms and when they are not.   You could probably skip to step 5 quite easily. 

Babies greater than 5 months and older can develop strong preferences to where they want to sleep and are aware of their environments.  This is often the time where I see babies who used to nurse to sleep… start resisting that and waking up as soon as they touch the crib mattress.  It’s these kiddos that you’ll want to make the transition more slowly following the tips above. 

Most parents have their baby sleeping in a crib or bassinet in their room for weeks after birth since your newborn feeds so many times in the night it is often easier.  In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room sharing, not bed sharing until at least 6 months of age and ideally 1 year of age. 

This recommendation is to help reduce the incidence of SIDS that peaks around 1-4 months of age.  Personally I think 6 months to 1 year is a really really long time.  I discuss why that is in this article “when can I move my baby out of my room” and quote a research article that discusses how most kids over the age of 4 months old sleep better in their own room. There’s no one way to raise your baby, you have to decide what resonates and works for you and your child.


Are you still struggling with getting your baby to fall asleep easily and stay asleep? Wondering if your baby is getting enough sleep? 

Come take my personalized sleep quiz where I’ll assess your baby’s age and sleep habits and we’ll find out if your baby is getting enough sleep for her age and some simple tips to help you if you’re struggling with sleeping more with less effort.   


Other blogs you might find helpful:

5 Ways A Wool Sleep Sack Will Help Your Baby Sleep Better

When Can My Baby Sleep Through the Night

5 Tips to Help Set up Your Nursery for Sleep 


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