Dr. Sarah Mitchell
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When and How To Move Baby to Their Own Room | Dr. Sarah Mitchell

You might be enjoying having your newborn sleeping in a bassinet or a crib in your room.  Or you might be finding it hard to sleep with them being so close to you and hearing every little detail.  You might be thinking about when to move your baby to their own room. 

When and How Should You Move Your Little One Out of Your Room?

The American Academy of Pediatrics would like you to room-share until 6 to 12 months, ideally.  That’s a very long time in the life of a parent.  These guidelines were introduced with the Back to Sleep program to help reduce the incidence of SIDS, and it has worked. 

However, the drawback for many families for having your little one in your room for that long can be interrupted night time sleep. You and your child might not sleep as well while room sharing.  A study by Paul et al. in 2017 showed that babies who slept in their own room at four months slept longer stretches of sleep and had more sleep overall.  This difference was noticeable again at nine months of age.

In addition, many of us new moms are tuned in to every little noise that a little person makes, and we hear everything. So the quality of a parent's sleep is often reduced when the child is still in their room.

When you decide to move your child to their room is a personal decision. We all have different needs, thresholds, and experiences.

If you had a traumatic birth or trouble conceiving, you might want your child closer to you for a longer period than someone else. If it works for you, it works for me!

My personal experience was that I had my first close to me for about four months, and I had four months of terrible sleep interruption.  I heard every little noise that he made!

I transitioned my second at six weeks because I felt much more confident.

When and How do You do This?( Moving baby to own room)

Here are three tips for helping your little one adjust to their own room:

  1. Start spending some time in that room during the day.

Initiate play on the floor with your bub a little bit. It is advisable you do not use the crib for playtime.  You want to send the message that the crib is for sleeping rather than playing, so you only want to be putting them in there when it's time to be sleeping.

  1. Start doing your nap time or your bedtime routine in that room.

Do the routine in the new room, and the put down in our room. This starts to bring an association of sleep with the new room.

  1. Start moving your child farther and farther away from you in your room.

We had a really small house, and I had a bassinet with my son, and each night I would move it two more feet away from me.  At one point, he was sleeping in the hallway, which seems like a bad idea now that I look back.  However, it was just this gradual, methodical approach that helped me manage the anxiety that I had about moving him further away.

Do you have to do these slow steps? 

You don't have to do them.  You could go cold turkey, moving him into his nursery. It depends on the kiddo's age; at less than four months, they probably won't even really notice. It's harder on you as the parent than it is on them.

After four or five months, they may notice their environment, and whether they protest depends on a child's temperament.

Transitioning a baby to crib from a bassinet can be relatively easy for most babies.

How To Tell If Baby Is Ready for The Crib

Most kids tend to start to outgrow a bassinet at around four or five months of age. Some signs will that indicate that they are outgrowing the bassinet are:  

  • Hitting the sides, 
  • They start to get too long and their feet touch the end
  • Most kids can start to roll somewhere around five months, needing more space

If you want to have an independent sleeper, a little person who can put themselves to sleep from awake, not drowsy and sleep through the night, your little ones needs to be able to have control over their body and their positioning, which often includes putting themselves into a favorite position or even rolling onto their stomachs.  If you’re looking for more help on sleep teaching, you can learn more at Helping Babies Sleep School. 


When to move your baby to their own room is a personal decision.  When you’re ready you can do this gradually by moving the bassinet slowly into the nursery and gradually make the switch, or cold turkey but putting them down in the crib in the nursery at night. 

If you're after some quick tips to implement tonight with no tears, you can check out our sleep quiz: six simple questions to help you figure out your child's ideal sleeping times, how much sleep they need, and things you can implement tonight.

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