While we know it’s better to start younger rather than older, getting your child used to sleeping in a different room can always be tricky. When they’re small, it’s best that parents and baby sleep in the same room to help with those nighttime feeds – and it’s recommended that the baby should sleep in with you for the first six months for safety reasons. But after that time, a slow process of introducing them to their new room can begin. It can be done earlier or later, but research shows the later you leave it, the harder it is for baby to get used to a new sleeping environment.
Having said that, it’s every parent’s choice if and when they move their baby into a separate sleep room. Those first few months can fly by, and we want to hold onto our babies for as long as possible! But if you’re thinking that it might be time to try a new bedtime routine, here’s some information to keep in mind!
A familiar place
Make sure your baby recognises the place in which they will eventually be sleeping. Have some playtime and relaxation time in the new bedroom so they can get used to all the different sights, sounds, and smells of the place!
Ease them into it
Try using their new room for a daytime nap before trying the bedtime routine. The more time they spend relaxing and winding down in their new room with mum and dad the better.
Avoid the move during teething
Try to avoid making this transition with your child when they’re ill or going through some tough teething times. If your baby is out of sorts, chances are they’ll be sleeping restlessly and will need to have mum and dad near for comfort. Wait until their ailments have subsided, then don’t be afraid to take the time to repeat the familiarisation process if needed. No need to rush.
Sense of smell
Leaving something with mum’s scent in the baby’s cot can help to comfort them when they’re getting used to sleeping without you. One of mum’s t-shirts, or their blanket after some time against mum’s body in the cot with them can reassure your baby that you’re nearby.
From bassinet to cot
If you’re transitioning your baby from a bassinet (or moses basket) to a cot, try putting them in the cot in your bedroom first. Then when they’re used to the new and spacious cot, you can move it back into their new room, and begin the transition process in there. This way they’re tackling one change at a time.
Originally posted 2017-02-23 11:54:30.