Moving your little one to his own room can be very stressful for both parents and the baby. Keeping your baby in your bedroom for the first 6 – 12 months reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and it is also an ideal way to build that parent-child bond. Having a baby sleep right next to you is comforting, but at some point, you may be keen to move him into his own bedroom. It’s definitely a big transition, but there are a few steps that will help you make this process as smooth as possible.
Start preparing ahead of time
When you feel you are ready for this important move, start preparing for the change at least one week in advance. Do not decide on the spot you want to transition your baby to his own bedroom right before bedtime because that might cause a lot of sleep challenges. Before you start the process, ensuring that the baby room is set up with an optimal sleep environment is key to make sure you are off to a good start.
Spend time in the room during the day
A key step in this process is to start spending more and more time in his room during the day, so he has the opportunity to familiarise with the environment he will be sleeping in. Creating some fun and happy associations with the room, especially if your baby has not been spending lots of time in the room during the day, will help him discover the new space and associate it with a positive environment.
The earlier you start spending time in his room, having cheerful moments with your baby when he can laugh, giggle and explore the place, the smoother the transition will be.
Start with little naps
Start the transition with naps during the day, so he will gradually get used to the new room when he is not overtired. If your baby sleeps in a Moses basket, you can try to have him sleep in the new room in his basket, so he is still in his familiar sleeping environment. This phased approach will help you and the baby to adjust without having too many changes all at once.
What to expect
You can expect sleep to be a bit rough for the first few nights, so you should continue with playtime in the room to help the baby exploring the space during the day as well and create a positive and happy environment for him. Some babies transition faster than others; some have no issues at all, while others might be a bit fussy at the beginning, depending on their temperament. Every baby is unique; if your baby is very easy-going, he might welcome the change quickly while other babies might require a bit more time to settle in. However, the preparation ahead of time and the cot and room playtime typically make the transition much easier for everyone.