When To Put Baby in Own Room: The Best Time
I understand that we, moms, would like to keep a close watch on our little bundle of joys 24/7 if the odds allow. But we also know that that happening is contrary to reason. We should give each other some time to rest and our babies to grow and learn on their own.
Speaking of on their own, when do you decide to put your baby in his or her own room? Is there a specific time?
Quite frankly, there’s no hard and fast rule about it.
If you ask moms and sleep and baby experts, you’d hear the perpetual “it all depends on your baby.” And it is actually true.
So, maybe, the question should be “it depends on what?”
Now we’re talking!
When to Put Baby in Own Room: The Signs
As I mentioned, there is no specific time, but there is the best time. And you will know it is time when you have seen these signs.
1. Your baby sleeps longer at night.
If you haven’t noticed it yet, during the first few months your baby wakes up very two to three hours to feed. Sometimes, it wakes up to indicate it’s time for a nappy change. Other times, it wakes up for some reason even Einstein wouldn't understand.
After a few more months, usually about four to six months, your little one starts to have a better sleep pattern probably because it has become accustomed to life outside the womb.
In other words…
It would be strenuous for you or your partner if you put your baby in his own room during the first few months. That means you have to wake up every now and then and walk when you should be resting every chance you get.
2. Your baby doesn’t feed often.
As previously mentioned, one of the reasons our little darlings wake up often is that they're hungry. But since they have a small tummy, they can’t feed as much as we want them to so that feeding happens only before going to sleep at night.
Newborn infants should not go more than four hours a night without being fed. If you are breastfeeding, you may find that four hours may be too long because breastmilk is easier to digest.
As they grow and have bigger milk storage in their system, you may find that they feed less at night. That’s when it may be a good time to introduce sleeping in his own room.
3. Your baby can hold a bottle by himself.
For those who are formula feeding or pumping, another sign you can count on is when you little bundle starts to hold the bottle by himself, which starts when he’s about six months old.
When that starts to happen, you may just place the bottle beside him at night, then he can feed himself when hungry.
But, be careful.
Remember that milk—formula or breastmilk—gets spoiled after a certain number of hours, so it’s best that you place it beside him when you know it’s time to feed.
You may set up an alarm for this if you already know your baby’s feeding routine.
If you ticked every single sign on the checklist above, it’s about time for you and your baby to part ways. Only at night, that is.
So here are some tips on how you can prepare you and your baby for this new milestone and how to make sure your baby stays safe alone.
1. Make sure the bed is safe.
Safety, of course, is our top priority. We won’t be able to sleep if we know there are items on the bed that may harm our baby.
So for starters, get a flat and firm mattress. Next, remove all loose items such as pillows, blankets, or anything that may harm your tiny tot.
Then make sure the bed has barriers high enough so your baby can't go over them. Lastly, put the baby down on his back. This will avoid suffocation.
2. Introduce a bedtime routine.
This routine will depend on your little one’s developing personality, but to start off, you can turn off the lights and give your baby soft massages.
Other moms suggest giving a bath, slipping into PJs, and singing a lullaby. There are also those who discourage putting your baby to sleep while holding them because once they get used to it, you have to do it every time before bedtime.
What should you do then?
After making sure they’re in the bedtime clothing, put them in the crib, turn off the lights, then let them sleep by themselves. You can stay in the room until your baby actually falls asleep, but try not to make your presence felt.
3. Use monitors.
Although our babies can cry when they need us, there are times when something unfortunate (knock on wood) may happen.
To make sure you sleep the entire night with a peace of mind, install a video and a baby monitor. The former lets you see and hear what’s going on in your baby’s room; the latter lets you know when there are some alarming changes in your baby’s body.
Video monitors are best attached as close to the crib as possible but make sure the cables do not touch the crib.
Baby monitors are usually fastened to one of your baby’s body parts—the feet commonly. It is hooked to an app that alerts you something may be wrong with your little one. This may be no movement for a suspicious length of time, no or irregular breathing, abnormal temperature, and questionable heart rate to name a few.
4. Keep your doors open.
It is no question that keeping our doors open allows for easy access to our baby’s room. Also, leaving an open door validates what the monitors tell us. If you see and hear crying from these monitors, your ears will confirm the sound via the open door.
There is no specific time when to put your baby in his own room, but there is the best time. And that time is when you’re both ready.
Although it’s worrying at first, both of you need it for your own safety and development. If you think you can’t let go just yet, then you have to teach yourself how to co-sleep safely.
Have a good night!