When do babies need their own rooms?

It’s fairly well-known that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sharing a room with newborns for a few months after bringing them home from the hospital. What’s less clear is when this period of room-sharing should end. The main reason it’s unclear when babies should move out of their parents’ rooms is that, technically, if the question is when Baby needs their own room, the answer is ‘never.’

There may be a time when it would be better for Baby to move to another room, but when that is varies from baby to baby. The AAP’s recommendation says that parents should share a room with their baby for anywhere between the first 6 and first 12 months. Parents who feel it’s a better choice for their family’s sleep, though, can stop earlier than that and get many of the same benefits of room-sharing by using a baby monitor to monitor their children’s breathing, and having their room be close and easy to reach.

All families have different levels of comfort with physical closeness, and sleep is both hard to come by when babies are young, and important for keeping households running smoothly. This often means that what babies need is defined by what will be the best for the family’s sleep as a whole. What is good for the family as a whole, though, might mean closeness, or might mean getting some space. In the end, the most important factor in deciding when to move Baby to their own room is when you and they are ready for that.

Signs Baby might be ready for a change of scenery:

  • Baby is getting too big for bassinet, moses basket, crib or co-sleeper they're been sleeping in.
  • They keep you awake at night – even when they are sleeping, and you should be able to sleep with them. The other side of this is if you suspect that your restless sleeping habits might be keeping Baby awake, that might be a good reason to move them, too.
  • You feel like ‘it’s time’ – it’s not a very scientific reason, but part of parenting is learning when to trust your instincts. If you feel like it’s time for Baby to move into their space, it really might be.
  • Night-weaning – whether you start weaning Baby away from nighttime feedings so that you can move them to their own room, or if their night-weaning feels like a sign that they are ready to move, whether or not Baby is still waking up during the night to eat is often a factor in where they should sleep.
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