Every family’s needs are different, but often, parents who start out sharing bedrooms with their little ones reach a point where they realize the whole family might sleep a little better in separate rooms. Even if it is the right choice for your family, though, moving Baby from your bedroom to his own can come with an adjustment period before the better sleep you were hoping for appears.
Talk it through
Even if Baby’s chattiness is mostly filled with vowel sounds and the odd linked-up-consonant combo, it’s important to get in the habit of talking important decisions through as a family. And where Baby sleeps is a very important decision, since sleep can be worth its metaphorical weight in gold for families that spend their days chasing after active crawlers and daredevil toddle-and-climb-ers. There’s no guarantee that Baby will understand you when you discuss the importance of moving him to his own room, but there’s no guarantee he won’t, either. This way, you’ve both proved your respect for his powers of reason, and reserved the right to say, ‘I told you so.’
One quirk of babies’ sleeping habits that can help with introducing new ideas – or new rooms – to the bedtime routine is that Baby has one, two, or even several, dress-rehearsal bedtimes every day in the form of naps. If he is already familiar with the room as a place for sleeping when the time for the big transition comes around, he will already have a base to build feelings of security in his new environment on top of.
Stick to the routine
Moving Baby into an entirely different room from you to go to sleep at night is a huge change. It can be tempting to try to work different changes into the same transition, like cutting out a night-time nursing session, or cutting down on rocking him to sleep, just so you and he don’t have to go through the adjustment period twice. It isn’t always the way to go, though – you know Baby best, and if you think he will have an easier time adjusting just once to several big changes, it’s worth trying. However, many children find it easier to adjust to a big change if the other parts of their bedtime routine stay the same, so they can draw comfort from the other things they rely on about bed time in the absence of a familiar setting.
Sometimes it’s not just Baby, but his loving parents who have a hard time letting go when it’s time to move him to another room. Just because it was your idea to set the transition in motion, that doesn’t mean it can’t be hard. In this case, there’s nothing wrong with setting up a bit of covert surveillance of Baby’s new quarters. Sure, baby monitors are often used by parents of newborns who weren’t sharing as close of a living space with their parents as you and Baby were, and part of the reason he is moving into his own space is because he is a little bigger than that now, but baby monitors are as much for parents’ peace of mind as they are for babies’ safety. Hearing Baby’s safe, healthy breathing from down the hall can be a great way to ease your own mind enough to help you fall asleep the first few nights that you and Baby are apart.