For eight months, my son slept in our room in a pack n' play. For a while he was sleeping through the night. Then, he started waking up more frequently. Sometimes, he was waking up three times a night. The whole family was exhausted. Thus, we decided to move him into his own room. Here are some tips on how to decide when to put your baby to sleep in his or her own room.
How Well are They Sleeping
I wasn't sure exactly why our son was frequently waking at night. However, I thought perhaps my husband and I were waking him up. From the first night we put him in his own room, he slept so much better. There were fewer distractions and less noise. If your baby is having trouble sleeping in your room, he might need to sleep in his own room.
Your Comfort Level
I have some friends who moved their baby into his or her own room at six weeks. I know others who co-slept with their children until grade school. In the end, it's all about what your family is comfortable with (as long as it is safe). My baby has reflux so he used to choke a lot when he was younger. I liked having him next to me so I could pick him up immediately. The American SIDS Institute recommends keeping the baby's "crib in the parents' room until the infant is at least 6 months of age." Now that he is older, his reflux is improved. If he does wake at night, I give him a chance to go back to sleep. If not, I will go pick him up.
Alone Time for Mom and Dad
On most days, the only time for my husband and I to get some alone time is when the kids go to sleep. When we have the kids in the room, I feel like I have to be so quiet. It's nice to be able to talk, watch television or take a shower without feeling like we are going to wake the baby. Personally, I think it is good for parents to have some alone time.
According to sleep researcher Jodi Mindell, parent-soothing may make your baby dependent on the parent to fall asleep. In fact she says, "if you're rocked to sleep, nursed to sleep, fed to sleep at bedtime, you're going to need that every time you wake up." Other "experts" like Dr. Sears say there are benefits like parent-infant trust associated with being rocked to sleep. Due to his reflux, my son was very fussy at night. He was never calm so I usually ended up by rocking or nursing him to sleep. Eventually I was able to put him down when he was drowsy but awake. He cried a little but went to sleep in about 15 minutes.
I think a good night's sleep is important. At the current moment, having our son sleep in his own room is working out best for our family.
Sharples, Tiffany Advice for Coddling Parents: Put Baby to Bed Alone time.com
31 Ways to Get Your Baby to Sleep and Stay Asleep askdrsears.com
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