When most families bring their newborn home from the hospital, they have a crib or Moses basket in mum and dad’s bedroom for the first few weeks, few months and if they are following the current recommendations to reduce the risk of SIDS, the first 6 months. But when it is time to move baby into his own bedroom, what is the best way to do it?
There is no perfect way to make this move, but the chances are, it’s not going to be as bad as most people are expecting. And it will be even easier if you do a little bit of preparation in advance.
The most important thing is to get your baby used to being in their bedroom from as early on as possible. Most f
amilies I meet set up “the nursery” long before their baby arrives, but only really use it for storing clothes and the occasional nappy change. But if one day you are going to expect your baby to sleep peacefully in there, you want them to be as familiar with this room as they are with every other room in your house.
Things to do to make moving your baby to their own room easier:
Set up a changing station in the nursery/their bedroom and do as many changes in there as possible.
Get your baby dressed in the mornings and get them ready for bed in their own bedroom.
If you have space, put a comfy chair in it and do at least one feed a day in there.
Have the cot set up and free of soft toys and junk so that you can lay your baby in it while you are putting clothes away and sorting out baby things. (Believe me, there is a lot of sorting to be done with the constant growing, and changing of clothes sizes!)
Have some low shelves with toys and books on and spend time reading and playing in their bedroom.
And once your baby is a few months old, leave them in the cot while you go off to use the loo or tidy up in a nearby room, making sure that you go back to them every few minutes so that they know you will always come back.
Just doing these few simple things will make your baby familiar with their bedroom, and as all of these things are positive experiences, they will build up positive feelings about the room. As long as nothing negative happens whilst they are in there, there is no reason why they should ever feel scared.
A few weeks before you plan to move your baby out of your room, start doing naps in their room. You can take it gently, and sit with them while they fall asleep for the first few days, and then move to the doorway to make the transition easier.
But most importantly, don’t worry about making the move – your baby will probably be really happy in their own bedroom and they are likely to sleep better when they aren’t being disturbed by you and your partner moving, snoring, farting and going sshhh to each other on and off all night!