“Read me a story, tuck me in tight, tell me you love me and kiss me goodnight”
I decided to wait until we returned from holiday, before I started anything and to aim to have him in his room, by around 6 months. Although I wasn’t going to rush things, I wanted to give him the time to get used to things.
The NHS recommends baby should sleep in the same room as you, both day and night, to begin with. But that parents of babies aged 6 to 12 months, who sleep in a separate room, have better sleep outcomes like sleep times and duration (NHS, 2017).
Thomas is now just over 6 months old, and has successfully been sleeping in his own room for around 2 weeks. The move was seamless, so I thought I would share with you how we went about it. Below is my top tips, for getting your baby settled in their own room.
1. Preparing your babies room
I loved preparing little mans nursery. It was practically done by the time he was born, I spent a lot of my nesting time in there. We wanted the room to feel cosy and safe, going for an Elmer the elephant theme. We just had some practical bits to finalise, before we started the transition.
Thomas had quite a traumatic start in life, you can read more about this in my birth story. This resulted in me being quite anxious about Thomas’ breathing. I couldn’t settle if I couldn’t hear him breathing, as I worried he would stop. We wanted to make sure that when Thomas was in his own room, we could continue to monitor him, keeping an eye on him, without popping in every five minutes. We set up a baby video camera, but decided we wanted to make use of new technology, getting a breathing monitor.
We decided on the BabySense Movement monitor, to put our minds at ease. The monitor constantly checks babies micro-movements (such as the movement of breathing) and if there isn’t any for 20 seconds, an alarm and red light flashes. The monitor has been great at providing us with reassurance.
We first used it when we went on holiday (it travels really well) and I was anxious about Thomas sleeping in a full sized cot for the first time. You can tell the monitor works, because it you forget to turn it off, when picking up baby and it cant sense the movement, it alarms. It’s very simple to turn off though.
2. Make sure baby is familiar with their room
Since quite early on, we would take Thomas into his room in the mornings and lay him in his cot, under his mobile (which he absolutely loves!) We also changed his nappy during the night, on his changing table. This meant Thomas was very comfortable in the room, as he was used to being in there.
I decided to build up to leaving Thomas on his own for the night, by starting with naps. I would take Thomas for an afternoon nap in his cot. I stayed in the room while he slept, sitting on the feeding chair. I gradually built up the time he spent in the room on his own. Popping in and out while doing bits around the house. He didn’t seem fased at all about being left in there.
3. Don’t make the change, while other important changes are happening
Babies grow and change so fast! But we decided it wasn’t a good idea to start something new while Thomas was going through lots of changes. It’s best not to make the move while their poorly or teething, as they are more likely to want to be with you and not deal with the change as well.
We decided to wait until after our holiday to move him, they way there wouldn’t have been any disruption or confusion.
This is the hard bit, once you’ve made the move, it will actually be easier in the long run to remain consistent. Thomas still wakes twice in the night for feeding. On one particular night, he didn’t sleep very well and kept waking. We still had the next to me set up in our room and I thought it would be easier just to have him back in with us. But I had to remind myself, he now sleeps in his room, not with us and is usually perfectly happy. I didn’t want to confuse him just to make my life easier, so I went into him, to settle and soothe.
5. Be Brave!
I actually think this was harder for me than Thomas. I got really emotional that my little baby was growing up so fast! Plus, I just liked being able to look over at him. But I didn’t want to put that on him, so he would be anxious, I had to be brave.
Its actually been really good for all of us. Thomas wakes twice in the night and myself and husband take it in turns. When he was in with us, it was inevitable that we would wake up, even when it wasnt our feed. Now we go through and feed Thomas in his room, the other person can sleep through.
Thomas also isn’t woken up by us going to bed or my husband getting up for work in the morning.
Good luck if your moving your little one into their own room, I would love to hear how it goes.
If you’ve already moved baby, I would love to hear any tips you have, in the comments section below.
Check out my Instagram, where I’m most active – @mummymitchell18
We were incredibly lucky to be gifted our BabySense Movement Monitor, to test and review. I would like to say a big thank you to the team, for helping to put our minds at ease and keep our little man safe.