The baby shares his mother and father’s bed after his birth because of his need for his mother, facilitates breastfeeding, changes nappies and soothes him at night, but after a while the mother has to separate the child to his own room and break this bond, to teach him to sleep independently, and because the parent’s sleep is affected by the child sharing their room.
To make this transition easy for the child and the parents, it will help you to know the best time to separate the child from his room, and what experts recommend to make this stage smoother.
Better sleep for parents
Studies show that mothers who sleep apart from their children get better rest than others, and fathers are of course also affected by their children sleeping with them.
A study published by the American Psychological Association found that mothers who moved their children to separate rooms at age 6 months slept better than those who did not, and mothers who slept next to their children have reported that their children wake more often during the night. .
But on the other hand, there are some advantages for the mother when her child sleeps in the same room, and Christine Tully, a doctor and researcher at the Carolina International Breastfeeding Institute, explained to the American New York Times that these advantages include ability for the mother to breastfeed baby easier, greater awareness of the baby’s needs.
Regarding the appropriate timing to separate the child from his parents’ room, the American Academy of Pediatrics said that parents should wait until the child’s age ranges from at least 6 months to one year old.
The academy recommended it to reduce the risk of the child suffocating or developing sudden infant death syndrome, which is a sudden, unexpected death without an apparent medical cause that affects babies before they are one year old.
“A healthy baby who is gaining weight well can be transferred at 6 months of age, if it is done safely,” said Dr. Sujay Kansagra, director of the Pediatric Sleep Medicine Program at Duke University School of Medicine, said.
From this it can be deduced that the minimum age for transferring a baby to a separate room is 6 months, and to make the appropriate decision for each family, the safety of the child must be taken into account, and the extent to which the parents are able. get enough rest in the presence of their child.
Assistant Professor at the College of Medicine, Dr. Lisa Meltzer, said that parents can also consult a pediatrician, due to the different condition and nature of each child, as some children need more monitoring more at night than others, such as cases of premature or delayed children, or those who have ‘ suffer from a chronic illness. .
How do you prepare for your child’s separation?
Once you’ve decided it’s time for your baby to move to a separate room, here are some expert tips to make this phase easier for you and your baby:
Set a specific bedtime routine
Maintaining a sleep routine helps the child to build a specific system regarding bedtime, which is one of the basic principles of organizing a child’s sleep, and his presence makes it easier to change the room, since now it is about just changing his sleeping place, not changing. everything.
Pediatrician Judy Mendel advised to make the baby’s feeding time in the first stage of sleep, if he was used to eating before bedtime. To learn to fall asleep independently, and it also helps the child learn to self-soothe when he wakes up at night.
Announce his room
Before separating children in their room, they usually do not spend much time in it, and therefore it is preferable to make it more familiar to them, by getting them used to it; By spending a pre-sleep phase in it, such as story time or feeding, as well as napping in it for a few days before moving it.
And you can move some of his favorite toys, like stuffed dolls, and spend time playing in them in the morning.
Set the mood for sleep
Adjust the temperature of the room, calm it down, or use white noise if the child is used to it, and darken the room except for a dim night light to help the child sleep.
Don’t rush your child to adjust
Children’s reactions vary, and some struggle to adapt to change and may not accept it immediately, in which case you can accompany him to his new room and sleep with him there for a few nights, before leaving him alone in it let sleep
And you can make your disappearance gradual, so that for the first few nights you will stay by your child’s bed while he tries to sleep, after a few days you will be between the bed and the door, and then outside the door.
And if your baby wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep on his own, you can let him sleep next to you.
Dr. Feldman Winter advised that “if your child is still crying frequently and affecting his siblings’ sleep, it might make sense to take him back to your room, and try again in a month or two.”
When the child is moved to his room, certain precautions must be taken, such as:
Cover electrical outlets and any sharp corners, and place the bed away from anything that could fall on it or get tangled in it, such as a lamp or curtain cords, and don’t place the bed under the window, also make any windows in the room, and put pillows on the floor next to the bed to prevent the child from being injured when he falls asleep.
Transition from cradle to bed
The child’s sleep remains in the crib even when he is transferred to his room, and according to the “Sleep Foundation” website, he can be transferred to the children’s bed between the ages of 18 months and two years, while some parents prefer to to wait until the child reaches two to two and a half years to transfer him.
And your child’s ability to get out of bed is a sign that it’s time to move him to the bigger bed, as cots pose a danger to them and increase the possibility of injury if they often manage to to climb it