Mother cuddling her sleeping babyMy baby has slept in a cot an arm's length from my bed for nearly 12 months. How do I make the transition from her sleeping next to me to her sleeping in her own room? I don't want to create a traumatic experience for her but I am starting to feel I need my own space. 

There are many successful places for your baby to sleep.  Whether it be in your room (parents room) or their own room.  There are certainly varying amounts of time that a baby shares a room (rooming in) with mum and dad, it can be a handful of weeks, six months, twelve or longer.  The secret to successfully moving baby from mum and dads room, generally lies in how much of an independent sleeper your baby is.

So ask yourself how does your baby go to sleep?  Are they reliant on you to do ‘something’ to go to sleep to start with?  Then what happens during their sleep – does your baby sleep straight through?  Or wake every hour or two ‘looking’ for you to do the ‘something’ again to help them return to sleep.

If your baby is going to sleep fairly independently and staying asleep for most of the night, bar a couple of wakings where you all hear each other, then the transition to their own room will probably be so much easier and hassle free than you expect.

If on the other hand you are helping your baby to sleep and they are looking for you during the night to help resettle them, then depending on how involved you are in your baby’s sleep routine will depend how quickly they adjust.  Just say you help your baby to drift off too sleep but there is minimal night waking – then once again the transition may only be a few nights at most.  Wait 10 mins during the night before you race in and get too involved.  More often than not, you baby will fall back asleep, perfectly okay in that time.

If you are involved a lot in getting your baby to sleep during the night, multiple times, then I would recommend you reduce your involvement step by step for a couple of weeks first before moving your baby.   Also try settling for day sleeps in baby’s new room, start with the morning sleep, so that if there is no sleep then by night-time you have tiredness to help.  If possible, I always advise parents to move the same bedding and place of sleep – cot  into the new room, so only one change at a time.   Give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it actually is!

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