When and how should I move my baby out of my bedroom?

As your baby gets older and their sleep schedule is more established, you might start thinking about moving them out of your bedroom. Most parents do this when the baby is between six and 12 months but you will know best what suits you and your family. Babies should sleep in the same room as their parents for the first six months. 

When and how you move your baby from your room will come down to the needs of your family, your beliefs and when you feel emotionally ready. Here are some things to consider and some guidance to support your choices.   

When to make the move

When you’re deciding if it’s the right time to move your baby out of your room, the first thing to consider is where they’ll be sleeping and how the move will impact your baby and the whole family.  

There is no right or wrong way to do this, it is completely dependent on what works best for you. Here are some things you might consider: 

  • Do you co-sleep with your child? You might want to make the move in steps and have them in your room in a separate bed to begin with. 
  • Is your baby waking regularly in the night to feed? It might make feeding easier if you keep them in the same room for now. 
  • Would they have their own room, or would they be sharing with a sibling? Would sharing a room impact the baby and the older child’s sleep? 
  • Are you making any changes in the home, such as moving or decorating?  
  • Are there any medical needs that you need to think about? 

Setting up the room

By six months old, your baby is likely to have outgrown their Moses basket or crib, so you will probably need to move them into a cot or cotbed.  

  • Your baby should be in a cot with sides to prevent them rolling out until about the age of two or when they can climb out.  
  • It’s best not to have bumpers or soft toys inside the cot until they are about one year old to keep a safe clear place to sleep. Make sure there is nothing that dangles near the cot such as electric cables or curtain cords.   
  • Think about the type of cot that works best for you. Cotbeds can save you money as they convert into a toddler bed, but if you have limited space, you may want to get a more compact cot. 
  • You can save money by buying your cot or cotbed second hand, but it is recommended that you buy a new mattress so that you know it is safe. 

It’s important to consider the temperature of the room as babies are unable to regulate their temperature. It is recommended that the temperature of the room is between 16-20°C. 

It can be helpful to use a baby monitor if your baby’s room is further away from you. Babies tend to move about in their sleep, so if you see or hear them stirring on the monitor, it’s good to wait a minute before you go to them unless they are distressed. 

Getting your baby used to their new room

To help your child’s transition go smoother there are a few things you can do to help prepare them.   

  • Start spending more time in the room that they will be sleeping in so they get used to being in there.   
  • If possible, try to spend a night in the new rom yourself, so you can notice any lights or noises that may disturb your baby’s sleep. 
  • Start to put them down for naps in their new room before they get to six months to help them adapt, especially if it’s also a new cot.   
  • Make sure that the bedding and comforters that they usually sleep with move with them.
  • If another child is in the room with them, make sure that they are prepared too. You might need to adjust the older child’s sleep routine to make sure bedtimes don’t overlap. 
  • Be aware of your own needs too, transitions can be difficult and often take a couple of weeks or more to settle. So have a plan to ensure you are able to get some rest and support if needed. 

For more support

If you need more help with your baby’s sleep you can: 

If you want more advice about moving your baby out of your room, you can speak to one of our parenting coaches.   

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This advice was written by our experienced Parent Talk coaches. Parent Talk is a free online service for parents and carers, provided by the charity Action for Children. For more advice, message our parenting coaches with our online chat.

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