Most parents make space for babies to sleep beside them in the same room. The bassinet or crib next to the bed is one of the oldest traditions in childrearing. However, many parents are unsure about when it is safe to move their child into their own room.
Studies show that babies can sleep in their own room from about 4 or 6 months onwards. This normally depends on the baby’s unique developmental stages. There are instances where parents allow their children to sleep in their rooms at the age of 2 or older.
There have been studies done to suggest that babies may experience better quality sleep when they sleep in their own rooms. Most mothers who use sleep training techniques such as the cry it out method (extinction method) have found that their baby falls asleep faster when they have their own room.
Studies about the optimal conditions for safe infant sleep appear to contradict recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The safest course of action would be to consult a sleep expert to cater to a child’s unique needs.
Sleep experts can assist parents in choosing the safest and most practical place for their babies to sleep. Most pediatric sleep experts agree that it is safe to share a room with a baby, but not a bed. This helps to reduce cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) during the initial stages of development.
The fact remains that babies seem to experience better quality sleep when they sleep in their own rooms rather than in a parent’s room. Parents should use the guidance of their pediatrician to prepare a room in the house that is designed for their baby’s sleeping needs.
Consult a pediatrician for advice about sleep training methods and creating optimal conditions for a baby’s bedtime.