Skip to main content

When should a baby sleep in their own room? The best time to make the switch

Here's how to tell if your baby is ready to sleep in their own room

Your baby grows so fast in the first year that their sleep schedule is constantly changing. Sleep is very important to babies and parents, which makes deciding when to put them in a crib to sleep on their own a tough decision. When should you move baby to their own room? From official recommendations to your own gut instinct, we’ll take you through how to make these choices.

Mom watching sleeping baby.
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

When to move from a bassinet to a crib

You should move your baby out of their bassinet once they reach the bassinet’s weight limit, which will likely be somewhere between 10 and 20 pounds. Additionally, if your baby begins to roll over or sit up, you should move them to a crib. Even if neither of these factors applies, and if you see your baby becoming cramped with its head touching the wall of the bassinet, it’s time to move to a crib. You don’t have to move from a bassinet to a crib and from your room to their own room at the same time, but it is most convenient for many.

baby on back sleeping
LeManna / Shutterstock

When should a baby sleep in their own room?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that “infants should sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parent’s bed, but on a separate surface (room sharing). The infant’s crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet should be placed in the parent’s bedroom for at least 6 months, but preferably a year.” However, more important for safety than which room a baby sleeps in is the surface they sleep on. The AAP also recommends first that babies be placed on their backs on a firm, flat surface for every sleep, so if you provide a safe crib or bassinet, the room it is placed in is secondary.

Many expert pediatricians and researchers question the AAP recommendation, especially for the benefits past the age of 6 months. One study published in Pediatrics in 2017 provides helpful data: “Babies get less sleep at night and sleep for shorter stretches when they sleep in their parent’s room after 4 months old,” it found. Furthermore, “infants who slept in their own rooms after 4 months slept for longer, in general. Nine-month-old room-sharing infants slept an average of 9.75 hours per night, compared to 10.5 hours for those who began sleeping alone by 4 months, and 10 hours for those who began sleeping alone between 4 and 9 months.”

So, when should a baby sleep in their own room? It’s always a personal call by the parents, and you can take several factors into account. Your baby’s sleep is one thing to keep in mind, but so is your own sleep. Babies will be best cared for by parents who are better rested, so don’t feel guilty taking your own health and happiness into account. Ask your pediatrician’s input on safe sleep as well.

A mother looking in on her sleeping baby
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock / Shutterstock

How to transition a baby to their own room

Incorporate as many gradual steps as you can to ease the transition.

  1. Create a bedtime routine. Rock in the same chair with the same song and read one book every time you put them down in their crib. This way, there will be some consistency, whether you do this routine in your room or their room.
  2. Start introducing the crib during naps. Instead of leaving them overnight in a new space for the first time, use daytime naps to start using the crib before switching to also using it at night.
  3. Move the bassinet to their own room first. If you’re doing two transitions in one (a bassinet to a crib and your room to their own room), move the bassinet to their own room first so they are only adjusting to one change at once, and they can still be in their familiar space even in a new room.
  4. Stay in the new room with them for a while. Soothe them for a while before leaving.

Remember that infants should not have stuffed animals, blankets, or pillows in their sleeping space, so don’t give them something with a familiar smell in there with them because it is a suffocation risk. You can do other things like dimmed lights, a white noise machine, your own presence, or mobile to make the space inviting.

Using a video monitor when they are in their own room may ease your peace of mind as well, so you can sleep better as you adjust to them being out of the room.

No matter when you make the transition, there are bound to be some bumps in the road, but just remember it will all calm down and work out eventually, no matter what.

Editors' Recommendations

Sarah Prager
Sarah is a writer and mom who lives in Massachusetts. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, National…
Some babies want to be held while sleeping: Here’s why
If your newborn wants to be held all night, try these tips
Father holding baby in nursery.

Every parent knows that finding peace and quiet or simply trying to take a shower while caring for a newborn can be difficult. If your baby only sleeps when held, completing the smallest tasks can feel impossible, not to mention learning how to function on limited sleep. It can be a struggle to get enough sleep yourself if your baby only wants to sleep in your arms. What can a parent do when their newborn wants to be held all night? First of all, why does your baby crave cradling when it's time to sleep? Newborns love being held for many reasons.

We try to break down why your baby wants to be held, the best way to hold your baby, and when to put them in their crib. Just because your newborn wants to be held all night doesn't mean you can't get any sleep.

Read more
Why do toddlers cry in their sleep and how can you help them?
Find out why toddlers cry in their sleep so everyone gets a good night's rest
A toddler sleeping in the bed.

Have you ever woken in the middle of the night to your toddler's cries, only to discover by the time you've run to check on them that they are back asleep? If so, you're not alone. If your typical happy-go-lucky toddler is suddenly crying out in their sleep, it may make parents worried that something may be wrong. As if toddler behavior isn't difficult enough to figure out when they're awake, parents need to know why toddlers cry in their sleep.
The good news is that toddlers crying in their sleep is a normal part of their development and doesn't mean there's anything troubling your child that you should be concerned about. In fact, this behavior has a variety of different causes. Learn some of the reasons why toddlers cry in their sleep and if there's anything to do to help prevent it, so everyone gets a good night's sleep.

Sleep patterns could be off

Read more
Your baby fell off the bed! Do these things immediately to ensure proper care for your child
Have a little roly poly? Here's what to do if baby falls off the bed
A mother changing a baby on a bed.

Believe it or not, it happens to the best of us. The baby fell off the bed. In fact, babies falling off beds is the leading cause of injuries for children. You happen to have your baby laying there — away from the edge, no less. You turn around for just a few seconds and then you hear that telltale cry.

What do you do? First, you’ll need to keep from panicking. Taking a deep breath and making some initial observations is a vital step to ensure your baby gets the right help. Once you've calmed down imaging your little one going over the edge, we have advice for you to follow in case this unfortunate accident happens to your child.

Read more