My First Five Years

Your baby's own room - tips on how to make their first transition a positive experience for the whole family.

Moving your baby into a different room can feel exhilarating on the one hand and terrifying on the other. Every family is different, and YOUR FAMILY are the only ones who need to decide about the move, and when it’s right for everyone. If your head is spinning from a myriad of online information about items your baby will need, and when it’s best to move them into their own space, we’ve thought of some things that might help you make an informed decision.   

When should you move your baby? 

The short answer is: when it feels right for you! 

Although safer sleeping advice is that your baby sleeps in the same room as you for at least the first six months.[1] After six months, there is no hard and fast rule for when your baby or child should be moved to their own room.  

Making the move should suit you and your family 

As parents, we analyse every waking moment and wonder whether what we are doing is for the best, and what is the best for you might not be the same as it is for another family. 

Advice comes from everywhere, but the most important thing to consider is you, your own family and everyone’s wellbeing. 

Here are some things to consider as a family that may help the decision-making process: 

Night feeds. Think about whether your baby will still be feeding through the night and how it’ll work for the family. 

How well does everyone sleep? There may be more movement during the night to care for your baby's needs. 

Will there be any other big changes? Things like a new sibling arriving, starting nursery or a parent starting a new job might already be enough for you all to deal with. 

How’s everyone’s emotions?It might feel difficult for you to think about moving your baby out of your room at night. They've been so close and snuggly that you've heard every sniffle and sound they've made. As it may be an emotional experience, it's important to give yourself plenty of time to adjust to the idea and permission to make the change if you know it’s the right thing for you and your family. 

Getting the room ready – practical tips 

Choosing things to go into baby’s room can be overwhelming; we all have different preferences, and your baby may well have a few of their own by the time they make their move. How you decide to decorate their room is entirely up to you. There’s enough to occupy your mind as a parent without spending your time worrying about what everyone else is doing. 

You don’t need to buy into the Insta nurseries you see. Raising children is not a neat business, so relax any unrealistic expectations you may have from seeing perfect-looking homes online.  

Colour or no colour? We all have different sensory preferences. Ultimately, your baby’s response to colour is the key factor here, so be guided by them rather than the latest trends.  

Consider the layout. You'll want to place their cot in a safe spot away from windows, cords and other potential hazards. It's also helpful to have it where you can get to it easily, whatever time of day/night. 

Invest in a baby monitor. If you feel panicky about not hearing your baby’s breathing, gurgles and other small sounds, baby monitors can alleviate some of the anxiety and being able to listen to them can provide you with reassurance. 

The first night – things to consider  

Does your baby have an established bedtime routine? 

A relaxing, predictable sleep routine at the end of the day will help your baby feel more secure in their new room. 

Has anyone got a busy schedule the next day and needs a good night’s sleep? 

If you can, choose a night during the week when there's nothing pressing the next day and no pressures about being somewhere at a certain time. It's not written in the stars but every possibility you’ll experience a restless sleep during your baby’s first night alone.  

How best to settle your sleepy baby 

Discuss together how you'll handle the first night, which is bound to be strange for everyone. 

Consider things like, who would normally soothe them when they’re unsettled and what to do if they don’t settle. Knowing in advance may take away some of the stress, worries or anxieties. 

Plan for the worst and expect the best! 

Know that they will learn to love their bedroom  

For the first few nights, there may be some big emotions, and not just from your baby. Remember, this is a phase and not the new normal. Once your baby is settled in their new room, things will calm down, giving everyone's sleep a chance of being re-established! 

My First Five Years


[1] Safer Sleep Advice from The Lullaby Trust. Available online at The Lullaby Trust - Safer sleep for babies, Support for families