If you have a baby or a young toddler you might be wondering, at what age can my baby sleep in a bed? While toddlers can usually move to their own room from 18 months, there are more nuances to making that choice.
What age can my baby sleep in a bed?
The short answer is that toddlers can commonly move to sleeping in their own bed anywhere between the ages of 18 months and 3 years old. However, there are a lot more factors that might determine when in this period you should make the change, and how your baby will adapt to it once you do.
How to prepare a baby for their own bed
For at least six months, you should make sure that your baby is in the same room as you while they sleep – this applies to daytime as well as night. This is important as it can be a factor in reducing the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). After this, as you approach moving your baby into their own bed, you may need to prepare them for the change. In the early weeks especially, you might notice that your baby will only fall asleep if you or your partner are holding them or if one of you is standing beside them. This can make it particularly important to help them transition when it comes to moving them further away from you during sleep. If you’re planning on moving them soon, you can start to acclimatise them to this change by putting them down before they fall asleep so that they get used to sleeping without you comforting them. This might be easier to do once your baby is starting to stay alert for longer. If you have to make the change sooner, if you’re expecting another baby, for example, you can still try this to make the new arrangement easier. You will need to make sure you start preparing your baby a few months early if possible to avoid adding extra stress and change for the first child at the time of the new baby’s birth.
Transitioning your child into their first bed
If you want to move your child to their first bed but feel they may be distressed by the change or you need to move them earlier than desired, it might help to think about using a toddler bed which are smaller and lower to the ground than an ordinary bed. If you do consider a toddler bed, you will also need to make sure any sheets
are made for the purpose and are safe for the age range so that you have no worries. Another consideration if you are going to leave your toddler in their own room for the first time is that they might wake up and have access to the room without you around. For this reason, you will need to toddler-proof the room, making sure there are no open sockets or sharp edges they could hurt themselves on when you aren’t there during the night.
What’s best if my baby is too young for their own bed?
A Moses basket
could be best for newborns and until as young as a few months old while moving on to a crib and then a toddler bed comes later. If your baby is still too young to be moved into its own room, there are a few choices you have for while they’re still sleeping nearer you. It’s likely that you are already co-sleeping, as it is recommended for young babies. Co-sleeping is when a parent and child sleep in close proximity, within contact of each other so that they can both tell the other is nearby, however, there are a few options within this. Bed-sharing is when parents sleep with the infant in the same bed or chair. This is advised against, however, as it can increase the risk of sleep-related deaths. Instead, you are safer with room-sharing as keeping your child near in a crib or Moses basket means they are near enough to be safe without increasing potential harm.
How can I help my baby to sleep?
If you feel you want to move your baby into their own room because of trouble with sleeping, it might help to introduce them into a bedtime routine as early as possible. A good time is around three months to begin a simple routine that will soothe them into sleeping until it becomes natural for them to sleep at night. You can organise a routine that works best for you and your baby but some things you could include every day are bathing, changing into night clothes, dimming the lights to build a calming feeling, reading a bedtime story with your child, singing a lullaby or using a musical mobile or giving a goodnight kiss. Establishing this routine can also help as your child begins to grow up. It means you can keep the same or a similar routine to avoid excess stimulation around bedtime. Calmer activities can help your child to wind down so that they find it easier to sleep and subsequently make the bedtime process easier for you. The key to helping your baby settle into a rhythm and make sure they are safe during sleep is to ensure you have the correct bed arrangements and products to avoid unnecessary hazards and risks. Going to trustworthy child-orientated stores is a good way to ease your mind and ensure you have only the safest products that are best for your baby. Set your mind at ease today by shopping at foryourlittleone.com for the best products that you can rely on for your little one. For more information about at what age can my baby sleep in a bed, get in touch with our team today.