If you read my last post, you’ll already know that Max is now 6 months old… which is the age at which the NHS guidelines say its safe to move babies to their own rooms at night.

Terry greeted this news by cracking open the champagne and ordering a set of blackout blinds for the nursery. I, meanwhile, greeted the news by thinking, “Wait: why can’t TERRY just go and sleep in the nursery if he thinks it’s such a great idea?”

So, yeah, I have issues with the idea of Max sleeping anywhere other than under my watchful gaze, and these issues stem right back to his birth. On that first night in hospital, I refused to go to sleep until Terry solemnly promised to stay awake and keep an eye on the baby… but, of course, the guy was pretty tired by then, so I had to stay awake myself, to make sure HE stayed awake, and, by the time I got home the next day, I was so tired I was practically delirious. That night, Max slept in his moses basket, which we put on Terry’s side of the bed, on account of my c-section scar making it really painful for me to get up – and I know this, because I spent the entire night hauling myself up anyway, so I could stagger round to Terry’s side of the bed and make sure the baby was still breathing.

It was a fun night, for sure – and it was to set the tone for the next few days.

On day four, then, I confided in my parents that my new plan was to just never sleep again, so I could watch over Max ALWAYS, and, the next morning, they turned up with the Chicco Next to Me Bedside Crib, which he’s slept in ever since.

Chicco Next to Me side-along cribThe Next to Me was a Godsend, in that it finally allowed me to get some sleep. While I’ve grown in confidence in that respect, though, I have to admit that I’m still approximately halfway to Crazytown, on the Crazytown Express, when it comes to this particular issue. We’ve been really lucky in that Max generally sleeps pretty soundly at night. Me, on the other hand? Er, not so much, really: I mean, I definitely sleep better than I did in those first few weeks – like, WAAAAAY better – but I still wake a couple of times during the night to check on him, and now that we’ve started putting him into the nursery for naps, I’m constantly looking at the monitor, or, well, creeping into his room to check on him.

Honestly? I’m not ready for him to move into his own room at night. And, I mean, yeah, it would be nice to get our bedroom back, and I’ve read the studies claiming that babies sleep better in their own rooms, but… I like having him next to me. It reassures me that he’s OK, and, on the odd occasion when he does wake up in the early hours of the morning, all I have to do is reach over and place my hand on his chest, and he’ll normally go back to sleep. (I say “normally” – we’ve had two 4-5am wakeups this week, plus a middle-of-the-night feed, which he hasn’t done for MONTHS now, so, yeah: sleep regression? The heat? Him just messing with us? Who knows …)

So, I’m not ready – even although Max himself probably IS… and Terry DEFINITELY is.

“Well, when WILL you be ready?” asked Terry, perplexed. He’d basically assumed that, the very day Max reached that magical 6-month milestone, he’d be packing his bags and getting the hell out of Dodge, so, when I answered this question with a vague, “Er, dunno, really. When he’s one, maybe? Or possibly never? Does ‘never’ work for you?” he was just a little bit taken aback. And I get it: I do. I obviously don’t ACTUALLY want him sleeping in our room forever (Especially not when he’s an adult, with kids of his own. That would just be weird, wouldn’t it?), and I know he’d probably be perfectly fine in the nursery. He has, as I said, been going in there for naps lately, so it’s not like it’s all brand new to him: we have a video monitor AND an audio monitor on him when he’s in there, both of which alert us to the slightest sound from him – so what’s the problem?

Er, it’s just ME, really: me and my overactive imagination, which takes a lot of pleasure in waiting until I’m just about to fall asleep, before piping up with some cheery reminders of all of the terrible things that could happen to my precious baby during the night. For now, then, I’ve told Terry that yes, Max will definitely be moving to his own room, and it’ll definitely be happening sometime before he leaves home.

But when, though?

Terry is under the impression that most people make the move right on the 6 month mark: I’m not so sure, so I need your help to settle this one. Tell me, fellow parents: when did you move your baby out of your room and into their own? And am I REALLY so odd for wanting to keep him beside me for a little while longer? In other words, are you Team Amber or Team Terry on this one?

  1. Hey Mrs.

    Konrad was in his won room at 12 weeks as my snoring at the time constantly woke him and that’s when he slept through the night.

    With Gregor he went into his room at about 20ish weeks – he has been there a while now. I still check him a couple of times before I go to bed but we both sleep through now.

    1. Ah, interesting! I hadn’t considered that WE might be keeping HIM awake, but apparently my snoring after he was born was loud enough to wake the entire street, so…

  2. This is so tough! I was exactly the same, I needed her right next to me so I could check she was still breathing any time I woke, and I was terrified of letting her sleep alone in her room. Alone!! Sounded so awful. In the end, she moved in when she was 7.5 months. I still didn’t feel ready, but she was napping really well in there, and she had outgrown the side crib with her sleepyhead in so there was no way she could stay in it any longer! Nor was there room in our room for her cot, so she literally outgrew our room.
    And as it turns out, she sleeps better in her own room, and I do too – I know the monitor will pick up when she’s awake or upset, and I can even see her chest rise and fall on it to check on her breathing, so I am much more relaxed and I just let the monitor wake me. It is somehow much more annoying than a baby crying next to you to hear it crying through the monitor so I am awake instantly. Husband…not so much!
    Good luck with deciding when is the right time for you. But yeah, probs do it before he starts school! 🙂 xx

    1. This is a good point, and will probably be the deciding factor, I think – he’s almost outgrown the Sleepyhead now, and the next size up won’t fit in the Chicco: gah! He’s also doing his very best to pull himself up into a sitting position, too, and when he’s able to do that, the Chicco crib won’t be safe for him, so I guess that’ll be when he’ll move – unless Terry gets his way, and has him in his own room before that, obvs!

  3. I’m with you on this one. My little boy was in the Chicco next to me nearer to 8/9 months I’m sure if he hadn’t out grew it he would still be in there! It’s really not easy and I found I couldn’t sleep and was still up in the night checking on him, I still do and he is 1 and half now. I just think you Will know when he is ready and you are ready. It honestly doesn’t hurt, I read that it makes the baby so much more secure and comforted being next to mum. Just go with what you feel is right. X

  4. My son is still in our room at one and we both love having him there. Do whatever feels right for you. A lot of people are happy to move them at six months but there’s no reason you absolutely have to.

    1. The problem for us is that we both have different ideas of what’s right for us – although I guess Terry could be the one to move to the nursery, if it comes to it 😉

  5. My first was about 20 months before getting into her own room. With my son it ONLY took 9 months. I reckon my new daughter will be kicked out at 6 months… providing there’s a finished room ready for her. On a related note, just how long after the promised finish date on a DIY job is it a good idea to come up with some kind of penalty consequence for your other half?!

    1. Haha! My technique for that situation is to start going, “Well, I guess I’ll ask my dad/brother-in-law/random-workie round to finish this, then!” Works pretty well 😉

  6. I totally understand your anxiety, I was exactly the same way when my son was born. I was terrified he would stop breathing, or choke or who knows what else. He slept in our bed until he was almost 1. Then we got him a crib and pushed it up against the side of our bed. He loves having his own little space next to us, and it makes nursing easy. I can’t imagine having to get up at night and going into another room when he needs me. Ain’t nobody got the energy for that.
    Now he is 2 and he still sleeps next to us in his little crib. We have no plans to change these sleeping arrangements until he asks for his own room.
    Babies are supposed to be with their parents, and especially their mothers. I’m a firm believer in making changes when both the child and the parent are ready. It’s a two sided relationship and both sides have to be considered.

  7. CJ was in her own room at 5.5 months, mainly as she was such a noisy sleeper that we were both struggling every night, which, coupled with 2x night feeds and a daily 6 am wake-up was not ideal! She does sleep so much better in her own room, and, whilst I needed to adjust for a week or so, it actually was ok. I can even read books at night in bed again! It’s a big transition, but has been totally positive for us. You can only do it when you are ready though! Xx

  8. My son was around 3 years old when he went into his own room. He regularly came through into our room in the night until he was about 5 years old. But we had a sidebar cotbed and always intended to bed share and be child led with regards to sleep. He’s 11 now and sleeps very well, although remains an early riser. He still likes to come in for a morning cuddle even though he is almost as tall as me now.

  9. My daughter is still in our room age 21 months and we have no plans to move her imminently. Initially she was in our room because the only other room was downstairs and too far away (we wouldn’t have heard her if she woke); now we have moved but we are just more comfortable with her being with us.

    I don’t wake to check on her, at all, but I think I would if she wasn’t so close, as I would worry she was upset and we wouldn’t hear her. In our room I know if she is upset I will notice.

    * and when she wakes during the night we usually bring her into our bed, too……..

    Honestly I think we will keep her in our room until she is old enough to understand where we are at night and how to come and find us if she needs us. Ie when she is old enough to be in a bed not a cot.

  10. We moved our little boy into his own room at about 8 months I think. By that time he had been in his cot crammed down the side of our bed for a while, one of us in the bed beside him and the other having a full night uninterrupted sleep in the nursery (we did it night about once he dropped his night feed).

    And then we listened to all those people who said HE WILL SLEEP BETTER IN HIS OWN ROOM. Does he f. He wakes up just as often and because it takes us an extra thirty seconds to get across the hall, he gets more upset and takes longer to go back to sleep. If he’s right beside us 9/10 it’s dummy back in and he’s zonked.

    Now one of us gets an uninterrupted night in the master bedroom every other night. And the other one sleeps uncomfortably in the nursery on the single bed that needs a new mattress and gets woken every few hours.

    I’m not on either team – do whatever suits you but just don’t bank on moving him equalling anyone sleeping better.

  11. This is weird I can’t see my previous reply or the one that has just been emailed to me?

    Definitely no “sides” here. Some babies sleep better alone and some don’t – do what is right for you. But it is a team effort, has to be what is right for you and Terry too. Our solution was to get a bigger bed, as otherwise my partner felt squeezed out (me and the baby in one room, him in another – now we all go into the big bed).

    1. It’s just the browser cache taking a while to catch up – your comments are definitely there, it must just be a bit slow to refresh today!

  12. In other cultures babies sleep with their parents for the first few years, so don’t beat yourself up about it. You’ve made a start by putting Max down for his afternoon nap in his nursery, and you are confident about the baby sensors you have. Give yourself some time to get used to the idea and then you can think about the best time for you all. My daughter woke up often in the night and ended up in our bed less and less frequently until she was ten. She says she and her brother had a conversation about it – she was great during the day and we couldn’t take our eyes off him, but he slept like a log all night. She says he had the days covered, so she agreed to keep us up all night lol.

  13. I wasn’t ready to move my little one at 6 months, I would wake up and be reassured that he was breathing. My other half was keen to move him but I wasn’t ready. Baby then went through a sleep regression so was sleeping reeeeeeeaaaaaallly lightly. I kept waking him up with any tiny noise and got more and more fed up with having to turn over silently and not being able to cough. We moved him about 7.5 months and I was SO ready. I still checked the monitor when I woke up but it was so nice being able to relax again. All this to say, there’s no set time and go with what makes you happy and comfortable.

    1. Oh God, I so relate to the being afraid to make a sound thing! Last month I had a tickly cough that seemed to last forever, and the strain of having to suppress that cough every night was crazy-making! So, yeah, I can totally see how him being out of our room would be a benefit in some ways!

      1. We could hold a noisy party round Darren and he wouldn’t stir, but move him one inch and he was awake. Some babies are more sensitive to sound than others.

  14. I wasn’t ready to move my little one at 6 months, I would wake up and be reassured that he was breathing. My other half was keen to move him but I wasn’t ready. Baby then went through a sleep regression so was sleeping reeeeeeeaaaaaallly lightly. I kept waking him up with any tiny noise and got more and more fed up with having to turn over silently and not being able to cough. We moved him about 7.5 months and I was SO ready. I still checked the monitor when I woke up but it was so nice being able to relax again. All this to say, there’s no set time and go with what makes you happy and comfortable.

  15. Oddly I don’t worry about waking my daughter…….. she does wake in the night, but for her own reasons, not in response to noise. So we can have a conversation etc with her there. Perhaps that’s why I don’t mind her staying.

  16. You’re not weird. Neither’s Terry. Ours both moved out of our room before the six month mark (mostly because they were both tall and outgrew their cribs) and we all immediately started sleeping better, so it was definitely a good decision for us. However, I know people who have happily co-slept for several years, so that was a good decision for them. I also know people who resentfully co-slept longer than they wanted to because they had very, very attached babies, and people who moved the baby out but spent all night traipsing through to re-settle them because they had terrible sleepers. So, this doesn’t help you, I suppose – it’s just that there’s no one right answer. However, if Max is going to be sleeping on a different storey of your house from you, I’d leave it until he’s through this sleep regression/whatever-it-is – you don’t need to be doing stairs in the middle of the night!

  17. Hi Amber and Terry!
    I won’t take any sides because I think this is very individual- for each parent, the couple and also for each baby.
    Our firstborn slept with us till about 3 months, then switched to half the night in his cot and half the night in our bed (he didn’t want to breastfeed lying down anymore), then at around 8 months we left him the room and moved to the sofa in the living room.
    Before our second was born, I insisted on getting a bigger bed. But basically from 20 days old or so, I started putting him in his crib after every night feed because he was unable to drink when lying down and slept better in his crib. He moved in with his brother at about 8 months old. I still go there and nurse him during the night but we both wake up less often when in separate rooms. It was very similar with our firstborn.
    I hope you will figure out a compromise that works for all of you.

  18. My first went into his own room when we came home from hospital and our second , who was premature, went into his own bed at a week old.

  19. My little one is 5 and a half months, and still sleeping in a bassinet next to me, but when she grows out of that it’s going to be tricky to fit the cot in our room. Ideally I’d like to keep her in with us till at least 12mths.

  20. Hi Amber, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now but have never commented. I’m all the way in Australia and here there is such a push for babies to be in their own room and sleeping through pretty much as soon as they’re out of the womb it would seem.
    For us, our son was a terrible terrible sleeper. We used the cot for his first 2 months of life But then I was quite literally running red lights due to sleep deprivation and started bringing him into our bed. He stayed there til he got his big boy bed around 2 years old when I was expecting our daughter. With our daughter she was a much better sleeper and would self settle in the bassinet next to me. However, she became unwell at around 3.5 months (which I don’t need to go into here, especially out of respect for the health anxiety side of things) but it meant that being in and out of hospital messed up her sleep quite a lot and again it was just more comforting to have her in our bed with us. Until around 3 weeks ago (she will be 2 next month and you’d never know that she had been unwell!) I think my basic point is, even all the way down in the southern hemisphere is that we just do what feels right for us at the time. Just because it’s part of the national guidelines doesn’t mean It has to absolutely happen at this very minute! It doesn’t mean it’s forever. It’s hard when what is right for you is different for what is right for your partner, but you’ll work that out I’m sure. I had to admit it is nice to get our bed back after 4 years, but I do wrestle with a lot of anxiety around the children’s health and especially if the little miss and sir are breathing at night. I always come to it’s better to be safe and check, and I have found that the anxiety side of things for me is getting better as the children get a little bigger.

  21. I was totally not ready to move my son at 6 months – would’ve spent half the night going into his room as was paranoid about him stopping breathing or something. In the end he moved at 15 months when we moved house. I waited until we moved although may have considered it when he turned 1 if we weren’t moving! At around 8 months he went through a big sleep regression so glad I didn’t move him as it was easier having him next to me.

    My daughter is 6 months old today and I’m not planning on moving her anytime soon. I’m a lot more relaxed about her when she’s sleeping but think I’ll keep her in with us until nearer 1. She still sometimes wakes in the night and I often bring her into bed with me in the early hours to get a couple more hours sleep.

    Go with your instinct – I felt much happier about my son moving rooms when he was older as felt we were both ready for it. He probably would have been fine earlier on but I certainly don’t regret keeping him close when he was little as it all passes in the blink of an eye!

  22. It’s interesting how different we all are really isn’t it? I find it hard to imagine my daughter not being there in bed with me at night – not because I fear any disaster, I’m not an anxious parent at all (really I’m not – she’s never been to the doctor apart from her vaccines, she is very healthy, I’m relaxed about letting her do things) – but I worry she would be lonely and cold!

    but others know their baby is happy in a peaceful quiet room and couldn’t imagine bed sharing.

    Both (and all in between) are “normal”. Hope you and Terry find a compromise. My partner mainly feels envious that I am the one who gets the night time cuddles (because of breastfeeding).

  23. I have no kids of my own (yet), but my parents and I lived in a 1 bedroom apartment when I was born, and they did not make a bedroom for me before I was 3 or 4 years of age, if memory serves me correctly. So I guess it varies quite a lot what people do, both out of comfort and out of necessity. 🙂 I turned out alright. And I don’t think it’s odd in the slightest that you’d want him to sleep in your room for some time, still.

  24. I don’t think you are odd at all, I think it is perfectly normal to feel that way! We moved Benjamin to the crib in his room on the third night at home. We did it because we simply do not have any space in our room. And in our case, it worked really well! Benjamin sleeps super good, he has slept from 11 pm to 5/6 am since he was 1 week old. He used to wake up at around 2 am, but since we started feeding him before we go to bed, he doesn’t wake up anymore. Obviously, I am aware that maybe it is just the way he is and it may not have anything to do with him sleeping on his own. Nonetheless, I feel like whenever he sleeps with us (naps) he doesn’t sleep as well. Oh and I used to bring him to our bed in the morning once Markus left for work, but he would just squirm until I left and then took the whole space for himself xD
    We have a videophone, without that, I would probably have told Markus HE could go sleep in the crib..even now when I wake in the middle of the night, I check the videophone to see if he’s breathing.

    xo, Rosie //The Cheeky Mom

  25. From about 3 weeks, whilst he was asleep, my son sounded like a farmyard was being attacked by a pack of baby dragons so for our sanity and sleep we had to get him out our room! He didn’t go to his own room, just the other side of the door though. I had no idea that newborns could make so much noise in their sleep 🙂
    Just do what feels right, and live by your own guidelines x

  26. I am so Team Amber on this.. I am right there with you in Crazytown over the sleep thing. In fact, so much of this post resonates with me! Our little one is 3 weeks younger than your lovely Max (similar history to you in having her too, which meant I was absolutely batsh*t crazy with anxiety throughout pregnancy, and I also did the not-sleeping thing when she was first born.)

    Ironically she is a really decent sleeper overall, but I am still walking around like a sleep deprived brand new mum because I am up so many times in the night checking on her (she sleeps in a crib approximately 3cm away from my head so i am aware that it’s really over the top..) – especially as she has just started to roll onto her front and can’t roll back properly yet, which for some reason is sending me round the bend with anxiety. Even though I know it’s a normal and important developmental milestone! Argh.

    Anyway we are thinking of keeping her in with us until she is 1, but this will mean dragging her massive cot out from the nursery and bringing it into our room. I’m not sure if it will mean that by the time we attempt to move her at 12 months she will be set in her ways and find it tough?! Funnily enough, she is a lot more independent than I will let her be; she has sort of insisted on a bedtime of around 8.30pm since she was about three months old – this has meant me spending every evening sitting up on the bed in our room watching tv, and even sometimes eating dinner in there(!) because I haven’t been ready to leave her on her own to sleep yet. Oh mind you, she won’t go down for daytime naps, so any advice on how you got Max to do that would be greatly appreciated!

    Great post as ever. Really interested to read comments from others too!

  27. Living circumstances demanded that we did it at 2; I was ready to do it at around 1. She was a solid sleeper but still woke up early enough at 6mos that I wouldn’t have wanted to haul ass to another room to settle / feed her! She did sleep better once we moved. but of course I have no idea if the extra year with us helped her be ready or whether it would have made no difference – it varies so much from family to family you can only do what feels right for you!

  28. There is no right or wrong answer to this – but you’ll probably find once he’s on the move you’ll want to at least move him out of the next to me, otherwise you’ll wake up to a small boy crawling all over you and smacking you in the face to wake up – but maybe a halfway house is to move his cot from the nursery into your room?

    Why is Terry so keen to move him out?

    1. I quite like being woken by my daughter climbing on top of me (she’d wake me anyway, after all, if she were in another room I would just have to go to her instead of her to me). She climbs on top of me has some milk then runs off to look for bears!

  29. Neither of you is weird! Not sure how to settle it though…. you could try it one night to see how you feel in reality?

    We moved our daughter when she was 5.5months, I could sort of tell she was ready. We put the sleepyhead in her big cot so that it was familiar. Agree that the monitor woke me up when she made the slightest noise, and I loved being able to see her on the monitor if I woke up and wanted to check on her.

    She was still waking a few times a night then but seemed to sleep better in her own room. As others have said, we were disrupting her sleep a bit!

    Big pros to her moving to her own room for me were:
    – being able to talk rather than whisper in bed
    – being able to have the lamp on to read in bed
    – errr other things that happen in bed

    And her big smile on a morning when I went into her room to pick her up. Just heart burstingly good.

    BUT if you’re really not ready, wait and try in a month / two months / whenever. Good luck x

    1. Actually that’s true, you might fine it feels different in reality.

      I know very early on my partner wondered if we should leave the baby to cry for a bit (as she woke immediately put in her cot) – and I flat out said no. Now he really likes having her near us and doesn’t want to move her either. I think maybe she has got used to it as we can talk in bed etc and it doesn’t wake her. It’s also practical as it means when we travel having her in our bed in a hotel is not a problem, it’s what she is used to.

      Maybe you will find when you move Max that Terry misses him after all…….

  30. I think we moved our daughter to her own room at around a month, if memory serves — I’m the world’s lightest sleeper and wasn’t able to sleep through baby grunts and whimpers. We used an Angelcare monitor with a crib motion sensor for my peace of mind. Do you have them in the UK? It sets off an alarm through the parent monitor if it doesn’t detect movement from breathing. You can also set an alarm to tell you if the nursery gets above or below a certain temperature. It worked perfectly.

  31. We moved our first when he was 18 months and I was pregnant with the second. He‘s just across the hall and still comes into our bed at some point every night. I think that’s normal, my parents say me and my brothers all came into their bed until we were ten or so? My second is now 6 months old and I‘m not thinking about moving him yet, I just wouldn‘t sleep as well not having him next to me.

  32. We waited until our son was nine months and sleeping a bit better so it was less of a disruption for us to have to get up. Then we moved house when he was 18 months old and the disruption made it easier for him to sleep in our room. Now he’s just turned three and falls asleep in our bed, is moved to his and then comes back in our bed when he wakes in the night. Oops.

  33. I am soo on your side. My baby is almost 5 months old and I have decided that he will sleep with us until he is one year old, possibly longer. My husband doesn’t know that yet, though, he still thinks that Charlie will move to his own room soon, ha ha ha.
    Seriously, I think it is so much easier for me to take care of him when he sleeps just next to me, I don’t have to get up and check on him or to feed him.

  34. I love this post and the comments. There just isn’t a right solution! I was a terrible mother a co slept… my daughter was about 4 years… yes years… and my son 3… my youngest still appears in my bed at the age of 7…. I wouldn’t change a thing… and I read every possible fragment of research that backed up our choices.. and avoided the ones which detailed the horrors of co sleeping with utter delight!

    What I would say is I don’t have a husband now… whilst clearly that is not due to co sleeping… I can feel quite sure of saying it was probably not the best motion to encourage a fulfilled marriage… (I think I generally slept in the spare room with the baby/toddler… (ok who am I kidding CHILD!)

    My daughter is now 20 … and rather a lovely young lady so I can report no ill effects of my “other” mothering and love of every second of her babyhood…

    You’ll figure it out .. and it will fly past … enjoy !

    Thank you for sharing your parenting journey… brings happy memories flooding back

  35. It is the same for me! I feel in love with co-sleeping, that is so comfortable. Especially if you’re breastfeeding. But there were some cons… They say baby can sleep longer in separate room. I can believe that. And I did not want to quit on sleeping longer. And my friend came to the rescue! The told me about sleep training with HWL method. It teaches a baby to self sooth after waking up. That sleep training was the best idea ever! With this short guide (really just several pages I’ve literally read while breastfeeding http://parental-love.com/shop/baby-sleep-training) I taught my baby to fall back asleep after waking. It is working great and my partner getting up to work (not always very silent!) is not an issue anymore. Will see at 1 year – maybe that will be good timing?

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