Here is a question that many parents ask themselves as soon as their baby arrives: at what age should a child have his own room? It goes without saying that a newborn needs his mother during his first months. This is completely normal, as during the first few months he will wake up frequently in the middle of the night. The presence of his mother will be essential to him.
But after a while, it may be time for the little one to sleep in his own room and alone. But at what age exactly? This will be decisive for the future life of the child. The fact that he is separated from his parents will allow him to be more independent from an early age.
In this article, we will try to provide an objective answer to this question. In particular, you will discover the best method for carrying out this separation between the child and his parents. You will see that with practice, your infant will only be better off.
The first months of the child with the parents
During pregnancy, a strong bond is woven between mother and child. This bond grows stronger as the first few months pass. It is true that parents tend to furnish their child's room long before he comes into the world. This does not mean that once at home, the baby will immediately sleep there alone.
At this time of the infant's life, it is essential for the child to sleep with his mother. Besides, it can be more convenient for parents, because they won't have to constantly get up from the marital bed to watch the child. When baby is not sleeping through the night, mum and dad can take turns to take care of him.
During these first weeks or months, it is therefore preferable to keep baby with you. You can place his crib in your room. You can even lay him down in your bed. There's nothing better than bringing the family together! If baby no longer wakes up at night, you can already think about installing him in his room.
The ideal age for the little one to sleep alone in his room
It must be emphasized, there is no ideal time to separate the child from the parents at night and offer him his own room, with his own bed. And for good reason, the question is studied on a case-by-case basis. Indeed, some children need their parents more than others. Take for example the case of a child suffering from a disease from birth or who was born prematurely. These children will be dependent on their parents longer than those who are born in excellent health.
Anyway, a child can have his own room from his fourth or fifth month. At this age, the child is old enough to sleep alone in his room. You will probably no longer have to breastfeed in the middle of the night. He will be more independent and will sleep peacefully without waking up all the time like during the first weeks.
Separation can certainly be difficult, both for the parents and for the child. However, the child must have a quiet and personal place. In addition, with this separation, the couple will regain their intimacy little by little.
If the separation does not take place between the 4th and 6th month of the child, it will be more complicated for you to install him in his room. The little one will be used to sleeping near you, his parents. A possible separation will cause him to enter a period called "anxiety" which will greatly disturb him.
How to proceed with the separation between parents and children?
The separation between parents and child does not happen overnight. A sudden change of environment would be brutal for the baby, and could affect him psychologically. It would be ideal to proceed step by step. You will have to prepare your baby psychologically and emotionally. We often think that the child does not understand our words. And yet, the baby is able to grasp each of our gestures and words.
So, to help your toddler better live this "transition to independence", talk to him. Explain to him in simple words that his daily life will change slightly. Reassure him by telling him that everything will happen in the best conditions and that you will always be with him as soon as it turns out to be essential. This will condition the child mentally, and this stage is of great importance for the future.
During this transition, you have to show your child that he is not on his own. Stay by his side until he sleeps. You can sing him a lullaby to help him fall asleep. If you wish, you can already introduce him to listening to a story. The goal here is to calm him down as much as possible before he sleeps. Small point to note, do not forget to always leave a light source to illuminate your room. A nightlight will do just fine.
You can start by putting him in his room during his naps during the day and always leave him near you at night. Then gradually, you will send him to his room every other night. At this rate, the transition will materialize after just a month or two at most. At six months, the baby will be independent and will sleep peacefully in his room.
Finally, do not impose drastic changes on your child during this period. A move, for example, or weaning should not take place at the same time as this event. Children are very sensitive. They are very attached to the routine, because it is their first landmarks.
Difficulties when separating the baby from parents
The first difficulty in the context of this major event is the anxiety of separation from the baby. While he was used to sleeping with his parents, breaking this habit may cause him some fear. It can therefore happen that the baby does not want to sleep in his own bed and even comes to tears. You will need to operate gradually.
Second, a separation can cause baby to have nightmares at night. His nightmares are largely due to the change in environment. In that case, don't give up. Constantly comfort your cherub and stay close to him until he falls asleep again.
Finally, some children are more sensitive than others. They can get sick during this transition period. This means that separation will take longer, but it is not impossible. Be patient, and everything will be fine.
Why should a child have their own room?
A child's room is his own universe. This is the place in which he will grow up and make many discoveries. This room, as well as its decoration , must correspond to its personality. In his room, the child will become independent. He will learn to play it and find sleep alone. Hence the need for him to have his own room at some point in his life.
You should also know that a child appreciates small and comfortable spaces that remind him of his uterine life. So be careful when arranging your room. His cradle must guarantee him optimal comfort, so that the transition goes well. Preferably opt for a cradle before taking a baby bed. This is for security reasons.
Then, a baby's room is not just about a bed or a crib. His little world is made up of colors to awaken his visual sense, his bed for his sleep and toys to entertain him. As soon as the child can walk or move on all fours, his room will become a play area for him.
Thus, he must have enough space to move around, learn to walk and play. He will flourish in a place that is dedicated to him, and where he will have discovered several things on his own. The older the child, the more he will appropriate his room. This shows that your child is developing both physically and psychologically.
You can even introduce him to certain practices from an early age. You can teach him how to put away his toys, how to close the door when leaving. Thus, the child will understand that the room is his, but that there are rules to follow and respect. In short, having his own room will allow the child to be independent. This will be an opportunity for you to teach him certain rules of etiquette.
Precautions to be taken before the child has his own room
When designing a child's room, you probably think first and foremost about comfort. But you shouldn't omit the security part of the job either. A baby's room should be comfortable, but also safe for him. To do this, you must take a few precautions to avoid any risk of accident or illness.
When you have decided to leave your child alone in his room, he may be old enough to move around independently. Since a toddler is curious by nature, make sure that all dangerous objects are kept out of his reach. This includes electrical outlet areas. You have several choices to protect your child from possible electrocution. You can use an outlet cover. It is also possible to hide the socket behind imposing furniture.
Then, put your child's crib or bed away from other high furniture, at the risk of seeing him climb or pull on it. Also, place any potentially dangerous objects, such as his medication, in an inaccessible place such as a double-locked cupboard.
Pay particular attention to the baby's crib or bed. Choose anti- mite mattresses . They protect the child from allergies that may occur due to dust or chemical substances present in other types of mattresses.
Finally, to always have an eye on your child, install a baby monitor. This little gadget will allow you to hear everything your little darling is doing in his room. Some models are equipped with a camera, which will allow you to constantly see your child from a distance.
The word to conclude
Until his first year, a child goes through different stages. Allowing him to have his own room and to sleep alone is one of the major events affecting the child in particular. This period will change the baby's routine. You need to ensure that the transition from sleeping with mom to sleeping alone is a step-by-step process.
To avoid sudden changes that could disturb him mentally, you must act gradually. At first, you will let him sleep alone, only during his naps. You will gradually continue with bedtime in the evening.
Whatever happens, know that a child can have his own room from his fourth month. If you do it beyond six months, this separation will be more complex both for the child and for you. It is even possible that the child sleeps in the marital bed until he is three years old if this separation does not take place at this time.