There is a common misconception around "sleep training" that requires you to move your baby OUT of your room. This is FALSE. You CAN sleep train a baby while they are in your room still — just not in your bed.
I often get asked what my most common room sharing tips are, so I've compiled a list with my top three.
Make sure your baby has their own sleep space.This is huge. Ensure that your baby has either a playard, a crib, or a bassinet to sleep in. When we teach babies independent sleep skills, we need to give them a space where they can feel comfortable. Think of yourself when you sleep in a hotel. Sometimes the bed is super comfy, but even if you have a good, long sleep, you don't ever actually feel as rested as you should be.
Why is this? Science tells us this is because HALF OF YOUR BRAIN literally DOESN'T SHUT OFF if you're sleeping in an unfamiliar sleep space. So why would we expect our babes to sleep great if we're constantly changing up their sleep space? Pick a spot and stick with it! (I vote crib!)
Create a barrier between you and your baby.This is important especially if your child is notorious for waking up too many times throughout the night. When we teach babies independent sleep skills, and they wake up in the night, it's best if they aren't seeing their favorite person (YOU) immediately. (Many little ones have FOMO big-time!)
I recommend putting a sheet up to block their immediate view of you or check out the Slumberpod as an amazing room-sharing resource. Keep in mind, the Slumberpod will fit standard playards and mini-cribs, but not full-size cribs (and use discount code: midnightmama for $10 off your purchase at checkout).
Sound Machine & Darkness!I feel like a broken record when I talk about sound machines and blackout curtains, but they are legitimate!! USE THEM! Especially if you are room sharing.
I'm just throwing darts here — but I'm guessing you don't want to be going to bed at 7 pm with your baby every night? lol. ME EITHER.
That's why a sound machine and blackout curtains are a blessing from above. Turn that noise up (but keep it about 6 feet away from the crib) and then you don't have to worry about waking your baby up every time you open the door to sneak into bed yourself.
According to the American Academy of Paediatrics, babies should sleep in their parents’ room—but not in the same bed—for at least the first six months of life, ideally for the whole year, to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by as much as 50 percent.
Exactly why room-sharing dramatically lowers the likelihood of SIDS is still unclear, but it’s thought that having other people in the room makes baby sleep more lightly, possibly leading to a reduced risk. **
When you actually decide to move your baby to his/her own room is up to you. Some parents like to move their newborns immediately and some like to wait until their child is over one year old. It's good to know that you have options — and you also have cheerleaders (me, yay!) to support you along the way!
If you'd like to start sleep training and your baby is still in your room, reach out! I'd love to help.
Midnight Mama Sleep Consulting
"I’m a Sleep Consultant for mothers, like YOU, who are ready to sleep again. You know the lack of sleep is taking a toll on your patience, your ability to feel normal, and your relationships. I help you get your baby sleeping so that you can feel like yourself again. With options for both in-person and virtual consultations, you can rest assured that I've got you covered. Sleep is SO essential."