At what age can a baby sleep alone in the room?

At what age can a baby sleep alone in the room?

Health

The baby may begin to sleep alone in his room when he begins to sleep a full night or when he wakes up to feed a maximum of twice a night. This occurs around the 4th or 6th month, when breastfeeding is consolidated and the baby begins to create its own rhythm.

Unicef ​​recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their parents, in their crib, for at least the first 6 months of life, for safety reasons. However, for the sake of convenience for the mother, due to breastfeeding, this date can be extended up to 9 or 10 months. After this age, the baby may have greater difficulty adapting to sleeping alone, as she may find the new room strange and have more difficulty falling asleep.

It is important to remember that babies up to 2 years of age should never sleep on their stomach, as there is a high risk of suffocation. It is best to always place the baby lying on his or her back. To reassure parents, what you can do is place a camera or a “baby monitor” in the room, close to the baby, to listen and see if everything is ok during the night, without having to enter the room.

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How to make your baby fall asleep alone

To teach your baby to fall asleep alone in the crib, parents can:

  • Putting the baby in the crib while still awake: At this moment the baby must be calm, peaceful and drowsy, notably a baby who is not in these conditions will not fall asleep alone in a calm and peaceful way.
  • Prefer a crib that rocks: Cribs that swing from one side to the other promote the child’s sleep, and can be used from the first week of life. Not having too many stimuli in the room, opting for light walls, without many toys or colorful decorations also help the baby to fall asleep. Playing low, monotonous music, such as classical music or the sound of the womb, also helps the child to sleep alone.
  • One adult must stay in the room: When the mother stays in the baby’s room and puts him in the crib to sleep, it should be a very peaceful environment, without very strong light. Staying in the room folding the baby’s clothes and whispering a lullaby can help the baby fall asleep, without being held. The adult must remain in the room until they are sure the baby is sleeping. As time goes by, it will become easier and easier for him to fall asleep this way.

However, there are babies and children who really need their parents’ attention and comfort, and prefer to sleep on their lap, in a rocking chair, or when their parents walk around the room, rocking them. Each baby is different, and parents must be attentive to the baby’s needs, for their safety and healthy growth.

Check out 6 other steps to teach your baby to sleep alone in the crib

When should the baby move to his room

The baby can sleep in the parents’ room until they deem it necessary, either for convenience because the baby wakes up often during the night, for example, or because the baby does not have a room just for him. It is not recommended to have more than 2 adults in the baby’s room, so in the case of a house with only 1 bedroom and 2 or more children, you should consider the possibility of a larger house, where there will be more space.

When the baby already sleeps through the night, or wakes up only 1 or 2 times in the middle of the night, and the parents have already observed that this has happened for at least 1 whole month, you can move the baby to his room so that he can sleep alone.

The baby can also sleep in his room as soon as he arrives from the maternity ward, however, in the first months of life it is normal for the baby to wake up many times during the night to feed. Parents must go and check on the baby whenever he wakes up, which can become tiring. Furthermore, being close to the mother makes breastfeeding easier and also reduces the risk of sudden death.

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Why you shouldn’t leave your baby crying

Crying is a primitive form of communication, and the baby cries when he is hungry, cold, hot, uncomfortable, sick, afraid, or needs company, with the preferred companion usually being that of his parents. When the baby cries, he knows that he is attracting attention and that he needs something, which he doesn’t always know what it is, but he is aware that an adult will appear when crying.

Therefore, it is not recommended to leave the baby crying for more than 5 minutes, because important brain changes can occur and because this compromises the baby’s sense of security. Babies who, when they cry, are immediately attended to, become calmer and more emotionally secure throughout their lives.

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Doctor graduated from the Federal University of Rio Grande with CRM 28364-RS and specialist in Pediatrics from the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics.

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