Home parenting At what age should a child sleep in their own room?

At what age should a child sleep in their own room?

by ines.wurbs@icloud.com

There is a lot of information about whether and when a baby or toddler should sleep in a separate room. In this article, you will find the current state of research and the information to help you make your personal decision.

From the 6th month, the child can go into their own room. The following main points should be noted:

  • From 6 months, the risk of sudden infant death falls.
  • Children sleep worse in their parents’ room than in their own.
  • The psychological development is the same for both variants.
  • In their own room, the children learn to calm themselves.

See the article below for more detailed information.

Moving your baby to its own room

When should our children go into their own room? This is a difficult decision that needs careful consideration. We can’t just change that decision on a whim. Their own room becomes our child’s routine. Here are the key points to help you make your decision. In addition, the advantages and disadvantages of co-sleeping and their own room are highlighted.

So much in advance: no matter what you decide, it must be right for your child, but inevitably also for you and your partner.

Existing recommendation for the age of moving your baby to its own room

The recommendations for sleeping with the baby are based on the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This recommendation is basically about minimizing the risk of sudden infant death.

These recommendations are based on the results of numerous studies and also include information on breastfeeding behavior, lying surfaces, the use of pacifiers, and much more.

One recommendation concerns when children should go into their own room at the earliest. Here it is recommended that children aged one year can go into their own room. But no earlier than 6 months.

Ideally from one year / at the earliest from 6 months

This recommendation is intended to reduce the risk of sudden unexplained death in childhood.

You can find possible precautionary measures for SUDC prevention at sudc.org or at sudc.uk, for example.

In the same bed or just in the same room?

One point perhaps needs further explanation. Co-sleeping is often equated with the family bed. However, the two terms are not the same.

The term is an umbrella term and there are 2 variants of co-sleeping:

  • The child sleeps in the parent’s bed (family bed).
  • The child sleeps in the same room near the mother.

This point is essential. Because the risk of SUDC is higher in the family bed than in their own bed.

In the family bed, the risk of SIDS is increased.

Children sleep less well in their parents’ room

2017 study showed that co-sleeping children sleep worse than children in their own room. Children who used to sleep in their own room also slept better on average.

In the study, sleep behavior was determined at the age of 4 and 9 months. Children who were in their own room at 4 months slept up to 46 minutes longer than children who still slept in their parents’ room.

At the age of 9 months, children who slept alone early slept an average of 40 minutes longer than children who still slept in their parents’ room. Compared to children who later moved to their own bed, the difference was still 26 minutes.

Children sleep better in their own room

In their own room, children get better and longer sleep.

Good sleep is important for the development of our children. It should be noted here that our children also get enough sleep when co-sleeping. Here, it is particularly important that we parents do not “move” into the bedroom at the same time as our children. Separate bedtimes are particularly useful here. Mainly to minimize distraction while falling asleep and noise. You can read detailed information about the recommended sleep requirements in this article.

Children are not “spoiled” by co-sleeping

A study from 2011 showed that co-sleeping children did not show any abnormalities in behavior and development compared to other children. In the study, sleeping behavior and social circumstances were determined. At the age of 5 years, no significant differences in development could be determined.

Co-sleeping has no effect on your child’s psychological development

Co-sleeping doesn’t turn your children into “mama’s boys”. They develop into independent people, just like children do in their own room.

Co-sleeping has a positive effect on bonding

Of course, co-sleeping has positive effects on the bond with your child. Being close to the parents makes it easier to establish a secure bond.

This is particularly important in the first few months, as the baby still urgently needs physical contact with its parents. The more often we enable our children to do this, the better it is for bonding.

Co-sleeping is good for secure attachment

This is especially true in the first few months.

After 6 months, the bond with our children should already be secure enough that this advantage does not become even more pronounced. 

The bond can later be optimally strengthened in other ways. See my secure binding article for tips on how to do this.

The child learns to calm himself in his own room

When our children sleep in their own room, they learn to soothe themselves. Since the parents are not in the immediate vicinity, the children learn to calm down on their own. 

The earlier this happens, the faster and easier it is. From the age of 6 months, children are mature enough to sleep separately from their parents. This development can be used.

Children learn to calm themselves in their own room

From 6 months, children are mature enough to sleep alone.

Moving your child earlier is easier

The earlier your child moves into their own room, the easier it will be to get used to it. Of course, when getting used to the new room, a step-by-step approach is important. This means that we parents naturally stay with the child at the beginning until it has fallen asleep.

Over time, we can expect the child to fall asleep on their own. Here, of course, we also proceed step by step. Before the child falls asleep, we leave the room and come back shortly afterward. But only if your child is ready for it. So if it is already very sleepy, full, and satisfied.

This is how our child learns that we will come back and that it is not alone.

If children have slept in their parent’s room for a long time, moving is not so easy. The child is simply too used to the parental environment and as a result, has greater difficulty sleeping alone.

Children get used to their own room less well when they move later

The later the child moves into its own room, the more difficult it is to get used to the new situation.

Depending on how long children sleep in their parent’s room, one should consider waiting until the child wants his/ her own room. This craving generally occurs around elementary school age.

Parents sleep better without a child in the room

A not insignificant point is, of course, that we parents sleep better when there are no children sleeping around and on us. This is also indirectly beneficial for our children. Because when we parents have slept well, we can be more patient with our little ones.

Naturally, intimacy also suffers over the years in the family bed. Imagination is required, but above all the opinion of our partner must not be ignored when deciding on a family bed.

For more details see this article from the national library of medicine.


Of course, parents must decide for themselves what is best for their children and themselves. However, it is important that all the necessary information is available to make a well-founded decision.

Based on the above points, you can decide for yourself what is the best time for you and your child to separate the bedrooms. 

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