Over the past 2 days, we have taken the first step to transit Nat into his own room. Earlier on, I wanted to move him & his cot over when he turned 1 year old but that could not happen when Nat ditched his cot for the floor. The trigger for this transition was Nat’s bizarre sleep “migration” habits in the middle of the night. We decided to invest in a bigger kid’s mattress and will take this chance to let Nat have his weekend day naps in his room. The plan is to get him used to sleeping in his room so that he’ll eventually be able to sleep there in the night, hopefully around 2 years old?
On this topic of when should a baby/toddler move into their own rooms, I did some reading and also discussed it with HJ.
From very early on, we both decided that it was more convenient to room-share with Nat. Room-sharing is not the same as co-sleeping. In fact, while HJ is okay with occasional co-sleeping, I only let Nat co-sleep as a last resort i.e. when we’re too tired to soothe him back to bed, because of how it can potentially be very dangerous. This is because we can both be quite heavy sleepers and Nat has rolled off the bed a few times before.
As for when is the right time to shift Nat over to his nursery to sleep on his own at night, HJ felt that Nat is still not ready, and I agree. What do we mean by “not ready”? Sleep-wise, Nat is pretty easy-going as long as it’s not in the cot. Yet, that also makes it not safe because he could wake up in the middle of the night and climb up the armchair inside his room. By right, one should shift out all hazardous furniture but because we can’t move out the armchair anywhere else, we decided to gradually induct Nat by having him take his day naps there first.
Finding a bigger mattress was a bit tricky. As Nat is still a toddler, his cot mattress (120cm by 70cm) is good enough. However, since I am bent on letting Nat sleep on a mattress on the floor for as long as possible, it made sense to invest in a bigger kid’s mattress. Then we encountered some size issues. Nat’s room, being the smallest in the house, cannot fit a standard single mattress because there is also an arm chair and side table inside. Thankfully, we managed to find a 160cm one from IKEA that’s meant for children ages 3-7. Having only mattresses on the floor is very flexible because it can be positioned anywhere – either parallel or perpendicular to the wardrobe. The only extra things we have to do on weekends is carry his mattress back and forth between our rooms after his day naps because he will still be sleeping on the floor next to our bed in the night.
There are plenty of tips online for a smooth transition, so wish us luck as we try them.
On a side note, I wished we read this earlier and experimented with it.
A new study raises a reason why babies ought to get evicted before their first birthday: They may get more sleep at night in their own rooms. Babies who were sleeping in their own rooms at ages 4 or 9 months got more nighttime sleep than babies the same ages who roomed with parents…sharing a bedroom with babies interferes with everyone’s sleep because normal nocturnal rustlings turn into full-blown wake-ups. Babies and adults alike experience brief arousals during sleep. But when parents are right next to babies, they’re more likely to respond to their children’s brief arousals, which then wakes the baby up more. This then sets up the expectation from the baby that these arousals will be met with a parent reaction, causing a bad cycle to develop.
The last few lines = no shit Sherlock.
But, we’re very lucky because Nat at most wakes up once and as long as he finds a warm body or hand to pat him, he goes back to bed.
Or, we’re just plain zombies. There have been two occasions in the last few weeks where Nat somehow climbed onto our bed and found his way in-between our pillows. Neither of us was conscious enough to know what happened. We simply found him next to us at 630am and assumed the other person was responsible for his appearance hahaha!