There comes a time when you finally let your baby sleep alone. Knowing when is the hard part. There have been many studies that show the optimal time. Yet when it comes down to it, you have to be ready for it just as much as the baby does.
When to let your baby sleep alone? This is a topic with a variety of answers from expert to expert. The best thing you can do is do your research and make your own informed decision. There is not a clear right and wrong answer to this question.
Pediatrician Lane France suggests keeping a newborn baby in the same room as the parents for the first 10 days. During this time you are more easily able to get a feel for their sleep patterns as well as their breathing noises. Then from 2-4 weeks he suggests the baby still sleep in the same room or in their own room with a baby monitor. After the first month it’s fine to let them sleep alone as long as bedroom doors are left open so you can hear them if they cry.
Dr. Jay Gordon promotes the family bed. As long as parents are not intoxicated in any way or overly tired he says it is perfectly safe. He even goes on to encourage the family bed as it eliminates the possibility of SIDS. Many other experts, such as Dr. Ferber are starting to see the benefits as well. Dr. Ferber published his sleep book more than twenty years ago insisting that baby’s had to sleep alone.
Making sure their bed is firm and free of loose bedding or toys is critical. A soft bed can allow their head to sink into it and can cause SIDS. Between the ages of 3-6 months is the time period that most pediatricians recommend to allow a baby to sleep alone. They should also start sleeping through the night around the same time.
There is one thing most experts do agree on. The best time for your little one to sleep alone is when YOU are comfortable with it. You know your baby better than anyone. You learn their little cues and what they need. That’s right; your own judgment is the most important tool in this decision.