sex and relationships

Should your baby share your bedroom?

Agony aunt Suzie Hayman offers her tips on what to consider

Is your baby best off sleeping in your bedroom

What to think about when deciding whether baby should sleep in your room

Baby sharing parents room

It’s recommended that your baby sleep in the same room as you for the first six months. But how do you feel about this when it comes to your relationship. 

Asides, the safer sleep advice that helps to prevent SIDS in babies. Here’s why it’s a good idea for you and your baby:  

Why is it good for baby? 

In the womb a developing baby is never in silence. They can hear you talking and are surrounded by the sound of your heartbeat and rushing blood. Coming out into the world can be a traumatic explosion of unfamiliar sounds and sensations but being put to bed in a quiet room may well be far more alarming. Babies benefit from being held, rocked, talked and sung to as much as possible. Keeping them with you not only during the day but at night so they always hear you, awake or asleep, may feel far safer to them. 

Can it be good for you? 

If your baby is close at hand it’s so much easier to hear if they wake up, reach them for feeding, and often means both of you are aware of the baby’s rhythms and needs so you’re more able to share the load. It may also mean you feel better about continuing Sunday morning lie-ins – you don’t have to get up if you can hear if the little one needs you. You can relax and do all the things you used to do in your bedroom, secure in the knowledge you can snap from being partners to parents quickly and as needed. Which reminds us…

Does it mean no TV and no sex? 

It’s not a bad idea to accustom babies to normal everyday noise. You don’t want to spend the next 18 years tip-toing around and if from the outset your baby gets used to background sounds such as conversation, TV and even your having sex you’ll all benefit. Don’t forget baby will have no idea what your sexual sounds mean so you’re not being inappropriate. If anything, your baby may well detect that the two of you are happy and enjoying yourselves and that’s a positive. 

How long? 

The general advice is 6 months – long enough for you and your baby to fall into a routine and feel comfortable. Have their own bedroom ready and keep most of your baby’s belongings in there – use it as changing room, play room and for daytime feeding room too. When you begin transitioning them you’ll want to put your baby in the crib for daytime naps, so it becomes familiar. Gradually, try longer periods when baby is asleep. But start as you mean to go on. Being put to bed by loving parents who talk, sing and read to (and eventually with) a child sets the tone for strong social and emotional development.  Make bedtime an enjoyable and loving time for all of you, first in your room with you. And then in time, in theirs. 

Suzie Hayman headshotBounty “Sex & Relationship” articles are written by expert Suzie Hayman. Suzie is agony aunt for Woman magazine, a Relate trained counsellor, and an accredited TripleP (Positive Parenting Programme) parenting educator. She makes frequent appearances on TV and radio and as well as writing 31 books, Suzie writes features on parenting, relationships, sex and couples counselling, for a wide range of national magazines and newspapers

Should your baby share your bedroom?