Postpartum Separation Anxiety

Transitioning Baby to Their Own Space Can Be Tricky...


Moving your baby from a bassinet in your bedroom to it's own room or space can be emotionally challenging at best and panic-inducing at worst. This anxiety response to moving baby is normal and healthy for a lot of women... but far from easy.


The Feelings. Lots of women that I speak with describe an overwhelming feeling of sadness and anxiety when they talk about what it's like to move baby out of their bedroom "How will I know that he is breathing?" "She has never been so far away from me?" A feeling of irrelevance and self doubt creeps in, "They must not need me anymore.".


While mom's know concretely that their babies still need them, this innate, biological fear sets in to protect the baby. Historically, it wasn't safe for babies to sleep out of eye view of their mother. This transition can feel to the mother like a break of the mother/baby bond and can cause scary thoughts, panic and sadness that feels out of proportion with what is actually happening.


The other part is the massive amount of information that this generation of mother's has to endure. We have access to an inundation of horror stories about all of the things that can go wrong with all different types of babies from all of over the world. No wonder anxiety comes naturally...


These feelings are completely normal. Many mothers feel that the first night (week?!) babies are alone in their own rooms are challenging emotionally and difficult to sleep through. Fortunately, the fear and panic is short lived, but there are options for decreasing anxiety around this issue.


The Options. The options in this situation are simple and can be helpful when trying to ease anxiety or find clarity over when is the right time for your family. You can wait until you feel more comfortable, invest in a video monitor or move into baby's room for the first few nights to ease the transition.


Consider the reason that made you start thinking of this transition, is it baby's age? You not getting enough sleep with them making noises all night? Or is someone else in the family pushing to have the baby go to their own space? These questions and options can help you best understand how to proceed.


Considerations. If you decide to move forward with transitioning baby out of your room, pick a night that you can distract yourself with something relaxing to do. Maybe a movie, a good book, a bubble bath. Use affirmations to tell yourself that baby will be okay (they will!) and that you will sleep well. If you have a video monitor, use it! If not, that is better for your mental health anyways (post on this topic coming soon). Sleep meditations can be great for falling asleep on those big thinking (high anxiety) nights.


Any way you choose to do it will be the right way and the best thing for your family. The feelings around any transitions with children can be big, hard and unexpected. Lean into the uncomfortable stuff to better understand what is coming up for you and then make the decision that feels right.