Baby in a One Bedroom Home

Parent Q&A

  • Hi there! My partner and I live in a 1 bedroom apartment with our 3 month old daughter. I've started to read up on sleep training, and a lot of what I'm reading involves putting our child in another room. Unfortunately, that's not an option for us, so I'm looking for advice from other parents who've successfully sleep trained in a 1 bedroom. As a first-time parent, I am at a loss.

    Our situation: Our apartment includes a living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. The bedroom includes a long, narrow closet that runs the length of one of our walls. We don't have any walk-in closets and we don't have a long hallway. BUT her mini-crib will fit in the closet. We have a sliding door that we've removed from the closet, which we could put back up if that would help. Our daughter currently sleeps in a bassinet next to our bed.

    What is most important for sleep training? 

    Thoughts on how to set up our bedroom to facilitate her sleeping well and independently as she gets a little bit older? We are not planning on moving in the near future if we don't have to. 

    Thank you! 

    I guess it would be helpful to understand what you are trying to accomplish with sleep training. It is a little early to stop feeding overnight as most drs recommend continuing to feed at night until around 6 months. We started a bedtime routine around the 12 week point so that our baby could start to understand the pattern. That really helped him start going down easily at night after several weeks of repetition. If that's what you're trying to accomplish then I would think it would be something you could do in a 1 bedroom apartment, assuming your child goes to sleep earlier than you. 

    We recently got our daughter through to 7mo in our 1-bdrm. Our sleep training for her simply included getting her on a reasonably consistent schedule (bed always between 7 and 7:30), and a routine (bottle, book, singing, bed). We gave her a lovey. We put a dohm in the room for white noise. We played a "shhh" song in the room. Black out curtains (think blanket clipped over the window shade) might be helpful for summer. A baby monitor was helpful to keep an eye on what was going on.  We did some cry-it-out. We sometimes caved and bounced her to sleep. Ultimately, feeling out what was right for her and the routine seemed to be the keys. We would wait for her to fall asleep and then quietly get into our bed.

    One note...our baby outgrew her mini-crib at 4mo. She started scratching the sides and would keep herself awake doing so. The full size crib solved that.

    Good luck!

    I feel your pain. I'm a Choice mom (single mom by choice) with an 11 month old daughter. She has her own room but I resorted to the
    "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" book like the bible!  Good luck!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


One-bedroom apartment and a toddler

March 2005

I have a 16 month old son. We live in one bedroom. He slept in bed with us for 8 months but now sleeps in a crib. We did ''sleep training'' and he cried and now he sleeps through the night, more or less. The problem is, he doesn't seem to sleep well when we're in the bedroom with him. Since starting the sleep training a month ago, my husband has slept on the couch. I slept at a friend's for 2 weeks. Since I've been back, my baby has started waking up earlier in the night -- it's as if he hears/smells/senses that I'm just feet away from him and he can't sleep knowing this. When he was alone in the room he slept until 6am. Now he wakes up between 4-5 and is still tired. It's so hard to let him cry when I'm in the room. I'm afraid that he just won't be able to sleep if we're inthe same room as him and don't know what to do. Anyone else struggle with this one-bedroom issue? Will he just start to sleep deeper at some age? He seems to be a light sleeper -- my husband tosses and turns a lot and just that wakes him up...I really don't want to re-arrange my home so that he has his own bedroom, but I'm afraid I might have to. I'm tired! And I would like to sleep with my husband again at some point...What have other parent's experiences been with the one bedroom issue? When do babies start to sleep deeper? Advice? Suggestions? Consolation? I'm SO tired!

Is there another enclosed space (besides your bedroom) in your 1- BR apt that would fit your child's crib? We also live in a 1-BR apt, but converted the walk-in closet down the hall from our bedroom into a small baby's room. It's just big enough for our son's crib and not much else, but we decorated/painted it in cheerful colors and it has worked out wonderfully for all of our sleeping sanity! --Baby loves his 'room'

My husband and I lived in a one bedroom apartment until our son was 18 months old. He slept with us until he was about five months old when we figured out we were keeping him awake and vice versa. We had a wide but shallow closet in our hallway that has wooden doors on it. We took off the doors and his crib fit there perfectly. We put up curtains to block the light. Sound was still an issue (no door between the hallway and our living area) and we pretty much hibernated in our bedroom with TV or books when he was asleep. We all slept much better though. anon

You might try playing 'white noise' such as a CD of ocean sounds, a radio set to static, a humidifier, or a fan. This is a long shot--it probably won't work--but at least it's cheap and easy to try. David

We had the same problem, and at 5 months, finally decided to rearrange the apartment and put our bed in the living room. We moved some other stuff into the bedroom, to make room, and the bedroom has become our son's room. We were reluctant to have to sleep in the living room, and it's occasionally annoying (when my husband has to stay up late working, for example), but we are soooo much happier this way than trying not to breathe while we slept for fear of waking our oh-so-sensitive sleeper. The baby and I both sleep a lot better. I say, it's worth it to move the furniture -- you'll get to sleep in your own bed again, with your husband, and it's not really that bad to be in the living room. now a less-tired mom

Crib in parents' bedroom and night-time wakeups

Sept 2003

Hi, after perusing the many helpful postings on sleep there is a topic I'm still wondering about--having baby's crib in the parents' bedroom. I have a seven-month old son who previously slept like a champ but now is waking up fairly often in the night. Since we are only a foot or two away from him, it's difficult for us to ignore his cries espcially when he pulls himself up and stares at us. I know that co-sleeping is an option that works for many folks but our guy really seems to prefer the extra room to roll his crib affords--when we sleep together, there's nothing but kicking and grumbling from him, and hardly any peaceful sleeping. On the other hand, crying it out seems very difficult to sucessfully implement also. I'm sure we are not the only ones who have a small apartment and not much space--how do others handle nighttime wakeups when baby is so close (but not in) the big bed? One-bedroom mama

We also had a tiny one-bedroom apartment when we had our first child. Initially, we slept in the same room (separate beds), but by the time she was about six months old, it was not working for the same reasons you point out. We moved her crib into the front room. Visitors were made to come at non-napping hours, my husband and I had to hang out in our room or the kitchen to socialize. It may sound a little fanatical, but at the time, the most important thing to us was sleep. It was one of those phases where a Victoria's Secret catalog would be lying on the bed and all my husband could say was, ''Boy that bed sure looks comfortable.'' Anyway, hope this helps. anonymous