12 Moms on Why They Finally Stopped Co-Sleeping With Their Kids

mom co sleeping toddler

Whether they planned on a family bed when they were pregnant or not, many moms admit to co-sleeping -- and loving it. A recent survey found that 41 percent of moms share a bed with baby, often for the bonding experience. At some point, however, the snuggling has to end. But how do know it's time to have the kids sleep in their own beds instead of bunking with Mom and Dad?


To find out, we asked moms when and how they stopped sharing a bed with their kids. Their answers -- which range from a few months to 11 years -- could help ease your child into his own bed with fewer tantrums and tears (for both of you).

1. We stopped Co-sleeping when we weaned. "We stopped co-sleeping with our son at 7 months when I was so sleep deprived it was becoming dangerous to my health. For me, the end of co-sleeping coincided with about the time we weaned him. You see, to me, co-sleeping and nursing go hand-in-hand. It makes nursing so much easier! But then when you need to get some sleep, and your baby has taken to snacking ALL NIGHT because they can literally smell the milk on your breast, well, that’s when we decided to make a change. I pumped and such for midnight feedings, but naturally my milk started to dry up, and so I just went with the flow… or lack there of!"

2. I said Santa is watching. "I finally got her to start sleeping in her bed at 4 years old, just a few weeks ago. At first, she flipped. So I had to tell her that I bumped into one of Santa's elves at the mall and he was asking me about her behavior and if she was sleeping in her 'big-girl bed' yet. I told her that the elf said Santa would not be very happy if he found out she was still in bed with me at this age and that she would definitely get more presents if she slept in her own bed from that point until Christmas. The story worked -- she has been in her bed ever since. It's kind of an awful thing to do, but I tried everything else; this is the only thing that worked!"

3. We kept an open door policy. "I'm a mother of five -- from 3 months to 16 years -- and all three of my older children went into their own rooms on their own between the ages of 3 and 4. But they didn't go alone. I made sure that they would always share a room until they expressed a desire not to. I think knowing that I was always there for them -- because I've never left them alone when they needed comfort or let them 'cry it out' -- allowed them to feel secure."

4. School signaled an end to the family bed. "My son was in our bed until he was 5 and he was ready to move into his own bed. It was part of our getting ready for school routine."

More from CafeMom: 11 Benefits of Co-Sleeping

5. A sidecar crib made all the difference. "We attached the crib to the bed like a sidecar. It was the perfect set-up. At 9.5 months we moved her into her own room because our creaky bed was waking her up at night, and in turn she was waking us up. The transition was very easy; she never seemed to care at all, and everyone slept better from the first night."

6. We got them excited about their new bed. "My oldest two kids were 2 and 3 years when they wanted to sleep on their own. The reason: they got new beds, and had to try them out!"

7. We gave her an ultimatum. "Our toddler was about 2 1/2 and wouldn't settle down in our bed. My husband gave her an ultimatum: settle down or you can go sleep in your own bed! She chose the latter and never looked back."

More from CafeMom: 6 Tricks to Getting Your Toddler to Sleep in His Own Bed

8. We let our kids say when. "We brought a toddler bed into the master bedroom when our daughter was about 3 years old. About nine months later she started talking about sleeping in her own room, so we dragged her bed into her room down the hall, and she excitedly bounded along behind it and easily went to bed. With the exception of the first few nights after we moved into our new house -- where we made up a bed in the master bedroom for her -- she's happily slept in her own bed in her own room."

9. I still fall asleep in my child's bed. "Our 11-year-old does sleep in her own bed at this point; I just lie in her bed with her until she falls asleep, then I go into my room and sleep. This routine gives us plenty of time to chat with each other about the day's events and allows us to still be physically close, which children always need -- even if they don't ask for it."

10. I took note of her napping needs. "Our daughter didn't sleep in her crib until she was almost 14 months old. We only co-slept for naps for a few months, but one day she just couldn't get situated, or comfortable, she kept crawling all around. It became clear that my bed wasn't what she needed, so I put her in her crib and she napped in there after that day. She just let me know it wasn't what she needed anymore."

11. I make him stay put ... at least until 11 p.m. "I transitioned my son to falling asleep in his room when he was 3 years old, only I told him he was welcome in our room if he woke up late at night. However, I started to notice that he was not falling asleep, merely pretending to be asleep then just jump in bed with me when I went to bed. So that's when we changed the policy, and said he was welcome any time after 11 p.m. It has worked like a charm all these years."

12. Who says it has to end? "As babies they never really slept with us, but when they got to be toddlers they would often crawl into bed with us. Then when my husband had to switch careers and was gone from home a lot, they slept with me more and more. Now, even though my kids are now adults, it is not uncommon for them to sleep with me. We watch TV in the evening when they visit and that's where they end up. So my question is, does co-sleeping ever end?"

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