How Our Co-sleeping Relationship Ended

Tuesday was my daughter’s birthday. She was born at 8:09 am March 22nd 2 years ago. She was my beautiful little water baby. Today she is my beautiful little girl.

Birthday Girl

She took a major step this weekend and changed where she has slept for her whole life. She now sleeps in her very own bed and it was a decision she made on her own. My last day of sharing a bed with my daughter and husband was this past Friday and I didn’t even know it would be. I would have cuddled her extra tight. I probably would have been up half the night just gazing at her and stroking her sweet cheeks and breathing her in. I probably would have tried my hardest to memorize every detail of those last moments of her lying next to me. But, like almost all of her milestones, this one came lightning fast.

The Owl Bed

For her birthday we got her her very own twin bed with birdy sheets
and her Nanny (my mom) got her an owl quilt (one of her favorite animals) and an owl lamp. We choose to wait until her birthday party to put it all together and show her after she had opened all her other gifts.

And she absolutely loved it.

Moments after seeing her new bed

When it was time for her normal bedtime routine, after her bath she wanted me to skip straight to the bedtime part. She wanted to skip the rest of our routine. She kept telling me that she want to go to bed in HER room, in HER bed. I knew she was ready for this change but still expected some resistance. We actually weren’t even going to have her sleep in it the night of her party since we had my in-laws in town staying with us and it had been a pretty eventful day. We had a plan for the transition. But our daughter didn’t need our plan.

That first night she slept in her “owl bed” with no problems. She awoke once in the night to nurse and within 20 minutes she was fast asleep and didn’t wake until morning. I thought she might wake up earlier than normal but she didn’t. It was all very unexpected and bittersweet really.

It will be a week tomorrow that she has been sleeping in her own room so I guess it’s official. We are no longer a co-sleeping family. Our bed seems so big now and I miss my sweet girl sleeping right next to me. I actually slept horribly the first couple nights, unable to get comfortable or relax enough to get any decent rest. It’s  funny but it’s kind of how our co-sleeping relationship started out.

I never anticipated having to re-learn how to sleep without her beside me. The first couple nights I actually was already awake or awoke shortly before she did. We are still in tune even though she is across the hall now. She doesn’t wake up crying. She simple will wimper for a moment, and, if I hear her, I go in to nurse her. The last couple nights I did not even hear her until she came walking down the hall, saying “mama, mama, mama”. We met in the middle and walked back to her “owl bed”. The first time she walked to our room, she kept asking me to come to “owl room” and “owl bed”. I think she was actually worried I was going to put her back in our bed. Another time once she saw me coming towards her, she turned back around and hopped into her bed, waiting for me to join her.

The Morning After Her First Night in Her New Bed

There are still plenty of sweet night moments to experience with her (and my husband laughs that I actually am excited when she wakes at night). I know that our co-sleeping days will always be an extra special memory to me though and I will definitely miss them.


17 responses to “How Our Co-sleeping Relationship Ended

  • Unconventional Moms « A Little Bit of All of It

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  • Wolfmama

    My heart wrenched reading this, thinking about how bittersweet it will be when my son is ready for the transition himself. I will give him extra cuddles tonight to imprint these tender nights in my memory. Thank you for sharing!

  • mamapoekie

    My daughter started sleeping through at age 2, she’s still in our bed, and will be 3 in june. She has hinted to wanting her own big bed and we decided to get her one once we move into our new house, which will be towards the end of the year. I don’t think with all the moves we are planning until that time that it’s a good idea to start with her own bed. I’d actually like her to stay with us for quite some time more.. we’ll see what the future brings. Thanks for this

    • julamber

      I agree about waiting until after the moves. I know we moved 3 times in my daughter’s first year and I was glad to have nursing and co-sleeping as a constant in her life to provide that sense of security.

  • Anne

    I have recently been thinking about moving my 2 1/2 yr old out of our bed. He loves helping tuck his brothers in, in their rooms and I thought maybe he would be ready. The only downside we have had with co-sleeping, and it has only been with my youngest, is he seems to be unable to sleep at all without me. But after reading this and taking the time to think about how much I love where we are right now and how much I will miss it, I dont think I’m ready. I’m completely content with him needing his mamma right there. Thank you!

  • Kelly

    What a beautiful and bittersweet story!

    I have wondered how our co-sleeping relationship is going to end (mine is 7 months), and I know it is going to be hard for me…but I love this easy transition story, and sincerely hope that ours ends up being very similar.

    Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    • julamber

      I was surprised at the ease of the transition and had to laugh about all those naysayers that told me how it was going to be impossible to get her “out of my bed” since we co-slept. We basically have been talking to her the last couple months about getting a big girl bed (although I am not actually thrilled with the phrase “big girl”) and sleeping in her own room in her own special bed. We would ask her if she would like that. At first she said no and we’d ask if she wanted to keeping sleeping with mommy and she would say yes. Gradually she started replying that she would like to sleep in her own room. I have no idea if this helped get her used to the idea or not but maybe?? She is a pretty independent little girl though. She was really high needs as an infant and has really blossomed into this independence as a toddler. It has been neat to watch.

  • A Birthday Abroad | TRAVELITERATURE

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  • Shawna

    Hi . . .I’m the person who linked to your story on the connected mom site. I just wanted to say that your story really touched my heart and gave me encouragement! I now have a new blog to follow and love!

  • Natural Parenting Blog Party « A Little Bit of All of It

    […] breastfeeding beyond infancy, baby-led weaning (in regards to starting solids), cloth diapering, bedsharing/co-sleeping and natural […]

  • Alana

    Thank you for sharing. I am reading this from my daughter’s bedside at naptime behind tear filled eyes. My husband feels our breastfeeding and co-sleeping arrangement ( our 15 month Peanut wakes twice before we retire and four to five times nightly; also once during her nap) is no longer working for him and is coming between our couple time.

    What a lovely end to a beautiful season of your relationship. I’m conflicted and feeling rushed to end ours.

    Thanks again for sharing

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