This probably seems like a strange topic to see coming from someone who’s youngest is already 5 but then again, our family isn’t what I would consider typical. Co-Sleeping was something that we participated in with all of our kids for many years. We didn’t particularly start the arrangement with the mindset that it would continue on for as long as it did, but just like with most everything else in our lives, our circumstances made it a harder habit to break than we had ever imagined. Today I want to take a look at why we co-slept for so long and how we eventually broke free of the routine.

Baby Years

Having a child sleeping in our room as a fresh new baby was always a part of the plan and we had gotten a small bassinette to keep beside the bed for just that reason. The first time around I contemplated the idea of transitioning Damion to his own room a few months in but quickly found that was not going to be the right fit for us. What I did NOT plan on was allowing the baby to sleep in our own bed so soon. I was a new mom and had heard all the safe sleep talks from our doctors. We started out ok with sitting up to feed him and then transitioning him back to the bassinette once done. But as the months ran by, he hit spurts of wanting to eat around the clock and this new mom was quickly running low on steam. The transitions back to the bassinette came to happen less and less often until eventually there was no transition out of our bed at all. It was easier and it worked for us, so we kept on with it and it became our routine. So, when baby number two and so on showed up, we had similar starts but didn’t really fight the changeover out of the bassinette once it started to happen again. The third time around we swapped out our bassinette with a Pinterest hack and just attached a crib directly to our bed.

House Set Up

The first house we lived in had a nice set up for someone with little ones with two of the bedrooms right next to each other, but shortly after Damion was born, we moved into the house we are in now which has the master on the opposite side of the house from the nearest bedroom, and the other bedrooms on a separate floor. Even before Delia was born, we had started seeing some of the typical autism markers from Damion including his tendency for elopement. So even though having baby number two would have been a good time to transition over our first to their own room, the idea of having him on the other side of the house honestly seemed terrifying to me with everything we were going through. We made some small attempts to try and at least get him into his own bed by moving a twin bed into our room. But my boy thrived off routine and even a minor change to his day was a huge deal, so we quickly gave up on our efforts and opted for peace and a sliver of bed space with our little bed hogs.


As the years rolled on, we just got used to the set up. It wasn’t the most comfortable, but I honestly didn’t mind getting to snuggle with all my kids after a long and crazy day. We would joke about our bedtime situation, others who knew would joke with us. We knew that it had to eventually change, and we would make small half efforts at times that didn’t last long for one reason or another. As Damion got older and more and more set on this routine, it just became that much more of a fight to try and break it. Our younger two would have made the transition easier I think, other than the occasional nights of bad dreams, but Damion is our oldest and it seemed pointless at the time to try and transition the younger two without making the move for him as well. It seems like we are always having to work on a thousand different things with our boys and honestly, it can be exhausting. Even the things that come easy for most kids are often hard work for us to accomplish with our boys and when the end of the day would hit, I just didn’t have the energy to fight over another thing. I knew I would work my way up to making it a top priority which is where it would have to be to make the transition and stick with it.

We Finally Did It

I finally got there, to the point where I said, “it is time, we have to make a change”. But I knew from other big changes like potty training, that at least some baby steps would be required to get this done. Now I will say that there is an already built in step that we have no plans to change too soon and that is that all the kids are in one bedroom since we only have one other bedroom on our main floor. I’m not sure when we will be ready to transition them to their own individual rooms with some of them on a separate level, but I know the time is not now. They do, however, have the option to sleep in their own beds within the shared room, which for now, we have left up to them. The main goal that I had was getting Damion to stay the entire night in the kid’s bedroom without trying to come back to our room, and this would be no small feat based on previous tries. In our first trial, we attempted to wait till the kids all fell asleep and then go back to our room but at any time if he woke up, he would quickly run back across the house to find us. The first night it wasn’t until about 5am, but each night after it started getting earlier and earlier. So, we started a new strategy, with the knowledge that it takes at least 3 weeks of something to get it to be a routine.

Next attempt, I moved myself into the kid’s room. I know this may seem a bit counterproductive, but the idea was to build his comfort level and start a routine with his new room. The first night that he woke up he started to instantly get out of bed to run to our room, but I stopped him and showed him that I was still there. Once he realized that, he went back to sleep. Then he just got used to going back to sleep even if he did wake up in the middle of the night because I was still there. I knew the last part of removing myself from the room would be the hardest and thankfully we ran into the perfect opportunity to try and make the big change.

Damion has this thing where he will do certain things in certain places and doesn’t transition them across the board. We find this out often when it comes to school as I am astonished at times with the ease he will do something there that he doesn’t at home and in turn find is teachers or aid equally surprised of something he will do at home but gives them difficulty with at school. Even on our potty-training ventures, the final step really didn’t fully happen until he was at a grandparent’s house. So, I saw a small opportunity when we went to stay with our friends in Cumberland for a long weekend. It was really late when we arrived there for our first night’s stay, and we told the kids it was time for bed and that they would be sleeping in the “kids’ room”. I tucked them in, read them a story, and got up and walked out once the tuck in was over. Damion looked a little confused but seemed to just go with it. It was a different place so the ability to set up a new step in the routine was easier. And he did it, he didn’t get up until morning. So, we kept it going for the rest of the weekend and he continued with it. I was a little worried that the transition might not stick when we came back home but once we got home, I told him it was a kid’s bedroom and followed the same routine. He has not slept in our bed since.

Mixed Emotions

It feels good to have accomplished something that took us so many years to complete. There are times when Damion will still say something about sleeping in our bed, which breaks my heart a bit. I hate that it has to be so black and white with him, but that is just how he is, and I don’t want a setback for him.  I definitely miss having the extra cuddles as I know that the days are long, but the years are short. But I also know that it is my job to help him grow up and unlike other kids who have been co-sleepers I feel like there is a natural progression when they are ready to move on, but I’m not sure that feeling would have ever come for Damion on his own. He thrives on routine and if I hadn’t helped him make the change it may never have happened. My boy is growing up and I have to make sure that I do my part to help him not get stuck and make those transitions that other kids can make on their own, even if it is a little hard transition for this momma to make too.