I always urge first-time parents to never say never, because if you do you'll inevitably look like an idiot. For example, pre-kids I vowed never to co-sleep. So, of course, I wound up snuggled next to a baby for the first year or so of both my children's lives. Because that's life, people. But just as I had a revelation that I was, in fact, a co-sleeper, so too was the realization that I was done. But when should you stop co-sleeping? Of course, it varies from parent to parent, which is why I asked moms to share the moment they realized they were done co-sleeping. Turns out, most of us do, indeed, have a limit.
I know some people co-sleep and bed-share in spite of themselves — they hate it but they decide it's just not their hill to die on when it comes to parenting. I actually enjoyed it. I liked having all the family's heartbeats in one place, and it sure as hell made breastfeeding a lot easier. But at a certain point it was like "No." I began bed-sharing because that was how everyone got the most amount of uninterrupted sleep. When that was no longer true, I knew that it was time to move on and that everyone needed their own space.
But, as previously mentioned, every parent is different. So with that in mind, here's when other moms knew it was time to call it quits on the family bed:
"I have loved co-sleeping and bed-sharing, and we've been doing so in full for the past year. And I've been thinking maybe it's time soon... but then the thought would break my heart. But the past three nights we lay down to go to sleep and all I think is, 'Time to get your own bed, kid.' So I guess that means it's time."
"I think it was a cross between getting fed up with getting kicked or slapped in the stomach, chest, and face and my libido returning more or less (thus wanting some more privacy). Also, I got tired of hearing my husband whine about our son taking up the whole bed. I still occasionally let him sneak in if he's had a nightmare or had an accident."
"When I woke up with my daughter’s foot wedged firmly in my ass crack. I can’t say for certain if Folgers is really the best part of waking up or not, but I can tell you what isn't."
"Me being done and my children being done are two different stories."
"When I seriously considered connecting a spare twin to my king mattress to add a little more square footage for sleeping."
"The moment my 9-month-old rolled off the bed onto the hardwood floor, despite the wall of pillows. She slept in her own bed until this last year when we moved. She doesn’t take kindly to sleeping in new places, and we now share a room, so mommy’s bed it is. And who can say no to, 'Mommy, gimme some cuddles'?"
"My son is 7 and sleeps with us most nights. I’m assuming when he gets married his wife/husband probably won’t want to sleep with us so that’s when we’ll stop."
"My 3.5-year-old was in my bed until I was seven or eight months pregnant. We just plain didn’t fit in my queen bed. We got her out by turning the lock on her door to face out. Only took a week. She’s been good for a few months."
"The second morning in a row I woke up to discover my husband had moved down to the couch. He moved because he was uncomfortable and crowded in our bed. That's when I was like, 'Oh no, this isn't going to be our life. Out you go, baby.' [My son] was about 1 at that point."
"When I realized I hadn't had sex in my bed in about nine months."
"The night I fell out of bed because my daughter was stretched out horizontally. When I dropped (and complained loudly) she woke up, gave me an evil look, and told me I woke her up. ... I was like, 'Excuse me? There's a room down the hall with your own bed in it, princess. No one will wake you up there.'"
"The first time, it was when my son told me he wanted to sleep in his Big Boy bed. Nothing says 'time to cut the cord' like your toddler explaining that he needs his own space. My daughter, on the other hand, is a barnacle. That took weeks of sleep training and she still winds up in bed with us most early mornings."
"My husband actually had an intervention for me. Our kids were 3 and 5 and even with a California King things were getting crowded. I just didn't want to let 'the family bed' go, but he was totally right: none of us were getting enough sleep. We joke about [my reluctance] now, but at the time I didn't appreciate it. The kids had no problem transitioning. I was upset for at first, but then I discovered the beauty of a full-night's sleep for the first time in five years and I got over it. And they still come in on weekend mornings and it's a nice new tradition."
"I didn't really get to choose: I had gall bladder surgery a few months after my C-section and I couldn't have the baby in bed with me because I was on painkillers."
"When he stared crawling! I was terrified he would wake up and crawl off the bed so I wasn’t getting any sleep. He stayed in my room in a pack 'n play for another two months."
"When that moment happens, I'll let you know"
"Early on. Within a few months. Co-sleeping was a pre-baby plan I had that never really worked out, like so many others. I was determined to be a natural birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping mama ... but the truth is that none of those things were what was best for us."