to stop co-sleeping? Just wondering when do most people stop? I was a kid who was afraid to sleep by myself for a looong time so I'm not going to kick the kids out or anything--but when is it time/ what are some reasons you stop?
When boy1 started sleeping through the night without nursing, waking up to eat cereal, or otherwise needing a lot of nighttime parenting, we started the transition to his own bed - somewhere around 2 or 3yo. In retrospect, we might have been better served waiting until he asked, as he's gone through a really bad fear of monsters phase, which I totally empathize with. Of course, boy1 is a thrashing sleeper, too, so I wasn't getting much sleep with him next to me. When I got pregnant with boy2, I really wanted to finish the transition b/c I didn't want to be kicked all the time & I didn't want the baby to get flailed on. So now boy1 is in his own room, but my man's in there with him much of the time.
As a child who was terrified of the dark, I say as long as you are all comfortable with the arrangment. Im sure my parents thought I was fine, since I went to bed and never bothered them agian til morning. They just didnt know how many nights I lay awake too scared to even move. When my younger brother crawled into bed with grownups, he got put promptly back in his bed. He soon learned to crawl into bed with me, cuz I never kicked him out. Truth be told, even at ten and eleven I was as reassured by his prescence as he was by mine!
I wonder if that isn't just a primal instinct? Not wanting to sleep alone? I mean, before we built houses, sleeping alone would make you easy prey, right? After my divorce from my xh, I remeber how that old fear would come back when ds1 was spending the night away but I slept soundly when he was there. I mean, had something ever happened, I certainly would be the one defending him, so why did having him there make me feel less scared? I think its a primal fear to be the only living thing around.... when I was single and still childless, I slept soundly when I had a dog, but not when I was totally alone.
It strikes me that this is the reason most single people give for wanting a relationship, to not sleep alone. I think Im waiting for ds2 to be ready before moving dd, who may be ready now, because then they can be in the same room and hopefully they will both sleep better.
With DD, I knew it was time because the quality of our sleep was deteriorating, not just mine but hers too. We were waking each other up too many times, rather than helping each other sleep better. She never actually asked for her own bed, but it was clear from the situation that she would do better alone. And she took to the idea readily and thought it was fun to have her own bed, and slept better and more soundly once she had it. So that's how I knew.
So I would agree. As long as everyone is getting enough sleep, and is happy and comfortable with the arrangement, it's fine.
With DS, now 5, I guess I just instinctively knew it was time. When he was 2 1/2, we bought him a "big boy" bed, put it in his room, and he's been there ever since. I was fully expecting a transition time, where he would start the night in his room, then come to our room during the night, but surprisingly, he was totally content and happy to stay in his own bed in his own room from the first night he had his bed. That further confirms that he was ready to leave the family bed and the family bedroom.
DD, 21 months, is still in the family bed, and will continue to remain there until I get the same instinct that she's ready to leave.