Cutting the Cord, One Fiber at a Time


That is (approximately) how many nights my youngest son, D, has slept next to me. When we brought him home from the hospital, there was no bassinet, no Pack-n-Play, no crib. He was just placed between my husband and I in our big (or so it seemed) king bed.

And, now, tonight he sleeps in his sisters’ bedroom, next to Jilly who reluctantly let her brother crawl, kicking and screaming, into her full-size bed.

There were many tears shed tonight, on all sides. D begged, “I want to sleep in MY bed!“, not understanding that our bed was always on loan. Not understanding that his big limbs now hurt when they kick or flail in the night. Not understanding that Mommy cannot possibly move any further off the edge of the bed without landing with a thump on the floor.

Our plan is to ease him out of our room, and then, out of his sisters’ room and into his own bed. We would have made the move straight to his own bed but he doesn’t have one yet. We still need to redo the kids’ playroom into a bedroom, but I’m hopeful that if he can help design his bedroom, he’ll be more apt to be accepting of it (naive of me, isn’t it?).

I have no doubt that tonight I will wake to find his sweaty, teared-stained face on the pillow next to mine. And, I’ll let him stay–Supernanny be damned. I know that I should be firm, consistent and not waver in our decision. But, if we have to do this in baby steps, so be it.

After all, this conflict over where D sleeps is going to be a non-issue in a few short years. Just take a look at Bossy’s photo of her son as he shops for things he needs for college. Yeah, I can see the four-year-old in that face. And, I plan to hold on to my own (almost) four-year-old as long as I can, because it won’t be long before I’m wondering where all the years went.

Update: at 4:18am, D was back in my bed. I heard him crawling into our bedroom (crawling? maybe b/c it was so dark?) but there was no crying or shouting, so I just scooped him up. He fell asleep with both hands on my cheeks. And then kicked me in the belly a half-hour later.


  1. Can you tie the non-co-sleeping into any other sort of reward? I always try to ease these transitions with something positive to look forward to, but it is so hard!

  2. You may have better luck moving him to his own room and his own bed. My little guy loved the idea of moving to a big-boy bed in a room decorated with his favorite outta-space theme. Maybe that’s better than being kicked out of the “big bed” to his stinky older sisters’ room?

    [Take that advice with a grain of salt. Both my kids are currently stretched across my king bed hogging the only air conditioning.]

    Anyhoo, I hope it goes OK. Try to enjoy the fact that one is on a mini vacation at Oma’s…

  3. Alpha DogMa says

    One of the reasons I love camping is that I get to sleep in a bunk with my boys. It’s a rare treat for me.

  4. Mason's Mom says

    I love this post. Our son (now three and a half) has been in our bed since he was born. Some nights I want to just soak up all the great feelings that come with sleeping beside him while I can. Other nights his knobby knees and busy little body drive me a little nuts. Over a year ago we bought him his own bed. He was really interested in it for a few weeks and even slept in it some. I found that I really missed him when he did, but I never got a chance to see if I could get used to it because he was back in our bed pretty fast. Thanks for writing such a sweet post about a topic close to my heart.

  5. SuburbanCorrespondent says

    Maybe a mattress on the floor of your room first? It’s funny how some kids transition more easily to their own rooms than others.

  6. Oh..we’ll get there some day! 🙂

    I love the 4 AM update about him falling asleep with his hands on your cheeks. So sweet. I’m sure its a process but eventually it will work somehow.

  7. AnotherMomCreation says

    You could be pleasantly surprised, at the ease of the transition. 4 just moved in with her sister and within a month started calling her old room the baby’s room.
    I think your idea of sleeping in the room with his sister is great. He hasn’t been alone before, so why make it traumatic?
    Good job!

  8. Mindful Mama says

    We just have a twin next to our king. Our 4 year old stays in it all night, only coming into our bed for snuggles when he wakes up in the morning. I have a feeling we will lose both kids from our bed at once when they decide they want to sleep in a big kid room together. I am not looking forward to it… they grow up so fast!

  9. Chicky Chicky Baby says

    I co-slept w/ Chicky until she was four months. Some nights I really want her back. Now I have C.C. and we’ll see how long this lasts. I just remember the ache I felt when Chicky finally slept in her own room. It hurt more than childbirth.

  10. For what it’s worth, I seriously suggest finishing off his room FIRST and then beginning the transition from your room to his own. Unless you intend on letting him share his sister’s room with bunk beds, or two twin beds. (My girls share a rooms with a bunk bed – 5 year old on top, 3 year old on the bottom).

    If your little one still suffers from detachment after that, then I suggest putting a small, toddler-sized mattress on the floor at the foot of your bed. Start off with putting him to bed in his own room, and let him know that if he wakes up and wants to come in to your room, that he’s more than welcome to as long as he does it quietly and goes to his little bed at the foot of your bed, made up especially for him.

    This technique worked for my sister-in-law when she was very young. We’re still working on getting our girls to go to sleep on their own. Currently my husband and I switch out who sits with them until they fall asleep. But after that, they sleep in their own beds until morning.

    Hope whatever you try works for you! 🙂

  11. How was night 2?

  12. Oh, transitioning them out of the bed is so bittersweet. Mine still come to bed around 4 in the morning for early morning snuggling and pushing mommy out of bed.

  13. Mrs. Mogul says

    I can totally relate. Since I’m bad at math I can’t tell you how many nights the kid has slept with us. A few months ago we put in a bed for him in our room because we were tired of him crying and running in out room!

  14. Anonymous says

    I could have written this post. When I was pregnant w #3, Sons 1 and 2 got moved together into their own twin beds, sharing a room. (yes – everyone was in our bed most of the time up to that point although we’d move them once they fell asleep if we weren’t too sleepy ourselves). 3 years later, they still share their room and are most happy with their beds pushed together next to one another. They used to wake up with something touching – an arm, a leg, or head to head. Now, they maintain their own space each in his own bed. I imagine eventually we’ll push the beds apart. I have to say, allowing them to grow and develop their nighttime independence at their own pace feels worth it. Everyone sleeps through the night. No one has bad dreams. No one is afraid of the dark. Yes they squabble like typical siblings during the day at times, but they are very close and play well together.

    It was a parental sacrifice for a while and I know it’s not for everyone, but for our family this felt like the most respectful and patient and compassionate strategy.

    Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

    BTW, #3 is still in our bed about 75% of the time, but has a toddler bed, lined up next to the other two and is beginning to choose that spot more often, but still knows he’s always welcome to be with us.


    Although my son never slept in my bed I was known to have the occasional “sleep over” in his. Now, at eight, I have to fight the urge to climb into his skinny twin-sized bottom bunk, scoop him up into my arms and sleep there (with the help of Ambien of course, who could really sleep under those circumstances). I worry daily that if I don’t do it soon the opportunity will be gone and he will officially be too old. Gulp.

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