Ending Our Co-Sleeping Journey // by Even Angels Fall

Note from Naomi: Today's post is a guest post from Emma, a fellow mummy blogger who has been blogging at her current blog, Even Angels Fall for about sixteen months. She is mama to her six year old daughter and three month old sons, and her four year old daughter. She has written a guest post for me today, about how her co-sleeping journey has come to an end! Make sure you check out her blog over at Even Angels Fall.

I love co-sleeping. I've done it with all three of my children. Each time I had a baby I would say to myself they would go into their Moses basket, only for them to be in my bed before the night was out.

The thing is, yes, they did love cuddling up to mummy, but actually, co-sleeping has been more for my benefit than for theirs. I have fairly severe anxiety and depression, and coming home from hospital with my little bundles of joy, I've been absolutely terrified to have them away from me at night.

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My first night at home with my eldest, Cameron, I just sat and stared at him all night, convinced he had stopped breathing. It didn't help that the Eastenders storyline at the time was the one with Ronnie and her baby who died from SIDS.

As a young first time mum I was in pieces. I understand this is normal, but when I still felt the same a few days in, and I wasn't getting any sleep and starting to really suffer from deprivation, my mum suggested I just take him in bed with me, and I never turned back.

I co-slept with Cameron for 11 months until he went into his own toddler bed (yes, I now know that's fairly young but it worked for us).

When I went on to have my second child, my daughter Carly, I knew deep down I would be co-sleeping with her too, but I still put on the facade of having a Moses basket.

As I was no longer single, Carly's birth threw up an obstacle I hadn't come across previously. What happens if only one of you want to co-sleep?

Carly's dad wasn't initially living with us so it was easy for me to just do what I wanted but, after he moved in, I felt I had to at least try and put Carly in her basket. More often than not though she ended up back in bed with us.

I've always practised safe co-sleeping, I don't heavily drink and I'm not a smoker, and generally, when breastfeeding, it is the best solution to those sleepless nights with a newborn.

Carly went into her cot when we moved house, when she was around 7 months old and there she stayed, for the most part, until she was in a bed (although since then she has been my cuddliest child and often makes her way into my bed in the early hours aged four).

My third child, Benjamin, was born in October last year and, despite going to the lengths of buying a new Moses basket for him, I kind of knew he would be co-sleeping too. I put him in the basket for all of 10 minutes and at the first slight cry I scooped him up and declared to my rather bemused fiancΓ© that he would be in our bed. And so he has been, for 3 happy months.

When we moved house a couple of weeks ago I knew the time would come for his cot to be put up and for him to make the transition I had been dreading. The first few nights as soon as he woke I brought him back into bed with us and happily snuggled up to his warm little body.

The last couple of nights he's slept through and I know deep down that this is the right thing for him, and ultimately for us. His cot is right next to our bed, he will stay in our room for at least another few months before going in with his brother, but it does feel like the end of an era for me. Benjamin is almost definitely our last baby so I won't be co-sleeping again.

I feel sad knowing that I won't have my little hot water bottle at night, but proud of my little boy as he grows up and becomes his own little person.

I now understand that I was causing him to wake up several times in the night, as he could smell his food. Now he sleeps peacefully, and wakes up with a beaming smile for me.

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This is the end of co-sleeping but just the start of my youngest baby's journey. I can't wait to see where it takes us.