Originally Posted by HonkyTonka
thanks all for the responses!
I think we're going to go ahead with the Arm's Reach and one of those IKEA cribs. Once we get through the really tough nighttime phase we'll move her/him to the crib and bring the Arm's Reach (in play yard format) downstairs. I'll be happy to have a place for baby out of dog tongue/paw reach.
Before I got to your post, I was going to suggest you select just one item (crib, pack n' play, or co sleeper). Baby gear can easily get to be very expensive. And, with a relatively short life span, the gear is just another use of too scarce resources/something that will end up in a landfill. Plus, you simply don't need to have all three items on hand.
A crib can be either placed in your room and/or you can side car it beside your bed. A pack n' play can serve as a sleeping space and play space. And, a co sleeper can be used as a sleeping area (I think that some can be used as play areas, too).
Choose what feature is most important to you based upon your expected needs. For us, a place for baby to nap and/or sleep at night (nearby) was the most important. So, we purchased a convertible crib. In retrospect, it wasn't even really needed. For our next LO, we may use a king sized bed and pass our full sized bed on to DD (and donate/sell the crib). DD napped on me (or in the car) for her first 12 + months. After that, she napped in her crib, on our bed, or in the car. At night, she slept in our bed or in her crib beside our bed. At around 2.5 we converted her crib to a toddler bed (she is in her own room now, too). We received a pack n' play as a gift. I donated it soon after...
. We also have two clumsy dogs and stairs and our LO did just fine (w/o a pack n' play).