Edited by Brighids Flame - 10/25/13 at 7:16pm
Congratulations on your new babe.
We have co-slept from birth without using any devices other than bedrails.
In the interests of full disclosure I will say that I did not find the first weeks mind-numbingly exhausting so that may change my perspective a bit. I was amazed at how aware of my LO I was. Many, many times I woke from what felt like a deep sleep to find her gazing at me. I hadn't been aware of her making a noise or moving (although she may have), we just both woke up.
We rarely slept touching each other either. Usually, after she fed, I would move slightly away (as she got older she would roll away) and we would sleep close but apart. I like to lie on my side with my top leg bent which helped me to feel secure about not rolling towards her accidentally.
If you're able to get bedrails I really recommend them. They allow you to sleep much closer to the edge of the bed so no-one gets as crowded. They're also useful for stopping your back pillow falling out of bed mid-feed and you can lean against them without a pillow in a pinch.
Anyway, I'm not meaning to talk you out of a device if it makes you feel more comfortable but that was our experience.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I probably should have mentioned that we don't use a bed frame, and are planning on just having our mattress on the floor, so I'm not sure if they make bedrails for that? I will definitely look into it. I'm fine being talked out of buying devices. I'd rather not spend money on something that I won't need or use!
You could use a bed rail if you really wanted to and put it either under the mattress or if you use a box spring put it like is was made to go (between box spring and mattress). It is nice to not have your pillow (or you) falling off the bed.
I never used one of the things linked above and even in my really tired state was always aware of the baby. I say try it without it. I think you will be fine but if you are nervous order one. Shipping is so fast these days. Congrats on your new little one on the way!
My experience is that the issue is that they don't just want to be in the bed with you, they want to be touching you, and they have to be in bed with you to touch you. So my feeling is that they wouldn't like one of those and would stilll fuss. Also, it will still make nighttime nursing awkward. An awesome thing about co-sleeping is learning to nurse lying down and then nursing without completely waking up. But it isn't expensive and might be worth a try.
I used the Snuggle Nest for about 3 nights after my child was born. My husband was nervous about sleeping in the bed with her at first and we used it to ease his mind. However, by the third night (or so) she was already wiggling out of it. Plus, like a PP said, it is really more convenient for nursing just to have the baby right next to you. My child definitely sleeps better snuggled up against me!