My daughter will be 3 in July and still sleeps with us part time. She starts the night (7pmish) in her bed and climbs into bed with us in the middle of the night--usually around 3am. We wake up for the day between 7 and 8am.
She has a lot of sleep anxiety and I think her current sleep pattern is actually really impressive for her. When she was first born, she couldn't sleep without being held, so to me she has made huge strides in her sleep abilities. Mom and Dad have loved the alone time after she goes to sleep at night.
I also have a lot of empathy for her because I struggled SO hard with sleep anxiety as a child, and my parents did not understand or attempt to understand. I got in trouble for climbing into bed with my younger brother so, so often. I just didn't want to sleep alone. I didn't get over this until maybe age 10, and continued to suffer from insomnia for years. Only having kids has made me tired enough to sleep pretty well most nights! I thank God every day that she was born with me as her mother, because I know how hard it is to grow up with people thinking something is seriously wrong with you, and punishing you for having sleep problems.
I don't want to cut her off from our bed, but I'm worried about safety issues with a baby and a toddler in bed together. At least half of the time we don't wake up for DD to crawl into bed with us, we just wake up in the morning, and there she is, snuggled up! I do have an arms-reach cosleeper, and I do hope that this baby will be okay with a semi-separate sleeping space, but if he isn't, what do I do to protect him from DD in the family bed?