For 18 months now, I've repeatedly seen the suggestion to put your bed (or your child's bed) directly on the floor. For the longest time I dismissed it, because we enjoy our "real" bed in our room, and the baby's room doubled as a home office so she needed to be contained in a crib or pack-n-play. And then here I'd come, desperately reading all the "horrific sleeper" threads and nearly dying of sleep deprivation. We cosleep the second half of the night, but the first half was - and always has been - a nightmare. Actually, it's all been a nightmare, because once you're both that sleep-deprived, even the cosleeping and night nursing becomes overwhelming.
Well, a few weeks ago, after several sleepless nights and endless bedtime battles to get her transferred out of my arms, I couldn't take it anymore. I emptied DD's room, babyproofed the hell out of it, and plopped a crib mattress on the floor. Lo and behold, the child ran right to it, loved it, played on it, and... wait for it... slept 9 HOURS STRAIGHT that night. I just laid down with her, nursed her to sleep, and slipped out.
Since then, she's slept 8-9 hours more often than not, and any wakeups are quick and easy. A few times, her first "wakeup" has been after dawn! Bedtime takes 30 minutes or less, instead of hours. Not only that, but she has started ASKING for her bed when she's tired! She'll sit up while we're rocking and nursing, and point to the bed. I'm just blown away. Totally blown away. We still have a sidecar crib in our room, and we still enjoy cosleeping after her first nightwaking (and we still nurse to sleep) - but this has been a total transformation. After 18 months of acting like her crib was made of fiery coals, this child loves her bed!
Maybe it's a coincidence and she's just developmentally ready to sleep a little better, but it sure did seem like magic. It hasn't been perfect, but overall life has improved so much. Just wanted to share this for all you mamas out there looking for creative solutions. I really wish I had tried this, Montessori-style, when she was much younger (Google "Montessori bedrooms" for some of the cutest kids' rooms ever). And thank you, floor-sleeping mamas, for the great advice!