Well, I'm sorry to see the thread get sidetracked to a debate about whether a bassinet/cosleeper attachment is the same as cosleeping. While I don't think anybody meant to be hurtful, I agree with LizD that we should be supporting each other, not creating more divisions. And really, if you want to get technical about it...McKenna never said just how far away a baby had to be from it's mother to reap the benefits of symbiotic breathing, sleep, etc...a baby in a bassinet right at mum's head level may be close enough to get that stimulation. All I can say is what I've said all along: if baby is happy there, then go for it. None of the mamas here said they'd keep a crying baby in the bassinett if baby wanted to be in the bed.
I also think this thread has served as a peice of supportive testimony to my question of "what makes a mother unable to cosleep". We've heard from three people with severe sleep issues that predated baby. Trying to lump such mothers into the catgory of those who "want baby to be independent" and thus stick them down the hall is analogous to lumping a mastectomy patient in with those who feed formula out of convenience. I think it goes without saying here that people with sleep/depression issues, or babies with special needs, are not included in the category that I think the OP was addressing: those who put baby down the hall as a matter of default.
Snowbaby, I appreciated the humour with which you are conducting yourself. I hope this comes across without sounding patronizing (it's so hard to convey tone in text!). The arguments you have raised are all "old hat" so to speak, in the sense that they are generally asked by those who have not done the research into AP. I know you have just begun your journey, and I don't expect you to be familiar with all the literatue. And I can't refute all your points without writing three pages (and LMB did a good job of it anyways). I can just tell you that you are misinformed, or should I say "underinformed" right now. Just one example is the study you cited of smothering deaths/accidental deaths in cosleeping infants. That study was not only terribly designed, not to mention sponsored by the JPMA (crib manufacturers), but it has been refuted by several of the world's leading experts on SIDS and infant sleep. If you can get your hands on a copy of Mothering's special Cosleeping issue, you will find the rebuttals there. Suffice to say that study is not worth the paper it's written on.
The anthropological data is also quite clear. Meredith Small's book "Our Babies, Our Selves" does a nice job of summarizing this. The truth is, that it's an American belief that those who don't use cribs and separate rooms are merely victims of poverty. Honestly, this is the sort of elitest garbage that makes me embarrassed to be part of the Developed World sometimes!
Mothers in many cultures around the world are positively shocked and disgusted at how readily North American women abandon their babies and ignore their cries. A global perspective really sheds light on this issue.
As does history. If you research the origin of cribs, they stem from a very Victorian-era notion of bodies being full of harmful "vapours", of discomfort with anything remotely sexual, and warped ideas of a child's place in the home. It had nothing at all to do with child safety, I assure you.
Finally, an understanding of evolutionary behaviour is necessary to appreciate the difference between being adaptive, and changes in fundamental aspects of physiology. The latter take hundreds of thousands of years to change. Babies are born into this world expecting the Stone Age. They may be able to adapt, but only so far. Again there are some wonderful books out there that go into this in much more detail.
I can tell you as a scientist myself who has carefully reviewed the literature, that the safety of cosleeping is more than anecdotal. The evidence is very clear, society is just slow to catch up with changes in attitude. I applaud your openness to being here and learning about AP, and I applaud the way in which you have conducted yourself in this thread. But do understand that AP is very science-based. While some here naturally fall into it b/c they are "on the crunchy side", others (like myself) are convinced by the evidence that is readily available. We'll be happy to direct you to that literature, but be ready to change your mind about the "jury being out".