We are planning to co-sleep for as long as baby needs to. I am planning to get a cosleeper or pack n' play, but I wouldn't be surprised if baby ends up in the bed with us.
Those of you that have pets - does anyone cosleep with your child(ren) and a pet? Our big dog sleeps in a crate, and our cats aren't allowed in our bedroom because of my allergies, but our small dog currently sleeps in our bed. She is older and has never slept anywhere but with me. We tried to crate train her when we last moved, but it was a miserable experience for all of us. She generally sleeps at the foot of the bed without moving and would be on the opposite side of the bed from baby. Is there any way this is a workable solution, or do we absolutely need to get the dog out of our room? What if baby is in a cosleeper attached to the bed?
Before anyone judges us, we are used to musical beds in our family. I have slept in the guest bed with a babe, on a queen mattress on the floor with a toddler next to DH in a king waterbed on the floor, on a mattress on the floor with a babe, next to big sister in her own bed, on a twin mattress on the floor with the kids in bed with DH, on the couch with the kids on an air mattress, etc... Some of the time all 4 of us were in the king together. DH has had our king size to himself for a good part of the last 8 years so this time around he knows he will be the one that gets to be moving beds to accommodate everyone getting a good night sleep. OK, maybe now you might want to judge us (ha ha ha).
I think anyone who cosleeps understands this. Right now we are in a one bedroom, so we all just squish on our king, but when we've been on holidays or other places with more beds DH is usually on the single matresses and I'm in the big bed with my boys. Yet somehow we've managed to make number #3... No judgement here!
It's nice to hear about mom's who follow their mommy instincts rather than fear driven campaigns stating that cosleeping is always dangerous. I have a dear friend who did the same, and she still laughs about how crazy she thought I was before she realized she would never get any sleep if she didn't cosleep.
I've always just put my babes in the middle of the bed, and sometimes used a monitor (if I remembered to turn it on). My first fell off the bed two or three times and then never did it again; he would just wake up and yell for me from the side of the bed until he could get off on his own. My second seemed to never figure out the side of the bed. He still falls out regularly, although he stays asleep most of the time. Our bed is really low, and we don't have a bedside table, so there's little danger of him getting gashed or anything. When my babes were really little (under 3 months) I did have a Moses basket that I liked because I could carry them around asleep from room to room. After they outgrew that I felt they were old enough to be in our bed. Unfortunately our puppy chewed the basket to pieces in our last move, so I will either have to do without or find another if I want to do the same this time.
As for us, we are moving next week from a 1 bedroom basement suite, where we all sleep in a king (I've got a 4 and a 2 year old) to a two bedroom. My plan is to set their room up and make a real big deal of it being their big boy room. I have a double bed I will put them both in together, and if that doesn't work I will buy a trundle from IKEA and put one on that. Right now my 2 year old is actually better at sleeping on his own than my 4 year old, so I plan on having a single mattress on the floor of my room for middle of the night visits and telling them that they can sleep in our room, but not in our bed. Once baby is here he/she will probably sleep in between DH and I. Both my other babies have slept that way, but mostly curled up under my arm so they can nurse whenever they want. I'm pretty good about just leaning over in my sleep and nursing from whatever breast I need to.