I didn't "co-sleep" but both my children have slept in a cot next to my side of the bed.
The first was there for 6 weeks only, she was a LOUD sleeper and I'm a light sleeper so she would keep me awake.
With my 2nd, she was there for 11 months because she rarely made a peep.
I have a friend with a child who is 2 1/2 years old and she still co-sleeps. I think that's taking it to extremes
I did with my children when they were little. It was easier than getting up to them all the time during the night and we all slept better. You have to be careful of course, and there are safety guidelines to follow (don't do it if you have been drinking or smoking, no loose sheets or blankets, a few other things I can't remember now off the top of my head) and you can get a sidecar bassinet that goes next to your bed to put the baby on, so they are level with you but not actually in the bed. I gather people worry about rolling on them, but in the only cases I have heard of that happening it was where the adult in question was unwell or on drugs (including mothers of newborns in hospital, exhausted and having had prescription painkillers) or not in a proper bed (a couch or a hospital bed).
Mine naturally took to their own beds when they were ready, around 2 years. It's not for everyone, but it worked for us.
We did not call it co-sleep back then. It was something we were warned not to do because of the danger to the child. I mothered instinctively and did what I thought was right. My baby had his own room, but I would bring him to bed with me to feed him as he was born in Winter and my house is cold. I found I frequently fell asleep feeding him, but was very aware that he was there and formed a roll cage with my arms so my husband wouldn't accidentally roll onto him.
As a toddler he would get out of bed and hop in with me. He was very quiet about it and I would wake with a bottom in my face or his little arms around my neck.
I loved having him in bed with me sometimes, but not the whole night. He grew out of it when he was about four.
annfi, it's interesting you mention the "danger" to the child. I have read that studies have demonstrated that mothers (who are not otherwise compromised) spend more time in light sleep than deep sleep when they are co-sleeping because they are instinctively aware of their children in the bed. I also read that the danger we have of smothering our kids if we sleep with them is based on a period in history when people were intentionally smothering their children because they couldn't afford to feed them. Apparently, people were confessing this in the confessional and the Church banned co-sleeping.
I can vouch for that Vee. I was very aware of my baby in my bed and the movements of my husband. I was worried my husband wasn't as aware though. It's very interesting that the church banned co sleeping for that reason.
With new babies, and with my last son....he was in a little cot, right next to me at the same height I was sleeping.
He knew mummy was close by, as they can smell and sense it.
They make the most amazzzzing baby cots now for that reason.
I would not allow baby in my bed, unless about 5-6 months.
Way too small.
I didn't let my child sleep with us either. But I certainly wish now that I had. The lack of sleep and then the arguments and scratchiness because of the lack of sleep was just dreadful. On the one night that I did bring the baby to bed with me, I was terrified that i or my husband would smother her, or that the baby police might find out, but that was the one sole night that we ALL slept through.
I didn't do it again because I felt so guilty. But I think about all the babies all over the world that live with extended family in one room, and up in the mountains, never heard of baby formula……….and they all seem to thrive regardless of co-sleeping.