This is me with my 2 month old son. We bed-share almost all the time that I’m asleep. Occasionally, he will go in his bassinet during the night. If I’m awake, he sleeps in a carrier on my chest or in his bouncy seat.
This is my 4th child, and I would have to say that he cries the least of all of them. I’m sure some of that is due to personality, but I attribute most of it to the fact that he’s carried probably 6-8 hours per day and the fact that we bed-share. I read a story not long ago about how babies in Africa don’t cry, which was attributed to precisely the same theory. (http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/claire_niala.html)
Why bed-sharing? Like I mentioned, he rarely cries. Anyone with kids will tell you how disruptive to sleep it is to hear a crying baby several times a night. With bed-sharing, I wake when he starts waking. His wiggling and quiet coos rouse me just enough to pop a boob in his mouth. Then I half-sleep until he’s finished and settled back into the crook of my arm. No crying, no getting out of bed, no lengthy routine to get him back to sleep.
Don’t I worry about suffocation? In a word, no! Mothers are actually very in tune with their babies, and even when they are normally deep sleepers, they awaken more easily upon hearing or feeling their baby stir. I think this article describes bed-sharing well: http://www.phdinparenting.com/blog/2009/1/9/benefits-of-co-sleeping.html)
There are ways to ensure the baby’s safety in your bed, as the linked article describes. My husband is a deep sleeper and moves a lot in his sleep, so I generally keep our son on the side of the bed rather than the middle. If I have to put him in the middle because I need to get more comfortable or to nurse him, I position my arm in such a way that he is protected from my husband’s flailing hand. I also don’t sleep with heavy blankets by my son’s face, and he sleeps at my breast, on my arm, rather than near my pillow. I feel completely safe with our sleeping arrangement. I would never do anything I felt was dangerous to my child, even if I had the slightest doubt!
Dr. William Sears is one of my favorite sources for attachment parenting information. Here is his opinion on co-sleeping, with plenty of links to research that supports it: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/sleep-problems/scientific-benefits-co-sleeping
I wish I had shared my bed with all my children. If I have any more babies, I definitely will bed-share again =)