The family bed. Also known as cosleeping or bedsharing. Naysayers call it "getting kicked in the head in the middle of the night and never having sex with your spouse."
We have done it for over 7 years and it works beautifully in our family. Here's the history of it in our house ...
We got a way-too-expensive crib when I was pregnant with J. and expected he would fall asleep in it after a round of nursing. We tried this several times and could not sleep through or stand his crying. I discovered accidentally that I could nurse and sleep simultaneously and that EVERYONE slept great.
Yes, I've heard the horror stories, and I ask you to consider all the facts before devaluing the family bed. I've never gone to bed on drugs, drunk, so tired I would not hear my kid wake. I've never rolled over on one of the kids. It's some sixth sense that I believe most mothers have ... some instinct so they are aware of their baby at all times.
The most we've had in our bed has been 3 kids. We had to push together a queen and a twin bed to make that happen. They all sleep together great. About a year ago we moved the boys (then aged 4 and 6) into their own room. They choose to sleep together on the bottom bunk and still do. Our oldest daughter sleeps in the twin bed basically alone, but still next to us. The baby sleeps next to me all night (and on my lap for most of her naps). When A. travels, we all 5 cram in together.
Before you feel sorry for me, thinking I'm manipulated by my babies, let me tell you I was 30 when I had my first chitlin. I was partied out and had always wanted a big family. I was ready to be a hands-on mother. Something felt right in my soul when I started mothering the way I felt was right for me. I started reading so I could state my case to my husband, and he was totally on board.
In an earlier post I said how attachment parenting can be lonely. That is because it is hard to live your life differently than most everyone else you know. But if we were all the same, wouldn't the world be boring????
P.S. If sex were impossible while a baby sleeps in the bed, would we have 3 more kids by now?! Three words: location, location, location!!!