Co-Sleeping. The Family Bed. Bed Sharing. All of these terms are euphemisms for having a couple and their child/ren all in the same bed. Outside of the United States, it is a very common, accepted practice. Here in the US, it's quickly climbing in controversy to crying it out and breast vs. bottle. Many people in the "attachment parenting" (google it) school of thought think it is the only way to go. Dr. William Sears is a huge proponent of attachment parenting and co-sleeping. I find this interesting because the American Academy of Pediatrics has recently come out with the official stance that co-sleeping is bad. No matter what.
Even the most staunch co-sleeping advocate believes that some rules ought to be followed- no excess bedding that the baby could suffocate on, drinking/medications and co-sleeping shouldn't be mixed, tight fighting sheets and bed frame so baby can't get trapped. Excessively heavy sleepers shouldn't co-sleep.
When the AAP came out against co-sleeping, I had a difficult time. I was currently cosleeping with S, and loving every minute of it. For the first time, I wasn't constantly worried that my baby was going to die of SIDS. In general, I have agreed with the AAP, so it was weird to find myself in one of the fringe groups. I will admit that S didn't sleep through the night consistently until she was over a year old and sleeping in her own crib.
When Z came along, I decided to mainly have him sleep in the crib because I couldn't take another year of a baby waking up multiple times in a night. Z has been a pretty great sleeper up until about a month ago. About that time, he got a cold (which he is STILL fighting). When the cold set in, he became a very vocal supporter of co-sleeping. From the beginning, he preferred to sleep with us (duh!), but he was at least willing to try his bed.
For the last month, we have had to make sure he is sleeping really, really deeply before we put him in his crib or he would start screaming as soon as his butt touched the mattress.
Last night, I didn't even bother trying the crib out, just put him in our bed. He fell asleep immediately, and slept til my husband woke up at 7:20. It was wonderful.