I care about celebrities about to the extent that they agree with me. This is true of most folks, although few will admit it.
Anyway, one of my friends on Facebook linked to this blog post by Mayim Bialik, known to most people as Blossom (mainly because her real name is difficult as hell to pronounce) on why she parents the way she does, and since she parents the way I do, I'm now a bigger fan of her at 31 than I was at 13. The money quote? "Mammals sleep with other mammals; we are supposed to do it. You don't sleep alone, why should babies and children?"
Of course I realize that to share a bed or not is a deeply personal thing. I have little issue with it one way or another, so long as you're not leaving your child alone to cry for hours on end in the mistaken belief it will teach him/her to self soothe (it is a certifiably bad idea). A lot of people are very light sleepers, a lot of babies are kickers, some people will never be convinced that it's safe, even though it is. And that's fine.
But honestly, pretty much every parent I've talked to in real life has co-slept to some extent. Whether they do like I do and put the baby down in their own bed from the get-go, move the baby after the first feeding, or just have a small one that climbs into their bed in the early morning hours, at some point, for some stretch of time, there's been a small human in bed with them. The only difference has been whether they felt bad about it or not. One of the more common plaints on BabyCenter is some version of "I know my baby shouldn't sleep with me, but we both sleep so much better when she does. What should I do?" My invariable response? Quit beating yourself up.
Here's the thing with Americans (I dunno if other countries have this problem, though I'm betting its becoming more and more common): we worry about what we "should" be doing. And I really don't know where a lot of these parenting "shoulds" come from, though I strongly suspect they come from folks without children.
Co-sleeping, even bed sharing, is the biological norm. Like Bialik says in another post on her own blog: "Do gorilla mamas have Ph.Ds in Neuroscience? No. Do they know to sleep close to their babies, nurse them into toddlerhood, carry them everywhere, cradle them and cuddle them and kiss them and adore them whenever they want to and protect them from anyone trying to get in their way? Yes." (Bialik, by the way, does have a doctorate in Neuroscience.) So why do we push babies to sleep in their own room, away from others of their family? More to the point why do we feel bad about adhering to the biological and historical norm? It really doesn't make any sense.
Babies sleep better when they sleep with their parents (and so do their parents). True story: Erik thinks Marie sleeps through the night. She doesn't, not really, but she wakes up just enough to nurse, and I wake up just enough to nurse her, and Erik sleeps through it all. Sure, I get punched awake some mornings, but even when that happens I open my eyes to a baby who is smiling at me and wiggling all over in her happiness to be by her mom. I'm a pretty hard sleeper, so if she was across the room, much less in a different room, it would be a different story. She'd wake up and I wouldn't be there and she would probably play quietly by herself for a little bit, but sooner or later a wet diaper and empty tummy would get the best of her and then she'd start to fuss and then to cry, and the crying would be what woke me up...and being awoken every single day by a crying baby would just annoy me. I wouldn't be as happy a parent and she wouldn't be as happy a baby. I am confident in the way I parent because I know it has strong backing in both biology and psychology (as well as several other -ologies, frankly).
Of course this isn't going to work for other parents. And I do want to reemphasize (even though I know someone, somewhere, will choose to misinterpret my post as a YOU MUST DO THIS sort of thing) that that's okay. But please, do it because that's what works for you, not because you think you should. And if you're doing what you "shouldn't"...stop beating yourself up for it. If it works, and makes for a healthier and happier family all around, then isn't that what you should do, in spite of what a person trying to sell a book says? (Especially if that book has been linked to failure to thrive.)