It's always seemed natural to me for babies to sleep close to their mommies. Preschoolers though, well, that's another story...
Both of our kiddos slept in our bed, in a little baby nest like this one
when they were newborns. They graduated to sleeping against the wall beside mommy as older babies, and finally, in between mommy and daddy as toddlers.
This arrangement seems to work fine for us until the child is about 2 1/2. That seems to be the magic age when they start hogging the bed, kicking mom and dad in the kidneys all night, and stealing all the blankets.
When L was a toddler, we were renting a little house which had one huge bedroom that we all shared. When it was time for him to transition into his own bed, he moved to a toddler bed on the other side of the room. I won't say he loved the idea, but it wasn't too traumatic.
Three year old V is proving to be a whole different story. Although she has her own room with her own bed, she can't be persuaded to sleep there. She picked out a cool Hello Kitty bedding set a while back, and we were optimistic that we might be able to sell her on the idea of a "big girl bed," but it was not to be. We've tried everything. Reasoning, bribery, tough love, nothing is working for us. Our bedroom is quite small, with no room for the toddler-bed-in our-room arrangement.
Here's our latest attempt: a camping air mattress beside the bed, close enough that she can still "touch mommy." It would be funny if it weren't so tragic.
At the rate we're going, we're hoping maybe she'll sleep through the night on the air mattress within the next few months, and then perhaps we can start moving the mattress toward her room. She might even be sleeping in her own room, in her own bed by the time she gets her learner's permit.
And then we'll throw a party.