I know many parents do not agree with co-sleeping. They think that it prevents the child from grasping independence and self-soothing. They think that the child will continue to sleep in their bed until they are 12. And, most adults really do not want a baby in their bed.
When Nolan was born, we chose not to have a crib, and we are so glad! Nolan's first "bed" was a Pack-and-Play and that was one of our best investments. He slept in the top part at first, and then eventually moved down to the bottom. I liked that it did not have hard rails, but was soft if he rolled against the edge. It had a changing table attached and a little basket for diapers. It was small enough to fit right next to our bed and was easy to get him out in the middle of the night to nurse. It was much less expensive and bulky then a crib and I did not need a separate changing table. It came with a canopy, music box, sheets - all the extras that most people would buy for a traditional crib set-up.
I never had to get up in the middle of the night and go to another room to nurse or comfort him. Eventually, we learned to just let him lay in bed with us. When ever he needs to nurse, I just roll over. Most times I don't really ever wake up.
When Nolan turned 1, he was strong enough to climb out of the Pak'n'Play. I contemplated getting him something to lay on next to our bed. We moved our bed down to the floor without the frame and I thought if I put something next to our mattress, I could just roll him off our bed and onto his after he fell asleep. I tried a big pile of blankets, an air mattress, a little play tent....but he was always in our bed no matter what. Instead of trying to beat 'em, join 'em. Life is so much easier without a crying baby. He will eventually want to have his own bed, his own room one day. And when he does, he (and I) will appreciate it so much more.
I am just so glad that we did not buy a crib and all the frills that go with it. We saved so much money, time and space! I highly recommend getting a Pak'n'Play or Co-sleeper bed to start with and then only progressing to a crib/bed when your baby is ready for they own room.
Don't be afraid to co-sleep with your baby. I know many independent, smart, little kids that co-sleep and some that have already graduated to their own room. They will NOT still be in your bed when they are 12!
The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night's Rest for the Whole Family (Sears Parenting Library)
Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping