We will be going camping this weekend and plan to have our 8-month-old baby sleep next to me on the tent floor. Is this safe? Will it work?
I've been camping with a small toddler, and that worked reasonably well. The biggest problem was that he moved around a lot while he slept, so we had to be inventive to keep something soft under him.
I will say that camping is generally child-safe as long as you take reasonable precautions. Here are some considerations for you:
If you go on your trip with a can-do attitude and you're prepared to improvise and laugh at potential misery, then you're already well equipped. The only thing certain about going camping with small kids is that it won't go as planned - but it might be more fun that you thought!
Where to put babies in the tent is something that varies from baby to baby and over time for the same baby. We took our kids camping (with a car parked next to the tent) at two months of age or so, and canoe camping after 11 months. That's where all your stuff is in the canoe and you paddle all day then set up camp, repeat for several days. Of all the possible dangers camping involves (lakes, open fires, sunburn, wildlife, insects, dirt, unlevel ground you might trip and fall on, distance from help and civilization, ...) sleeping in the tent next to your parents sure isn't one of them.
Assuming you're car camping, bring things that smell familiar. We had a "moses basket" for naps anywhere and that's perfect for a two month old in a tent. We also had a baby sleeping bag that we often used at home or other people's houses for a toddler, and that's what we used in the tent. If the baby can crawl, make sure an adult is between them and the door of the tent.
Bring a variety of clothes for the baby. If the night is warm, use the lighter ones, if it's cold, use the warmer ones. You can't be sure what the temperature will be in a tent as you can in your house, and you can't count on blankets because a baby might kick them off.
There are a number of "camping with kids and babies" questions on the Great Outdoors that might interest you: http://outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/children