Re: He wants to be in our bed. period.
This is some of what I worked with DS on, now mind you I started some of this when my DS was older, but some I did younger too.
Start with the side car setup. Then try adding a blanket or pillow (like a bollster or regular firmer pillow that is harder to roll up on) between you both AFTER he has fallen asleep. Be there to reassure him you are there if he wakes looking for you, but do your best to keep the barrier up. Then you can try to bump the crib up to the bed with the side back on, touch him threw the bars let him know you are there, we did that step with a toddler bed with a guard on the side ourself, but your guy is probably too young for that. Then move the crib as he gets more used to the space between you while you sleep. Personally we liked the slower approach we had less tears and it worked better for all of us.
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