Co-sleepers are the ideal sleep solution for parents that want to be as close as possible to their baby without compromising their safety.
In fact, the American Society of Paediatricians recommends parents share a room with their baby for at least the first 6 months and ideally for the first year. So, co-sleepers are an excellent way to achieve that.
There are many baby co-sleepers available today, which vary in type, design, and style. In this guide, we will take a look at some of the best co-sleepers available, while taking into consideration their safety, portability, cost, features and more.
What is Co-Sleeping?
The word co-sleeping is a general term that simply refers to sleeping together. This can refer to either bed sharing or room sharing.
While many parents do opt to share a bed with their child, it is generally not considered a safe sleeping practice, as it increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). There is also a potential danger of parents accidentally rolling on top of their child during sleep or the infant falling out of the bed.
Instead, room sharing is preferred and is actually recommended by the AAP. Parent and infant room sharing is advised for at the least the first 6 months, but ideally until the baby has reached 1 year of age.
Baby Co-Sleeper Options:
Here are some of the best baby co-sleepers available, reviewed based on key safety factors, comfort, portability, versatility, features, reputation and more.
Fisher Price Soothing Motions Bassinet
This bassinet is a relatively new sleeper to the market and one which has become very popular over a relatively short period of time. It’s equipped with mesh walls to allow maximum airflow and enable you easily to monitor your little one throughout the night.
What makes this sleeper stand out from rivals is the built-in features that are designed to help get your little one off to sleep. This includes the ability to rock the bassinet from side to side, use the accompanying mobile, the nightlight, music player and ceiling star lights.
The great part is that you don’t have to use them all at once either, so you have got plenty of options to work with. It’s just a case of seeing what your baby responds to and changing things as required.
The bassinet also comes equipped with a soft mattress that has a cute geometric design and a fitted sheet, which is certainly a bonus for those wanting to make their budget go further.
All in all, this is an excellent bassinet with some of the best features currently available. Bear in mind that it does require batteries to make use of all of the features and finding fitted sheets may be a little more difficult.
Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper
This larger than average sleeper is anchored to your bed by securing it to the bedroom using the straps attached. You then have the option to drop the side nearest to you, ideal for breastfeeding and nursing your baby without having to get out of the bed. You can then easily put the wall back up when your baby is ready to get back to sleep.
Like the Fisher Price bassinet, the walls feature a breathable, mesh material that allows you to keep tabs on your infant, while it also helps to increase airflow. It also comes with its own mattress and fitted sheets.
The storage area beneath the mattress is also large enough to securely store diapers, baby wipes, nappy cream and all the other essentials you want to keep at arms reach.
Babybay Bedside Sleeper
However, that’s exactly how the Babybay Bedside Sleeper is different. This solid Beachwood sleeper can be used as both a side cart to attach to your bed and converted into a crib when your baby is ready to make the transition.
This dual purpose can potentially help you save money and extend the longevity of your babies sleeper.
Like other side cart sleepers, the wall can be dropped down providing you with easy access to your infant. It’s also attached to the bed in a similar manner, by using the ties that attach your bed’s panels underneath your bed’s mattress.
The downside of this co-sleeper crib is that it is quite pricey and you need to purchase a crib conversion kit separately if you want to transform it into a standalone crib. The mattress, sheets, and other accessories are also not included with the frame.
Chicco Side Sleeping Crib
It features mesh sides to ensure baby is in your eye line at all times and features a drop-down wall so you can easily access your baby throughout the night.
As a crib co-sleeper, it will probably last most babies longer than a bassinet would and can be used as a stand-alone crib when you are done side sleeping. Although, it’s not quite as large as most standard cribs, so it may not be the right choice for everyone.
On the upside, the Chicco crib does come with a thin mattress, fitted sheets, a carry case and is available in a variety of different colors.
Lotus Bassinet Bundle
The lightweight, compact design and convenient fold-up features are what distinguish this bassinet from alternatives.
Once folded up, the compact bed can be put into the carry bag that it comes with. This makes it the ideal co-sleeper for camping, camper vans, and vacations.
The set comes complete with a mattress and storage bag. It is ideal for those looking for an extremely portable co-sleeper that’s easy to set up and store away.
Chicco LullaGo Portable Bassinet
The bassinet comes with a padded mattress that has a removable cover, making it easy to maintain a good level of hygiene and wash.
Interestingly, this co-sleeper does have mesh windows that do provide airflow and a limited side view of you sleeping, infant. But, this may be preferred by the parents of babies that are more easily distracted.
The legs may look delicate, but they are sturdy and feature a grip to prevent them from sliding around. This travel bassinet also comes with a waterproof carry bag that makes transport a little easier.
What is a Baby Co-Sleeper?
A baby co-sleeper is an infant bed that helps to keep your baby close-by, comfortable and secure as they get some rest or sleep.
What makes a co-sleeper different to a crib is that it’s typically designed to fit directly next to a bed. This gives you the advantage of having your infant at arm’s length, which makes things like diaper changing and tending to them during the night so much easier.
There are several different types of co-sleepers available, each that has various pros and cons:
Co-Sleeper Bassinets: Bassinets are small, often portable baby beds that have low walls and typically include a hood. Those advertised as the co-sleeper variety often have features that make them more suitable for positioning next to your bed and moving around. For example, a height adjustable stand and a base that can be re-positioned horizontally or vertically.
Travel Bassinets: As their name suggests, these are bassinets designed primarily for traveling with. Therefore, they often do not come with stands and are made from a very lightweight material. Many have a fold-up design that makes them incredibly easy to store, carry and take on vacation. They can be extremely useful if you want to maintain your co-sleeping when not at home.
Crib Co-Sleepers: Cribs also referred to as cots are larger infant beds that have much higher walls and sturdier builds. For this reason, they have a longer life-span compared to bassinets, which typically can only be used until your baby is around 4 months of age. However, some parents think a crib or cot may be a little too large for such a small infant and they don’t provide the same portability.
A crib or cot that is built for co-sleeping has a number of unique features when compared to your normal design. For example, a co-sleeper cot will typically have one side that can drop down, giving you the ability to easily access your baby from the bed during the night.
Co-sleeper cribs area also usually a lot less cumbersome and compact than your average crib. This makes it easier to fit next to the bed and re-position if required.
Tips for Choosing the Best Baby Co-Sleeper
With so many different co-sleepers available, choosing a baby co-sleeper can become confusing. However, if you remember these top tips you will have no problem finding a safe and comfortable sleeping solution.
Check the Safety Information
One way to ensure you are investing in a safer co-sleeper bassinet, crib or bedside sleeper is to ensure it holds a children’s product certificate (CPC), as is recommended by the AAP. This is a certificate awarded to manufacturers who successfully meet a set of safety requirements overseen by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Buy New if Possible
When it comes to buying infant sleep equipment such as beds, it’s always advised that you buy new. The main reason for this is that the regulations may have changed quite recently and so an older bassinet or crib may not meet the current safety standards.
Opt for Mesh Walls
It is recommended that babies be placed on their backs to sleep. However, some infants have a tendency to roll over onto their front or side.
As a result, it’s extremely helpful to have a bassinet with mesh walls. This increases airflow into the sleeper so that in the event that they do roll over onto the wall, their breathing will not be restricted.
Mesh walls also allow you to easily keep an eye on your baby while they are sleeping. For these reasons, the majority of bassinets today feature mesh walls.
Check the Dimensions
Checking the height, width and other dimensions of the co-sleeper may seem obvious, but it’s essential for multiple reasons. While the majority of manufacturers do provide age range recommendations, infants are diverse and so develop at different rates. Therefore, it’s important to check that it is large enough for your baby to sleep in.
It’s also important to measure the space you intend to house the co-sleeper and check that it is going to fit there.
Baby Cribs Vs. Bassinets: Which To Choose?
As previously mentioned bassinets have a very short lifespan as they are generally only suitable to be used until infants reach 4 months of age. At that point, infants are too heavy and begin to sit up and move, so you will need to transition from a bassinet to a crib.
There are many reasons why people still opt to use a bassinet or other small sleeper during the first few months. For instance, it’s much easier to reach your baby in a bassinet than a deeper crib. While many others prefer to use a crib from the very beginning, which can certainly save money. Check out this article if you want a more in-depth comparison between cribs and bassinets.
Co-Sleeping with your baby has many benefits and sharing a room with your baby is recommended by the AAP for at least the first 6 months.
There are many diverse types of Co-Sleepers including bassinets, cribs, and cots. These also vary in design and function, with some more suitable for travel, while some can be converted to cribs at a later date.
Ultimately, the sleeper you choose will depend on your preferences, budget and whether you want one that is highly portable. If you want to save money in the long term, then a crib is probably the most suitable.
Whichever sleeping solution you choose for your infant, ensure it is the right size for your baby and it’s intended space. It’s also important to make sure it holds a children’s product certificate (CPC) and always try to buy new to ensure that it meets the current safety standards.