Bringing your baby home can be exciting but also nerve-wracking. Where should your baby sleep? You spent nine months together; being separate now feels strange for both of you. A crib might be the most obvious choice, but using the best co-sleeper keeps your baby close.
Co-sleeping is controversial, but with the right precautions, your child can be safe and sound right next to you. Babies belong with their parents, and plenty of generations before us understand that concept. In fact, many cultures today still co-sleep regularly.
Many people and doctors encourage co-sleeping, telling parents that it’s better for the baby. After having a few children, I have to attest that babies sleep better when close to mom. In the end, co-sleeping ensured everyone in the house got the best sleep possible.
What is Co-Sleeping?
When you think of co-sleeping, you might imagine baby sleeping in the adult bed next to mom and dad. However, that’s not the entire definition of co-sleeping. Some people use terms like “room-sharing” and “bed-sharing,” and all of these are considered to be co-sleeping.
What do those two terms mean?
- Room Sharing: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents room share with their babies for a minimum of six months but ideally up to a year old. Room sharing simply means that the baby is in a crib, a bedside sleeper, or a bassinet in the same room as you. Your baby isn’t sleeping in your bed with you.
- Bed Sharing: With bed-sharing, your baby is sleeping next to mom or dad. Most doctors don’t recommend bed-sharing with babies because it does have some minimal risks, such as SIDS and suffocation.
What Are the Benefits of Co-Sleeping?
Before we take a look at the best co-sleeper, think about the benefits of co-sleeping and determine if its the right route. Here are some reasons why you might want to co-sleep with your baby.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics says that room-sharing is the best option for your baby’s sleep quality and general wellbeing. Many parents also note that co-sleeping also increases the parent’s sleep quality.
- Studies show that co-sleeping cust the risk of SIDS by around 50%.
- Breastfeeding in the middle of the night is more comfortable when your baby is close. You can bring the baby into bed and nurse while still relaxing; then you can move your baby over to his bed again.
- Bed-sharing has the risk of rolling over on your baby and suffocation. Using a co-sleeper helps to give a safe alternative to bed-sharing, so you can be close to your baby without putting them at risk.
What Are the Benefits of Co-Sleepers?
So, if you’re wondering why you need a co-sleeper to co-sleep, there are countless benefits to purchase one while your baby is young. Here are several reasons why you want to buy a co-sleeper.
1. They’re Great for Breastfeeding Moms
Fumbling in the middle of the night when your baby cries can be frustrating. Newborn babies have irregular feeding times, and it’s not uncommon for them to wake up at weird times. Keeping your baby next to you helps to speed up the process of breastfeeding and gives you much-needed rest.
Breastfeeding for at least two months is linked to a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome. So, using a co-sleeper helps you reach your breastfeeding goal.
2. It Helps with C-Section Recovery
If you have a co-sleeper, you have to avoid too much heavy lifting during your recovery. Pulling yourself in and out of bed can be painful, and you need to attend your baby’s needs. Using a bed co-sleeper makes it easier to feed your baby. Remember, a c-section is major surgery and takes some serious recovery time.
3. They Promote Safer Co-Sleeping
Some parents don’t use a co-sleeping product to sleep with their newborn baby, especially throughout the first few months. Using a baby co-sleeper gives new parents the peace of mind needed to know that their baby is right there in the middle of the night.
4. They’re Great for Travel
Co-sleepers are small in size and can, usually, fit in any vehicle. Some can be folded into a bag or contained in a bag of their own. You can also double co-sleepers as a diaper changing station or loungers when you’re on the go.
The Types of Co-Sleeper
In general, there are two main types of co-sleepers. Each one has pros and cons, so let’s take a look at the choices.
1. Sidecar-Style Bassinets
This style sits next to your bed, either free-standing or attached to the side of your bed. In general, the sidecar-style of bassinets are safer because you can’t accidentally roll onto your baby. The best ones have a roll-up sidewall that gives you more contact with your baby.
Many of these bassinets also offer wheels for easy transport and storage shelves underneath. They work great as a free-standing sleeper, and you can use it instead of a crib for months.
2. Lounger-Style Co-Sleepers
This style is designed to sit in your bed. While they aren’t as safe as the sidecar-style because they’re in your bed with you, the lounger-style co-sleepers do have thick, foam sidewalls that give your child plenty of protection. Most also have internal padding that makes these quite comfortable for your baby.
Since you’re much closer to your baby in this style of co-sleeper, baby and mother are nearby, so it gives a boost to things such as oxygen levels, body temperature, and heart rate.
The best type of co-sleeper depends on what you want as a parent as well as your sleeping habit. Also, your baby might have a preference!
The sidecar-style might give you more peace of mind while the lounger-style keeps your baby close and helps you bond with your baby.
How to Pick the Best Co-Sleeper
Picking the best co-sleeper is hard, and there are quite a few things to consider. Co-sleepers have to be a safe environment for your baby to sleep. Let’s look at the features and considerations.
1. Size and Versatility
Your baby might be small now, but babies don’t stay little forever. The co-sleeper needs to accommodate your growing baby.
When you purchase a co-sleeper, you can get one that also functions similar to a regular crib. That is a nice feature because it gives you a safe space for naps as well. These bedside sleepers attach to the side of your bed, offer pockets and mesh storage, and can be separated as a free-standing sleeper.
The key here is that having a versatile co-sleeper helps to add versatility. If you’re going to spend money, versatile items mean that you get your money’s worth.
Without a doubt, the most essential feature of any baby gear item is safety. The mattress or surface that your baby sleeps on has to be firm. The American Academy of Pediatrics wants all cribs, bassinets, and cots to meet specific requirements.
Mattresses need to be thin and firm. Firm mattresses might not look or feel as comfortable as a plush blanket or an adult mattress. Despite the lack of comfort, it does prevent any accidents, and that’s the most important.
That is one of the reasons why bed-sharing is deemed unsafe. Adult mattresses are considerably softer than baby mattresses. It might be comfortable for adults and let you move into different positions, but for babies, it can be dangerous.
Your baby’s co-sleeper needs to be comfortable, keeping your baby nice and snug. Babies should sleep in a pleasant environment with mesh net instead of solid sides for proper airflow. Mesh nets also make it easier for you to see your baby without having to get up. Moms want to keep an eye on their new baby at all times!
Also, the best co-sleepers are made from safe, non-toxic materials. You don’t want your baby breathing in toxic chemicals.
4. Ease of Cleaning
Babies are sweet, but they’re also messy. Diaper explosions are too frequent in babies, and chances are your baby will experience some reflux and spit-up. The co-sleeper is going to get dirty, so pick one that has a removable cover. That way, you can take it off to clean it easily.
The 6 Best Co-Sleeper of 2019
Safety should always come first, so you want to take the time to pick the best co-sleeper for your baby.
Babies often have sensitive skin, thus offering a co-sleeper with soft clothes and bedding. It’s best to use natural and organic products to keep your baby happy and healthy.
Those first few sleepless nights with a newborn baby can be rough, especially as a breastfeeding mother. It can be hard to nurse your baby only to have your baby cry the second that you put him down.
The Snuggle Me Co-Sleeper creates a cozy spot for your baby. The sides of the sleeper gently hug your child, giving your baby that secure feeling he desires. It makes your baby feel as if you’re still holding them when you aren’t.
Parents can use the Snuggle Me for babies up to nine months of age. The snug fit helps to stop your baby from accidentally rolling over when sleeping. The cover is made of GOTS-certified fabrics, and it’s filled with a virgin polyester filling that keeps your baby snug and warm. Plus, you can remove the cover to clean it.
|Great for babies who want to be held|
|Prevents accidental rollovers|
|Used as a lounger and for tummy time|
|Organic and certified fabrics|
|The cover doesn’t fit as tightly as some would like.|
If you don’t want your baby in your bed, but as close as possible, the Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper is perfect for those first few months when feeding and changing is a blur of time. Your baby is as close as can be when on a separate surface, perfect for midnight feedings.
Halo created this co-sleeper that rotates 360 degrees, so you can always have your baby close. The base of the stand has four points to keep it stable at all times. That means that the crib can be even closer because you can tuck the points underneath your bed.
Swiveling means that you can reach your baby as quickly as possible. You also can lower the sidewall ultimately to gain quick access.
Halo included a fitted sheet which is 100 percent polyester. You can clean it with a damp cloth in case your baby has a minor accident. The mattress pad is made from polyurethane so that it’s chemical-free and JPMA-certified.
Halo added a nightlight, lullabies, soothing sounds, and an auto shut-off. Babies love to fall asleep to gentle music.
The only negative thing to consider is that the Halo Swivel is quite heavy, around 28 pounds, so it doesn’t move from one place to another.
|Rotates and swivels 360 degrees|
|Side can be lowered for easy access.|
|Includes a nightlight, lullabies, and auto shut-off.|
|The swivel feature doesn’t have a locking facility.|
Breastfed babies tend to wake up often throughout the night, and breastfeeding mothers want to keep their babies close in the middle of the night. If you want to keep your baby close by, the First Years Close and Secure Sleeper is a great option.
Using the First Years Close and Secure gives your baby a safe place in your bed to sleep. Your baby has his own space to sleep in, while you’re close beside him. The First Years added a little nightlight to help you navigate during through midnight feedings. It can be a lifesaver to breastfeeding moms.
In the event of an accident, you can remove the fitted sheet and overall cover; then you can toss it in the washer. It’s made out of cotton and polyester blend to keep your baby snug and comfortable. When unfolded, the sleeper is 28 inches long and 16.5 inches wide. Then, you can fold it up for easy storing or traveling.
The co-sleeper is made of cotton and polyester, and it has a hollow frame and breathable mesh sides. It features a patented AirFlow technology that stops babies from suffocating, which is an essential concern for co-sleeping parents.
However, it’s better suited for younger babies rather than older babies because it doesn’t provide much support for rollovers. So, when your baby can start to roll over, it’s time to put this co-sleeper away. If your baby is younger than four months, you’ll love it.
|Has a nightlight|
|Great for breastfeeding|
|Easy to store|
|Sheet and cover are machine washable|
|Babies outgrow fast.|
|Not enough support for older babies who rollover.|
The Cambria Co-Sleeper is an excellent free-standing bassinet that attaches to the side of your bed, but it also can stand separately. The Cambria has a unique design with wood trim, making it fit into your bedroom perfectly. Arm’s Reach has a robust design with high-vented sides.
You can roll-down the side of the co-sleeper so that you can install it next to your bed. Removing the side panel when you want to snuggle your baby. Rolling down the side means you can pull your baby over to you when nursing and then gently move the baby back to the co-sleeper.
Then, it has handy wheels, so you have plenty of freedom with this co-sleeper. You can change sides of the bed that it’s attached, or roll it into the living room while you catch the next TV show.
While the Arm’s Reach Cambria does have a higher price tag, it offers high-quality control and a lack of design flaws. It’s incredibly easy to put together, and it’s strong enough to keep your baby safe. If safety is your utmost concern, we can say that the Arm’s Reach Cambria is the most reliable choice for your baby, but it does lack bonding potential since snuggling is a bit harder.
|Safe and reliable|
|Easy to put together|
|High price tag|
|Bulky for a small bedroom|
Babies can cost plenty of money, and the SwaddleMe By Your Side is a budget-friendly choice. When you’re preparing for your new addition, you need to take your budget into account.
The SwaddleMe has a sturdy metal frame that keeps your baby safe, and it can be folded for easy storage and traveling. You’ll love the sides that are lined with mesh fabric, so your baby has plenty of good air circulation. That also means you can check on your baby with ease.
There are two compressible sides on the co-sleeper, which means it’s easier for you to reach your baby when needed. It is made out of polyester and chemical-free without any flame-retardants.
This sleeper is incredibly lightweight, weighing only 6 pounds. So, it’s quite easy to move around, in and out of bed, between naps. Plus, it’s easy to put together. You might be concerned that the thin mattress would mean that it’s not as comfortable, but parents note that it offers plenty of support. All of the fabrics are soft and tactile.
SwaddleMe is 32 inches long, so there is plenty of room for growth. However, some moms do claim that it’s too big to have in your bed. You might have to get a queen-sized bed if you want to use this co-sleeper.
|Offers growing room|
|Prevents parents from rolling over onto the baby|
|Size takes up too much space in a queen-sized bed.|
|No extra storage space|
The DockATot looks like a lifeboat, but it is durable with padded sides, soft fabric, and oval profile. Despite the look of a boat, the DockATot is a co-sleeper with high reviews from parents who love it.
It is a lounger-style co-sleeper with high sides so that it can slide right into bed next to you. You don’t have to worry about rolling onto your baby. DockATot designed the lounger to be womb-shaped, so it creates a snug fit that helps to calm and relax your baby.
The design is why the DockATot offers an unrivaled level of sleep quality for your baby. Parents note that babies tend to sleep very well in the baby lounger.
DockATot used luxurious, soft fabric that is made with Oeko-Tex fabrics that wick away heat. The design creates a cool, breathable co-sleeper, so you don’t have to worry about your baby’s temperature. Air can freely flow in and out of the co-sleeper, so your baby stays comfortable.
Another exciting feature is that the ends of the DockATot can be unclipped to provide additional legroom. So, it grows with your child.
The only downside is that the DockATot has a high price tag, and it also lacks a solid metal or plastic frame. While that isn’t a huge deal, but if you prefer solid sides, it might not be the right choice for you.
|Uses Oeko-Tex fabric|
|Ends open for growing room|
|High price point|
|Zippers and seams to wear out|
No matter what co-sleeper you select, you want to pay attention to proper co-sleeping safety. So, here are a few things to keep in mind to be sure that your baby is safe while sleeping.
- Always place your baby on his back in his sleeping environment.
- The bedding should be tight-fitting, especially the sheets.
- No loose objects should be in the sleeping space, such as blankets, toys, and pillows. They are all a suffocation risk.
- Avoid overdressing your baby. Overheating is a SIDS risk.
Have Sweet Dreams
The best co-sleeper creates a safe sleeping space for your baby while also keeping your baby close to you. Always double-check that the mattress included is thin or firm. Read the reviews to determine the safety and comfort of the co-sleeper.
If you’ve co-slept with a baby before, what was the best co-sleeper for you?