Have you ever worried about the safety of your baby while they sleep?
Of course you have - it’s a worry that plagues every parent. Even before your baby is born, there are family members and medical professionals giving you conflicting advice and scary warnings about when, where and how your baby should sleep. It’s become a controversial subject.
One thing every new parent in Western countries is told is NOT to co-sleep with their baby. This advice is often perplexing to new parents, who rightly think that keeping babies close as they sleep is best for bonding, soothing and midnight feeding.
When people warn against co-sleeping, they actually mean bed-sharing. This is the practicethat is actually dangerous to babies; while safely co-sleeping using a co-sleeper cot is highly beneficial.
Haven’t heard of co-sleeper cots? Neither had I, until finding out that these miracle beds for babies exist a year ago when searching the internet for a cot for my firstborn. I faced the same frustration as many expectant parents over not wanting to put my baby in a crib far away from me to sleep, and thought that there had to be an alternative.
In a nutshell, baby cosleeper cots are three-walled bassinets that attach like a side sleeping crib to the parental bed. Think of it as a sidecar attachment. They come with their own baby-safe mattresses and every other feature of a normal crib, except that they allow you to keep your infant within arm’s reach, with no barriers between you. You might hear them referred to as co-sleeper cots, baby cosleeper beds, side sleeping cribs, or co sleeper bassinets throughout this post - but rest assured that so long as the cot has three walls and is attached to the parents’ bed, it is a co-sleeper cot!
Co-sleeper cribs were created in order to bridge the gap between having your baby in bed with you and putting them to sleep in a separate crib away from your bed. Neither of these options are ideal for parents for a number of reasons that we’ll discuss later. Co-sleeper cots provide the perfect middle-ground, allowing parents to reap the benefits of cosleeping with their baby while keeping them safe during slumber.
Check out our top picks for baby cosleeper beds below.
Expert Co-sleeping Cots Pack
Best Under $120
Rated by: Angela
Arms Reach Universal Co-Sleeper
Expert Co-sleeping Cots Pack
Best Under $220
Rated by: Candace
SnuzPod² Bedside Crib
Expert Co-sleeping Cots Pack
Best Under $170
Rated by: Candace
What makes co sleeper beds the safest option for baby sleeping? Below, we discuss the pros and cons of other baby sleeping options and why co-sleeping cots solve these issues.
For more information on co-sleeper cot safety, see our Ultimate Co-Sleeping Guide for everything you need to know about the practice, from the history of cosleeping to information on preventing SIDS.
Baby cosleeper beds have been designed to have all the features necessary to make them convenient for parents and safe for babies. Below are common features of co-sleeping cots:
The three-walled cot, and the fact that it has adjustable height, makes co sleeper bassinets unique from other forms of baby beds. Other baby sleep options are:
The benefits of co-sleeper beds for babies speak for themselves! If you, like myself, feel uneasy at the thought of putting your child to sleep in a crib far away from your bed, you’re not alone. Not only would that make me less alert to her cries in the night, I was worried that getting out of bed countless of times each night to feed and console her would leave me incredibly exhausted.
Our cosleeper bed solves all of these issues. At the moment, as I’m breastfeeding, we keep our baby’s cot attached to my side of the bed, so I can quickly feed her when she wakes up hungry during the night. I love that I can feed her in the side-lying position, barely having to move, then can simply put her back in her bed directly next to me when she’s finished! As she grows and weans from breastfeeding, we can move the crib over to my husband’s side of the bed so he can take his turn to tend to her at nighttime.
I really feel that the cosleeper bed increases my bond with my baby. It’s scientifically proven that parents and babies who sleep side-by-side sync their breathing, dreaming and sleep cycles together - this can help babies learn to sleep through the night quicker, and do as their parents do. Sleeping nearby also means baby is less likely to form an attachment to a ‘comfort item’ (blanket, toy, etc), and she’ll be more likely to feel emotionally secure as she grows.
Like anything, there are slight drawbacks. For example, my husband is an extremely light sleeper, and having her so near means that he often lies awake listening to her every snuffle and yawn. However, we think that she cries a lot less being near us. If she were further away, she’d be much noisier calling for our attention all the time, so we believe it balances out. We knew we had to sacrifice our sleep the moment we found out we were pregnant, anyway!
Basically, our co sleeper bassinet allows me, my husband, and my baby to enjoy all the benefits of bed-sharing, but without the associated risks of overlying and SIDS. It really is exactly the solution I was searching for.
Want to know more about co-sleeper beds in practice? Read below about another mum’s experience with her co-sleeper cot.
Lucy’s Co-Sleeping Story
In this section, we hear from another new mum who tells us about her worries, advice and solutions surrounding her baby’s sleeping arrangement; and how she found using a co-sleeper cot for her newborn.
I myself became a first-time mum just this year. If you are anything like me and most parents-to-be out there, among all of the things buzzing in your heads and worrying you as you prepared for your babe’s arrival, sleep safety is/was probably one of the biggest priorities, mainly because of SIDS concerns.SIDS (AKA Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is seriously one of the scariest things for soon-to-be-parents to face and prepare for.Every sleep related item, from cribs and bedside bassinets to blankets and stuffed animals ALL have the warnings on them!Every website, every conversation with a nurse or pediatrician – seriously everyone reminds you of the dangers of SIDS and the ABC’s of proper sleep safety (Alone on their Back in a Crib).We even got a baby sleep sack that ended up having a cute little woodland creature on it that says “Back is best” to remind you to not put your baby to sleep on his tummy!All that is to say – sleep safety becomes a bit of an ever consuming obsession.But you probably, like my husband and I, also want what’s best for your baby as far as the ability to comfort and provide for him throughout the night, and make sure he has the best situation for healthy development.And you probably have had friends (or strangers), maybe even a medical professional or two, quietly but urgently justify to you why they let their baby sleep in their bed or on their chest, and assure you that it is perfectly safe, and some of their explanations may sound extremely legitimate and enticing.For us, all of this made finding the right sleep solution for our baby extremely difficult and nerve wracking. We considered a normal side sleeping crib at first, thinking it was the best option available for our needs.Just before we were about to order a four-wall crib, we finally found a solution that truly resolves every concern about sleep safety in the co-sleeper crib, and we want to share it with other concerned soon-to-be and already-parents out there!
In the end, we bought a three-wall co sleeper bedside bassinet, with the ability to add a fourth wall, if it turned out we didn’t like the arrangement. However, our baby is now six months old, and we always use his cosleeper bed with three walls at bedtime.
We found that, by using a co-sleeper, you can:- Follow the ABCs while still having your baby right next to you almost as if he was sharing your bed.- Easily breastfeed in a side-lying position (which most midwives agree is the best nursing position anyway).
All without worrying about:- Rolling over onto the baby.- Baby getting caught up and suffocating in the blankets.- Baby falling off the bed.- Not hearing and being able to best care for baby because he is in another room.- Accidentally falling asleep while sitting up with baby to feed him.
The co-sleeper crib solves all safety problems while still enabling the closeness, bonding, and nursing opportunities so important to the early stages. It enables the benefits of bed sharing without any of the risks.
I will definitely be using mine again for our second child, and can’t stop raving about them to my mum-to-be friends. I totally recommend all new parents to consider one for their new babies!
In the past, and still sometimes now, parents put their babies to sleep in a separate nursery from the moment they were born. Usually this was a habit of richer parents, who had enough rooms in their homes for the baby to have her own; and could also have been due to the presence of a nanny who was hired to tend to the baby at night, preventing the disturbance of the parents’ sleep.
Fast forward to present day, and we now know that this isn’t healthy. Babies who sleep in their own room from infancy have been found to form attachments to ‘comfort objects’ that they cuddle at night in substitute of their parent. Room separation also tends to go hand-in-hand with the ‘controlled crying’ ideology, which does neither party any good. Controlled crying is the practice of leaving your baby to ‘cry it out’, with the hope of training them to self-soothe and gradually stop crying out at night. Tip: this does not work. Babies cry for a reason - because they’re hungry, cold, hot, wet, sick, or simply lonely. Contrary to the controlled crying belief, it is, in actual fact, tending to your baby’s need that will stop them from crying. Babies can’t learn to change their own nappy, nor do they know that you are coming back to see them in half an hours’ time. Having your baby share your bedroom means you can tend to their needs quickly and easily, settling your baby in a way they can’t do on their own.
For most of human history, we didn’t have the luxury of living in secure houses with multiple bedrooms for our children to sleep in. It is entirely natural to keep your baby close to you at night (going back as far as holding them close to keep them safe from predators) as this allows for easy comforting, feeding and midnight check-ups.
Further than just sharing a room, cosleeper beds for babies mean that you can keep your child as close as in the same bed but WITHOUT bed-sharing, maintaining all the safety standards recommended by paediatric experts.
Before you rush out to buy a baby cosleeper or side sleeping crib of your own, or place an order for one online, you should carefully check the features and specifications of the product.
Here’s a few things you should look out for before making your purchase:
If you are like the majority of mums-to-be out there, you have likely been doing a lot of research about the best sleeping solutions for your eagerly expected little new born.
With all of the worries about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and suffocation, finding the safest, most secure yet comfortable method for putting your little one to bed is one of the most emotional and mentally consuming concerns for expecting mothers.
I know it certainly was for me when my husband and I were expecting our first this past year. Yet, with all my searching, I still missed out on what I am now convinced is the best sleep solution out there: the co-sleeper cot.
If you are like most of us new moms, you have been trained to see the phrase “co-sleep” and cringe. Isn’t co-sleeping dangerous? Doesn’t it increase the chance of SIDS?
Well, not with a co-sleeper crib. A co-sleeper crib is a brilliant solution that enables you to keep your new born extremely close, while still protecting them from your bedding and the dangers of suffocation or being rolled on.
Allow me to lay your fears and curiosities to rest by explaining just exactly what a co sleeping crib is and why I wish my husband and I had discovered it earlier!
There are a variety of co-sleeper cribs, but all of them are basically cribs or bassinettes that allow the baby to sleep in his or her own space while still being right by the parents’ or caretaker’s side.
While some are small little cots that can be placed on the bed with you, perhaps between you and your partner, the best ones, and the ones which are featured in our reviews, stand next to the bed like a typical bassinette but which have one side that can be lowered and attached to your bed.
Essentially, what all co-sleeper beds allow is for baby to sleep very close to mum and dad, within arm’s reach and where they can still smell, hear, and feel your presence, but without the dangers of bed-sharing.
Co-sleeper cots are made to fit right against your bed and can have a side lowered and attached to your bedside if you wish.
The most versatile of these baby side sleepers will work for babies ages newborn to 6 months or until they can sit up. They are constructed of the traditional baby cot materials and many can be used as a side sleeper or as a regular, stand-alone crib.
With the growing awareness about SIDS and accidental death or injury by suffocation or being rolled on, most parents are very aware of the dangers of allowing your baby to sleep in your bed with you.
We have all probably heard the “ABC”s of safe sleep: baby should be Alone, on her Back in a Crib.
However, most babies (and most new parents) want and even need the comfort and safety of being near enough to smell, hear and touch each other. Even the same experts who recommend the ABCs also encourage parents to keep their baby in their bedroom with them for at least the first 6 months.
When you think about all of this, plus the fact that most newborns sleep best by mum’s side after nine months in the womb, plus the fact that newborns need to nurse frequently throughout the night, which results in an extremely tired mummy who may not be able to safely (wakefully) sit up with baby to nurse, and the benefits of a co-sleeper cot are incredibly apparent.
By using a co-sleeper, you can:
All without worrying about:
A co-sleeper crib solves all safety problems while still enabling the closeness, bonding, and nursing opportunities so important to the early stages. It enables the benefits of bed sharing without any of the risks.
A Co-Sleeping Cot, also known as a baby side sleeper, combines the best of the two opposing sleeping options.
There are a wide variety of side sleeper options, but the ones we review here look, and can work, like traditional bassinettes or cribs, with one very significant difference:
One of the sides of the crib can be lowered so as to attach to your bedside, making the baby’s sleep space flush with your bed.
If you are like most soon-to-be mums, you are probably somewhat tired of how often you hear “Never let the baby sleep in your bed!” and all of the concerns and statistics about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
It’s not that you don’t care. It’s the exact opposite! You DO care, but there seems to be so much conflicting information and evidence out there:
Put the baby in your bed, you and your partner risk rolling on the baby, or risk the baby getting caught up and suffocated in your bedding.
Don’t put the baby in your bed, and baby may suffer from lack of closeness and comfort, will not be able to nurse on demand, and will probably NOT sleep very much at all.
After 9 months of being nice and cozy in the womb, it’s no wonder they can’t sleep sprawled out flat on their back in the open air on a rather thin and hard mattress!
Let’s not forget that if you do keep baby in a separate crib, you will have to get up to check on her, comfort her, and certainly to feed her. All of which pretty much nullifies whatever safety there was in keeping her separate, since in your exhaustion, you will be in danger of falling asleep and dropping her, as did one exhausted young mother I know.
BUT – there IS a solution! If you haven’t heard of them yet, they’re called co-sleeper cots, or baby side sleepers, and they are the best baby sleep solution I have ever encountered!
A co-sleeper cot or crib is very much like a traditional crib or bassinette, except that it is made to fit alongside and even attach to your bed.
These cots have one side that can be lowered (some of which then attach to your bed) so that your baby’s sleeping surface is flush with your bed, enabling you to literally reach out and touch him without having to get up or even sit up, and without allowing the possibility of you rolling on him.
It is probably already obvious why these co-sleeper cribs are the best infant sleeping solution, but in case not, let me spell it out:
This is a huge benefit as many mums, because of all of the fears surrounding bed sharing, will get up and go sit in a recliner or rocker while nursing their baby in the night. But they are extremely sleep deprived and exhausted when they do this.
The result is that many mums start falling asleep while nursing their babies, which means they are at serious risk for dropping their babies, as happened to my previously mentioned friend. This is not a safe solution to bed-sharing!
The co-sleeper, however, solves this problem completely, allowing you to safely sleep while nursing baby.
We truly do believe that these are the best solution, giving you the best of both worlds of the ABCs of sleep safety and the comforting and developmental benefits of co-sleeping.
These are just some of the benefits. You can probably think of your own just by seeing the example!
When you are preparing to welcome a new precious little one into your home, there is little else you worry about as much as their safety. Sleep safety is especially that causes great anxiety for many parents.
With all the increasing awareness about SIDS and the dangers of bed-sharing, many parents struggle to know what to do for their newborn’s sleep situation. There is so much information and opinion out there, much of which often seems conflicting.
For me and my husband, as we prepared to welcome our first little one into this world earlier this year, we struggled to know what was truly the safest and best option for her regarding where and in what she would sleep. There seemed to be as many concerning “cons” about every option as there were “pros.”
But perhaps, in your hours of research you have come across the co-sleeper cot, something we discovered after our little one arrived.
Now, if you’re seeing the phrase “co-sleep” in the name and are immediately suspicious (“co-sleeping” is dangerous after all, isn’t it?), hold on a moment.
A co-sleeper crib is much different than bed-sharing, and is, in fact, a perfect and extremely safe solution that allows the closeness of bed-sharing without all of its dangers.
There are many varieties of co-sleeper cribs, also known as baby side-sleepers, but the most ideal and versatile of these look very much like traditional cribs or bassinettes, except they are made to fit up against your bed and allow one of the sides to be lowered, giving you complete and easy access to your baby without having to get out of your bed.
Co-sleeper cribs are a perfectly safe sleep solution for your bundle of joy, assuming of course that you purchase one that follows the basic safety standards and that you use it according to the manufacturer’s suggestions, as is the case with all items.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you can get a co-sleeper crib and be worry free:
If you want the safety and peace of mind of your baby sleeping in a crib on her back away from all of your bedding, but also want the peace of mind and accessibility of having her right next to you in eye-view and arms reach, you really cannot go with a better option than a co-sleeper cot.
In the rest of this site, you will find reviews of specific co-sleeping cribs that we have investigated and found to be the best out there. You will also find a buyer’s guide, and some helpful info in our blog.
As you learn about and possibly look for your own baby side sleeper, here are some good things to keep in mind: