Did you know that over 3,700 babies die each year in the US alone from sleep-related causes? Many of these are a direct result of bed-sharing which is why doctors do not recommend the practice.
The risk of accidental death when co-sleeping is real. This is why it is important to use a specialized in bed co-sleeper if you plan on practicing in bed co-sleeping.
While the practice is common in many countries around the world, and for working moms, it can be a lifesaver. So rather than avoid it, let’s try and make it safer.
Below we have reviewed the best co-sleepers and bedside sleepers so you can keep your baby within arms reach safely throughout the night.
In this article we will review the following in bed co sleepers and bedside co sleepers:
- SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper
- DockATot Deluxe Baby Lounger
- Snuggle Me Organic Infant Lounger
- Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Infant Sleeper
- Mika Micky Bedside Sleeper
- RONBEI Bedside Sleeper
- Baby Delight Beside Me
- HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper
- Arm’s Reach Concepts
Editor’s Note on CoSleeping
“I returned to work within three months of giving birth so co-sleeping was the best way for me to feed him in the middle of the night and still function at work the next day.
I found that after a few months he became very self-sufficient at latching on himself and I would sleep through this often. He has continued to do so to this day.
It will be a tough habit to break eventually, but in all honesty, I have not felt any urgent need to do so.
The only downside to this “Self Service” is that he occasionally also tries this in public…. Not the time you want your nipple out unsuspectingly.”
What is Better? Bassinet or Co-Sleeper
Co-sleepers are designed to either be in bed, or beside the bed. Both variations are intended to keep your baby accessible to parents without having to get out of bed in the middle of the night.
Both have their own product safety features and limitations. We will make reference to these throughout the individual product reviews.
In Bed Co-Sleeper
Ideally positioned in between you and your partner’s sleep area. Yes, this means you will be a distance apart throughout the night. But the trade-off is that the baby can be easily attended to by both of you.
These are basically small bed with crib bumpers that will prevent you from rolling on top of your baby. Yes that sounds dramatic, but it is a risk that can pose a real danger to infant sleep.
A bedside bassinet will preserve your own sleep environment, but also means that the baby will only be accessible to one of you. So you may have trouble splitting the workload if you have a partner sleeping there with you.
These are versatile units with some designs able to double as a regular bassinet for your baby, or a changing table. But you may find they will outgrow this style of co-sleeper in the first six months, or when they can first sit up.
Best In Bed Co-Sleepers of 2023
We love how sturdy this co-sleeper is.
The SwaddleMe co-sleeper has a completely metal frame which keeps the bed upright and your baby safe.
It is made of 100% polyester, which is not always the most breathable material, but with 360 degrees of mesh siding, you can ensure that your baby is both comfortable and safe.
For the price you get a stack of inclusions with this co-sleeper; metal framing and mesh siding, mattress and fitted sheet included.
The metal framing of the SwaddleMe co-sleeper folds flat with ease, making sleep while traveling simple and storing a breeze.
The mesh siding all around keeps your baby cool and allows her airway to remain unobstructed should she roll into the side during the night.
It is on the small side though, and your baby may grow out of this within just a couple of short months. This is a drawback, even at this low price point
There is also a deluxe version of this co-sleeper. The price jump is steep though and the only additional feature is the sound machine. Probably not worth it for a bit of white noise.
You may need a big adult bed to house this thing comfortably on your mattress. The frame itself can be a bit bulky.
- Excellent value
- Folds flat for easy traveling
- Breathable materials
- Advertised to suit babies 0-3 months old
- Little difference between “original” and “deluxe” for the increased in price
- A bit on the bulky side
The DockATot Deluxe+ boasts hypoallergenic materials, with a machine washable 100% cotton cover, and polyester tubing and mattress.
The bottom of this bed unclips to allow it to be used as a changing pad, and also allows it to grow with your baby, extending from 29 to 34 inches.
This model comes in white, but DockATot also has additional covers available, giving you the option of finding something that fits your style.
We liked this co-sleeper for its ability to be used during the daytime as well.
DockATot has a toy arch available (separate) that can be attached to keep your baby entertained. And, due to its design, it can also be used to give your baby some safe tummy time.
The frame is small and lightweight, which makes it easy to throw in the car and take along with you when you are traveling.
The clever design hugs your baby, similar to a swaddle, which can replicate the feeling of being in the womb and help them sleep easier. The raised sides are perfect for propping your baby up for tummy time during the day, and with the purchase of the additional toy arch, your baby can enjoy some fun, as well as good sleep, in the DockATot.
While the cover is cotton, the rest of the bed is made of polyester. This can trap heat and cause your baby to get hot during the night, especially the summer months.
There is an expandable bottom to give your baby a little extra growing room. But even so, the narrow width of this co-sleeper may result in your baby outgrowing it within a couple of months.
- Makes traveling easy
- Replicates the womb to keep baby comfortable
- Can also be used for daytime play
- The material is not the most breathable
- A bit pricey for what you get
- Baby may outgrow it very quickly
Not to be confused with the SwaddleMe that we looked at before, the Snuggle Me Organic co-sleeper is perfect for newborns.It is made of 100% cotton (organic and hypoallergenic) and is lightweight (perfect for traveling).
This bed is uniquely designed to “snuggle” (hence, Snuggle Me) your baby as she lays in the center sling, keeping her as comfortable as she would be in the womb or a swaddle.
Besides sleeping and lounging, the Snuggle Me is great for diaper changes and tummy time, and can be utilized for baby massage or used as a mattress pad.
The center sling keeps your baby’s head elevated and her spine in a neutral position, both of which promote proper growth and posture. The organic materials prevent allergic reactions, and the snug fit around your baby’s body prevents her from rolling.
While this bed is intended to be suitable for babies 0-6 months of age, it is only 27” long, and your baby’s legs may begin hanging over the edge well before 6 months.
Just like with the DockATot, this bed, with its simple design, is a bit more on the expensive side (we have done a direct comparison of the SnuggleMe and the DockaTot here).
This bed would not have been a good one for my little girl, due to its snug fit. But she was not one that liked to be swaddled. So you may want to be weary if your baby has also shown some resistance to being in a swaddle.
- Highly versatile
- Created with safety in mind
- A bit on the short side
- Expensive for a simple mattress
- May not be suitable for all babies:
If you are looking for a good all-around co-sleeper with extra amenities, then the Baby Delight Snuggle Nest may be the one for you.It folds up into a convenient carrying case, just like the co-sleeper we looked at by The First Years, and it includes a built-in light and sound machine.
Easy to maintain and easy to travel with, this bed has it all.
The machine built into this bed has a nightlight that can be utilized to check on your baby during the night, as well as soothing sounds and music (with volume control included).
Folds up on itself into a carrying case with handle. With its well thought out design, the bed folds from the mesh center, which keeps the framing intact even after several folds.
Longer than most co-sleepers at 30.5 inches and only 5 inches deep, this bed is both spacious for your little one as well as breathable.
The cotton cover can be removed for easy washing, and the bed includes a waterproof mattress to prevent mess and smell.
The mattress is relatively thin, which means that your baby may be able to feel the bed move every time you get in or out. The sides are also not made with any sort of metal framing, which leaves them more on the flimsy side.
- Built-in light and sounds
- Folds easily for travel
- Spacious and breathable
- Easy to clean
- Could be sturdier
Best Bedside Co-Sleepers Of 2023
The Mika Micky has a bulkier design but the sound design and the practicality of the wheels make it our top pick for the bedside co-sleepers.
It makes it easy to move the unit with an already sleeping baby inside!! This is a feature that can’t be underestimated as we all know how hard it is to get a baby back to sleep, and moving them when on your own can be impossible otherwise.
Each end of the sleeper is completely enclosed, with only the mesh sides to provide ventilation. So be mindful of this in a warmer room – breeze from a fan will not penetrate the full 360 degrees.
This material at either end includes some small storage pockets which work well for keeping
The weight limit of 33lbs is the highest on this list and should ensure your baby doesn’t outgrow the sleep surface area before they are ready to graduate to a larger crib.
- Seven height positions
- On wheels for easy movement
- Storage pockets
- High weight limit
- Bulky design
- Sheets to be bought separately
The RONBEI is packed with features that make this very user friendly and practical for keeping your baby safe and within arms reach.
The adjustable feet can slip under the bed, or retracted to ensure a safe connection with the main bed when the wall is dropped down. Combined with the nine different height position (up to 25″) and safety straps you should find it suitable to most bed sizes and designs.
The bassinet itself has an included music toy and a basic detachable crib mobile that hangs above your baby. This can help get your baby to sleep.
The ventilation on the mesh sides is fantastic, but a bit more enclosed at the head and feet compared to other designs.
It is also has a machine washable mattress cover which is handy for easy cleaning.
- Nine height positions
- Music toy and mobile included
- Soft material
- Less airflow at each end
- Max capacity of 20 lbs
The Baby Delight is a lightweight and versatile bedside sleeper that has a very clever design. The adjustable height allows you to set this at the same level as your mattress, while collapsing one wall of the bassinet to ensure your baby is accessible.
What we liked was the feet of the frame were shaped to slide under any overhanging edges of a bed that would otherwise cause a small, but potentially dangerous gap between beds. There are also safety straps to ensure coverage here.
During the day that wall can be put back in place and we have a regular bassinet again with well ventilated walls for a comfortable sleep environment.
Due to the light frame there are no shelves or storage at the base of the design. So while it is a very portable unit, you won’t be bringing all the necessary bits and pieces with you.
The other drawback is that the maximum height is 18″. So if you have a tall bed you may have to lean down, which defeats the purpose.
- Collapsible wall
- Design to match a modern bedroom
- The light base makes it less sturdy
- The tallest setting maxes out at 18″
- Max capacity of 20 lbs or 5 months
We loved the HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper due to the full 360 degree swivel feature. This maximizes all the benefit of a side sleeper bassinet but with the ability to access it from anywhere on the bed.
Moms who need their rest, or who may be recovering from a c-section birth won’t even have to move to bring the baby in closer.
The swivel combined with the drop-down bassinet wall makes it easy to get the baby out of there without having to get up. Which is the primary goal with all co-sleeping products.
You have a height range of 24″ to 36″ that is fully adjustable and able to accommodate most bed heights. .
Add in the storage pockets, waterproof mattress, and fitted sheets and you can they have tried to think of everything.
The only negatives we could find is the lack of a retractable cover for the mesh sides. So if you have a fan or air conditioner blowing you are unable to protect your baby from the breeze.
The four-point base also loses a bit of stability at the higher end. This knocked it down a couple of levels on our list. You can see that the lower bedside options are solid as a rock. So there is a trade off for the accessibility and convenience… But that’s physics for you.
- 36o degree swivel
- Dropdown side panel for easy access to your baby
- Waterproof mattress and fitted sheets
- Not as sturdy as the others.
- No retractable covers for the breathable mesh sides.
This is a very different design to what has been on the list so far and resembles more of a sturdy piece of furniture than the lightweight, and modern designs we have seen so far.
But for some parents, the extra storage space underneath the mattress, and the four side pockets are exactly what is needed!
There are mesh sides on every wall of the design which gives excellent ventilation, with one collapsible for easy access to your baby.
It also comes with a fitted sheet and mattress included, and is sturdy enough to be used as a changing table if needed.
- Lots of storage
- Fitted sheet included
- Max capacity of 33″ or 5 months
Are Co-Sleepers Worth It?
If you are still on the fence, or feeling weary about co-sleeping then just remember that it can be a huge benefit for you and your baby. Breastfeeding moms and first time parents especially.
Up until they are at least 4 to 6 months old, babies will wake up several times throughout the night for feedings.
Having baby right next to you will eliminate the need to leave your bed during the night and will allow you to respond to your baby’s cry almost instantly and help them get back to sleep.
For those who are in the middle of a C-section recovery, removing the need to get up and down frequently can greatly reduce the strain on your stitches and the pain of movement. This can be another strong reason for co-sleeping.
Co-sleeping may also be done out of necessity due to limited space. If you live in a small one bedroom apartment it may be the most practical option.
This can save you the additional space required to set up a crib or pack and play in the living room or in the same bedroom.
Why Choose Co-Sleepers or Baby Bassinets
There are some parents, like myself, who chose to co-sleep with their baby directly on the bed, rather than in an in-bed co-sleeper.
While this may work for some it is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (1). A safer option is to choose a co-sleeper to have in your bed with you for safety reasons.
I was comfortable with my choice as I am a particularly light sleeper and would wake up immediately if I noticed my baby starting to squirm.
Newborn babies should not sleep on a soft, blanketed surface since they are unable to lift or turn their heads and necks for the first several months of life.
Most adult-sized mattresses are made for comfort, so they are fitted with foam padding.
Blankets and soft foam can be suffocation risks for young babies, which is why it is better to have them sleep in a co-sleeper specifically made for them.
It can make it easier to transition your baby to her own crib or bed when the time comes.
With her being used to sleeping in the co-sleeper, you can simply move her, in the co-sleeper, to her crib/bed for a few nights to get her used to sleeping alone, and then take the co-sleeper away. Voila! Easy transition.
Co-sleepers are also ideal for traveling.
We all know how hard it is to sleep in a bed that is not our own when we visit family or go on vacation. Your baby is the same way.
Utilizing a co-sleeper makes traveling easy and comfortable for your little one since you can just take her bed along with you.
Each of the co sleepers have been assessed using the following criteria. These are relevant for both bassinets and co sleepers.
You want to make sure the frame of the co-sleeper is strong and secure, while also allowing the parents easy access the baby.
Soft-bodied co-sleepers pose a risk of baby suffocation if they were to roll against or over the walls. We have given preference to mostly mesh sides for this reason.
Baby Friendly Materials
Safe, baby-friendly materials on a co-sleeper consist of a firm mattress, hypoallergenic or organic materials, and breathable fabric (particularly on the sides).
These three things eliminate the risk of suffocation and keeps your little one comfortable while she is sleeping.
Sizing – Bed And Baby
Some co-sleepers are only meant to last a few weeks or months, resulting in a baby outgrowing it before you really even get your money’s worth. The bedside bassinets especially can become unsafe when a baby is 5 or 6 months old.
Other in bed co-sleepers are too big for the average bed, requiring a king sized bed in order to fit everyone, particularly if both parents are sleeping in the bed together with the baby.
The portability of a compact co-sleeper also make them suitable to be used as a portable travel bassinet when on the road with your baby.
Easy To Clean
Babies are messy. They spit up often. They have poopy diaper blowouts. Their diapers become so saturated with urine that they leak Etc…
It is inevitable that any surface on which your baby spend a lot of time will get dirty.
Make it less of a headache for yourself by looking for a co-sleeper that has removable and machine washable parts.
Safe Co-Sleeping Guidelines
Before going into your co-sleeper options, we want to take the time to point out some important safety precautions to take before you start sleeping with your baby.
Taking heed of these will eliminate some major risks that can lead to infant death.
Both Parents Are In Agreement
Both parents should be aware of the baby’s presence in the bed and in agreement on the subject of co-sleeping.
Placing a baby in the bed — even in a co-sleeper — of a person who is unaware of their presence puts her at risk of being rolled on by the other person.
Both parents should be aware of the risks and also have an understanding of how and when would be a good time to transition to a crib or bed.
Eliminate All Suffocation Risks
You should never put a blanket or switch the mattress (for a softer one) in a young baby’s sleeping area.
These pose a suffocation risk for her in those early months but do dwindle as they get bigger and stronger.
You should also be cautious about any strangulation risks. This includes a mother’s hair if it is particularly long. If you have long hair, be sure to keep it tied back and out of the way during the night.
Parental Physique And Sleep Habits
Finally, there are certain parental factors to consider before you decide to co-sleep with your baby.
If you are particularly obese, you need to take extra care. Babies have been known to be suffocated by their own parents.
You also need to consider whether you are a light or heavy sleeper.
Being a light sleeper means waking up at every little sound and cry of your baby (which may be a good thing for mom), while being a heavy sleeper means running the risk of sleeping through a nighttime feeding cry, or — even worse — rolling on your baby and not realizing.
The use of any drugs and alcohol that could alter your regular responsiveness while sleeping should also be considered before climbing into bed.
A few extra wines with dinner and it may be better to separate sleeping arrangements for the night.
The SwaddleMe By Your Side bed was a stand-out for us and is our top recommendation for in bed co-sleepers.
While it can be a bit more on the bulky side, other beds just cannot compare simply due to the safety factors that are associated with the SwaddleMe.
The metal framing and 360 breathable mesh sides keep your baby safe and contained while she is in bed with you.
The fabric is easy to clean, and the entire bed folds flat for easy travel and storage. It even comes with its own sheet, eliminating the hassle of you trying to find one that fits correctly.
If you prefer to keep your baby out of the bed completely to reduce the risk then the best bedside bassinet is the Mika Micky Bedside Sleeper. This gets you the best of both worlds if you are ok having your baby off to one side of the bed.
If you would like to read more about the differences between a co-sleeper and a bedside bassinet click here.