If you are in a hurry and just looking for our personal recommendation for the best co-sleeper for your bed, we like the SwaddleMe By Your Side.
There are a lot of mixed opinions on co-sleeping or sharing a bed with your baby, particularly in the U.S.
For many reasons, professionals and many “experienced” parents may advise against co-sleeping due to the risk of accidental infant death.
However, there are several countries that more widely accept bed sharing as the norm and view it as perfectly safe, if not healthy, for mother and baby.
Having your baby close to you allows you to feel all of her movements, respond to her cries quickly during the night, and it promotes bonding between mother and baby.
If you are thinking about co-sleeping with your baby, fear not. There are ways to safely share your bed with your baby, and one of those is to purchase a co-sleeper bed for her.
This will allow her to have her own space on your bed without fear of her being lost between parents or among the blankets.
In this article we will review the following in bed co-sleepers:
- SwaddleMe By Your Side
- DockATot Deluxe
- The First Years Secure Sleeper
- Snuggle Me Organic
- Baby Delight Snuggle Nest
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Co-Sleep?
- 2 What to Look For: Features and Safety
- 3 Best In Bed Co-Sleepers
- 4 Why Choose An In-Bed Co-Sleeper?
- 5 Safe Co-Sleeping Guidelines
- 6 Final Word
Co-sleeping can be a huge benefit to breastfeeding mothers and first time parents.
Breastfeeding mothers find co-sleeping particularly helpful.
Up until they are at least 4-6 months of age, 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.
For those who are mid 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.
I returned to work within three months of giving birth so co-sleeping was the only way that I could feed him through 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 to Look For: Features and Safety
So, now that we have gone over the nitty-gritty details on co-sleeping, let us get into the co-sleeper itself.
When selecting a co-sleeper, here are a few factors to consider:
You want to make sure the frame of the co-sleeper is strong and secure.
Soft-bodied co-sleepers pose a risk of baby suffocation if they were to roll against or over it, and if the parent were to either roll or place their arms over the side.
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 keep your baby 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.
Other 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.
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 washable parts.
Best In Bed Co-Sleepers
The SwaddleMe By Your Side 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 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.
You may need a big 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 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
Made of cotton and polyester, with mesh siding to promote breathability, this bed is easy to fold up to take along with you wherever you may need to go.
With no additional case needed, this bed simply folds right up and transforms into a convenient carrying case with a handle to take with you around the house or in the car.
The mesh siding allows air to flow around your baby to keep her cool and comfortable.
The removable built-in nightlight is perfect for those times you want to check on your baby during the night. It sure beats shining your phone into her face, at least.
This co-sleeper is only about 15 inches wide and 26 inches long, which will likely be growing out of very quickly by your baby.
There is no framing, so to speak, on this bed so that it can be easily folded. This can pose a risk of your baby rolling out or you rolling onto it. The bed may also begin to lose its shape after being folded several times.
- Folds into a convenient carrying case
- Unique airflow design
- Built-in nightlight to check on baby during the night
- Very small
- Does not have sturdy framing
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.
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:
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
Why Choose An In-Bed Co-Sleeper?
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 your best 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.
There are also a couple of other great reasons for choosing to use a co-sleeper that are not safety related.
Firstly, 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.
Second, co-sleepers are 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.
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.
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 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.
And, of course, you cannot beat the price!
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