During a baby’s first months, many new parents have difficulty deciding on the best sleeping arrangement for them and their baby. While other parents prefer to have their new baby in a separate room, some moms and dads want their baby next to them. If you’re one of them, then this post is for you.
I’ve spent hours upon hours of research to find the best baby co-sleepers that will help you keep your precious little one close to you—even while you’re sleeping.
In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.
- What is a Co-Sleeper?
- Buyer’s Guide to the Best Baby Co-Sleepers
- Benefits of Co-Sleepers
- Types of Co-Sleepers
- Warning about Using a Co-Sleeper
- Safety Tips before Using a Co-Sleeper
I will also answer some common questions.
- How long can I use a co-sleeper?
- Does co-sleeping increase the risk of SIDS?
- Does co-sleeping prevent my baby from sleeping in her own room?
- Can light sleepers co-sleep?
- Can heavy sleepers co-sleep?
If you can’t wait to know the best co-sleeper out there, then let’s go!
What is a Co-Sleeper?
It’s natural for most new parents to prepare their child’s sleeping area before it’s born. Not everything turns out as expected though as most babies don’t like sleeping in nursery rooms all alone in their first few months.
This is why a lot of parents opt for co-sleeping or the custom of sleeping close to your baby by sharing a common space such as a room or a bed. A co-sleeper is any sleeping equipment that helps parents sleep close to their newborns. It can come in the form of a crib, bassinet, lounger, or play yard as long as it’s used in the same bed or same room as the parents or caregivers.
Top 15 Best Baby Co-Sleepers & Bassinets
- Close and Secure Sleeper by The First Years
- SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleeper
- SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper
- BABYBJORN Cradle
- Snuggle Me Organic Patented Sensory Lounger for Baby
- Arm’s Reach Concepts Cambria Bassinet
- Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper
- DockATot Deluxe+ Dock
- Evenflo Loft Portable Bassinet
- CubbyCove Baby Newborn and Infant Lounger with Canopy
- Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Harmony Infant Sleeper/Baby Bed with Incline Wedge and Sound & Light Unit
- Chicco LullaGo Portable Bassinet, Grey Mist
- Arm’s Reach Mini Ezee 2 in 1 Co-Sleeper
- Arm’s Reach Concepts Clear-Vue
- BabyBay Convertible Bedside Cot
1. Close and Secure Sleeper by The First Years – Editor’s Choice & Budget Choice
This is the best small co-sleeping bassinet in the market. It’s made of cotton and polyester. It has a hollow frame and breathable mesh sides that keep the baby from rolling out, best for parents who want to have their baby in the same bed in the first few weeks or months but are concerned about safety. It also has a removable night light that parents can switch on to check on their baby.
It features a patented AirFlow technology that prevents babies from suffocating, an important concern among co-sleeping parents. It’s also ideal for traveling because this co-sleeper can be rolled and carried by hand.
Admittedly, this bassinet is good for babies younger than 4 months as its small size prevents it from being useful after this age. But while your baby is teeny tiny and fresh from the hospital, this is the best bassinet for those precious first weeks. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also the most affordable product on this list.
- Good air circulation due to its breathable material
- Can be used for other purposes such as changing station
- Removable light
- Machine washable
- Small enough to be placed at bed’s center
- Not suitable for larger babies measuring above 58cm or 22.8 inches
- Mesh sides are flimsy
2. SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleeper – Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
If you want your baby close to you but not necessarily on the bed, this the perfect product for you. The SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleeper keeps your baby in a hammock-like environment anywhere by your bedside. Parents who crave the benefits of co-sleeping without the risks of bed-sharing choose bedside sleepers like this one.
This bedside bassinet has breathable mesh sides that let your baby see around the room and explore her surroundings. It has an adjustable incline that allows you to decide how high or low you want your baby to be. It also has vibration and sound features that can be activated to lull your baby to sleep, convenient for exhausted parents who may be too tired to manually rock their babies.
- Adjustable height
- Has a night light for visual checks
- Soft fabrics
- Machine washable
- Relatively cheaper
- Helps induce sleeper in babies
- Requires batteries
- Cannot be folded for travel
- Non-waterproof inner pad that might develop mold and mildew
- Tendency to lean on one side when baby moves
3. SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper – Best In-Bed Bassinet
Next to SwaddleMe’s bestselling “By Your Bed” model is its “By Your Side” sleeper. As the name suggests, this co-sleeper lets your baby sleep by your side very close to you and your partner. This is ideal for breastfeeding moms who want more convenient late-night feedings.
This polyester product has a mattress pad made of 100% polyurethane foam and mesh sides that put your baby in plain sight. It has a metal frame that prevents you from accidentally rolling on your baby. It’s also longer than its competitors and conveniently folds in case you want to bring it with you.
The deluxe version features a sound and vibration unit that soothes your baby to sleep as well as a night light to easily check on your baby.
- Sturdy metal frame
- Easy to transport
- Very Affordable
- Machine washable
- Perfect for bed-sharing
- Provided mattress may be flimsy and will need replacement
- Mesh sides may tear after some time
- Not ideal for small-sized beds
- Recommended for babies 0-3 months only or until she learns to roll over
4. BABYBJORN Cradle – White – Professional’s Choice & Most Stylish Bassinet
This is one good-looking bassinet with a sleek design. It’s made of lightweight 100% polyester, and it has transparent mesh fabric that makes for easy supervision of your newborn. It doesn’t have fancy contraptions like music and light units, which makes this cradle safer as there is no loose part that can trap your baby’s hands or feet.
Its unique suspension system responds to your baby’s every move, rocking your baby back to sleep. You can also rock the cradle yourself if you prefer. It uses safe materials and has surpassed US safety standards. It can be used for new babies up to 6 months old or for babies 17 lbs and below. This is perfect for parents who want a safe and tested baby product that’s also well-designed and unobtrusive.
- Beautiful design
- Comfortable mattress
- No bars or hard parts that might hurt the baby
- Soft, breathable mesh fabric
- Stable leg support
- Some babies might not like that the cradle moves easily
5. Snuggle Me Organic Patented Sensory Lounger for Baby – Most Organic Choice
For parents who want natural products for their baby, Snuggle Me Organic is the one for them. This organic sleeper is made of organic cotton fabric and has hypoallergenic fiberfill. It has a patented design that places your baby in a womb-like environment and makes him feel like he’s in a hug.
It has a unique snug cover that shades your baby from lights but can be removed if needed. Its lounger design keeps your baby on his back, making it useful for both night and day use. It doesn’t have flame retardants or toxic chemicals that may harm your baby’s gentle skin and has promptly passed safety testing and certifications like the GOTS organic certification.
- Made of organic materials
- Lightweight and portable
- Safe and non-toxic
- Easy to wash
- Soft cushioning
- Not breathable if baby’s face down
- Short-term use up to 6 months
6. Arm’s Reach Concepts Cambria Bassinet
This bassinet has a crib-like design suitable for newborns up to 5 months in age. It has wheels that make it easy to move around the house. Like the previous products, it has mesh sides for breathability. Parents have the option to attach this to the bed using an adjustable strap, but it’s perfectly fine standing alone because it has breaks.
It provides spacious storage underneath the bassinet cot for some of the necessary baby gear in your baby’s early weeks. Its detachable mesh makes breastfeeding easier for new moms and, similar to SwaddleMe By Your Bed, it gives you the perks of co-sleeping without the risks of sharing the bed with your baby.
- Organic and non-toxic materials
- Has a storage space
- Portable with wheels
- Stylish, light-colored design
- Adjustable leg height
- Thin mattress pad may need boosting
- Storage is not for heavy baby stuff
7. Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper – Best Bedside Co-Sleeper
The Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper is a standalone bassinet that rotates 360 degrees for maximum convenience. It has low, breathable mesh walls that allow parents to reach out easily and tend to their baby. Made of 100% polyester, this product has a clean look.
To further help your baby sleep, it’s equipped with a nightlight, timer, soothing sounds, and vibration that can all be set for a 30-minute shutoff. Its central base offers stability and fits any type of bed. This is the best bedside sleeper if you want your baby close but not in the same bed for safety reasons.
- Easy to assemble
- Machine washable
- Sturdy material
- 360 degrees rotation
- The mattress is thin
- Heavy to carry
8. DockATot Deluxe+ Dock (Pristine White)
Designed looking like an inflatable lifeboat, the DockATot Deluxe Dock is an in-bed co-sleeper that allows your little one to snuggle into a space of his own while sleeping right next to you. It’s made of 100% cotton and polyester and designed to recreate the feeling of being in the womb. It soothes a lot of fuzzy babies to sleep.
It’s good for daytime use with its built-in tummy time incline using the tube sides to prop your baby up. This helps develop his motor skills and allows you to interact with him through playtime. Finally, it can be used for an extended time up to 8 months old.
- Lightweight and ideal for travel
- Soft, snug environment ideal for sleep
- No metal or plastic materials
- Can be used to transition your baby to his own bed
- Expensive product
- Requires checking to ensure baby is not sleeping too close to the side
9. Evenflo Loft Portable Bassinet – Best Co-Sleeper for Travel
The Evenflo Loft Portable Bassinet is perfect for families who want a portable bassinet to carry around the around or to pack in the car. This lightweight bassinet has legs that can be folded easily like a foldable picnic chair if there’s ever a need for you to travel with your baby.
Another thing that’s unique to this baby product is its Bluetooth technology that allows you to play lullabies and relaxing nature sounds to your baby. It also has a nightlight to help you check on your little one and a built-in thermometer to monitor the room temperature, which are important safety measures for her. Its mesh panels ensure your baby can breathe easily and its soft fabric help her sleep comfortably throughout the night.
- Comes with a Bluetooth speaker
- Lightweight and portable
- Folds easily
- Easy to assemble
- Value for money
- Does not rock or vibrate like other similar bassinets
- Advertised to carry 20 lbs but may start to get worn down as baby gets heavier
10. CubbyCove Baby Newborn and Infant Lounger with Canopy – Best Co-Sleeper for Long-Term Use & Good for Toddlers
The CubbyCove Infant Lounger is an in-bed co-sleeper or baby nest with multiple functions. It can be used for co-sleeping as it has bumpers all around it to keep your baby within the lounger. It has impressive, highly breathable fabric netting that prevents suffocating while sleeping.
As a lounger, the CubbyCove can be used for daytime napping, tummy time, massaging, diaper changes, and simply lounging and playing. It has handles for easy portability and even comes with a travel bag. It’s also larger than your average bassinet, so it can be used by a newborn up to an 18-month-old toddler.
It has a removable cover that can be machine-washed along with a detachable canopy to shade your baby from direct sunlight and to help him sleep at night. It may be on the large side, but this product is a high-quality co-sleeper for long-term use.
- Certified breathable
- Lasts longer than other co-sleepers
- Washable and durable
- Too big for some beds
- No additional features like timer and sound unit
11. Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Harmony Infant Sleeper/Baby Bed with Incline Wedge and Sound & Light Unit
The Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Harmony is designed to provide a comfortable womb-like environment for your baby even on the go. It has a built-in sound and light unit that plays soothing womb sounds and relaxing lullabies. It also has a soft light for easy viewing. Because it folds easily as a compact unit, it’s easy to hand-carry your baby’s bed and travel with her.
It has two rigid walls that prevent accidental rollovers and there’s a removable 1.5” wedge that can be inclined to relieve congestion and aid your baby’s digestion. It also comes with a waterproof foam mattress that has an easy-to-clean wraparound sheet. Although it’s not ideal for children bigger than 58cm, this co-sleeper is still good for families that have to travel around.
- Portable, great for traveling
- Sounds to calm your baby
- Washable material
- Can be carried like a bag
- Rigid wall may hit baby’s head
- Thin mattress
12. Chicco LullaGo Portable Bassinet, Grey Mist
The Chicco LullaGo Portable Bassinet is a sleek and lightweight travel bassinet made from high-quality materials. It has anti-slip feet that keep it from sliding and a brushed mattress pad and mesh side walls for a breathable environment. There are other colors available but the grey mist is popular and gender-neutral.
It comes with a tote bag, so you can easily fold it up and carry it on your shoulder. It’s also super easy to install because of its convenient snap-on legs and one-piece bassinet structure. Even a groggy parent can set it up in seconds.
- Fabric is soft and can be wiped clean
- Easy assemble
- Ideal for travel
- All fabric parts can be removed for washing
- Can be rocked and swayed to soothe baby
- Doesn’t move as much as a glide bassinet
- Sheet is thin and non-waterproof
- May need replacement sheets
- Crib may be too low for moms who’d had c-section
13. Arm’s Reach Mini Ezee 2 in 1 Co-Sleeper
The Arm’s Reach Mini Ezee 2 in 1 Co-Sleeper is a freestanding bassinet that can be attached to your bed for easy access to your little baby. It has storage space at the bottom where you can store diapers, baby clothes, and other baby gear. In addition, there are pockets all around it for more storage.
You’ll also love its four wheels which make it all the more portable. It can also be folded for transport. It’s surrounded by breathable mesh sides and has a 4-inch sleeping nest height. After your baby outgrows the bassinet stage, you can use it as a play yard.
- Comes in different colors and designs
- Breathable mesh design
- Easy to assemble
- May require leg extensions for higher beds
14. Arm’s Reach Concepts Clear-Vue – Best Co-sleeping Crib for Infants (3-6 mos.)
This is another reliable product from Arm’s Reach. It’s similar to a pack ’n play in that you can use it as a bassinet for sleeping and a play yard when the baby is a little older. It has a similar design with the Arm’s Reach Mini Ezee but more basic.
Similarly, it can be strapped to your bed for easy access. This allows you to easily reach out and comfort your baby when she wakes up in the middle of the night. Its mesh sides give you a 360 view of your baby. It has wheels for mobility, and it doesn’t need leg extensions because of its built-in adjuster. The legs can rise from 24 inches to 30 inches.
- Many possible uses
- Helps avoid bed-sharing so safer
- Plenty of storage
- Mesh sides
- Adjustable legs
- Mattress is thin so needs boosting
- Maybe too low for some beds
15. BabyBay Convertible Bedside Cot – Best for Larger Infants and Toddlers
The BabyBay Convertible Bedside Cot is a sturdy product with a classic crib design. It’s made from bacteria-free beechwood, so you know that it’s eco-friendly and healthy for your baby. It also has high rails to put your mind at ease knowing that your infant won’t be jumping off her crib anytime soon.
This fancy-looking co-sleeper can open on one side and can adjust its height in order to attach to your bed much like Arm’s Reach bassinets. It’s designed for long-term use as the co-sleeper transforms into a crib. Your baby can use it up to her toddler years.
Its classic wood crib style is perfect for homes with a minimalist décor. It’s made from clean, non-toxic materials and comes highly recommended by pediatricians.
- Sturdy material
- Perfect for families with pets
- Safe, non-toxic material not found in other products
- Classic design
- Can be hard to assemble
- Very expensive
- Need to buy accessories separately
Benefits of Baby Co-Sleepers
You may be wondering why you’d need to buy a co-sleeper when your baby is not going to use it for more than a few months. Well, you’re mostly right about that, but there are countless benefits to buying a co-sleeper while your baby is very young. Below is a list of the 7 benefits of baby co-sleepers that just might convince you to go buy one right away.
1. They’re great for breastfeeding moms.
Imagine fumbling in the dark every time your baby cries and you need to go to his nursery room down the hall. It’s prone to accidents and takes too much time when you can just put your baby in the same room as you.
Newborns have irregular feeding times, and it’s not uncommon for them to wake up at odd hours of the night. Having your baby next to you speeds up the process of breastfeeding and lets you get right back to sleep to have that much-needed rest. This also increases the chances that you’ll breastfeed your baby for a longer duration because of how convenient it is.
A recent study found that breastfeeding for at least two months is linked to lower risks of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in newborns. Breastfeeding for longer than two months increases your baby’s protection against SIDS. Depending on the co-sleeper you choose, your baby is just an arm’s reach or two steps away from your nutritious breast milk.
2. They’re necessary for moms who had C-section delivery.
If you’re a mom who had to undergo a cesarean section or C-section, then you’re most likely advised not to do too much heavy lifting during your recovery. This makes it difficult to attend to your baby’s needs. Having a bedside or in-bed co-sleeper makes it easier to feed your baby whenever he asks for a snack in the middle of the night.
A C-section is major surgery, and healing from a C-section takes longer than with vaginal birth. It’s important for you not to strain yourself in any way during this time. A co-sleeper is just another convenient way to take care of your baby without abusing your body.
3. They’re relatively cheap when you view their benefits.
Depending on your preferences, most co-sleepers are priced under $100 with some of the best baby co-sleepers going for $60 or less. When it comes to these baby products, low prices don’t necessarily equate with low quality.
In-bed co-sleepers, which are perfect for bed-sharing, are usually lower in prices than cribs and cradles. These, of course, come with all the basics that you want from a co-sleeper: soft fabrics, cozy cushion, protective sides, and, most importantly, comfortable sleeping space for your baby.
Some parents argue that co-sleepers cost big bucks for something that their baby’s going to use for a few months. Nonetheless, these are the most important first months in your baby’s life.
4. They promote a safer way of co-sleeping.
Some parents risk sharing a bed with their baby without the help of a co-sleeping product. This is very dangerous for the newborn baby, especially in his first few months. Instances of SIDS and infant suffocation occur because of unsafe practices like this.
With the help of a baby co-sleeper, new parents can have greater peace of mind, knowing that there’s something that protects their little one in the middle of deep sleep.
5. They’re a space saver.
Not everyone has a large bedroom and, if your room is especially tiny, adding a crib may not be possible. This is where in-bed co-sleepers are most useful. You can have your baby right by your side without the need for an extra bed.
This is also useful for homes that do not have an extra room for a nursery. You can give your baby the same level of comfort without sparing a room.
6. They’re great for travel.
Co-sleepers are small in size and can fit in any vehicle, something that you can’t do if you’re using a large crib for your baby’s sleep. Many modern co-sleepers are designed to be portable. Some of them can be folded into a bag or contained in a bag of their own.
Co-sleepers also double as diaper changing stations and loungers for your baby when you’re on the go. Of course, we don’t advise using co-sleepers in the car (a car seat is better equipped for that), but, when you get to your destination, you can easily lay your baby on his favorite bassinet and have him enjoy his surroundings too.
7. They’re useful for transitioning your baby for more independent slumber.
Your baby most likely won’t sleep on a co-sleeper for too long. Eventually, you will have to transfer him to a bed, playpen, or crib. If you want to ease your baby’s transition from co-sleeping to sleeping on their own, your co-sleeper is useful for that too.
A co-sleeper prepares your baby for a different sleeping arrangement later on by training him to sleep on a space of his own. As he gets used to the idea of having his own sleeping space, transferring to a much larger space will be less of a shock for him. In contrast, not using a co-sleeper might make it harder for your baby to get used to not having you beside him all the time.
Types of Co-Sleepers
It’s sometimes hard to categorize the different types of co-sleepers as some overlap with others. One thing is for sure: A co-sleeper is any sleeping equipment that allows you and your baby to sleep in close proximity to each other. Here are the most common types available today:
Cribs are the most common sleeping space for babies. They are mostly convertible and can be used for babies of different ages, but they’re most commonly used for toddlers. They are made of sturdier materials than other co-sleepers with classic cribs being made of wood.
Nowadays, cribs can be modified in many ways. They can transform into daybeds and toddler beds and last for many years. They’re certainly useful when you want to train your baby to sleep independently. Many parents start with a bassinet and then transition to cribs.
Bassinets are smaller than cribs and used for a much shorter time, usually from 0 to 6 months. Many parents choose a bassinet when they first bring their baby home because this sleeping space is portable and easier to access than a crib.
Bassinets come in many forms, so it’s actually a loose term used by manufacturers to refer to anything smaller than a crib and used for a small baby. Some bassinets can stand alone and have wheels, while other more stationary designs can be attached to the bed by opening one of its sides.
Whatever they look like, bassinets are mobile and ideal for a newborn baby. Remember that you should stop using a bassinet when your baby exceeds the recommended weight (usually 12-15 pounds) or age (around 6 months) or if she starts rolling on her own and pushing herself up, whichever one of these comes first.
3. Baby nests
Also called ‘snuggles,’ baby nests are lightweight bassinets that are designed to be used on your bed. They are much more portable than regular bassinets and can be carried by hand, making them suitable for traveling or spending nights away from home.
One of the best baby co-sleepers around, baby nests are the closest that you can get to your baby. Just like bassinets, they are not for long-term use.
4. Play yards
Play yards, formerly known as playpens, are larger bassinets that can be used in many ways. As the name suggests, they’re mostly used for playtime (or as a place to put your baby down when you want a timeout).
These days, play yards are designed for multiple uses, so they have add-ons like a changing table, a napping table, or a bassinet. This allows parents to buy a sleeping area that can last their babies beyond their infancy days.
When buying a play yard, make sure the product follows the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety guidelines and made from sturdy materials. Around 90% of accidents involving play yards are due to side rail collapse.
Warning about Using a Baby Co-Sleeper
Co-sleeping, regardless of its many benefits, is not something to be taken lightly. There are some dangers that parents and caregivers need to be aware of and safety measures they need to take to avoid unwanted incidents.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an estimated 3500 babies die each year in the United States due to sleep-related accidents, which include SIDS, accidental suffocation, and strangulation. This trend hasn’t declined in recent years. With regard to co-sleeping, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that sharing an adult bed with a baby increases the risk of suffocation and other sleep-rated baby deaths. What they recommend instead is room sharing, where the baby sleeps in the same room but in a separate area such as a crib or bassinet.
Still, there are some ways that parents who want to bed-share with their babies can make co-sleeping safer. One of them is to make sure to purchase a sleeping crib or bassinet that passed CPSC safety standards. Parents should also follow the sleeping guidelines released by the AAP, which will be discussed later below.
Buyer’s Guide to the Best Baby Co-Sleepers
Newborn babies spend most of their time sleeping, so it’s important to take some time choosing the perfect equipment for your baby to sleep in. Here’s an outline of some factors you need to consider when selecting the best baby co-sleeper.
1. Perfect Design
Different parents have different preferences for the perfect co-sleeper. How you use the co-sleeper dictates what design you should choose. Here are some things to consider when it comes to design:
How do you plan to use your co-sleeper? If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you might find it useful to choose a standalone bassinet that opens on the side and attaches to your bed. This design improves accessibility without the risk of bed-sharing. The moment your baby cries, you can just easily reach out and feed her while you’re propped up on the bed.
If you have a baby that doesn’t sleep without physical soothing, you may want to buy a snuggle-type bassinet that you can place right next to you. It really depends on your preferences and the particular use of your co-sleeper.
If you’re a parent who likes to use your co-sleeper for more than the standard 5 or 6 months, then you might want to buy a multipurpose play yard that can transform into a bassinet, a changing table, or a crib as the need arises.
You can use it for a much longer time than regular bassinets and snuggles; plus, you can use it as your baby’s play area. Some designs even let you travel with your baby’s play yard. You should also check the weight limit on your bassinet because some designs allow more weight than others, which means you can use them longer.
Not only can a co-sleeper be portable for travel, but it can also be easily movable around the house. If you’re like most moms, you’re probably very busy around the house, but you want to keep an eye on your baby. The best baby co-sleeper can act as a sleeping area at night and a lounger during the day.
Choose a bassinet that’s lightweight and easy to move around the house. Some designs can even be folded up and carried like a bag, so watch out for the kind of features that work for you.
2. Affordable price
In general, bassinets are more affordable than cribs, but you also use them for a much shorter time. If you’ve set your heart on buying a bassinet, choose a model that is premium quality but doesn’t cost too much.
Co-sleepers made from wood and other durable materials tend to be pricier. Those with extra features like light, sound, and vibration units also cost extra, so if you don’t consider these features as crucial for your baby’s sleep, then select a more basic model. Most brands have original and deluxe versions to choose from.
3. Safety Measures
This is probably the most important factor to consider. Does your new bassinet comply with CPSC safety standards? All new bassinets must follow the new guidelines, so they most likely passed inspection before they are sold. But is the same thing true for second-hand baby goodies we see online? It’s best to check before you buy.
Aside from the CPSC certification, you’ll need to make sure you’re buying a bassinet that’s meant for sleep. Some pillow-like products for newborns do not satisfy safety standards for sleep. As per the guidelines, babies should sleep on a firm, flat surface and not something that’s inclined by default or moves uncontrollably.
Safety Tips before Using a Baby Co-Sleeper
After deciding on the best co-sleeper for your baby, you’re ready to soothe your baby to sleep, but before you do that here are some safety tips to make sure that co-sleeping with your baby goes off without a hitch.
1. Stay away from smoke.
Second-hand smoke is linked to an increased risk of SIDS. If you or your spouse is a smoker, then co-sleeping is not the best thing to do. Your baby may be able to sleep in the same room a few feet from the bed but definitely not on the same bed.
2. Position your baby at your head level.
When sharing a bed with your baby, the best position for her co-sleeper is at the center of the bed between your pillow and that of your partner’s. This lowers the risk that an adult will roll over your baby while sleeping.
Also, try to avoid using thick pillows when you’re co-sleeping as well as too many pillows. This prevents pillows from covering your baby and causing suffocation.
3. Keep the co-sleeper straight.
Your bed mattress should be strong and sturdy and not cause any unnecessary movements (so no water beds please). You need a firm surface to keep your baby’s co-sleeper flat on your bed and safe for your baby. Don’t let the co-sleeper sag or tilt.
4. Keep things open.
Extra pillows, blankets or duvets are not ideal when co-sleeping with your baby. The more open the sleeping area is, the better air circulation for your baby. The same is true for pets and older children. Keep them all off the bed. This lowers the risk of SIDS.
5. Put your baby back.
It’s possible for some parents not to be awake enough during late-night feedings and diaper changes. Groggy parents sometimes forget to put the baby back in the co-sleeper when they’re done. Again, a co-sleeping baby without a bassinet or any co-sleeping product is unsafe.
6. Baby, I’m back!
Make sure your baby is sleeping on their back. Lying on their back helps air circulate and lowers the risk of SIDS up to half. It’s also not true that babies lying on their back will choke on their vomit. The body has a reflex either to swallow or to spit out vomit.
7. Best to learn CPR.
In case of emergencies like the baby choking or stops breathing, you need to know what to do to save his life. There are only a few precious seconds when a non-breathing baby can be saved, and there usually isn’t enough time to wait for the emergency response. This is a basic survival skill that every parent should know.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long can I use a co-sleeper?
A small co-sleeper like a baby nest can be used for as long as your baby doesn’t move around on their own. As advised by manufacturers, babies that can pull up and lay on their stomachs shouldn’t be using a small in-bed bassinet. It will be a huge problem if they crawl out of bed.
If you want to keep your baby close to you though, you can transfer them to a crib or a standalone bassinet somewhere in the room. This is still co-sleeping but with sturdier equipment than a bed-sharing co-sleeper.
2. Does co-sleeping increase the risk of SIDS?
According to NIH, the answer is YES. Sleeping on the same bed as your baby increases the risk of accidental suffocation and SIDS. However, certain arrangements can make co-sleeping much safer for your baby. For instance, you should never co-sleep without a co-sleeper. It serves as a barrier between you and your baby and prevents you accidentally rolling on them. Some co-sleepers even have metal frames to ensure that you won’t smother your baby.
3. Does co-sleeping prevent my baby from sleeping in her own room?
Co-sleepers are actually useful in training your baby to sleep on their own. Having a space of their own, such as a bassinet or a nest, gives your baby the feeling of having her own space early in life. Once she’s older and sleeps through the night, then you can move her to a crib and eventually to her own room.
4. Can light sleepers co-sleep?
Definitely YES. Being a light sleeper makes you keener to your baby’s needs, a useful trait during your baby’s irregular feeding schedule. If you find yourself too easily awaken during this time, then you can reposition your baby’s bassinet at the foot of the bed or buy a small crib instead.
5. Can heavy sleepers co-sleep?
If you are certifiably sure that you’re a heavy sleeper, you can still co-sleep, but it’s probably best to use a standalone bassinet or crib. This gives you the benefit of co-sleeping without the risk of rolling over your baby in the middle of your deep sleep.
The first few weeks and months are crucial for your baby’s growth and development. You’ll want to be there whenever they need you and to make sure they’re always warm and comfortable. To make the process slightly easier for you, baby co-sleepers are there to make feedings more convenient and baby bonding much happier.
This sleeping arrangement doesn’t come without its hurdles. There are certain factors to consider to make sure that you’re doing co-sleeping right and within the guidelines set by the government. Your baby’s age and weight and the materials used in this baby product are some of the important issues to look at when choosing the best co-sleeper.
If you feel like you need a co-sleeper, think about consulting your pediatrician before buying your brand of choice. They can give you sound advice on the risks of co-sleeping as well as tips and strategies to keep your baby safe if you do decide to buy one.
The best baby co-sleepers don’t have to be expensive. Choose the one that suits your needs the most without breaking the bank. In the end, the benefits still outweigh the risks when your co-sleeper finally helps you and your baby get a good night’s sleep.
- Thompson, John M.D., Kawai Tanabe, Rachel Y. Moon, Edwin A. Mitchell, Cliona McGarvey, David Tappin, Peter S. Blair, and Fern R. Hauck. “Duration of Breastfeeding and Risk of SIDS: An Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis.” Pediatrics, 140, no. 5(2017). http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/140/5/e20171324.
- “Play Yards: What Parents Should Know.” CPSC. Last modified September 21, 2011. https://onsafety.cpsc.gov/blog/2011/09/21/play-yards-what-parents-should-know/.
- First, Lewis R. (ed.). “SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment.” Pediatrics, 138, no. 5(2016). http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162938.
- “Myths and Facts About SIDS and Safe Infant Sleep.” Accessed December 22, 2018. https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/safesleepbasics/mythsfacts.