How to Improve Your Arm’s Reach Crib: My Quest for the Perfect Co-Sleeper

I started a hunt for the perfect co-sleeper in the latter days of my second pregnancy. As a semi-co-sleeping family I wanted something that would house my little guy safely in his own area but be attached directly to our bed. I wanted to reach out and touch him, pull him near to nurse, then push him back so I could get comfy rest.   Hey, guess what doesn’t exist in America? My perfect co-sleeper. They have some in Itay. Here is one in the UK. Look at this awesome one in Germany. But if you want something stateside, your choices are very limited.   Our options were to make our own, sidecar a crib, or find something to buy that is similarPreferring the latter, the closest thing we found without paying international shipping is the Arm’s Reach co-sleeper. However, the bed for the baby is dipped down, lower than the mattress. A mama would have to sit up and lean over to grab her newborn. That may not sound like a big deal, but for a sleep deprived mom, I assure you it is! It is also not compatible with the Angelcare monitor (that I did not spend 200 bucks to not use). So we resolved to get the mini co-sleeper from a Craigslist ad and then modify it to fit our needs.    For 50 bucks I found a gently used co-sleeper, but however gently, it was used. So I got a bucket of warm suds of laundry detergent and a new scrub brush. Then I took the co-sleeper outside and went to town. I used my garden hose to spray-rinse and then let it dry in the hot summer sun.   Then we flushed it with our mattress. And here is how its done…   Buy: 3 foam pads (2x22x22 in) from JoAnn Fabrics Plywood measuring 30×17 inches   To Do: Cut the foam pads into three pieces measuring 22 x 16.5 inches and three pieces measuring 5.25 x 16.5 inches <br /><br /><br />
    Assemble:   First, Second, and Third layers of your foam pieces <br /><br /><br />
 <br /><br /><br />
 <br /><br /><br />
  Add the plywood on top of the foam. This is essential for the Angel Care monitor to work, but it also adds a needed half inch of height to the bed. Then add your Angelcare monitor sensory pad (if you have one). <br /><br /><br />
 <br /><br /><br />
    Lastly, the Arm’s Reach co-sleeper mattress goes on top <br /><br /><br />
Perfectly flushed with the mattress!   And viola! My perfect co-sleeper. And my perfect little man. <br /><br /><br />
  I recognize that I’ll be taking layers of the foam out as he gets bigger and he will start dipping down the side of the bed. By that point I’m hoping he doesn’t nurse as often and he’ll have some more meat on him so I won’t feel like I have to gingerly retrieve him. Other than that, it is everything I thought it would be and I am sleeping more as a result. I love it.   Where does your baby sleep?     Megan Leary

About Megan Leary

I am a work-at-home mama of one darling girl and a handsome baby boy. I am an advocate of natural and home birthing. I am passionate about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, eating well, and most things natural in a mama’s life. Visit me and my friends at our blog

7 thoughts on “How to Improve Your Arm’s Reach Crib: My Quest for the Perfect Co-Sleeper”

  1. What a great idea. I wish I knew about this for my first two kids. I dreamed about having something like this…but, of course, it didn’t exist. I will have to keep this in mind for my third child.

  2. I did something similar with my cosleeper, and later graduated to a bungeed open-sided crib. That was with my first, though. With my last two, I’ve chosen to just co-sleep without all the fuss. FYI, the fabric pieces of the Arm’s Reach are removable so that you can wash them in the washing machine. I just washed and donated mine.

  3. Did you find you had any problems with baby sleeping on the hard side rail of the cosleeper? I’ve raised the mattress as well, but ideally want baby to be able to sleep anywhere from outer edge of cosleeper to on my mattress, but the rail would be uncomfortable to sleep on. I’m trying to figure out a way to cover it…

Leave a Reply to kileydc Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *