Our baby is due next month and we are trying to get everything ready for him! We have a crib sidecar set-up for our baby to sleep in, but aren't sure what to do about naptimes (when we aren't napping with the baby). When we go back to work, we'll have a nanny. What would be the best set-up? I'm assuming the baby can't be in the sidecar without us in bed (since it doesn't have one side of railings). We live in a really small apartment and we're trying to avoid having to set up a second bed (pack and play?). Any thoughts?
Your newborn is not going to be able to move very far out of the sidecar, if at all. As he gets older, you will be familiar with his mobile abilities and easily and instinctually compensate.
Babies usually nap most happily while worn in various slings and carriers. When they hear and feel the activities of their parent’s day, this neurological input provides an innate sense of security, reducing wakings when in lighter sleep stages. Your nanny may have wonderful success wearing your baby as well. Some babies are placed, asleep, onto the parental bed while still inside their sling or pack. You’d have to use your good judgment with the situation but this often provides a sleep that not only feels more snuggly, like being bundled, but prevents baby from being able to move off the bed. Some families create a safe floor area for their sleeping child and this may work just fine. A foldable travel bassinet, such as the Pack and Play you mentioned, can allow you to keep your son near when you aren’t wearing him. With your limited space, you might want to hold-off on this purchase to see whether you really need one.
Of course you are considering the need to keep your son from falling off the parental bed. In any sleep situation you create, you will want to be cognizant that any barriers around the baby can be either firm and hard, or breath-through-able. Danger occurs when a baby’s face can be covered with thick, soft, fluffy bedding or barriers that allow re-breathing of expelled air. Don’t allow any wedging risks where he may be unable to turn his head if his airspace is impaired, and it’s best when a caretaker can hear your sleeping child.