Hi all. I am newly pregnant (still waiting for first ultrasound). We are thinking about sleeping arrangements well in advance because our bedroom is tight on space. I Googled co-sleepers, and most results were from the same brand (Arm's Reach). I'm just wondering what moms on here would recommend. Can anyone comment on the ClearVue model vs. Mini? Other brands? Other sleeping suggestions? Please keep in mind these parameters: 1 - Our room is small enough that a crib would block the closet; we are interested in a small co-sleeper. 2 - We have decided not to bed-share, partly because we have a waterbed and the soft surface is not appropriate. Thanks in advance.
Hi Pokey! I was thinking last night -- I kind of imagined that co-sleepers would have a fourth side you could raise if the baby were sleeping unattended, i.e., napping while I'm downstairs throwing in a load of laundry. But it seems like they don't. I guess if we also had a crib in the baby's room, it could nap in there. Also, the co-sleeper is only considered safe until 5 months of age, the website says -- which is less than a typical bassinet. Not very economical!
This may not make a difference to Americans but Arms Reach co-sleepers have been banned in Canada for safety reasons. There was a death of a baby in one of them when it was used after the recommended age. The baby tried to crawl out and got caught between the bed and co-sleeper. We decided to get a co-sleeper in the US, since they are unavailable in Canada. However, I think it is really important not to use beyond the age recommended.
We used the Arm's Reach Mini Convertible co-sleeper for 5 months and loved it! In fact, since DD outgrew it, we've struggled to find the right sleeping arrangement. I could hear her breathing and easily reach out and touch her, but we also had our own space and I could sleep comfortably (we bedshare now, and sometimes I'd love to be able to roll and stretch!). I usually slept with one hand in the co-sleeper, holding her hand or patting her tummy. I miss the co-sleeper so much!
With the Convertible ones, you can put up the 4th side to make a free-standing bassinet, or you can lower the sleeping surface all the way to the bottom like a pack-n-play. We actually never used the pack-n-play feature, so the extra cost of the "convertible" vs the "classic" model was wasted on us. I loved the idea, but we just never detached the thing from the bed. By the time DD could roll over at 5 1/2 months and couldn't sleep in the raised bassinet, she was too big for it in general - her arms hit the sides as she slept, and she was nearly too long (she's 75th percentile in height).
The Regular sized co-sleeper is a good bit bigger than the Mini, so if you want the convertible feature I'd probably go ahead and get the bigger one so you can use it longer.
Also, we have a sleigh bed with a wooden frame, and the co-sleeper wouldn't fit flush against the side of the bed. It's made for beds that don't have side rails. We used it anyway, and tightly rolled a rug to wedge in the gap between the bed and co-sleeper. That was a bummer because it didn't feel as safe (I was constantly checking it) and also put baby a few more inches away from me.
I never did find any other options, although we miss the co-sleeper so much that this weekend we're going to try to sidecar the crib.
Hope this helps, and congrats!
SplashingPuddle -- It DOES matter to me if Canada bans something. That's not a good sign. I am already concerned about connecting a co-sleeper to the bed correctly because it appears from the website that you place a strap between the box spring and mattress -- but a waterbed like ours has no box spring, and the mattress is set in a deep wooden frame.
Zirconia - Thanks for the comments. I will look at the convertible again. Otherwise we may end up with some sort of crib pushed up against the bed.
Outdoorsy, I'm sorry, I went all off on a Cosleeper review and didn't quite register that you have a waterbed. I can't imagine any scenario where a cosleeper would be safe up against a waterbed mattress - you're right, you have to be able to cinch a tight strap to hold the two beds together. And you would never want baby to roll over next to the soft surface. I think you will need something with 4 sides, like a freestanding bassinet, cradle, or crib that you can put right next to your bed.
When we visited my parents when DD was a newborn, they had a pack-n-play with a bassinet attachment that raised the mattress. Just like a Cosleeper with the 4th side up, but WAY cheaper! We added a mattress (because the one that comes with it is basically cardboard). She always slept really well in it.
I wanted a Cosleeper over a pack-n-play because for some reason I thought the Cosleepers were more "natural." They aren't. They have polyester and plastic just like the pack-n-plays. I also wanted it for the 3-sided feature. But if it doesn't work with your bed (as a 3-sided bassinet), then IMO there's no reason to buy one.