Arm's Reach Nightmare Rant - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 06-29-2013, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I got one of these evil contraptions from CL to use for baby's first few months, and even though we got it for just $100, that feels like robbery considering the crappy materials and poor design. 


I wanted to share my experience because there's always a ton of people asking about these, and frankly, I do not recommend it at all.

 

I mean, I don't understand why this brand continues to have support from anyone, but particularly from natural/eco minded people considering it's mostly plastic, and even if you pay an extra $150 for an organic mattress-- it's backed with pressed fiberboard that smells as funky as any non-organic mattress as is mis-advertised as being "untreated birch"!  

 

Then,  because the mattress is foldable, it rumples up oddly once you put the fitted sheets on because it makes the fiberboard plates overlap. And I am using the correct size, because I bought them directly from Arms Reach. And speaking of sheets!! The accessories are SO over-priced ($22 for a fitted sheet!?) and though I keep hearing from people that play-yard sheets fit, I don't get that because at least on paper, they are different dimensions. 

 

Secondly, it says it works for mattresses up to 30", but once you put on the leg extensions (+$25 + shipping) it's incredibly wobbly! We weren't able to knock it over with reasonable force, but it's unsettling and certainly easy to shake up and possibly wake the baby. Definitely doesn't inspire confidence. 

 

Maybe some of that sturdiness would be compromisable if it was actually easy to travel with, but I wouldn't exactly call it portable! It's heavy as hell, and not that easy to assemble. I'd rather it be sturdier and not plan on taking it anywhere. 

 

Finally, and least importantly, it is ugly as hell. 

 

I wish I had just decided to side-car a crib from the get go. It would have saved us lots of $$$ in shipping and in the products we did buy new. 

 

We may still decide to chuck this and try the crib, but at 36wks, I'm annoyed to thave to start over on picking a crib. 

 

Has anyone found solutions to these issues? I can't tell if I am just hating this thing so much because I am confused by it, hormonal about it, or because it really does just suck. 


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#2 of 21 Old 06-29-2013, 06:56 PM
 
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I have to say I was curious about them, and hadn't heard all the potential problems until I read this. The only reason I didn't register/buy one was because I thought the price was insane. I also plan to co-sleep for quite a while, so it made the most sense to me to go ahead and sidecar the crib and only fuss with one thing. I'm still pregnant, so we put the crib together, bought bed-raisers for it, and it is now the right height. We just have to move it to the bed and strap it so it can't move.

 

They are kinda ugly...idk if they have other colors, but I always see this tan or yellow thing. Sorry you're having troubles :(

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#3 of 21 Old 06-29-2013, 07:04 PM
 
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I bought a diaper changing pad with high sides from Target and plopped it right in bed with us. We co-slept this way until our little guy was able to roll over. It worked great, had a nice terry cloth washable cover, and was cheap.

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#4 of 21 Old 06-29-2013, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know there's lots of alternatives out there, and lots of threads for alternate suggestions (including just regular cosleeping), but at this point I am just wondering if I am really missing something here.

Like, does anyone love this thing and know it's secrets so I can love it too? (Or at least not feel like it was such a waste of money)

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#5 of 21 Old 06-30-2013, 10:15 AM
 
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Cynthiamoon, I read lots of arms reach talk in the nighttime parenting forum. Maybe you could cross post there for input from moms using it already. I'm sorry you're having issues with it; I can't help since I've never used one hug.gif
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#6 of 21 Old 07-01-2013, 11:23 AM
 
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I had an Arm's Reach Co Sleeper with DD and she NEVER used it. It wasn't close enough to me (she needed physical contact). It was a complete waste of money from my perspective. We just coslept with a mesh siderail. I've heard of a few snuggle nests that work well, like this http://www.target.com/p/baby-delight-snuggle-nest-surround-beige/-/A-14241320 and this http://www.amazon.com/Mitata-Portable-Sleeper-Pomfitis-Stripes/dp/B0079SWHYI/ref=sr_1_19?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1372702790&sr=1-19&keywords=snuggle+nest or a travel bed like this http://www.amazon.com/BRICA-Fold-Go-Travel-Bassinet/dp/B004L2JJ6E/ref=sr_1_15?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1372702790&sr=1-15&keywords=snuggle+nest but the changing pad sounds like a great plan to me. I was so worried before DD arrived about sleeping together but it worked beautifully for us. Given your situation, I'd choose a crib sidecar arrangement. I sold my cosleeper on Ebay and got almost what I paid for it new. And yes, it was crazy ugly and ridiculously heavy (NOT portable at all). Good luck!!


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#7 of 21 Old 07-01-2013, 11:29 AM
 
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My sister swore by hers, used it for all four kids, and just generally loved it. None of my three spend a single night in it. On the plus side, the expensive sheets resell well on ebay. Third party organic matresses for it are better.

 

I think of it like gdiapers.

 

gdiapers were a great product in that they eased me into cloth diapers, which scared me before, even though the product itself wasn't great.

 

Arm's reach was a great product because it eased me into co sleeping and bed sharing which I love.

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#8 of 21 Old 07-01-2013, 11:40 AM
 
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Well said, Judi!! thumb.gif


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#9 of 21 Old 07-01-2013, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting. Well, we'll give it a go, but have been reading up on safe bed sharing just in case that's how we end up.

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#10 of 21 Old 07-02-2013, 09:33 AM
 
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We never used one, but I was always interested in one and considered one for baby #2. We have one of those Fisher Price rocker's that are on an angle and we will reuse it with baby #2. However, I'm REALLY liking a changing table pad with higher sides. That's a great idea. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. :(


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#11 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So it's been set up by my bed since I posted that, and I'm getting more used to it. The wobbly-ness is still freaky, but I can't see it toppling over once strapped in. Also the mattress (currently with no sheets on it) seems to have flattened out a bit, and I am going to try putting the sheets on it wet to stretch them out a bit.

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#12 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 09:25 AM
 
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Hmmm, I really like my arms reach co sleeper. I am currently using it with my third babe and my only slight complaint is it isn't really functional as a day bed/storage as suggested after you're do e using it as a bed. It's also not as mobile as they suggest, but I never move it so don't care. I personally don't think it's ugly and let the mattress air out for several months before using it. My sheets fit fine, and it took me about 20 min to sew 3 more fitted sheets myself to go with it. I I attached a picture of our somewhat messy co sleeper as it is now.


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#13 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was talking about the original, which is plastic. Looks like you have one of the pricier models that has a wood frame.

Does it still have the mattress with the 4 wooden plates at the base? Because that's what's been bugging me. The sheet fits, in a sense, but it makes the mattress buckle and bunch up.

I wish I had known even the "organic" one was going to be funky, then I might have thought to buy it sooner and let it air out. :-/

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#14 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 11:39 PM
 
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We always loved ours.  shrug.gif  It never seemed wobbly at all, and we have always used the leg extensions.  We did buy a natural rubber co-sleeper mattress for it, and we use an organic wool pad over that, so no smelliness in sight.  I will agree, it is heavy, but it's traveled all over the place with us and through 4 kids, going on 5. :)
 

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#15 of 21 Old 07-09-2013, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Cutie Patootie View Post

We always loved ours.  shrug.gif  It never seemed wobbly at all, and we have always used the leg extensions.  We did buy a natural rubber co-sleeper mattress for it, and we use an organic wool pad over that, so no smelliness in sight.  I will agree, it is heavy, but it's traveled all over the place with us and through 4 kids, going on 5. :)
 

 

It's  too late for me now, I think, but just out of curiosity, where did you find the mattress?


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#16 of 21 Old 07-10-2013, 12:46 AM
 
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Good on you for chucking. I sold mine on CL! Lol. But I had a little incident with mine I will tell you about... Never will I buy a cosleeper device again.

One night when DD was cozy and wrapped in her miracle blanket at around 4mo, I awoke and found that my heavy memory foam pillow (square) traveled from my head to a perfect fit over the cosleeper that is SO TOTALLY safe, right? Wrong. I was FREAKING out, it was right over DDs sweet little face. Luckily, nothing happened. After that, I could not sleep and could not bring myself to wake her up and take her from the cosleeper. She sleeps pretty lightly and would always wake if I moved her. Still does at 3!

Next day I put an ad on CL and went to Walmart to buy a crappy bassinet till I convinced DH to side car a drop side crip that had recently been recalled. We took off the recalled drop portion and it was a perfectly safe and usable crib. I wrote a blog post tutorial if anyone is interested.

This pregnancy I bought a Moses basket but don't have much intension of doing anything else than sleeping right next to my baby! We still have DDs twin up against our bed and its worked out great!

Lets also mention that Arm's Reach is a dumb product name because the thing is SO AKWARD when you try and pick up your baby. I had to physically sit up to get the right angle to grab her. Epic design flaw.

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#17 of 21 Old 07-10-2013, 01:53 AM
 
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I finally washed mine off with hose. Chiming in on the rant. I never even got the directions because i thought i couldnt wash out the smell but i did it. I am tryiny to figure out how to set it up. I thought it could be a side rail next to my bed and possible sleeping space and changing area?? The hard board part I was going to fold up a firmish old wool blanket as a mattress?? I am so lost. Maybe prefolds on top of that for leakage? All my researching gone to mush in my brain & I am counting on my midwife to show me whats safe. Feel free to give helpful tips on how to use this thing, my due date is in 2days &i am just not "ready". I guess i am hoping sleeping in the bed will work out. Now i just feel like i have invited chaos because i honestly researched until 4am everynight but i must not retain the info...
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#18 of 21 Old 07-10-2013, 01:55 AM
 
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Is it hard to set up ? I hope not. Anyone super quick about it? Must go look on YouTube.
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#19 of 21 Old 07-10-2013, 02:43 AM
 
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We used this in the past and plan to use it again.  I love it! 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Humanity-Family-Sleeper-co-sleeping-maternity/dp/B000LTN72S

 

The only downside is that it's over priced for just a piece of thick fabric and a pillow.  However it works very well and stands up to repeated washings, saves the mattress and all the sheets from blow-outs and leaky boobs, and it feels safe and comfortable.  

 

Once the baby got bigger we side-carred a crib instead so that there was more space in the bed.


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#20 of 21 Old 07-10-2013, 03:15 AM
 
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We used this in the past and plan to use it again.  I love it! 

http://www.amazon.com/Humanity-Family-Sleeper-co-sleeping-maternity/dp/B000LTN72S

The only downside is that it's over priced for just a piece of thick fabric and a pillow.  However it works very well and stands up to repeated washings, saves the mattress and all the sheets from blow-outs and leaky boobs, and it feels safe and comfortable.  

Once the baby got bigger we side-carred a crib instead so that there was more space in the bed.
Pepper, Do u put baby next to it between you&it? What size bed do u have? Where does it reach over to on the other half of the bed, the pad? I have a queen. I read it hit in thr middle of the other persons sleeping space being strangely uneven??I also read it could be slightly pushed off the edge of the bed to make more room since your weight is on it , it will stay??? Do u have the one with snaps or zipper? It sounds luke snaps are newer &someone said they popped off-what to think? I have the body pillow already...maybe i need this? Do you climb over it ti get out of bed vs beibg next to wall? When you have newborn that wobt crawl away &u can leave baby there? I am interested in how long u used it for &how it progresed. So many questiins 4 u , sorry smile.gif
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#21 of 21 Old 07-11-2013, 08:27 PM
 
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I got my Pack N Play today. It smells AWFUL. I'm guessing it's all the flame retardants and what not. I'm glad I decided to get it out and set it up, so it can air out before the baby comes. It made me think of this thread, so I decided to share.

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