I'm expecting my first in June and am having trouble figuring out what sleeping arrangement will work best for my family. I know I want the baby in my room but I don't feel comfortable with the idea of him/her in my bed at least at first (sometimes I wake up with the blankets partly covering my head!)
I have a fairy small bedroom but I think there is enough room to put a mini cosleeper beside me. Is arm's reach really the only brand? I've been googling but can't really find anything else that seems similar. My bed frame has a side, it's about two inches wide. Would think be problem? Do they actually attach to the side of the bed somehow or just slide up right against the side?
We used an Arm's Reach co-sleeper up until our son was about 5 months old. I also could not find any other brands of co-sleepers.
The way it works is that there are straps that go under your bed matress, then it clips to the co-sleeper, so you pull it tightly against your bed mattress. You can adjust the height of the co-sleeper to match the height of your mattress.
I found it helpful and reassuring to have my baby "within arm's reach" but also have his separate space to sleep.
Would it matter then that my bed has like a 2 inch wood frame on the side of the mattress?
It's the ikea malm bed (http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/S19849842/).
I think it would work - as you'd be able to pass the straps under the matress.
We got our Arm's Reach co-sleeper online through www.albeebaby.com -
they have a return policy where you pay a restocking fee but otherwise get a full refund. If nothing else, you could order it and try it out.
The co-sleeper we used had a "skirt" around it which provided an additional barrier. In all honesty, I found the co-sleeper was safe until my baby started to roll, because although he could "shuffle" around on his back, it was not enough to go over the skirt. Once he started to roll it was not safe to use the 3 sided co-sleeper.
However I want to stress that this was my situation and you should be sure to follow the guidelines for safe co-sleeping and also use your own judgements for your baby.
We used a Chicco play yard/packnplay with the MamaDoo Kids mattress topper for much needed extra comfort (the hard board "mattress" was too uncomfortable for our son). First using the bassinet part and later the bottom part. Now he sleeps in his crib but we still use the play yard and the mattress topper when we travel or visit family, as they are both foldable. Good luck!