We bought an arm's reach cosleeper when our dd was born 6.5 years ago. I don't think she ever slept in it-- certainly not much. Now we've started using it for our 2 week old, who actually sleeps great in it. I'm a bit concerned about the mattress, though. I've read that using a used crib mattress can be a risk factor for SIDS, so I'm concerned about that. This babe has also peed and thrown up in it a few times without a waterproof pad, so I'm also wondering about any safety issues from potentially having had fluids soak into the foam. Biggest issue is that I've noticed that it's very lumpy/bowed from being folded up in th closet for so long, and that seems like a ral problem-- seems like a safe mattress should be very flat. We're in the process of buying a crib for our room, and I'm wondering if it's worth it for me to get a replacement mattress for the cosleeper, or if a new one would likely still be not so flat, etc. I've been thinking that after we have the crib up in our room, I might like to use the cosleeper as a stand alone bassinet on the main floor of our house so he can nap near me (currently napping in arms since I don't like having him upstairs while I'm down here)-- so it would still get some use if I could feel good about the mattress situation.
For folks who own this-- have you gotten a new mattress for subsequent children, and does your mattress lie perfectly flat?
It's kind of weird to me that you've read that used crib mattresses can be a risk factor for SIDS--isn't the off-gassing from new mattresses a risk too? If both are true it seems your damned if you do, damned if you don't. Personally I'd trust a used mattress quicker than a new one, especially if I knew it was protected with a waterproof pad, is an organic one, and had been well taken care of, etc.
I would have to get my arms reach out to check (currently waiting a few weeks to be taken out for baby #2), but isn't the mattress covered with plastic anyway (at least that is how it was manufactured 3 years ago when DD was born)? And isn't it super, super thin? I can understand wondering if the lumpiness might be uncomfortable for baby, but as far as safety goes it has to be pretty safe because that thing is so darn flat and hard. Along with the mesh sides of the cosleeper I think you're probably fine. You might have an older model though. We have the mini and it was bought in 2009.
Alicewyf , wife to DH and mama to toddler Lillian (7/09)!
Prayerfully expecting our little BOY in June of 2012! And so excited to be and again!
We used a used Arms Reach from some friends and we bought the MamaDoo Kids mattress topper, which fits in the Arms Reach Original size and the standard play yards/pack n plays. It worked great with the cosleeper and now we use it in our play yard when we travel because it is portable (it folds in 3!). A good option for you, I think. Good luck!