Bedside cribs are a great way to enjoy closeness, safety, and convenience during those first few fragile months with your newborn, but which is the best bedside crib for you? We did the research and found a few of the best for you to choose from.
What is a bedside cot/crib?
A bedside crib is a bassinet-style cot that affixes to your bed, with one side that can be removed or dropped down and out of the way so that you can easily lift your baby out towards you for middle-of-the-night feeding, or if you need to soothe them back to sleep.
Official ‘safe sleeping’ guidance from the NHS advises that your newborn sleeps in the same room as you for the first six months, but not in your bed, due to the risk of suffocation and overheating. A bedside crib offers you the benefits of co-sleeping (letting your baby sleep in your bed with you), but with the added safety of them having their own space. bedsite cots are usually suitable from birth up till when your baby is around six months old, or when they can start to pull themselves up to sitting.
Do you need a bedside cot for co-sleeping?
If you already have a bigger crib, you might be wondering whether you need a co-sleeper. It’s fine to put your baby to sleep in a cot from the very first day, as long as you always position their feet at the foot of the cot. However, a smaller sleeping place is cosier and your baby is more likely to settle well in this more secure environment, right next to you. It takes up far less floor-space in your bedroom than the larger crib.
The main advantage of a bedside crib over a Moses basket or standard crib is the lack of a barrier between you and your baby provided by the convenient removable side.
If you’d like to be able to see and reach your baby during the night, and for your baby to be able to see you, then a bedside crib is a good choice. If you like the idea of co-sleeping, but are concerned about the risks of doing so, the best option by far is a co-sleeper crib.
They make night-time feeds and soothing your baby back to sleep much less of a faff as you get to stay in bed. If you have restricted movement –perhaps after a C-section– a co-sleeper will prove invaluable.
Can you use a bedside crib on its own?
Some cribs are designed to be used as a standalone crib as well as a bedside crib. If you’d like the option of switching between modes, perhaps if you’d prefer your baby to nap downstairs during the day and don’t want to buy a separate Moses basket, then it pays to choose a crib that converts easily between modes. Some require a fair bit of re-assembly to use as a standalone crib and are less portable, but you could look for one with a detachable sleeping area which can easily be lifted into another room.
Measure the height of your bed.
It’s important that there’s no gap between your baby’s mattress and your own, and that the crib can be securely attached to your bed. Check that the crib’s mattress height adjusts to the same level as your own mattress, and triple-check compatibility as some cribs are designed to clip onto bedstead frames and therefore won’t work with a divan.
Check if the bedside crib mattress a standard size and shape.
If it isn’t, you may be limited to buying bedding from the manufacturer, which could prove to be more expensive than regular bedding, so factor this into your budjer. Check, too, whether the mattress is included or has to be bought separately at extra expense.
The best bedside cribs for co-sleeping