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 - many of which are M&B Award winners.
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 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. Bedside 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. A bedside crib takes up far less floor space in your bedroom than a larger cot.
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 on to bedstead frames and therefore won’t work with a divan.
Check if the bedside crib mattress is a standard size
If it isn’t, you might be limited to buying bedding from the crib manufacturer, which could prove to be more expensive than regular bedding, so factor this into your budget. Check, too, whether the mattress is included or has to be bought separately at extra expense.
The best bedside cribs for co-sleeping
This co-sleeping crib has been shortlisted in the M&B Awards for several years, and won Gold in 2017 in the Best Cot, Crib or Moses Basket category. It's a consistently popular choice with mums and always impresses the experts.
A stand-out feature is that the crib can be tilted, which can help babies with reflux sleep comfortably. You won’t be able to use this crib for daytime naps however, unless you want to re-attach it to your bed each night.
Tested by mum Hannah Jhutti for the Mother & Baby awards 2018; she said: "This was much easier to use than a Moses basket. My back was hurting from having to lean over the bed to lift baby out, but with this crib next to me, I just sat up and scooped baby out! During the night, if baby cried, I could reach in and hold his hand or stroke him to comfort him back to sleep. I loved being able to see him lying next to me, knowing he was safe and that I couldn't roll on to him"
Read our full review of the Chicco Next2me Crib here
Designed for use from birth to six months, the SnuzPod allows you to sleep next to your baby within easy reach when the nightfeeds occur. It has a light bassinet and can be used as a bedside crib, stand-alone crib or a Moses basket/bassinet. It has nine different height settings ensuring the crib is the right height for your bed, as well as an optional reflux incline function.
It won Bronze in the 2020 M&B Awards Best Cot, Crib or Moses Basket category.
Tested by mum Jade for the 2020 M&B Awards; she said: "This product has been the lifesaver I didn’t know I needed! The reflux arm has been so useful due to my baby suffering from both silent reflux and a lot of mucus post birth which has taken a fair amount of time to shift. The viewing window either side allows it can lay either side of the bed which means me and my partner can alternate nights and also allows me to feel less anxious as I can see her so visibly! Removing the top part has been incredible too as I have a toddler who wakes at the crack of dawn and a newborn who loves her sleep, so it allows me to transport her around the house without disturbing her. I am also able to breastfeed my baby without having to remove her from the crib due to the zip-down sides."
Read our full review of the SnuzPod 3 crib here
This bedside crib won Gold in the 2019 M&B Awards Best Cot, Crib or Moses Basket category, so you know you've got a good one here. It attaches easily to your bed with a drop side rail & connection system, a six-height adjuster and has an incline option to raise one end to ease your baby’s cold or reflux. It can also be used around the house as a stand-alone crib.The mesh sides and breathable mattress also reduce the chance of your baby overheating.
Tested by mum Stacey for the 2019 M&B Awards: "I would recommend this to other mums because it’s totally breathable and this is reassuring and essential with a newborn or small baby. The design is very sturdy and well made, making it a very robust cot that you can fully trust. It’s very attractive and modern looking. The fact that it’s fairly lightweight means that you can transport it easily. It was very quick and straightforward to assemble too."
Read our full review of the Purflo Keep Me Close Breathable Bedside Crib here
The Tutti Bambini CoZee won Bronze in the 2018 M&B Awards Best Cot, Crib or Moses Basket category. One stand-out feature was the shelf, perfect for storing nappies and muslins for easy access in the middle of the night. The only downside our mum testers found was that it was wood effect, not wood, which is not as environmentally friendly or sustainable.
Tested by dad Grant Garvin for the Mother&Baby Awards 2018: "I would recommend the CoZee because it is stylish, comfy for baby and very safe. Once you have put it up once, it is easy to take down and reassemble without having to look at the instructions. It is easy to clean, has a tilt feature for when babies have reflux and comes with a storage bag with a padded strap for carrying it around. The crib is sturdy and wobbles less than other similar products on the market!"
Read our full review of the Tutti Bambini CoZee here
The Next2me Magic is the newer version from Chicco, more advanced than ever. It was Shortlisted in the 2020 M&B Awards Best Cot, Crib or Moses Basket category.
Tested for the 2020 M&B Awards by mum Lauren; she said: "This product makes my life SO much easier as a mum, especially a new mum who really struggles with worry over safe sleeping. My little one was in a Moses basket when a newborn, so to be able to have him next to me and I can see and hear him at all times really has helped me and my anxiety! I can sleep a lot better!"
Read our full review of the Chicco Next2me Magic crib here
This bedside crib features a zip-down side panel and two clip-on straps to hold it safely against your bed. You can use it as a stand-alone crib too. There's an adjustable incline to help with reflux, and a five-height adjustment. Includes a free bed sheet worth £20.