Direct4Baby: Guide to Co-sleepers

Sleep is one of the most challenging parts of becoming a parent and deciding on which sleeping arrangements are going to work best for you and your baby can be difficult. For many parents, co-sleeping can appear daunting at first, but this popular method of sleeping has been shown to help parents create a close bond with their baby. As well as acting as a convenient option for breastfeeding mothers, practising co-sleeping safely either through the use of a co-sleeping cot or a bedside crib, offers great bonding opportunities in the early stages of your little one’s life.

While co-sleeping with your little one has been proven to provide many benefits for both baby and parent, it is vital that it is practised safely and in accordance with Safe Sleep 7 and AAP guidelines. Although some parents choose to bedshare, it is recommended that if you’re wishing to practice co-sleeping that it is done with the use of a co-sleeping bedside crib at first in order to prevent any harm to your newborn baby. Keep reading as we walk you through our guide to co-sleeping with a baby, providing information on how to manoeuvre this popular sleeping method safely, as well as showcasing a number of bedside cribs and co sleeper cots we would recommend for parents.

What is a co-sleeper bed?

A co-sleeper is a small crib that can be attached to the side of the bed of the caregiver for ease-of-access and closeness during sleeping. Co-sleepers allow you to keep your baby close whilst adhering to sleeping safety guidelines and can be extremely helpful for mothers who are having a difficult time recovering from birth, as it allows easy access to their baby for feeding, changing and comfort. Parents who choose to adapt this sleeping method with the use of a bedside crib or a co-sleeper can take advantage of many benefits, these include:

Benefits of using a co-sleeper

  • Babies tend to fall asleep faster and sleep longer while co-sleeping - not only is this a great benefit for the baby but also for parents as it allows them to get a better night’s sleep and feel more well rested, as they are not disturbing their comfort to check on the baby through the night.
  • Easier to breastfeed - co-sleepers are a great option for parents wishing to breastfeed as it allows easy access to your baby during the night when they are hungry. It prevents disturbing their comfort and makes it easier to put them back down to sleep.
  • Encourages emotional bonding - sleeping close to parents has been said to help babies develop stronger emotional relationships with their caregivers as well as with other people.
  • Co-sleeping helps to regulate a baby's temperature and breathing - the close proximity of parents helps babies to synchronise their breathing with parents, maintain a stable temperature and experience less stress, which all contribute to a better night’s sleep.
  • Can help prevent risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) - sleeping in close contact with parents helps babies settle, feel safe and supports breastfeeding as well as allowing parents to be able to check on their baby’s easily during the night - all of which can help prevent SIDS.

Remember that co-sleeping is not for everyone, so it is important to consider what sleeping arrangements will work best for you. If you’re unsure or want to know more about the potential risks of co-sleeping compared to the benefits, contact your doctor or midwife to find out more.

How long can a baby sleep in a co-sleeper?

It’s important to note that when your baby begins to move more independently, at around 12 months old, then they should be moved from a co-sleeper into their own crib for safety.

However, all babies develop at different rates so we would recommend using your own judgement to decide whether it is time for them to be placed in a standalone crib. Thankfully, most co-sleeping cribs are adjustable and can double up as a standalone cot when your little one grows, making a co-sleeping crib a useful investment as you don’t need to purchase a second cot when they outgrow their first.

What co-sleeper is best?

Maxi Cosi Iora Co-Sleeper (£189)

Maxi Cosi Iora Co Sleeper

The Maxi Cosi Iora Co-Sleeper is a luxury bedside sleeper that gives parents peace of mind that their baby is sleeping comfortably and safely beside them. Easily adjusted with 5 different height positions to match bed level and a co-sleeping easy slide function, the Maxi Cosi Iora is compatible with any bed and can be used from birth up to one years old. This high quality co-sleeper is also specially-designed to grow with your baby, with a comfortable mattress and sturdy frame doubling as a standalone cot for when your baby is able to move more independently.

Maxi Cosi Iora Co SleeperMaxi Cosi Iora

Not only is the Iora a convenient sleeping solution, this co-sleeping crib is perfect to travel with, as it can be easily folded down and placed in a handy travel bag so that your baby can make the most of comfortable, familiar sleep wherever you go. Whether you need to feed, change a nappy, or store extra bed sheets, all your baby essentials can also be kept within easy reach thanks to the additional under-cot storage basket.

Better yet, the Maxi Cosi Iora is available in three different colourways each designed to complement your personal style and living interiors seamlessly. Using only the finest, high-quality materials to create a bedside crib parents can rely on, Maxi Cosi’s attention to detail has the baby's comfort and safety in mind at all times.

If you’re interested in more co-sleeping and cot options, browse the full collection of nursery furniture and baby essentials on our website.

How does a co-sleeper attach to a bed?

A co-sleeper has four complete high sides, one of which is able to fold down to allow the cot to slot into the side of your bed. This side of the crib safely attaches to any type of bed frame so that your baby is kept safe and secure by your side throughout the night.

Ready to begin your co-sleeping journey?

Now that you know the benefits of co-sleeping cribs and the options you have, you’re ready to start preparing for your baby’s arrival! If you have any further questions or need advice on all things co-sleeping, get in touch with our friendly team of professionals and we will be more than happy to help.