If you’re an expectant parent, you’ve likely heard the term “co-sleeping,” which has become a bit of a controversial, hot-button topic for both parents and doctors in recent years. But you may not be familiar with the phrase “co-sleeper bassinet.” You may be scratching your head and wondering: is this a bassinet I get in with baby?
Rest assured no one is suggesting you start to sleep in a bassinet! Whereas co-sleeping can mean sharing your bed with your infant OR simply sharing your room with them, a co-sleeper bassinet refers to one that attaches to your bed.
While many parents prefer to soothe and comfort their little ones throughout the night in their beds, there are also many red flags associated with co-sleeping in this manner, primarily the increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), as outlined in a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Additionally, there is the ever-present risk of the baby suffocating if a parent rolls over on top of them during the night.
But take heart in the fact that having your baby sleep in your room is not a complete no-no, and there is a happy compromise for parents who long for the nurturing feeling of sharing their bed with a little one, and this is where the co-sleeper bassinet comes in to play.
There are several reasons why new parents find it not only practical but also comforting and beneficial to have their infants sleep in their rooms versus a nursery: Ease of Breastfeeding. Many new mothers prefer the ease of simply lifting baby from a nearby bassinet to feed during the night, versus stumbling down a dark hallway to a nursery, fumbling for lights, and trying to get baby back to sleep (and yourself!) after the process. For Mom and baby, this might help to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Bonding with Baby. For some parents, the act of co-sleeping is part of what is known as “attachment parenting.” They say co-sleeping is part of developing a bond with their little ones.
Getting More Sleep. Those who favor co-sleeping find it easier to soothe baby if he cries during the night quickly, and in turn ensuring baby gets back to sleep faster (and so does Mom or Dad!)
When it comes to the length of time a co-sleeping arrangement should continue, there are a wide variety of opinions. Every situation is unique, and each parent has to go with their gut. However, an important consideration to keep in mind is that the longer you wait, the harder it may be to baby to adjust to her nursery.
Bassinets have been used for centuries as a sort of miniature crib for infants. Modern-day bassinets are lightweight and portable so that parents can move them easily throughout the home, wherever baby needs to sleep.
In the case of a co-sleeper bassinet, manufacturers have created bassinets that attach directly to the parents’ bed, which offers the perfect way to enjoy the bonding benefits of co-sleeping without the dangers above.
We are likely going to see more and more bassinets designed in this way, with the ability to create a sort of extension of your bed and ensure a night of safe sleep for you and baby. And we already have several favorites, which we will get to below!
When it comes to choosing a co-sleeper bassinet—as is the case with all baby gear—you need to focus first and foremost on safety. Any baby products you purchase (or add to your gift registry) should be held to the highest safety standards.
Additionally, you want to ensure that all of the fabric components of the co-sleeper bassinet can be machine washed, and you’ll want to look for a bassinet with an easy assembly and lightweight portability.
These are three of our favorite co-sleeper bassinets:
With a nightlight, soothing sounds, and vibration, the Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper is an absolute dream for sleep-deprived parents of newborns. The “bells and whistles” on this indispensable piece of equipment are designed to do a lot of the work to soothe baby, so that you can get some rest, too.
The lowering side walls create a co-sleeping environment where the baby is right beside you but protected in their environment, too. And the fact that this unit swivels, for ease of getting in and out of bed, makes it a favorable choice over stationary attachments to the bed.
The clever design of the SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleeper means it can be adjusted to fit your bed, with the baby in a safe space of his own at eye level as you lie in bed. An adjustable incline also keeps your little one’s head elevated for improved digestion and breathing. The SwaddleMe also has sound and vibration features to soothe your newborn, and the insert is machine washable.
Another popular choice for new parents who want to keep their bundle of joy at arm’s reach through the night is the Arm’s Reach Concepts Mini Ezee. This bassinet can be used in a co-sleeper arrangement with the side lowered and the unit placed by your bed, or the side can be raised to return it to “traditional” bassinet form. Mini Ezee is a fantastic option for expectant parents who may be overwhelmed by choices, not knowing yet whether they will want to “co-sleep” for an extended period. And the Arm’s Reach gets kudos from parents everywhere for the thoughtful design that includes a storage space below the sleeping area, which can hold diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and anything else baby might need.