What is the best co-sleeper for bed sharing parents?
Your decision to bed share with your little one has probably not come easy. When all the official advice encourages us to place baby in a separate bed, it can be hard to go against the grain. Whether you planned to bed-share or your little one called the shots, you want one thing. To keep your baby safe. Using a baby sleep pod or nest is a great way to tackle to concern many parent have with bed sharing.
We’ve developed this guide to help you find the best co-sleeper for you. We’ll let you know what’s available on the market and what features will benefit you most. It’s a jam packed guide so you may want to pin for later (simply click the floating Pinterest button of the right hand side). We’ll discuss:
- 5 Best Co-Sleeper Pod and Nest Reviews
- Types of Baby Sleep Pods and Nests
- Benefits of Bed Sharing Aids
- Cons of Bed Sharing Aids
- Co-Sleeper Pod and Nest Buying Guide
- Safe Bed Sharing
5 Best Co-Sleeper Pod and Nest Reviews
1. Sleepyhead Deluxe
- Type: Bumper
- Age Range: 0-8 months (larger size available for 9m-3years)
- Colours: White (different coloured covers available)
Pros: Firm surface, breathable fabric, large size, portable
The Sleepyhead Deluxe is the best selling sleep pod in the UK. The large cushioned sides provide space for baby whilst keeping them snug inside the pod. Parents swear by the Sleepyhead Pod to help their restless baby to sleep. It’s quite an expensive piece of kit, but will see you baby until 8 months old. That longer than most moses baskets and cribs.
It’s really easy to use and no set up required, simply place baby in the flatted middle piece for a snug sleep. For lounging and playtime you can unclip the end for comfortable resting. For older co-sleeper you can buy the Grande size which suits kids up to 3 years old. This co-sleeper is very comfortable to sleep with and the sides are similar to having a body pillow in your bed.
To keep the pod fresh and clean the cover is removable. You can machine wash and air dry. Separate covers are available to buy if you want a change of colour or to use between washes.
2. Purflo Breathable Nest
- Type: Bumper
- Age Range: 0-6 months
- Colours: Soft truffle, Moss
Pros: affordable, breathable material, hypoallergenic
Cons: Sort use for larger babies
The Purflo Nest is an affordable alternative to the Sleepyhead Deluxe. It offers the features but without the huge price tag. The Company has focused on using breathable fabric to improve airflow around baby. The material also keeps you and your baby nice a cool, since a full bed can get hot quickly.
The filling is firm enough to support baby, but soft enough to allow a comfortable sleep. It also hypoallergenic and will reduce your babies exposure to bacteria and dust mites. If Baby gets it a little messy you can take of the cover and machine wash it before you need it again.
The biggest drawback of the Purflo nest was the usage. It can be used up to 6 months of age, however a large baby would probably only get around 4 months of use from it. If you’re on a tight budget its not worth it. We would suggest investing in a budget bedside crib instead.
3. Red Castle Cocoonababy
- Type: Bumper
- Age Range: 0-4 months
- Colours: White
Pros: Supportive, raised base, firm, contoured, aids reflux
The Red Castle Cocoonababy is one of the most expensive nests on the market. Its eye wateringly pricey for something which give such short term use. The kicker is that it actually works really well. Just check out the Amazon reviews and you’ll see it’s saved the sanity of a lot of parents. The model is not intended for bed-sharing, however it can be used within a larger co-sleeper crib if you baby won’t settle in a large space.
The base is contoured but firm enough to support baby and keep them in the recommended neutral position. The shaped side offer a snug environment which helps babies with colic and reflux. The tummy strap ensures baby stays in place without rolling over. Plus the gentle pressure applied to the tummy is known to soothe very young babies.
4. Halo Bassinest
- Type: Frame
- Age Range: 0-5 months
- Colours: Grey circles or damask
Pros: Height adjustable, framed sized, swivel feature, night light
Cons: Expensive, bulky
The Halo Bassinest scores highest for safety. The flexible frame offers parents the separation whilst asleep. Then when baby wakes the side flexes down so you have easy access to baby with minimal effort. It’s the perfect solution for breast feeders and mum who have had a caesarean.
The frame is quite large, so if you want to have it over the top of your mattress you’ll need at least a king size bed. Yet it’s easy to manoeuvre around with a 360 degree swivel making it easy to get in and out of bed. Other handy features include a nigh light to tend to baby. Plus the vibration mode can help to settle a colicky baby.
The Bassinest comes with a mattress and fitted sheet included. You can buy extra accessories easily online if you want a selection for your laundry days.
5. First Years Close and Secure
- Type: Framed
- Age Range: 0- 4 months
- Colours: Cream
Pros: Lightweight, night light, secure frame
Cons: Bulky for a small bed, short term use
If you’re not keen on a bumper style co-sleeper than opt for the First Years Close and Secure. It’s a fixed frame co-sleeper with sites to prevent rolling. It’s like a mini moses basket and is extremely portable for using around the house. We highly recommend it for those who intent to bed share for short time and not long term.
The frame provides a protected sleep space for your baby and stops them slipping underneath the bedding. With a built in night light you’ll be able to tend to baby quickly during the night. The mesh side make it easy to breastfeed in a lying position.
We highly recommend this sleeping nest for babies who won’t settle in their own bed. It can easily be used by family who are babysitting or even if you are going on a family break.
Types of Bed Sharing Co-Sleeper
Bed sharing co-sleepers are designed to fit inside your bed, usually between the two parents. This improves bed sharing safety by allowing baby to have their own space on the mattress. They are designed to prevent parents rolling onto baby whilst they sleep. The two main types are:
Similar to a large, firm pillow which wraps around your baby. The raised edges act as a bumper to protect baby in the flattened middle. The fabric side make them comfortable to sleep with, similar to a body pillow. They usually have a longer usage time than the frame type.
This type of pod has raised sides supported by a frame. The side are usually mesh to allow baby to breathe and good air flow. The sides make it uncomfortable for parent if the roll on top of the nest. The structure usually makes parent feel more secure. They do take up quite a lot of room in the bed.
Co-Sleeper Pod and Nest Buying Guide
Before buying a sleep pod, you should know what features to look out for. The models which rate highly in the areas most important to you the one you should buy.
Short term – If you want a sleep nest to see you baby though the first few months you many not want to invest too much. Some nest will only be used from birth until around 4-6 months old.
Long term – Investing in a high quality sleep nest can get you much more use over time. The nest are multi-functional and can be used as props and loungers for babies, toddlers and children.
Safety should be the top priority when choosing a co-sleeper for your baby.
All baby sleep pods and nests should conform to British Safety Standards BS EN1130.
Sides – The side need to be wide or sturdy enough to prevent parents rolling onto baby. The fabric should be smooth and breathable to prevent babies head, arms or legs becoming trapped.
Fasteners – Depending on the style of co-sleeper you want baby to fit snuggly. Fastening can strap baby to the sleeper, or prevent them wriggling down the bed.
Ease of use
Try to picture yourself using the item during the night when you’re half asleep in the dark. Do you think certain features would help you?
Footprint – You’ll need to have the space available in your bed to fit both parents and the sleeper. Fixed frames take up more room, leaving less space for you and your partner to sleep.
Storage – If you prefer to store the pillow away between uses then it should be easy to store. Fixed frames usually fold into compact sizes which require little space. Bumpers styles are quite bulky to store due to the firm filling.
Portability – Most sleep pods and nest are fairly lightweight and portable. Handy features to make them more portable and folding frames and carry handles.
Comfort is essential for a great night’s sleep. Here’s how you can ensure the pods is comfortable enough for your baby to sleep in.
Surface – The sleep area should always be flat and firm, places of an even surface. This promotes safe sleeping practice.
Position – A slight incline to the surface can help your baby get relief from colic, reflux or congestion. A baby should be supervised at all times when in an inclined position.
Space – Most young babies love a snug fir to make them feel secure. Once you baby start to turn or want more room it probably time to stop using the co-sleeper.
A fabric post can quickly become dirty through baby spit, breast milk or night-time nappy changes. Look out for the following cleaning features.
Machine washable – A removable cover which can be machine washed and dried will make cleaning quick and convenient. Any filling fabric can be spot wiped clean.
Replaceable covers – These are great for using in-between laundry times or if your cover get wet or dirty during the night.
A bed nest or pod can be quite a costly buy for small budget. However the benefits of safety they offer for your family are priceless. You’ll pay between £45 and £250 depending on which model you choose. Models which can completely machine washed are suitable to buy second hand.
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Benefits of Bed Sharing Aids
Still undecided if you need a co-sleeping nest? Then check out the benefits using one can offer you.
If your baby will spend a lot of time at family house or you want to go away for a holiday a co-sleeper can help them to settle. It provides a familiar environment for baby to help adjust easily to their new settings.
Bumper style nests are the prefect solution as a tummy time area for baby. The padded edge makes it suitable for baby to play safely and prevent developing a flat head. Catch any wobbly falls with the bumper when baby learns to sits upright.
Use the sleep pod to transition your baby into a larger sleep area. Some babies don’t like lots of space and feel unsettled. Place the pod in a crib or toddler bed to make your little one feel more secure.
For a long term use of your nest you can keep it for your little one to have a lounging pillow. It’s a great idea for a quiet book reading area or a cosy movie day.
Having your baby close by makes breastfeeding a lot easier. Simply pull baby closer to feed. The small of you milk will stimulate baby to feed more, which in turn increases your supply. You’ll also be more responsive to babies hunger cues.
Recovery for mum
When you’re recovering from a C-section or stitches you’ll feel tender with the slightest movement. Easy access to baby means you won’t need to get out of bed, bend or lift baby over a high crib side.
Having your baby in between you and your partner can help you share a close bond. Skin to skin releases Oxytocin, the hormone responsible for creating strong bonds.
Safe Bed Sharing
- Asses your bed – Make sure baby can’t fall off the edge or become trapped between a bed and a wall or bed frame.
- Change Bedding – use blankets and sheets rather than bulky soft, duvets and never place them above babies shoulder height.
- Position – Place your baby on a firm, flat surface and on their backs. This simple step alone greatly reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS.
- Remove excess – All unnecessary bedding should be remove including unused pillow or toys. Babies under 1 year old do not need a pillow and should be positioned well away from parent pillows.
- Assess your situation – Parents who smoke or have taken drug or alcohol should never bed share. Premature babies are also at great risk of SIDS when they bed share. Consider a same room sharing option in these circumstances.