Sleep is the main concern of most new parents and it’s no surprise. Not only do you need to make sure the whole family is getting enough of it but you also need to make sure that your baby is sleeping safely. A bedside crib is a great way to have your baby close to you whilst giving them their own space.
We have provided you with the ultimate guide to bedside cribs, including what they are, how to use them safely and other important tips and tricks so you can feel comfortable putting your baby to bed night after night.
What is a bedside crib?
A bedside crib is a baby crib that attaches to the side of the parents’ bed. Bedside cribs stand-alone but they attach to the bed so there’s no gap between the bed and crib for close sleeping.
Many bedside cribs have a pull-down side so you can sleep close to your baby whilst still giving them their own space, which is the safest way for your baby to sleep. Some bedside cribs have a rocking feature so you can gently rock your little one to sleep, mesh sides for ventilation and additional features like a changing tray.
When to use a bedside crib
A baby should sleep in your room for the first 6 months. This is because it reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), so a next-to-me crib is the perfect sleeping space for your baby until around 6 months old or until they grow out of it. Some bedside cribs can be used longer as they extend or have a bigger basket.
Your baby can also sleep in a Moses basket, which is a beautiful basket-weaved crib that is the perfect size for a newborn, or a cot or cot bed which are bigger and will last longer. Most parents choose either a Moses basket or bedside crib as their baby’s first sleeping space as cots and cot beds can look a little big for newborns.
The Lullaby Trust advises against co-sleeping (sleeping in the same bed or space as your baby) as this can be dangerous, which is why many parents choose the next best thing with a bedside crib.
Are bedside cribs safe?
Yes, bedside cribs are safe as long as they are used properly. The crib should be level with the bed which is why they are height adjustable. You want the bedside crib to be flush with the mattress so it acts as an extension to your bed.
Bedside cribs are one of the safest sleep spaces for babies because they are close enough to their parents for reassurance and comfort at night but still have their own clear space. To make a bedside crib even safer, follow these safe sleeping tips:
- Don’t use blankets, duvets, pillows or comforters in your baby’s bedside crib. Anything loose should be avoided until at least 12 months old. The only thing you need to put inside your bedside crib, besides your beautiful baby, is a fitted sheet.
- Wrap your baby up in a baby sleeping bag or a swaddle wrap, rather than using a blanket for warmth.
- Use a room thermometer to check the temperature of the room and dress your baby appropriately. The ideal temperature for a baby is between 16 and 20 degrees Celcius. If the temperature is closer to 16 degrees, put them in a baby grow or sleep suit and if the temperature is closer to 20 degrees, try a long or short-sleeved vest. Check for overheating by putting your hand on your baby’s chest or back.
- Put your baby down to sleep flat on their back, making sure there is nothing in the crib that could block their airways and with their feet to the bottom of the bedside crib.
How to assemble and dismantle a bedside crib
Bedside cribs are usually pretty easy to assemble and dismantle because most are designed to only be used for a short time. Usually, no tools are needed but in some cases, there might be. Always read the instructions carefully for your bedside crib, but here is an example of how easy our bedside cribs are to put up and take down as well as some other useful features.
Tutti Bambini CoZee Lite Bedside Crib
The Tutti Bambini CoZee Bedside Crib is designed to help you develop that special bond with your little one. This versatile crib can also be used as a standalone cot by keeping all 4 breathable side panels up. It has an innovative, 30-second open-and-fold mechanism that allows you to use the crib on the move as a travel cot too.
It has 6 height adjustment levels, a drop-side rail, a handy storage shelf to keep your baby’s essentials and a useful incline feature to help aid congestion and reflux. This bedside crib is easily attached to your bed using webbing straps so it’s a case of opening the crib in 30 seconds and attaching it to your bed.
How to clean a bedside crib
It’s inevitable that your bedside crib will need some TLC sometimes, especially as babies are prone to dribbling and spitting up milk. You’ll always want to keep your baby’s sleep space comfortable and hygienic.
You need to make sure all the different elements that make up your bedside crib are well maintained and looked after and some things will need cleaning more than others. For example, we recommend changing and washing the fitted sheet at least once or twice a week. The frame only needs a wipe down every so often, and the mattress only needs cleaning around once a month.
Every bedside crib will have its own cleaning instructions but here is an example of one of our favourite bedside cribs and instructions on how to clean it.
Chicco next2me crib
The award-winning Chicco Next2Me crib can be used as a bedside crib or as a standalone cot. It has a rocking feature so you can gently rock your little babe to sleep, as well as 11 different height settings and 3D mesh side windows. In addition to this, it’s easy to keep clean by following these steps:
- Remove the mattress and board base
- Undo popper buttons on zips of the bassinet
- Unhook the bottom bar from the legs of the crib
- Release the bassinet from the stand by using the side release buttons
- Pull out and zip off the bars and any boards so all that remains is the bassinet fabric
- In most cases, the cover can be put in the washing machine on a low setting with a gentle detergent but always check the labels as some fabrics may be hand wash only.
- Wait until the fabric is fully air dry before putting it back on, and in the meantime, wash the frame with warm, soapy water and a soft sponge.
- The fitted sheet can be washed in the washing machine on a hot wash to kill bacteria but always use gentle detergents as harsh chemicals can irritate your baby’s skin
- For the mattress, always read the care label as some are machine washable, while others are hand wash only.
When is a baby too big for a next to me crib?
How long should a baby stay in their bedside crib? It is recommended by baby sleep experts that your baby stays in the same room as you, in their own sleep space for the first 6 months. However, this doesn’t mean that the very second they reach 6 months old you need to put them in a big cot or cot bed in their own bedroom. Make the transition when it feels right for you and your baby.
You’ll probably find that by the 6 month mark, your baby might be getting a little too big for their bedside crib and this is a sign that they need an upgrade. If you aren’t ready to put them in their own bedroom yet, set up a cot or cot bed in your room and make the transition slowly.
Now you have all the information you need about bedside cribs, browse our range of bedside cribs and choose the perfect one for your little angel. Then, when they’re ready for the big move to their own bedroom, upgrade them to something bigger and create a cosy nursery with our nursery furniture sets and toddler furniture.