When we first found out we were pregnant we didn’t think about getting a bassinet because years ago we’d bought a beautiful Romanian cradle and we figured we’d place the cradle next to the bed and then the baby would be easily accessible for night time feedings and such. After a few nights we realized that the beautiful cradle was not safe for our little one, since he was a Houdini, getting his arms out of the swaddle, and his arms would then hit the sides of the cradle. The rails on the cradle were not standard and he ran the risk of getting his arms caught. The cradle was retired for decorative storage.
So what to do? Our crib didn’t really fit the idea of what we wanted for a newborn in our room (too high to put next to the bed and we weren’t ready to disassemble it to bring it upstairs) so we started bringing our play yard/bassinet upstairs every evening and downstairs every morning. In addition to a ton of extra work, we realized that Bean didn’t like sleeping in the play yard bassinet and his sleeping times were shorter than other sleeping venues, which translated to less sleep for us as well. I’m not the type that can sleep with my child in the bed, I’m too afraid that my husband or I would roll over on the baby, so I knew we needed a separate bed for the Bean.
As I was researching something unrelated, I stumbled upon the Arms Reach (TM) Co-Sleeper. The Arms Reach Co-Sleeper is recommended by Dr. Sears and has won awards for its design.
The benefits of the co-sleeper listed on the website are:
- A better start in life for mother and baby. Early bonding makes for a secure beginning.
- Mother can breastfeed during the night without getting up, thus meeting needs of both mother and baby.
- If the child(ren) is/are restless, the mother can simply reach over and comfort them. Research confirms benefits of a quick response to a baby’s needs.
- Mother can enjoy more rest because she can reach her baby from her bed.
- From the first day home mother and baby are able to bond and this bond carries through for the rest of their lives.
Although I didn’t have the co-sleeper from day one, I wish I had. Whereas in the play yard bassinet our Bean wouldn’t sleep for long, in the co-sleeper Bean sleeps for longer stretches and seems to sleep deeper than before. In addition, having the co-sleeper attach to the bed makes for very convenient access for night feedings. The biggest benefit for me though is that at any moment I can reach over and check on the Bean (because I’m the only mother who checks to see if her sleeping baby is breathing, right?) Being able to do this helps me relax and sleep better as well. Every morning I look at the co-sleeper and say how much I love it. My mother-in-law, after seeing it, thought it’s the greatest thing ever as well.
We purchased the Mini because it was available immediately at our local Babies R Us and I liked the style of the Mini with its nice lower storage compartment and easy access pockets on either side of the co-sleeper. The pockets on the side facing me are great because I can put my glasses and phone in the pocket for easy access. The Mini is also an excellent size for smaller bedrooms. The Mini has 2 modes-the co-sleeper mode
- keeps baby close for night feedings and comfort
- significant storage for blankets and other necessities
- attractive styling
- comes in multiple colors (ours is Toffee colored)
- affordable compared to other bassinets (approximate price is $150.00)
- is the closest to sleeping with your baby in the bed with you, without actually having the baby sleep with you
- fairly light weight, easy to maneuver, especially with the included wheels
- easy to set up/assemble
- has a carrying case for easy travel/storage
- many styles available for different bed heights
- kits available to raise the co-sleeper height for higher beds
- May not be easily available in stores in every location
- only good up to 5 months of age (I would prefer if the bassinet part of the co-sleeper be utilized to up to a year of age, but I understand why this is not feasible)
- to utilize the co-sleeper to its fullest, we would have to move the night stand out of the way, so the co-sleeper is aligned more in the center than near the head of the bed
- can be difficult to get in & out of your bed when the co-sleeper is attached to the adult bed
- attaching the co-sleeper to the bed can be difficult if your mattress is heavy (really needs 2 people)
Would I recommend the Arms Reach Mini Co-Sleeper to others? I already have. I feel it’s the best option for keeping your baby close to you at night. Arms Reach makes many different styles of the Co-Sleeper. The Mini is the best option for me because it’s the perfect blend of closeness and autonomy for parents and child, and has a lot of storage. The other style I would be interested in is the Mini Convertible, because it converts to a play yard. We’ve found that having the baby in the co-sleeper has streamlined our night routines, though I couldn’t explain why.
Overall opinion of the Co-Sleeper: BUY IT NOW!
Disclaimer: All products purchased by me. All opinions are my own.