Where should our newborn baby sleep?
It’s a question that many first time parents ask themselves early in pregnancy - months before the baby arrives.
In a bedside cot?
In a crib in his/her nursery?
Next to me in bed?
While some parents will choose to put their baby straight into their everyday crib or cot, many parents (like me!) opt to first put their precious newborn in a Next to Me Crib.
If you are one of those parents thinking about a Next to Me Crib for your baby, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article you’ll learn:
- What are Next to Me Cribs
- What is the Age Range for Bedside Cribs
- Are Next to Me Cribs Safe?
- The 5 Best Next to Me Cribs for 2022
Ready to learn more about Next To Me Cribs? Let’s go!
What Is a Next to Me Crib?
A Next to Me Crib, also commonly referred to as “next to me cot”, “bedside crib”, or “side-sleeper”, is a safe and separate place for an infant to sleep in close proximity to parent(s) at night.
A key feature of the Next to Me Crib is that it is recognized by medical professionals as a safe form of “co-sleeping” without bringing the baby into bed with the adult.
Next to Me Cribs differ from traditional cribs in that they are smaller in size from a regular cot and meant to be placed directly next to, or adjoining, an adult bed.
The Next To Me Crib will often feature a removable barrier (or unzippable) between the parent bed and the baby's crib for easy access to baby during the night.
What Age Can You Use a Next to Me Crib?
The British National Health Service (NHS) recommends babies sleep in the same room as their parents for at least the first 6 months of life. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) takes it a bit further by recommending the first 12 months, with 6 months as a bare minimum.
Generally, Next to Me Cribs are branded as suitable for birth until 6 months. However, the weight, height, and gross motor skill level of your child will affect how long your baby can stay in a Next to Me Crib.
If your baby can pull themselves out of the bedside crib, it is time to move them to a larger, more suitable crib.
Parents who plan on having your baby in a next to me sleeper for longer than 6 months must read the specs of each model to determine suitability.
Are Next to Me Cribs Safe?
In short: YES!
Both the US and UK (and many other international public health institutions) recommend a flat, separate infant sleeping space next to the parents or in the same room as the parents.
Safe co-sleeping with a Next to Me Crib should not be confused with the practice called bed-sharing. Though experts recommend co-sleeping with a Next to Me Crib, they do not recommend bed-sharing - where the baby joins the parent or parents in their bed at night.
All of the Next to Me Crib we will recommend below fit within the UK crib safety specifications as of the most recent updates in 2020 (BS EN 1130:2019) and promote safe sleep.
Some additional benefits of Next-To-Me Cribs that have been found in studies are:
- Reduced risk of SIDS (studies show improved heart rates when babies are close to their parents);
- Quicker response time on behalf of the parent;
- Easier time breastfeeding at night;
- More convenience for mothers recovering from C-section surgery;
- Improved sleep for parents and baby.
5 Best Next To Me Cribs for 2022
Convinced you need the best Next to Me Crib for your little bundle of joy?
Don't worry about doing the painstaking research of finding the best ones all by yourself: my type A personality has taken over and I've done that for you!
I’ve assessed a number of factors that parents must consider when looking to buy their Next to Me Crib:
- Safety (all pass this test)
- Features (rocking, adjustment capability, breathable mesh)
- Size and Weight (for ease of set up, moving)
- Personal Experience (my own personal experience)
- User Reviews (experience of others)
- Price (value for product)
Let's have a look at the 5 best Bedside Cribs.
The SnuzPod 4 Bedside Crib is a great Next to Me Crib option for new parents. At the time of writing this article, the SnuzPod Next to Me Crib has a rating of 4.5 stars from 182 reviews on Amazon.
There is a gentle reflux incline setting to help ease your baby's influx, gas, or cramp as well as a rocking stand to help soothe your baby.
You're likely to have no problem fitting this co-sleeper to your own bed as it reaches a height up to 73cm and is adjustable for bed up to 95cm.
Straps are included for easy installation and the bedside crib weighs 11kg. Here are some top pros and cons to consider.
- Attractive design
- Easy to assemble
- High quality material
- Not the easiest to transport/move around
Price range: £140 to £160
How can we talk about Next to Me Cribs without mentioning the Chicco Next2Me line?
With five different models, you may find yourself deciding which one of these highly popular bedside cribs is the right one for you (the original model has 4.5 stars from 541 reviews on Amazon at the time of writing).
We have decided to go for the original Chicco Next2Me and will touch on the reasons for that. The other models are the Next2Me Magic, Next2Mee Dream, Next2Me Air and Next2Me Forever.
We personally like the dual functionality of a co-sleeper and travel cot, which the Next2Me Forever does not offer.
Now we want to specify that even though we personally recommend the original model, the four newer models all offer a major perk the original does not: easy raising and lowering of the mesh partition while the bedside crib is attached to the parent bed.
You may also be seeking a rocking function; in which case you should consider the Magic or Dream models. For safety reasons, I prefer a nighttime crib to be flat and steady, which is why I do not find this function necessary.
If you're very concerned about breathability, you may want to consider the Air model (four mesh sides) and if you want one that will convert into a toddler bed, the Next2Me Forever age range goes from birth until four years old.
- Tried and tested (hundreds of reliable reviews on different websites)
- Personal experience of the author and friends (two of my friends and I have all used this model and loved it)
- Price is lower than the newer models
- Lightweight (original and Air models are the lightest)
- Includes a travel bag
- Includes 2 incline (tilt) settings for reflux
- Removable and washable lining
- Six different heights
- Partition cannot be lowered and raised once the crib is attached to the parent bed (one hand opening is available on the Dream, Magic and Forever options)
- No rocking function (this is only a con if you want this feature)
- No option to convert it to a toddler bed (if you want this feature)
- Only 1 mesh side (compared to the Air's 4 mesh sides)
- Has fewer incline (tilt) settings than other models (the Dream, Magic, and Forever have 4)
Price range: £140 to £180
The Shnuggle Air Bedside Crib is definitely the most stylish of the Next to Me Cribs on the market.
With its sleek design and ample storage space below, you surely will be happy if you go with this Next to Me Crib. I love the dual mesh for breathability as well.
This bedside crib offers a zip down feature that is easily adjustable, even when attached to the parent bed. There is also a conversion kit available (sold separately) that enables you to use the co-sleeper as a toddler bed up to age 2.
The reviews on this one are quite positive (4.5 stars from 100 Amazon reviews at the time of writing) with the points below highlighted as the main pros and cons.
- Height adjustability
- Easy to assemble
- Sturdy and attractive
- Great customer service
- Crib does tilt slightly when unzipped for some people
Price range: £163 to £250
A personal favourite of mine, this sturdy and attractive Next to Me Crib has 4.5 stars from over 380 Amazon reviews at the time of writing this article. One of my favourite features about this one is how small you can make it when traveling.
That also makes it ideal if you want to store it without taking up lots of space when you're not using it between children (and let's be honest, baby gear adds up QUICKLY and who has space to store all that?)
The breathability is fantastic in this bedside crib and the mesh side is very easy to zip and unzip at night. Here are some further pros and cons mentioned in reviews from Iora Bedside Crib users.
- Easy to store
- Machine washable
- Great storage space
- No rocking option
- Some Amazon reviews mention getting the wrong colour or missing parts
Price range: £159 to £189
This co-sleeper is not as readily reviewed online as the other four but should be considered in your search.
The Voyager Co-Sleeper is known to be very easy to fold and store, which is great if you plan to move it around or travel regularly (it also comes with a travel bag).
My favourite feature is the fact it has all mesh sides, which enhances breathability. You also receive a 3-year manufacturer guarantee upon purchase. Here are some more pros and cons to consider.
- Adjustable incline for reflux
- Swivel wheels
- Easy to assemble
- Not available at as many retailers as other options
No matter which of the five options you choose from the list above, you are likely going to be satisfied with your Next-To-Me Crib purchase.
It is important to remember that all beds and floor leveling will vary so you must carefully assess the Next to Me Crib fit to your bed when utilising the drop side option.
When correctly used, Next to Me Cribs can be extremely convenient, safe, and good for bonding. We hope you found our guide helpful and wish you all the best with your new baby!
The Dingle Dangle is a:
1. hands-free nappy change helper
2. sensory rattle, and;
3. travel baby mobile
Lightweight, portable and convenient to take on the road, the Dingle Dangle makes a thoughtful gift for any new parent!
About the author Ashley Foy Tervoort:
Ashley is a 32-year-old American, expat mom living in the Netherlands with her Dutch husband, 3-year-old daughter and a new baby boy (coming February 2022!) Ashley works as a university lecturer, freelance writer, professional figure skating coach and YouTuber/blogger. You can find her on multiple social media platforms under the name Momming Abroad for expat and motherhood content.
SIDS information obtained from thee Safe to Sleep public education campaign: https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/
AAP 2016 safe sleep journal article: https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/138/5/e20162940/60296/SIDS-and-Other-Sleep-Related-Infant-Deaths?searchresult=1
UK crib safety norms: https://cribinfoblog.blogspot.com/2019/03/crib-safety-standards-uk.html
Room sharing safety: https://www.basisonline.org.uk/room-sharing/
Bed-sharing risks: https://www.rchsd.org/health-articles/bed-sharing/