Finding the best co-sleeper for breastfeeding is so important for so many reasons. Having your baby within arms reach for each and every middle of the night wake-up is essential. Feel like having your feet actually touch the floor in the middle of the night? I didn’t think so.
The thing about co-sleepers that I love is that they are ideal for babies who like to sleep in mom’s arms.
We’re going to take a look at the very best co-sleepers for breastfeeding moms.
Here’s what you can expect to find in this post:
- A quick glance comparison of the most popular co-sleepers
- what co-sleeping actually is
- the types of co-sleepers
- an in-depth look at the most popular co-sleepers
- the pros and cons of a co-sleeper
- how to safely co-sleep
- factors to consider when buying a co-sleeper
|Arms-Reach Co-Sleeper||4.7 stars||$$$|
|HALO Bassinet Swivel Sleeper||4.1 stars||$$$|
|SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper||4.1 stars||$|
|Rock 'N Play||4.1 stars||$$|
What Is Co-Sleeping?
A common misconception is that co-sleeping means sharing the same bed. That would actually be called bed sharing. Co-sleeping means that you and your baby sleep near each other. That COULD mean that you sleep in the same bed, but it could also mean that you share the same room.
Types Of Co-Sleepers
There are two main types of co-sleepers and before we take a look at my suggestions, you should know which kind of co-sleeper will work best for you and your family.
A bedside co-sleeper is meant to be placed next to the bed, and sometimes even attaches (by a strap) to the bed. A bedside co-sleeper is perfect for moms who are nervous about having their baby in bed with them. It allows your baby to be within arms reach for comforting and middle of the night feedings without being in your bed.
Having your baby in a co-sleeper where you can easily comfort him is one of my gentle tips for getting your newborn to sleep longer.
If you would like to have your baby in the bed with you, but in a safe way, an in-bed co-sleeper (also known as baby nests) is what you need. These co-sleepers are specially designed to allow your baby to sleep in your bed, but they have higher sides which will prevent anyone from getting close to your sleeping baby.
Best Co-Sleepers For Breastfeeding
Let’s dive in and look at the top-rated, best and most safe co-sleeping products.
1. Arms-Reach Cambria Co-Sleeper
I had an Arms Reach Co-Sleeper with my first child. I LOVED this product. She slept beautifully in it and I was able to look over at her or reach over to her at any time in the night to make sure that she was okay. She was SO close to me (without being in my bed) and that helped me to get more sleep as a new mom because I knew that she was safe. I had enough new mom worries and anxieties, but I heard everything while her so close to me and my worries did not extend to nighttime sleep.
I was also able to reach into the co-sleeper and bring her to me for a feeding without getting out of bed.
When she was very small, the closeness that the Arms-Reach Co-Sleeper provides allowed me to hear her stirring even before she fully woke up (she used to smack her lips right before waking up for a feed). If I knew that she didn’t need a diaper change, I was able to dream feed her back to sleep before she fully woke up.
What does this mean for you? It means the nursing process will take less time, and you will fall asleep quicker and get more overall sleep.
It has very breathable mesh sides, and even has a bar between you and your baby. The side that is flush with the bed does not drop fully down. It was a feature that annoyed me a little bit, but it’s actually a safety feature to make sure that baby stays in the sleeper and out of the bed. (I remember my baby at only a few weeks old managed somehow to move around a lot in her co-sleeper during the night).
The Arms-Reach Co-Sleeper attaches to your bed via an adjustable length strap that goes under your bed’s mattress. It has adjustable legs which allow it to work for virtually an bed, as long as the bed height is at least 24 inches.
The Arms-Reach Bassinet is fantastic and is probably the best overall co-sleeper on this list. It meets all of the AAP’s requirements for safe sleep while having a lot of nice features.
The size is pretty substantial, but still won’t take up to much space in your bedroom at 34″ x 20″ x 31″. It contains convenient and very roomy storage underneath for holding extra pajamas (for those unavoidable blowouts), diapers, wipes and more. There area also side pockets, which I tried to ALWAYS have stocked with diapers and wipes so that middle of the night diaper changes were a breeze (and didn’t require me getting up and out of bed).
It can be used from birth until approximately 5 month of age or at the point when your child starts to push up on his hands and knees, in a crawl position.
Although I never used it as a standalone bassinet, the side can be raised and the entire product can be unattached from the bed. It can also be wheeled around the house conveniently if you like to be able to monitor your baby while he naps.
➕ Meets the AAP’s safe sleep guidelines
➕ Sides are made of breathable mesh
➕ Attaches to your bed and adjusts to match your bed’s height
➕ Easy to assemble (most pregnant moms say that they were able to assemble it solo in 10 minutes or less)
➕ Contains built-in storage
➕ Has wheels and a brake to allow for portability
➕ Great quality and durability
➖ The mattress is extremely thin (this is however, not REALLY a con as this is a safe sleep feature)
➖ There is a bar that separates you and baby, which slightly obstructs your view for middle of the night check-ins
➖ The Arms-Reach Co-Sleeper will not work for a baby who refuses to sleep flat
➖ It makes it a little difficult to get out of the bed in the middle of the night if you have to use the bathroom. You’ll have to shimmy your way down to the bottom of the bed.
2. HALO Bassinet Swivel Sleeper
The HALO Bassinet Swivel Sleeper is another next-to-your-bed option. It is a flat sleeping surface that swivels 360 degrees, therefore allowing you to move the bassinet over closer to your bed with ease in order to comfort or check on your baby’s breathing. Because of the mesh walls and ability to pull it over to you, you won’t even have to sit up in order to check on your baby.
It also allows you to get out of bed easily. (Remember the shimmy-ing to the bottom of the bed with the Arms-Reach?) This is helpful right after childbirth when movement is difficult, and is especially helpful for moms recovering from a c-section. The bassinet can also go backward or forward, while the base stays in place.
Although this bedside sleeper has such a versatile range of motion, it moves very smoothly and silently and will not disturb your sleeping baby.
It also has a really convenient sidewall which lowers (when arm pressure is applied). The sidewall returns to its position automatically. This feature allows you to comfort or reach your baby easily in the middle of the night. The complete mesh side also allows for you to see your baby easily (and for baby to see you!).
A great feature of the HALO Bassinet is that it is very sturdy, heavy and well made. Moms with more than one child love that the wide base makes it so that an older, inquisitive sibling cannot tip it over or climb into it.
The HALO Bassinet Swivel Sleeper is for babies up to 20 pounds. Use should be discontinued once your baby starts pushing up on his hands and knees or when he shows signs of rolling over.
➕ It has an adjustable height
➕ It is an approved sleeping surface
➕ It allows . you to tend to your baby at night without getting out of bed
➖ Some moms again complained of the extremely firm mattress. Although a flat, firm mattress is what the AAP recommends, this mattress might be a little extreme.
➖ The newborn insert is an additional 50 dollars
3. SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper
The SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper is the only in-bed co-sleeper on this list. It is the best in-bed co-sleeper for breastfeeding moms. While there are many in-bed co-sleepers on the market, this one is unique in that it has a sturdy metal frame which protects your baby from a parent unintentionally rolling over onto him.
Like the HALO bassinet, the SwaddleMe has a compressible side wall which allows you to easily reach for your baby. The 360 degree mesh sides allow for maximum airflow, ensure that your baby will not overheat and provide a clear, unobstructed view of your baby even when laying down.
The sleeper folds flat for storage and travel.
This sleeper works for babies from birth until they begin to push up on hands or knees or start to show signs of rolling over.
Its dimensions are 32″L x 14.5″W x 11″H
➕ The included fitted sheet is waterproof.
➕ The sleeper can easily be picked up with your sleeping baby in it and transferred to another room without disturbing or waking your baby.
➖ The sheet has a plastic feel (but remember that it is also waterproof).
➖ Parents might find it difficult to both sleep in the bed along with this sleeper as it is rather large. Families with a king-sized bed should not have a problem.
➖ Any kind of bed-sharing is not recommended by the AAP.
4. Rock ‘N Play
Although the Rock ‘N Play doesn’t technically fit into the co-sleeper category, it is still the perfect height so that baby can be lifted out and into the bed with you (and without having to get out of bed).
It is also what I used with my second child. My first child loved and slept beautifully in the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper. My second child was having none of it. She literally woke up every 15 minutes all night long in it.
After 2 weeks of extreme sleep deprivation and a lot of research, I gave up on trying to get her to sleep on a flat surface. I ordered the Rock ‘N Play through Amazon, and when it arrived on my doorstep two days later, I almost cried. When she woke me up a few HOURS after first being placed in it that night, I actually DID cry.
As I later found out, she had a milk and soy protein intolerance, which caused her to have terrible gas that built up more at night. An elevated sleeping surface seemed to help her sleep more comfortably.
The Rock ‘N Play was an absolute miracle and because of it? I felt human again.
There are different versions of the Rock ‘N Play. Some can rock manually, while others can be plugged in and contain two different rocking speeds (it can also rock on carpet without issue). This model also can play 12 songs and 3 sound effects.
If you would like to buy a Rock ‘n Play but you’re not sure which one, check out my reviews of the 5 different Rock ‘n Play sleepers.
It can be used from birth to 25 pounds, or until your baby starts to show signs of rolling over.
➕ It’s great for the baby who does not like to sleep flat or who only wants to sleep in someone’s arms
➕ It’s inexpensive
➕ It’s compact and can be folded up with one hand for storage and traveling
➖ It can be noisy when in hands-free rocking mode
➖ Although the AAP does not directly say that inclined sleepers are unapproved, it is implied.
I recommend trying one of the above flat sleeping surfaces first. I would reserve the Rock ‘N Play for instances when your baby simply refuses to sleep on a flat surface.
Important Note: The Rock ‘N Play has been in the media and has caused some issues with Plagiocephaly (head flattening). When I purchased it, I was aware of this potential issue. Therefore, I made sure to follow the instructions for use, I monitored my baby’s head shape DAILY and made sure that the only time that she was in the Rock ‘N Play was for nighttime sleep. I also made sure that she didn’t spend time on her back while she was awake. Also note that “20 to 25 percent of infants who sleep on their back develop some degree of plagiocephaly”, regardless of what they sleep in.
The Co-Sleeper That I’m NOT Putting On This List (And Why)
As I was writing and researching for this post, I wanted to make sure to not go with what is popular, but with what is SAFEST. Just because something is on the market does not (sadly) mean that it is safe.
The DockATot looks like a breastfeeding mother’s dream. However, the breathability of it cannot compare to its competitors above. According to DockATot, the sides of its sleeper have passed stringent air permeability tests. Still, the sides of the DockATot are reminiscent of blankets, bumper pads and pillows which should be removed from a baby’s sleeping spot.
DockATot’s instructions for use also state that “direct supervision is required when baby is in the DockATot”. It is impossible to supervise your baby while you are sleeping.
Because of both of these factors, I do not feel comfortable recommending it.
I think the side-car crib is quite a brilliant idea, however it may not be the best idea for the first 3-4 months. Having a side-car crib set-up is a great way to transition from one of the above co-sleepers.
Why not side-car a crib from day one? Because many babies feel much more secure in a smaller area. A crib is big and kind of overwhelming for a baby who just spend 9 months cramped inside his mother’s womb.
If you feel that having a baby crib bedside is right for you, you can see instructions on how to side-car a crib here.
Our pick was chosen based on safety, company reputation and price.
✅ Best Co-Sleeper For Breastfeeding Winner: The Arms-Reach Co-Sleeper
Safe Baby Sleep
Please remember that baby should always be put to sleep on his back.
No matter what co-sleeper you choose, you should make sure to keep your baby’s sleep space free of any bedding, blankets, loveys, etc.
You should not use any other mattress or sheet other than the one provided with your co-sleeper.
What Should Baby Wear?
Since you shouldn’t have a blanket anywhere near your baby while sleeping, here are my suggestions.
If you are worried that your baby needs another layer of some kind because your room is a little cool (the ideal room temperature for babies is between 68-72 degrees), these are my suggestions:
- a velcro swaddle such as the SwaddleMe (do not swaddle your baby if you are using the Rock ‘N Play)
- a sleep sack such as the HALO sleep sack
Benefits of A Co-Sleeper
There are many reasons why a co-sleeper is a breastfeeding mom’s biggest necessity.
Having your baby near you will help you to know if something is wrong with your baby during the night.
It will also allow for your baby to feel safe and secure and close to you (which is what newborns crave) while also having his own safe sleeping space.
One of the best things about breastfeeding is that you don’t have to mess with bottles in the middle of the night. Thanks to the modern co-sleeper, you don’t even have to get out of bed in order to nurse your baby at night.
Allow Baby To Feel Comforted
Your baby will be comforted by your smell and your presence, and will also be comforted by your ability to quickly and easily reach over to lay a hand on him.
Having your baby next to you in a co-sleeper will allow you to reach over and gently rock your baby, replace a lost pacifier or make soothing shushing sounds.
Of course, there is still the possibility that your baby will want to physically be held while sleeping, but unfortunately there is no safe way to sleep with your baby in your arms.
Having your baby near you is above all else convenient. Having your baby in your room for at least the first six months (and ideally for the first year) is what the AAP recommends. Using a co-sleeper will allow you to be safely close to your baby.
Baby Can Only Use It For A Short Time
As stated above, most co-sleepers can be used:
- from birth to around 20-25 pounds.
- until baby starts showing signs of rolling over or starts pushing up into a crawling position.
This means that a co-sleeper will only be used for the first few months. However, getting sleep in the first few months is crucial for a new mother’s mental state and using a co-sleeper can increase the amount of sleep that a new, breastfeeding mom gets.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Co-Sleeper
If your baby isn’t exactly a newborn and is growing quickly, you might want to forgo the co-sleeper, or opt for one of the more inexpensive options on this list. The best co-sleeper for newborns would be any from this list.
If your budget is tight, keep in mind that because you are using the co-sleeper for such a short period of time, you might be able to consign it or sell it in an online marketplace.
Otherwise, opt for one of the more inexpensive options on this list.
While all of the options on this list are portable (for around the house), some do not work well for traveling.
The entire purpose of a co-sleeper is to make it easy to access your baby for nighttime feedings. Make sure that whatever co-sleeper you chose makes it easy for you to nurse your baby.
What do you think is the best co-sleeper for breastfeeding? Tell me in the comments!