After the long months of pregnancy, parents usually want to keep their new baby as close to them as possible. A crib that attaches to an adult bed can help parents feel connected to their baby at night, and can also make it easier to take care of a baby's nighttime needs.
Parents have a few options for attaching a bed for their infant to their own bed. An easy solution is to place a crib next to the bed and leave one side rail down. Though this does not attach to the bed, it can be an inexpensive alternative, as the crib can be used for the baby's first couple of years. Another option is the sidecar arrangement with a product such as a co-sleeper. Dr. William Sears, of askdrsears.com, suggests co-sleeping and not bed-sharing. The co-sleeper attaches to the bed. One side goes down so that parents can easily reach the baby in the night. Many of these products also convert to play yards for use when the baby is older.
According to healthychildcare.org, a website of the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should sleep in the same room as their parents, as this facilitates bonding and breast-feeding. Keeping the baby within arm's reach is the ideal situation. Dr. Sears also says that keeping your baby in the same room will help him sleep better and stay asleep longer. Also, mothers sleep better, because they are able to quickly deal with the nighttime needs of their baby and breast-feeding can be easier.
Though some experts recommend their use, ConsumerReports.org does not recommend using bedside sleepers that attach to an adult bed. If you choose to use one, make sure it is free from any blankets, pillows or toys, as they could pose a suffocation risk. If it is cold in the room, dress your baby warmly instead of putting blankets around her. After you have fed or calmed your baby, place her back in the bedside sleeper.
Because the use of bedside sleepers that attach to a bed is somewhat controversial, you might consider searching for an alternative. You can place a basic bassinet next to your bed. Search for one that does not rock much, as this could be cumbersome in the night. A play yard also sometimes comes with a bassinet attachment, so that the baby can sleep in the attachment when small, and then use the play yard once he outgrows the bassinet attachment.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images