Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to sidecar your crib

We love co-sleeping and after reading up on the benefits of it (post soon to come), I decided I just wasn't going to give it up no matter how many nay-sayers there are. There are a number of safety precautions that should be taken if you decide to co-sleep. For the most part, our family bed was a "go" on all things except one: our mattress is too squishy. Due to a few car accidents, I have a terrible back. We purchased a memory foam pad to put on the bed to help out with that (and it's done wonders!) but it's not safe for our baby to sleep on, due to the soft surface.

We were faced with two options: give up co-sleeping or get rid of the memory foam. I wasn't ready to do either. We decided to settle for the next-best thing--turning our crib into a co-sleeper. Here's how we did it:

We have a stationary side crib so we removed one of the sides (a drop-side crib would be even easier. Just remove the side that drops)

We then adjusted the height of the crib to meet the height of our bed

We fastened the crib to our bed by tying thin rope between our bed frame and the base of the crib (if you have rope handles on the side of your mattress, this would be far easier. We just don't have them so we had to attach it this way). Bungee cords would also work great).

Because there was a little bit of a gap between our bed and the crib mattress, I placed some boxes underneath the crack (just gained extra storage space!) and then stuffed blankets in the crack between the mattress and the base. I then rolled up some old bath towels until they were very firm and placed them above the blankets in the cracks. This way I can easily move Hyrum over on to our bed if he needs to nurse at night and easily roll him back to his bed when he's finished.

In addition to making a safer sleep environment, some great things about this co-sleeping arrangement are: the extra room in our bed (when all three of us were in there, it was a little bit of "3 in the bed and the little one said 'roll over!';" It allows some cuddle space for hubby and me while being able to keep our little guy nearby; and this way we prevent extra night wakings caused by baby or parents moving around in bed.

Seems like the little guy sure likes it!


  1. Where does Hyrum sleep during naps? Is it as safe without you right there?

  2. Great question Holly! Well, you've stumbled on to one of the reasons we put the side back up for now. Once we acquire a pack and play then we'll have Hyrum take a nap in there. For now, we've just moved Hyrum to a crib for the first part of the night and/or naps and then move him into our bed after the first night waking. Instead, we acquired a mesh railing that we keep on our bed so he can't roll off at night. I think we'll go back to the sidecar arrangement when he's a little older and we have a location for naps.