Every parent wants to be close to their baby, but the official advice says that sharing the same bed is a no-no - so if you want to be as close as possible then you need one of the best co-sleeper cots, also known as co-sleeping cribs.
They’re specially designed cots and cribs that fit alongside your bed and which provide quick access to your baby for feeding or soothing.
There are two big pluses to a co-sleeper cot. The first is that you can reach your baby without getting out of bed - something that’s particularly helpful if you’re still recovering from the birth - and the second is that they don’t take up as much room as a normal cot. That second benefit is also the downside, though: after about six months your baby will probably have outgrown it.
When you’re choosing a co-sleeper cot it’s crucial that you get one that’s adjustable to the same height as your bed, and that it actually fits your bed: some are designed to be fitted to bed frames, so if you’ve got a divan they won’t be compatible. And check whether the mattress and bedding is a standard size or some weird manufacturer-specific design, as if it’s the latter, bedding could prove to be expensive.
Be careful to consider whether you will be moving your co-sleeper cot from room to room or if it will remain attached to your bed for the duration of its use. There are plenty of bedside crib style cots that work just as well as the co-sleeper cots but have the added advantage of being easy to shift from room to room, this might be a critical deciding factor if there is a chance you will be using your spare room from time to time and want to attach the co-sleeper cot to another bed.
Also consider whether or not you will be happy with fabric or wood as a material option. Wood may not be as cosy as a fabric sleeper, but it is a doddle to wipe down the wooden options, whereas the material cots can be tricky to get milk stains and other grubby marks out of.
Once you worked out which options are best suited to you, let us guide you through the best options on the market. If having read this, you are not sure a co-sleeper cot is for you, we have a great guide to the best standard cot beds for 2018.
1. SnuzPod Bedside Crib
As practical as it’s pretty
Dimensions: 100 x 42 x 95 cm | Weight: 18kg | Mattress?: Yes | Max weight: n/a - 6 months | Height adjustable?: Yes | Stand-alone option: Yes
The SnuzPod (it took us a while to realise it’s pronounced “snooze”, not “snuzz”, and now we feel a bit silly) isn’t just pretty, although it is a lovely-looking cot. It’s practical too, with curved rails that enable you to gently rock your baby and a mesh wall to keep baby safe without preventing easy access. It’s designed as a 3-in-1 solution, so it can be used as a standalone crib or Moses basket as well as a bedside co-sleeper cotbed. The SnuzPod is height adjustable between 37 and 58cm and includes a mattress; it’s an unusual size but it’s the same as the Chicco Next2me, so getting bedding shouldn’t be difficult or expensive. At 18kg it’s hardly portable, but it’s easy enough to slide around. The neutral design choice makes this versatile co-sleeper cot that will fit seamlessly into any room.
2. Chicco Next2me Side Sleeping Crib
It’s bigger than most but perfectly portable
Dimensions: 69 x 93 x 81 cm | Weight: 8kg | Mattress?: Yes | Max weight: 9kg | Height adjustable?: Yes | Stand-alone option: Yes
This Amazon best-seller has attracted hundreds of positive reviews, but there are a few unhappy parents out there: for them they felt the included mattress was a little too hard and necessitated buying another, softer model. Most reviewers were perfectly happy, though, and they praised the light weight, the choice of six height positions (from 35 to 52cm), the easy assembly and the ability to tilt the cot for babies with colds or reflux. It can be used as a normal crib as well as a co-sleeper, and there are wheels to make it easy to manoeuvre. It’s a little larger than other cots, though, so make sure there’s room for it in your room before deciding if it’s right for you. The padded fabric outer is a sensible and handy design feature, ensuring that you don't yell out loud if you bash your elbows in the middle of the night.
3. BabyDan Alfred By My Side Crib
Half the price but not half as good
Dimensions: 84 x 40 x 88 cm | Weight: 10kg | Mattress?: No | Max weight: 12kg | Height adjustable?: Yes | Stand-alone option: Yes
We’re not convinced by the colours BabyDan has chosen for its cot - it seems a shame to cover natural hardwood in a paint best described as prison grey - but we like BabyDan’s design here: it’s a co-sleeper, a stand-alone cot and then can become a child’s seat when baby’s too big for the cot. The mattress isn’t included - the official BabyDan one is currently £23 - but the cot itself is well made and sturdy, and the removable wheels make it easy to move around your room. It’s fairly light at 10kg, but it isn’t particularly portable; if you’re looking for something for holidays as well as home, you might be better off with the Chicco. But it’s a good, solid choice that’s significantly cheaper than many similar models. Its relatively narrow too compared to many co-sleeper cribs so ideal for small spaces.
4. Jané Babyside Crib
A rare treat: the bedding’s included
Dimensions: L 67 x W 92 x H 68-79 cm | Weight: 9kg | Mattress?: Yes | Max weight: 9kg | Height adjustable?: Yes | Stand-alone option: Yes
The excellent Madeformums website reckons this is the best co-sleeping cot money can buy, and while £194 is at the more expensive end of the spectrum the Jané crib is worth spending the money on. It has six height settings from 68 to 92cm, can be inclined to help with colds and reflux, is easy to fold or move and has plenty of room for your growing baby. That room is the only real downside to this crib: it’s quite big compared to some rivals. But the price includes a comfortable mattress and a full set of bedding, it’s suitable for babies up to 9kg in weight and it’s much better value for money than a pricey Moses basket. You will need to have a bit of spare space around your bed to fit this one in but if you have a larger bedroom and space is not a problem, this is a great choice.
5. HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper
Hard to find but worth tracking down
Dimensions: 85 x 56 x 96cm | Weight: 13kg | Mattress?: Yes | Max weight: 13.6kg | Height adjustable?: Yes | Stand-alone option: Yes
Let’s get the negatives out of the way first: the HALO is the most expensive co-sleeping cot here, and limited stock means it can be hard to find. It’s worth tracking down, though, because it’s very different to the other cribs we’ve looked at: instead of attaching to your bed, it swivels next to it. That means you can swivel it out of the way if you need to get out of bed, so there’s no danger of disturbing baby or having to clamber over a snoring partner in the wee small hours. It also offers a night light, vibration, a range of supposedly soothing sounds and useful storage pockets. The base of this swivel co-sleeper slots under you bed as you slide it towards you, so be careful if you have a divan base bed as it will hit the foot of the bed when you draw it closer. A great adaptable choice if you have the right bed type.
If you're still unsure if a co-sleeper cot is right for your baby, you can also check out our top choices for the 5 best Moses baskets 2018 has to offer.
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