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 bad 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 cots 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. If it’s the latter, bedding could prove to be expensive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’s hard to find: it’s currently in stock at Very/Littlewoods but Amazon doesn’t have any. 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.