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Crib Part 3: Turn a Crib Into a Side-Car (Co-Sleeper)

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It is time for the last of my baby bedding series. This one is on the crib side-car, which is attaching a crib to an adult bed, like this…


Many families who want this setup elect an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper, and with good reason: it is a great concept, the brand has a great reputation, and there aren’t many comparable solutions for beyond the newborn stage. We seriously considered the Arm’s Reach, but then we heard about side-carring a normal crib—a simple concept, but one that can’t be marketed so it isn’t as well-known—we wanted to learn more. Well, we learned about it, executed our plan, and now I share with you what worked for us.

How to Side-Car A Crib

Step 1: Select a crib that is stable with one side removed
Our crib converts to a toddler bed, so we were certain it would be stable with only three sides.

Step 2: Make sure the crib fits in your space
Measure the crib and make sure it will fit in your space. Think creatively about how you can move your bed or other furniture. Which layout works best for your space? Left side of the bed or right side? Have baby closer to your head or closer to your feet? Could you affix the crib along the foot of the bed? We went through several incarnations before we settled on a plan that worked. At various times we had crib on the left of our bed, crib on the right of our bed; nightstand above the crib, nightstand below the crib; nightstand facing one way, nightstand facing the other.

Step 3: Get your mattress and baby’s mattress to the same height
There are several possibilities for this
· Raise or lower your bed frame
· Raise or lower the crib’s legs
· Raise or lower your mattress
· Raise or lower the crib mattress

Ideas for altering the bed frame or crib legs: use wood blocks as risers, cut the legs down (if you are brave)

Ideas for altering mattress height: remove the boxspring , alter the mattress platform, consider different mattress depths, put a thick blanket under the mattress, put a sheets of wood under the mattress

For us, baby’s mattress was higher than our bed. We talked about custom-cutting wood risers for under our bed frame, but ultimately we modified the crib’s mattress platform. The mattress platform on our crib attaches via four small pins that fit into pre-drilled holes. Hubby simply drilled new holes for the pins at the height we wanted. Each crib’s mattress platform will affix differently. If you make any adjustments to the crib, you must verify that the new setup is secure. I do this by getting fully in the crib and shaking it. I do this periodically to ascertain that everything is still secure.

Step 4: Attach the crib
The simplest option is to pin the crib between your bed and the wall, but this isn’t always doable. We have a small gap between the crib and the nearest wall. Shifting the bed could have solved this, but we liked the aesthetics of our bed centered on the wall. Also, at one point my nightstand was above the head of the crib so I could use the surface, and we did our initial measurements factoring that in.

To secure the crib to our bed frame, we used two adjustable clamps. Per clamp, place one clamp head on the inside of the crib frame; place the other clamp head on the inside of the bed frame. Tighten down the clamp until it is secure. Repeat with at least one more clamp at the other end of the crib.

Adjustable clamps can be made of plastic or metal. The one in the picture is metal., however the one on the far end of the crib (which you can’t make out) is the plastic kind. Either will suffice. We went with what we had on hand, which was a mix.

Step 5: Minimize the gap in between the mattresses
Since the crib is missing one of the sides that would normally hold a mattress securely in place, there will likely be a space where you mattress and baby’s mattress touch. It may just be some wiggle room or it may be more considerable. Safe crib guidelines say that no gap should be larger than what two fingers can fit in. If your gap is larger than that (or could wiggle to be larger than that) you will need to address it.

Push the baby’s mattress tightly against yours and then fill the space on the far side with something that will not be a suffocation of strangulation hazard. Our gap was fairly small, so we used foam pipe insulation. For a larger gap, you can try a pool noodle. A rolled-up sheet or towel may also work if you can wedge it in tight enough that you feel secure it will not dislodge. Foam, as a synthetic, is never my first choice, but our gap was too small for the other options I tried. Baby naturally hangs out on the side closest to us, so he has never even noticed the foam.

I did purchase a “bed bridge” that is normally used to make two twin beds into a king (like cruise ships and some hotels use), but it didn’t solve the problem of shifting and it meant that I couldn’t use fitted sheets on our mattress or baby’s, so I returned it. But, if that sounds up your alley, here is what they are:


  Step 6: Address any other gaps Remembering the “no gap larger than two fingers” rule, carefully look at all sides of your bed and baby’s. Are there any gaps? Are there any other places where baby could get stuck? For us, our headboard was a culprit. There was a large space between the bottom of the headboard and the start of the mattress. Our options were removing the headboard or filling the gap. We filled the gap with a painted piece of wood. Multiple pillows and blankets also create gaps, so stick to one pillow per adult and plan for only one layer of covers to go higher than your waist.

Step 7: Enjoy!

 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Co-sleeping Are co-sleeping and bed-sharing the same thing? Technically co-sleeping is any sort of rooming-in with baby. Bed-sharing is a specific type of co-sleeping. As the name implies, it is sharing a bed with the child. A side-car is a hybrid setup: more than general cosleeping but not quite true bed-sharing.

Why use a side-car instead of a co-sleeper or a bassinet? Our mattress is the most expensive piece of baby gear we have, so we want to maximize its use. The cost of the mattress is a reflection of its value to us and the quality. We wanted a high-quality natural mattress because babies spend so much time sleeping. We planned to borrow an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper from a friend, but ultimately decided that it didn’t make sense to us to put so much research-time and money into our baby gear pièce de résistance only to have baby sleep in something less thought-out. Plus, as part of our overall lifestyle, we are gear minimalists. Why have two (or three) sleeping contraptions and sets of specially-sized sheets when we can have one? Another plus: the crib is large enough that even a toddler can sleep in it comfortably. Basinets and dedicated-co-sleepers max-out sooner.

Why use a side-car instead of bed-sharing? More space for yourself, more space for a baby who wants more space (not all babies are super-cuddly past the newborn stage), baby wants to be swaddled, it creates a safe edge of the bed if you are bed-sharing, adult mattress is too soft for bed-sharing, etc. I didn’t have the courage to bed-share when V was a newborn. (I now have no qualms about bed-sharing from birth since I know the evidence-based guidelines. I just wasn’t at that point yet. Also, our bed is a queen-size and I just didn’t think we’d have enough room unless we upgraded to a king. (I later learned that I was wrong, a queen is cozy but fine.) Additionally, I had a difficult pregnancy and recovery, and as part of my issues, I could only sleep semi-sitting with my legs bent. I used seven pillows (including a wedge and Snoogle) to do this. Safe bed-sharing requires only one pillow per adult. This way of sleeping also meant that I couldn’t sleep on my side to do the” protective cuddle curl” that works so well when bed-sharing with a young baby. Because I couldn’t cuddle up with baby, we used a swaddle blanket, which is not advised when bed-sharing. Laying him next to me in his own space and sleeping with my arm on him was the best of both worlds. Now that he is older, and I am more healed, we primarily bed-share and the co-sleeper is more for reading and playing with soft, quiet toys when V wakes up earlier than hubby or I want to get up.

Why do you sleep co-sleep? If you are curious about co-sleeping (or skeptical of it), I recommend Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping by Dr. James J. McKenna*, Director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at Notre Dame, for a comprehensive look at the scientific and cultural/historical whys of co-sleeping (specifically bed-sharing) and how to do it safely. He says it much better, and more comprehensively, that I can. If I see you regularly in-person, you are welcome to borrow my copy of the book. For myself, quickly I can point out: it allows me to (mostly) sleep through nighttime nursing session; with young babies it helps them regulate their body temperature and breathing and reduces the SIDS risk; neither hubby nor I have to fully wake to attend comfort a stirring baby; when V was little and required many nighttime diaper changes, I could change him without getting out of bed . V is almost 14-months as a write this, and at this stage we feel co-sleeping helps him get ample emotional parenting during the night with minimum disruption to our sleep. His biggest nighttime needs right now are loving pats and snuggles, more so than nursing or anything else. These days, he sleeps between hubby and I and mostly wants to cuddle with hubby all night—what a beautiful way for a working dad and child to reconnect! (Note: Sleeping next to only mom is advised for young babies. We only made this transition after V turned one and demonstrated the ability to advocate himself if he needed space.)

Will your baby fall out of bed? When V started crawling at nine-months, we set up a floor-bed in his someday room. He starts the night there if hubby and I plan to stay up for awhile. V also takes most naps in his room. V does sometimes sleep in our bed alone, and we are comfortable with that because he is not a roller; when he wakes, he generally sits up and cries out for us; and for those times he wants to be adventurous, we’ve taught him how to flip on his tummy and repel down the bedding to get to the floor. Update: Here is a post that I wrote after Baby 2 about this topic.

I need a nightstand. What do you do with all of your stuff without one? You could create a setup where your nightstand is accessible. We moved my nightstand from above the head of the crib where I could use the surface but not the drawers to the bottom of the crib where I can access it all. It means I only have a small space to get out of bed, but I like having somewhat-close access to the nightstand. For those things I want at arms-reach in the night, we use a clothes basket. When V was younger and needed lots of nighttime diaper changes, we also kept a diaper-change bag in the basket so I could change him without getting up. The safest rules for cribs say that there should be absolutely no items in the crib save for a fitted sheet, so use a basket with caution. I felt comfortable with the basket because it has breathing holes; in the rare event that should baby turn around, wiggle down, and smash his face into the basket, I didn’t feel he could suffocate on it. Also, I made sure to never put anything in the basket that baby could choke or strangle on.

I love the sheet. Where can I get it? 

Here is a link to where Amazon seems to have it in stock these days. 

pamm_profile

About More Green for Less Green

Hi, I’m Pamm. Welcome to my little slice of the web! As a progressive Evangelical female pastor and crunchy homeschooling mom, I’m never quite what anyone expects of me. But, hey, that’s what makes blogging interesting, right? Join me as I try to wholeheartedly parent my three little boys, slowly fix up the trashed foreclosure we bought in 2009, and live simply.

{ 60 comments… add one }

  • Anonymous May 23, 2012, 5:37 pm

    Hi, What crib sheets did you use for the sidecar arrangement?

    -Rain

  • P May 23, 2012, 6:24 pm

    The sheet is from Kidsline’s organic crib bedding line called Willow.

  • P May 23, 2012, 6:24 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • P May 23, 2012, 6:25 pm
  • Jessica August 20, 2012, 8:26 pm

    Thanks for posting these instructions; I found them very helpful. What kind of crib do you have? Ours is quite high at the head and the foot. Yours looks better for the side-car situation.

    It appears that you may be busy with a new baby, so please don’t worry if you’re not able to respond right away. I hope all is well!

  • P August 21, 2012, 12:11 am

    Hi Jessica- It is an Ikea Sniglar.

  • Annabee August 27, 2012, 5:50 pm

    We bought an Ikea Sniglar just today, and I wanted to see that someone used this specific crib to side car successfully. (I used a bassinet for my first … but try finding anything on the market that will allow co-sleeping with twins!)

    Thank you for posting.

  • Denise Fisher December 3, 2012, 12:51 am

    Hi P. I teach an online course to health professionals and would like permission to use your photo of the sidecar crib – the top photo in this post. Well done!

  • P December 3, 2012, 1:22 am

    Hi Denise, I would be very happy for you to use it! You may give photocredit to the blog’s URL. -P

  • Denise Fisher December 3, 2012, 8:20 am

    Thank you.

  • Death by Dollface January 29, 2013, 5:03 am

    We have this arrangement but are struggling with the small divot between crib mattress and king mattress. Did you find a way to push them tighter together? Or fill that hole? I’ve been thinking of using another sheet but that will get bunched up as well, I’m sure.

  • P January 29, 2013, 3:29 pm

    If it is a width-ways gap, can you try the pool noodle trick on the wall side of the mattress (see 4th picture down)? Pipe foam or a rolled linen (towel or sheet) shoved in that opposite end can also work to push the crib mattress nex to the bed mattress. If it is a *very* small height difference, I wouldn’t sweat it.

  • Anonymous March 3, 2013, 12:44 am

    Hi,

    I’m going to give birth in April, and am new to all of this, but was considering the same setup you wrote about here with the Sniglar crib. Is it safe to let the baby sleep in the sidecarred crib during the day, when I’m not in bed? Or do I need to get something else for her to sleep in as well?

    Thanks!

  • P March 3, 2013, 1:24 am

    Congratulations! We let V nap alone in it until he was crawling at 9 months. After that, we started to have him nap on a floor bed unless a parent was staying in our bed during nap time. But, we also started to teach him to scale the side of our bed on his belly to get out. Around 11 months, he understood how to do that. So, we would do naps in the sidecar again. He also never was much of a roller, so I didn’t worry about him rolling out of the sidecar and across the bed in his sleep. Baby E is almost 7 months and still naps in the sidecar daily. It is wonderful for nursing to sleep when needed!

  • Anonymous May 1, 2013, 6:58 pm

    I hope you are still responding to this thread. I have a pretty evacuation crib which does not have multiple mattress setting. Hence, the mattress sits too low. We are planning to drill holes and reposition the mattress. Of course we will test it for stability. Do you have any tips on this? Was it easy? Yours was the only blog that drilled these new holes in a crib. It gives me confidennce.

  • P May 1, 2013, 7:54 pm

    We carefully looked at how the crib was initially put together and then modeled our holes after that. Measure twice, drill once! Reinforce if needed. Hardware store workers and woodworkers would likely be happy to weigh in with a solution if for some reason you get it wrong.

  • Han Wood May 30, 2013, 6:25 pm

    this looks great but we have a problem as we live in a mosquito zone. we don’t use a net over our bed ht we have one over LO’s cot ofcourse. we would love to do what you have done hut can’t work out what to do about the net situation. sigh.

  • -Pamm May 30, 2013, 6:43 pm

    I have a friend in Zambia, I will ask her what she does. Could you net your bed, too and create a unique shape for the two surfaces together?

  • Han Wood May 31, 2013, 8:02 am

    y possibly we had thought of that. can’t see any other way. any advice appreciated! thanks

  • Han Wood June 2, 2013, 3:25 am

    any advice gratefully received! :-)

  • -Pamm June 4, 2013, 2:27 am

    I heard from Bethany at http://bushbabycolvin.blogspot.com. She says, “Is it a malaria mosquito zone? If so, they should look into an extra large or custom mosquito net that will go around the bed and the side car. If no malaria, just pesky mosquitos, the only option really is to drape a net over the side car which will obviously separate mom and baby a bit but at least she can just lift one edge of the net to comfort the baby with a hand or pull baby into bed with her. It can be tricky which is why Bronwyn just still sleeps with us! But that’s my best suggestion. Hope your Tanzania mama finds what works best for her!”

  • Han Wood June 5, 2013, 10:55 am

    thanks for this! we are adapting a couple if nets to go round the whole set up. i will send you a pic when its done. Thanks for your help you have inspired us!!

  • Anonymous July 28, 2013, 7:42 pm

    Thanks for the info.

  • angela hamilton August 1, 2013, 5:31 pm

    I want us to do this but we have a metal fram bed and no head board. Any suggestions?

  • -Pamm August 1, 2013, 6:05 pm

    The headboard isn’t part of our set up structurally, so gaps are probably the biggest thing you’ll face if your crib has a fancy headboard (ours is very straight and simple). In terms of assembly: push the head of your bed up against a wall, place the sidecar next to it. To attach the two together, here are some ideas: lash with rope or strips of fabric, use a heavy amount of zip ties, use carabineers (if you can get the size right). Does that help?

  • -Pamm August 1, 2013, 6:06 pm

    P.S. By attaching the two, I mean the metal frame of your bed and the mattress platform/frame of baby’s.

  • Anonymous August 13, 2013, 8:06 pm

    I have set up our crib this way. I’ll be a FTM this November. I have what may seem like a silly question though..

    Do you find it cumbersome getting baby in and out of the crib? Do you just crawl into bed with bed and place him there? And what about getting in and out of bed yourself?

  • -Pamm August 13, 2013, 9:09 pm

    It takes a time of adjustment, but isn’t a big deal. I don’t know if you know much about my story, but I have chronic pelvic instability and was still able to deal with this setup. One way to approach it is to lay the baby in the sidecar from the bottom and then get in bed myself. Another way is to lay the baby on the bed, then get in, then move baby over. I usually get in and out of the bed from the foot of it.

  • Anonymous August 13, 2013, 9:45 pm

    Thanks for the quick response, kind of what I was expecting. Seems cumbersome, but no biggie and I’ll just get used to it. I won’t have a night stand at the foot of the crib, so it might be a little easier. I did not know about your situation, but glad you found something that works for you :)

  • Anonymous October 14, 2013, 4:56 am

    When you side car, does the crib have to be against a wall?

  • -Pamm October 17, 2013, 12:15 am

    No, it does not.

  • brisilva1108 October 23, 2013, 8:01 am

    I have a quick question. When you first take the side of the crib off, how does it stay stabile and have the two ends not bend in or out without the support of the other side?

  • -Pamm October 23, 2013, 5:15 pm

    Hi, our crib can covert into a toddler bed. Because of this, it is designed to be stable with only three sides.

  • Aja July 23, 2014, 2:59 am

    Hi!

    My little boy is 8 months old. We moved into a two bedroom apartment about 3 months ago. He had previously been sleeping in a pack n play in our bedroom as his bed but did a lot of bed sharing with me. We eventually got a bedrail and that worked for us. He spends the first half of he night in the pack n play and then comes to our bed when he wakes to eat. Our queen is getting tight! His crib is only being used for naps!

    I want to sidecar but wonder what the next step is and at what point parents move kids into their own room. I don’t foresee us wanting to put him on his own room in the next three years but I want to know how that change happens, when and how things are for you two years later.

  • Pamm July 23, 2014, 3:20 am

    I’m actually working on a post about this now! We added a floor bed in another room at 9 months for our oldest, V, (when he became very mobile) and 12 months for our second, E, (he was mobile earlier, but we didn’t have the time to put one together for him until then). You can see a picture in this post” http://moregreenforlessgreen.com/how-do-i-safely-bedshare-with-crawling/. At age 3.5 V sleeps in his room and bed most of the time. For him, it stopped being every nigh for most of the night when he was able to stay dry at night (because that is when he started sleeping through the night for the first time). Now, 1-2 nights a week he’ll come in at about 4 AM and help himself up in to the sidecar and go back to sleep. E, just shy of 2 years, starts the night in his own bed and toddles in at either 1am or 4am and snuggles between Dave and I. They both mostly nap in their own beds, though I do nurse E down (albeit he’ll accept dad putting him down without nursing). I’m a big fan of not solving a problem until it actually is problematic, so the time a change is in order will really depend on when the current setup stops working. In those cases, we have lots of conversations about why the change needs to happen, and then it takes about 2 weeks of tears/hugs/snuggles for the change to click with the child.

  • Sasha Escobedo October 12, 2014, 4:38 am

    I live in a one bedroom apartment and i have a 9 month old. I’ve been bed sharing since he was born because I am exclusively breastfeeding, and I plan to till he’s at least 3years old. But because of that I never bought a crib. I have a queen and we do fit but he is getting bigger and rolls alot at night. A side car would be the best solution for everything but how long do babies sleep in cribs for really? Because it’s an expensive purchase (a crib and mattress)

  • Pamm October 14, 2014, 1:23 am

    Hi Sasha, my almost-four-year-old still sleeps in the crib sidecar regularly. He’s a very snuggly kid and rarely sleeps through the night. When he wakes is when he comes in from his floor bed in the kids’ room. My two-year-old, on the other hand, chooses to sleep mostly in own bed (a crib mattress on the floor of the kids’ room). When he does come in with us, he sleeps in between Dave and I on our queen mattress. Neither of our kids has ever slept in a crib with 4 sides (outside of a fluke when not in our own home), but the sidecar model can last a very long time. In other words, there are lots of models that can work, it just depends on what works for you personalities, budget, and space. We’re still getting regular use of the sidecar. (I also show some other options for mobile babies in this post: http://moregreenforlessgreen.com/how-do-i-safely-bedshare-with-crawling/

  • Heidi February 1, 2015, 5:53 pm

    Thanks for the great information! How sturdy is the Sniglar crib? Our mattress isn’t the safest to have our 3 month old on because it has a memory foam topper. My thought is to keep baby in the sidecar through the night and then I’ll move my upper body into the crib for night nursing. Do you think the crib is sturdy enough for that? Also, do you think it would work to put a pool noodle under the fitted sheet on the edge of the crib mattress just before it meets our mattress so baby can’t roll onto our bed, or is a pool noodle not safe for the infant stage? Right now he doesn’t move around but I’d like to be able to keep him in the sidecar for many more months. Thanks for your input!

  • Pamm February 2, 2015, 1:34 am

    Hi Heidi, The Sniglar is very sturdy. I have laid in it myself, stood in it to mount a ceiling mobile, and my 4-year-old has (sigh) even jumped up and down in it. I have also done many nights of the partial sleeping/side-laying nursing in it. For a newborn baby, whose little face wouldn’t clear a pool noodle, I prefer the idea of putting a yoga mat under your fitted sheet on the side near the sidecar so that the memory foam can’t create a pillowing effect there. Best, Pamm

  • Sue March 3, 2015, 7:55 pm

    Hi! Just wondering where did you get the mattress for the crib because the ones I saw at Ikea didn’t seem as sturdy and firm. Thanks!

  • Pamm March 3, 2015, 8:03 pm

    Hi, this is a Naturepedic mattress. Since you are in the market for a mattress, you might enjoy this post: http://moregreenforlessgreen.com/crib-part-2-choosing-an-eco-friendly-mattress/. -Pamm

  • Rachel May 4, 2015, 5:32 am

    Hi, Can I ask what you did once bub was older and was able to climb over the end of the cot due to the mattress height? Our sidecar cot is much the same, but not up against a wall so our baby has been pulling himself up on the cot mattress, and leaning over the rails. He’s very boisterous and its only a matter of time until he climbs over the rail and falls on to our hard wood floor. Any tips?

  • Pamm May 5, 2015, 2:12 am

    Hi Rachel, check out this post for some ideas: http://moregreenforlessgreen.com/how-do-i-safely-bedshare-with-crawling/. Best, Pamm

  • Lina July 27, 2015, 12:32 am

    Hi. What kind of clamps did you use? Can you tell me the brand and the type? or maybe get a better picture?
    Thanks.

  • Pamm September 21, 2015, 1:06 am

    Hi Lina, I thought I responded to this, but I don’t see my response anywhere! We have a 6 inch adjustable clamps under there. I believe they are the 6 inch opening size. We used what we had on hand which happened to be one metal one and one plastic one. See DeWalt and Husky options from http://www.homedepot.com/b/Tools-Hardware-Hand-Tools-Clamps-Vices-Fastening-Tools-Clamps-Vices-Clamps/N-5yc1vZc266.

  • Tasha August 10, 2015, 3:40 pm

    Thank you for this post! We have the same crib set – Naturepedic matress and Sniglar crib from our first son, and we’re about to embark on our second child and wanted to avoid the 30 times a night getting up to check what’s up with the baby this time by doing a sidecar, so finding instructions with the exact same set up is great. Thanks so much!

  • Pamm September 21, 2015, 1:08 am

    You are welcome! We are using it for our third baby, and the set up is still going strong.

  • Ruth September 20, 2015, 9:36 pm

    Hi, thanks for detailing this! I’m expecting my first and am looking into different sleeping arrangements and found this post so helpful. Just a few questions running through my mind. Are you able to make your bed and change your sheets easily? Looks like from your photos the bed is made, but I’m having trouble visualizing if it would be difficult or not with the crib attached. Also, there is quite a bit of overhang from our blankets, how do you go about making sure your blankets do not overlap into the cosleeper?

  • Pamm September 21, 2015, 12:57 am

    Congratulations on your forthcoming baby! Making the bed is fairly easy. When we put on the fitted sheet, we start in the corner where the side car is since that is the hardest to get to (though it’s actually easier than having a bed against a wall). As for the (minimal) bedding, we hang it longer on the side away from the side-car. So, on my side of the bed, there isn’t really any flat sheet to tuck in. On my husband’s side, it is especially long. -Pamm

  • Ruth October 16, 2015, 4:24 am

    Hi Pamm, Thanks for answering my prior question about how you make your bed. We were also considering getting an Arm’s Reach, but I’m hoping to do this instead in order to avoid buying yet another expensive piece of baby gear.

    In rereading your post, I noticed you inserted wood between your headboard and bed frame. Our bed frame also poses similar risks as the headboard is full of decorative metal coils which could pose a strangulation risk. The headboard is not removable.

    While we certainly want to minimize risk, I was wondering how much of a risk this would be prior to mobility and assuming baby only sleeps in the side-car (as opposed to full-on bed sharing) and also does not sleep alone in the side-car. Granted some newborns can scoot right away, but it seems unlikely for the baby to be able to travel from the sidecar, to the bed, and then to the headboard without waking me (we have a queen-size bed so not much room for baby to do that without coming into physical contact with me). We certainly would have to reevaluate our sleeping arrangement once the baby rolls or crawls but I wanted to get the opinion of someone more experienced for how safe this would be for the first few months.

    Thanks!

  • Pamm October 17, 2015, 2:06 am

    Hi Ruth, I do see what you mean about entanglement being unlikely in those scenarios. However, if you plan to nurse in bed, those lines aren’t always so clear. For example, I’ve nursed a brand new baby (or baby with a cold) sitting up in my bed, leaning against the headboard and drifted to sleep. With a slightly older baby who can do side-laying nursing, I often do the “breastsleeping” thing and fall asleep with baby next to me, latched on. While it would be unlikely that he would leave the “cuddle-curl” and get up near the headboard, I’d rather sleep soundly rather than stress about if he’s scooted. (Our new baby T is an amazing scooter! It is crazy how that little itty bitty boy moves himself.) For me, I would try to address the headboard ahead of time (affix plywood in front or behind of the decoration, perhaps). I hope that is helpful. Best, Pamm

  • Ruth October 17, 2015, 2:12 am

    Makes sense! Thanks for your input, Pamm!

  • Lily February 9, 2016, 11:54 pm

    Hi!! Our bed is abit higher than the crib even on the highest setting….any tips besides buying another mattress to boost it up? I’ve looked into custom foam but seems to be about the same price as buying a new mattress.

  • Pamm February 10, 2016, 3:53 am

    Hi Lilly, What about some wood under the legs of the crib to raise it up a bit? -Pamm

  • Britt July 11, 2016, 5:47 pm

    Because of the configuration of our room and the size of our bed there is no wall near by for us to pin the crib up against. We also cant fit our matress anywhere else in our room. Its ok to NOT have the crib pinned against the wall? I don’t want to do anything that would be unsafe for our son (6 months)

  • Pamm July 11, 2016, 6:18 pm

    It doesn’t need to be pinned against a wall. Mine actually is not touching the wall on any side, it just looks that way from the angle. For circulation, space is better anyway. Just clamp the sidecar well to the bed frame.

  • Lydia November 14, 2016, 1:29 am

    Thanks for this post. I am trying to find the best co-sleeper bassinet/crib and this may just be the perfect solution (it seems like a waste of resources to buy a bassinet she/he will outgrow in 6 months). However my bed has a bed frame that is about 1-2 inches thick. This means that even if I we attach the Ikea Sniglar to the bed we would probably end up with a 1-2 inch gap (unless we can find a mattress about 1-2 inches wider than the crib. Do you have any recommendations for this type of setup? Thanks!

  • Pamm November 18, 2016, 2:17 am

    Hi Lydia, Check out Step 5 in the post about addressing the gap on the far side of the mattress. I think I am describing this same problem but in different words. Best, Pamm

  • li January 17, 2017, 4:09 pm

    Hi, love your post. Just wondering did both or all 3 of your boys sleep in the same sidecar. From reading your comments,it seems they all made it into bed with you. When you had your 2nd baby. Did he go into the sidecar with his elder brother? Thanks for replying in advance!

  • Pamm February 14, 2017, 3:03 am

    Hi! I am so sorry I missed your comment until now. My oldest was 19 months when baby two was born and able to safely sleep between hubby and I, so we moved him in that middle spot and put the newborn just next to me. We also worked on having him sleep some in a floor bed in his own room, especially when newborn was asleep in the sidecar but I wasn’t ready to stay in bed yet. Boys 2 and 3 are almost three years apart, so they were not both in bed with us. My second just really needed his own space to sleep at an earlier age than the others did. (Which you can read about here: http://moregreenforlessgreen.com/portrait-of-an-attachment-parented-three-year-old/)

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