I interviewed my friend Clodagh to get the low down on the Arms Reach co-sleeper. She discovered it for her second baby and now baby No. 3 is on the way…
Me: What did you use for your first baby and why did you change to a co-sleeper for no. 2?
Clodagh: With my first baby we got a moses basket for the newborn stage and then borrowed a cot from my sister for when he outgrew the moses basket. I found the basket very creaky and not very secure. They look cute in them though.
I changed to the Arms Reach co-sleeper for my second baby after successfully breastfeeding my first. It seemed like an easier solution and we all know that you’d pay any money for extra sleep with a newborn! So it was well worth the investment and so much safer than baby falling asleep beside you.
Q: Was it difficult to assemble?
A: It is a bit. It’s also pretty large and ugly looking and very heavy. I never managed to assemble it myself and had to get my husband to put it together.
Q: Did it take up a lot of room?
A: It does take up a good bit of room and to be honest a newborn looks tiny in it. But I liked that it was so big as it meant I could store a change of clothes etc. at one end of it. But if you have a very small bedroom it might not be the product for you.
There is the option of the small version but I think this is a waste of money as the baby will outgrow it and then you have to get another cot.
Q: Did it attach well to your bed?
A: Yes, there are long straps that attach the full way under your mattress. We had a low Ikea bed with a wooden edge surrounding the bed and it worked with this type of bed.
We didn’t have it secured that tightly with a newborn as with the straps under the mattress there is no risk of it moving with a newborn but when the baby starts rolling you’d need to make sure that it is properly attached. It also comes with additional legs in case you’ve a really high bed.
Q: Did baby use it all the time, for naps also?
A: No, to be honest if I got the chance at all to lie down downstairs with the baby and have a snooze I’d let the baby fall asleep beside me. I also let the baby nap in the car seat, buggy etc. – anything for an easy life!
Q: Is it safe to leave baby alone?
A: Absolutely it is safe. When the baby gets bigger, you can lower the level so that the baby can’t easily roll out and even for the newborn stage there is a slight variation option in the level of the cot sides and mattress so it would be very hard for the baby to roll onto your bed.
Q: How was it getting baby in and out during the night?
A: This was the best part! Because the baby is within “arms reach” it is very easy to grab the baby and start breastfeeding when you first hear them stir. I generally used to feed the baby in the lying down position, let them drift off back to sleep and then gently push them back into the co-sleeper – job done!
Q: How is the mattress?
A: The mattress is a little firm and to be honest doesn’t feel that comfortable, but this is the type of mattress that is recommended for this product so I never doubted it. The mattress is similar to the type that you’d get with a travel cot.
Q: How long did you get out of it?
A: This product grows with your baby so it works from newborn until as long as your baby will stay in the cot – so 2 or 3 years of age.
Q: Did you travel with it?
A: We brought it with us only once on a car trip. It is far too heavy and bulky for travelling. There is no way that you’d bring it on a plane with you.
Q: Is there anything you’d change about it?
A: It is a bit plain and ugly looking. It would be nice if you could get it in a selection of designs or colours, especially for your first baby when you want everything to look super cute. Also, because of the structure of the cot, it isn’t possible to attach your average baby mobile to it – this annoyed me.
Q: Would you recommend it to other new mums?
A: Yes! In fact I convinced my sister-in-law to buy one, although she didn’t breastfeed for that long so I’m not sure she got the full benefit of it.
I loved that you could remove all the covers and wash them in the machine. There are also large storage pockets on either end of the cot where you can store diapers, wipes and anything you might need. If I could improve on it, it would be nice to have a little basket underneath for extra baby supplies. It can be used with normal fitted cot sheets but you can also purchase special “Arms Reach sheets” but I don’t think these are necessary.
Q: With baby No. 3 on the way what are you thinking?
A: I’ll more than likely stick with this cot for the new arrival. However I’ve just bought the Sleepyhead Deluxe pod. I plan to use this alongside the Arm’s Reach. If we are travelling I can just bring the Sleepyhead and have the baby sleep beside me in my bed.
Read more reviews of the Arms Reach co-sleeper.