My sister has always been way more together than I am. She had the good sense to do some actual research while she was pregnant and chose the Chicco Next2Me as a first crib for their new baby. She now has a gorgeous 8 week old baby boy, Feidhlim. I chatted to her about how the co-sleeper was working out for them.
Me: Why did you go for the Chicco Next2Me?
Siobhán: I wanted a co-sleeper for easy access to the baby during the night, right beside my bed. It means I don’t have to get out of bed when he wakes up. Also, I can look across at him during the night without having to sit up.
I picked the Chicco Next2me because it got very good reviews online. It’s a good size and should hopefully last until he’s 6 months. It seems sturdy, was easy to assemble and is easily portable for travelling.
Q: What other co-sleepers did you consider?
A: The Snuzpod. It’s a little smaller so I decided against it.
Q: Was it difficult to assemble?
A: Very easy, with clear instructions. Took about 15 mins.
Q: Does it take up a lot of room?
A: No, it fits neatly alongside the bed. I have re-positioned the bedside locker alongside the foot of the bed to make room for the cot.
Q: Does Feidhlim use it all the time, for naps also?
A: He uses it mostly at night at the moment. In the morning I usually keep him in bed with me after feeding while we both nap, as we have the bed to ourselves and there’s plenty of room. But I can easily put him back into the cot if I need to.
During the day I have him downstairs with me and if I can get him to nap we have a moses basket in the living room. But in the daytime, if I need a nap at the same time as him, I’ll bring him upstairs and feed him in bed. Once he falls asleep, I slide him across into the bedside crib and I can have a snooze too.
Q: Does it attach well to your bed?
A: Yes, very easily with straps attached to the bed frame.
Q: How is it getting him in and out during the night?
In theory I could just slide him across to the co-sleeper after feeding while I stay lying down. But because he is so young and tiny I’m still very careful and delicate when handling him, I usually sit up and half lift/slide him into his cot, trying not to wake him up, and that works fine. There’s a small drop in height between the bed and the cot (about 1cm). When he’s a little bit older and sturdier I’m sure I’ll feel more secure in pushing him straight across into his cot without having to sit up.
Our bed is a mattress on a bed frame and the cot is attached to the frame. You do have to keep an eye on the bed mattress, it has a tendency to slide sideways a little creating a tiny gap between the cot and mattress. But if you give the mattress a little shove from the far side every couple of days and make sure the gap closes it’s fine.
Q: How is the mattress?
A: Quite firm but he seems comfortable.
Q: How long do you think you’ll get out of it?
A: Hopefully 6 months, depending on how quickly he grows.
Q: Do you intend travelling with it or is it just for the bedroom?
A: It packs up fairly easily and compactly in a bag which is supplied. When we travel down the country it will fit easily in the trunk. For plane travel, it will probably need to be checked in.
Q: Is there anything you’d change about it?
A: Overall I’m very happy with the Chicco Next2me, it suits our needs very well. It’s a shame it doesn’t have a rocking motion as that might be handy sometimes. I bought the dove grey, but it would have been nice to have more choice of colours, perhaps a blue one.
As it is strapped to our bed, it can’t be quickly detached each day for use downstairs, but I don’t find this a problem. It would be a lot of hassle and dangerous carrying it up and down stairs everyday anyway, so we just use the moses basket downstairs.
Q: Would you recommend it to other new parents?
A: I would definitely recommend a bedside cot to any mother who hopes to breastfeed. Waking up during the night, it makes it so much easier not having to get out of a warm bed to feed. The baby is right there beside you, within reach.
For bottle-feeding parents, the bedside cot would be less advantageous. But it would still be handy having the baby so closeby, to easily keep an eye on them without getting out of bed. And if you were sitting up in bed feeding them, you can pop them back in their cot afterwards without getting out from under the covers again.
I’m very happy we chose the Chicco Next2me and we hope to keep the baby in it up until 6 months. Hopefully he will still fit in, as he’s quite a big boy already! As a ‘first’ cot, it’s more expensive than others which are not bedside, but I think it’s well worth it.
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Read more mom reviews of the Chicco Next2me
More product details on the Chicco site
Check out this short set-up video. It explains how the co-sleeper attaches to the bed, how you adjust height etc.