If we play a word association game and you say “co-sleeping” to me, I immediately think “co-sleeper” followed by “Arm’s Reach.” Though I had heard of Arm’s Reach Co-Sleepers, I didn’t actually know much about them until my desperate search when my son was an infant. I’ve had an Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper on my Amazon wish list since before my current bun was in the oven!
If you’re not familiar with them, they are a Baby Bassinet that safely and securely attaches to a parent’s bed, to keep baby within an “arm’s reach” all night. The co-sleepers can be used as a free standing bassinet, a co-sleeper bassinet (attached to your bed) for infants up to 5 months old/30 lbs, or as a play yard after that (up to 50 lbs.) They have full size versions, mini versions, beautiful colors prints, and even gorgeous wooden sleigh bed bassinets. While they are certainly not inexpensive, they are comparable to many “pack n play” play yards, but do much more. Even the priciest sleigh bed is far less than many cribs (it is 41 1/4″L x 23 1/2″ W x 30 1/4″H, made of solid wood and capable of holding 500 pounds.) They also come with a mattress, liner, sheet and carry bag, which makes them an even better value. There are organic mattresses and sheets available too.
Dr. James McKenna recommends Arm’s Reach: “I recommend “ArmsReach Cosleeper (http://www.armsreach.com/) which is a bedside bassinet” which attaches to the parents bed but provides a separate sleep space for the infant. I don’t usually recommend products but I sure recommend this product and have so since I started researching the risks of SIDS and the importance of breastfeeding. The ArmsReach Cosleeper attaches tightly and firmly to the parental bed by way of a tight cord, pulling it to the bed, preventing gaps, or movement of the bassinet away from the bed, and has a small drop of about four inches to the mattress that permits infant separation but only slight, four inches down from the adult mattress as the baby sleeps in its own “nest”. The bassinet has a rail facing the side of the adult bed (see photo on my homepage) preventing a parents body (or blankets or mother’s limbs) from drooping over the infant, that could represent a potential risk.
The really good news is that over a million of these bassinets have been sold over the last fifteen to twenty years without one infant dying or being injured! There is no crib I can think of that has this safety record. The ArmsReach Cosleeper is, as it turns out, is about as safe as safe can be. And that’s why I so enthusiastically and proudly recommend them.” http://cosleeping.nd.edu/frequently-asked-questions/
So does Dr. Sears: “Use an Arm’s Reach® Co-Sleeper® Bassinet. An alternative to sleeping with baby in your bed is the Arm’s Reach® Co-Sleeper®. This crib-like bed fits safely and snuggly adjacent to parent’s bed. The co-sleeper® arrangement gives parents and baby their own separate sleeping spaces yet, keeps baby within arm’s reach for easy nighttime care.” http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/co-sleeping-yes-no-sometimes
The Arm’s Reach FAQs list co-sleeping benefits:
Benefits for the Mother:
– More sleep and increased nightly satisfaction
– Increased sensitivity to infant’s physiological-social needs
– Increased comfort with and ability to interpret behavioral clues
– Increased nursing maintains milk supply
Benefits for your Baby:
– Increased breast feeding
– Increased sleep duration and quality
– Less crying time
– Increased sensitivity to mother’s communication
I was already sold. Heck, the idea of not having to stagger out of bed and down a hallway 20 times a night is a pretty big benefit in my book!
Then I got to talk to Arm’s Reach’s VP of Operations. He is actually finishing up a 3 week trip to their office in China to oversee operations there. Arm’s Reach takes the safety of their product (and your baby) so seriously, that the VP of operations actually has a background in physics! Obviously every company hopes that they will sell their product. That’s a no-brainer. But for Arm’s Reach, that’s actually secondary. First, they want to educate. They want all parents to know about the science behind co-sleeping, why it’s a wonderful choice and yes, why their product can help them do it safely. They recently started the Arm’s Reach Blog to reach out (pardon the pun) to and educate new (and veteran!) parents. Check out their blog, and also “like” Arm’s Reach on Facebook and follow Arm’s Reach on Twitter for discounts, great articles and tips!
The bottom line is that I’ve loved and wanted (needed!) the product for a long time. After actually talking with Arm’s Reach, I can say they are one of a handful of companies that have really blown me away. I’m not sure I can really explain it. I will have to keep thinking about it. I guess it’s the sincerity, putting education, mothers and babies and the co-sleeping cause first. Not to mention the care & attention put into their product. They’re not just after a buck. For more than 14 years they have been keeping babies safe and happy because it is the right thing to do. Though Dr. McKenna pointed out that no babies have been injured using an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper, I have no doubt at all that Arm’s Reach would take a single injury seriously and immediately investigate it fully. You would never be waiting for them to be forced to recall a product.
Now that I’ve been looking around their website, I really want to buy a pet bunk bed for my doggie niece!
Have you ever used an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper?
FTC compliance: I was not asked to write this post, nor was I compensated for it in any way. All opinions are my own.