I’ve been talking about co-sleeping for a while, including my story, why I’ve wanted an Arm’s Reach co-sleeper, and why co-sleeping experts endorse Arm’s Reach. Please view those posts for all the details, as I won’t repeat them here!
I was incredibly blessed to not only have an awesome conversation with Arm’s Reach’s VP of operations, but also to receive a Curved Mini co-sleeper to review. I’m also super excited that I get to give one away too!
As of the publish date of this post, my littlest guy is almost 2 weeks old. I had every intention of getting the co-sleeper set up and taking pictures before he was born, but it didn’t happen that way. It sat in the closet a hubby & I thought “oh, we have a few more days.” We’ve had 3 babies, and all 3 of them arrived just as we uttered those words. You’d think we would have learned after the first two! So we (and by “we” I mean my husband) set it up a few hours after our son was born. Luckily, we didn’t have any trouble (again with the “we”…well “we” didn’t really have a baby, now did we? 😉 If he can take credit for that, I can take credit for the co-sleeper.) Unfortunately, that means we were back-tracking to try to take pictures 10 days later, taking photos out of order and not-quite-right (DH was holding the anchoring pieces up un-done to demonstrate, but he didn’t have them looped in correctly!
Arm’s Reach is no longer just the original, full-size co-sleeper. They have beautiful and modern co-sleepers to fit virtually any style and budget. The co-sleepers aren’t inexpensive, ranging from $139-$349 depending on style. However, most can be used as a co-sleeper, bassinet and play yard, giving far more bang for your buck than similarly priced “pack & plays.”
I received the curved mini co-sleeper in toffee (above left, looks more cocoa colored in person like it does in my photos, looks more “natural” in Arm’s Reach’s pictures.) It’s more compact than the original at 34″ x 20″ x 31″, but still functions as a co-sleeper or bassinet until baby is about 5 months old (or pushing up on hands and knees) and as a pack & play after that.
It comes with a mattress, fitted sheet and carrying case, as well as an anchor plate to secure it to the adult bed. You must use this when using the co-sleeper mode, to ensure the baby cannot fall between the co-sleeper and the bed.
The anchor is sort of like how a bed rail attaches to a twin bed. The anchor goes on the opposite side, under the mattress, then comes through a loop on the co-sleeper (not shown) before buckling securely and being tightened.
I did not want to lose my night stand access, so we put the co-sleeper further down the bed a little bit, leaving just enough room to open the drawer & grab a pair of socks!
I do have to scoot a bit to get out of bed, but it’s not a problem. If you want to be able to move it freely, consider using the free standing bassinet mode.
We didn’t demonstrate that, but you unstrap the rail and slide it up basically.
If you have a higher bed like we do, you’ll need the leg extensions ($22) to raise the co-sleeper from 24-30″ in 2″ increments.
I didn’t realize that Arm’s Reach was going to send me the leg extensions too, so I bought some, and bought the wrong color! So if you notice “natural” leg extensions with my “toffee” co-sleeper in some of these photos, that’s why. Oops!
You can only use 1 set of leg extensions, so if you need additional height, you will have to build a platform so it doesn’t become unstable. Since our bed is actually more like 32ish inches, I was afraid we were going to have to do that. However the instructions (check out the awesome online assembly instructions…click the stars for photos!) say that the top bumper bar must be level with or below the top of the adult mattress, so I think we are just fine with it being slightly below.
I love that there are pockets on both sides, so you can store diapers, wipes, burp cloths etc. within reach, no matter which side of the bed it’s on. You can also unzip and use the bottom compartment for storage when you’re using the co-sleeper or bassinet modes.
The organic cotton/rayon fitted sheet ($25 retail) they sent along is so ridiculously soft and silky, I wish they made queen sheets too!
The included sheet is very nice too, and is far softer than the typical crib sheet.
The little things Arms Reach has done to ensure your child’s safety amaze me. The sheet actually secures to the mattress, to make sure it can’t come loose.
Then, the mattress attaches to the co-sleeper!
The co-sleeper folds up like a pack & play for travel, and the carrying case keeps it clean & easy to carry.
One of my biggest concerns about having a third child was how I would function on zero sleep for months, and still be able to take care of my family, get my daughter to school on time, etc. I talked about how my other children wouldn’t really sleep unless held , and I was praying this baby wouldn’t be the same way!
Like any mother of a newborn, I’m not exactly getting tons of sleep, but the co-sleeper has made such a huge, huge difference for me that I want to shout it from the rooftops and give every new parent their own co-sleeper!
If my son makes a noise, I just have to peer over and look at him. I don’t have to drag my tush out of bed and down a cold hallway 25 times a night (only to find him not actually awake sometimes!) In fact, I find that I am pretty automatically waking and nursing my son when he needs it, and he never has to escalate to crying. I grab a diaper, wipe and changing pad and change him right there too. It makes it far easier to settle him, and even when he needs a little extra snuggling, it is soooo much nicer to sit in my own bed and do it. I have gotten several 1.5-2 hour stretches of sleep, and that was unfathomable for me when my other children were just weeks old! I’ve been able to settle my son down just by positioning him in the co-sleeper such that he can see me, sometimes also putting a hand on him. It would probably be more convenient if I moved my nightstand and positioned the co-sleeper even with the head of the bed, but where we have it works just fine for me, and I still have my nightstand!
I think the Arm’s Reach co-sleeper is so fan-freaking-tastic that I don’t think I can express how much I love this thing. My sole regret is not getting one 7 years ago.
I realize that different things work for different families and different babies, but I’d highly recommend that everyone at least try co-sleeping with their babies in an Arm’s Reach co-sleeper!!
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FTC compliance: Although I received a product at no charge for review purposes, I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.