The Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper is a sleep space for your newborn baby that can be placed right next to (or attached to) a parent’s bed. This can help you feel confident your baby is safe and make night feedings easier. But, does it work to help you and your baby get the best sleep? Use these 5 tips to maximize your baby’s sleep while using this bedside bassinet.
Choosing the Type of Sheets for your Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Bassinet
One thing you may want to do is sleep on your baby’s Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper sheets, so your scent is transferred and your baby feels more comforted in the bassinet. If your baby is able to smell you while he or she is sleeping, they may sleep for longer stretches. And, another thing you may want to consider is using a plush sheet for more comfort. The Arm’s Reach mattress may not be very comfortable for all babies, so the plush sheet can make it a bit more tolerable and lead to better sleep for your entire family!
Some babies are noisy sleepers, even if they are actually sleeping. One issue with having your baby so near your head while you sleep is every noise your baby makes may wake you up. You may get startled awake thinking something is wrong or it may simply disturb your sleep leaving you feeling more tired than ever. Furthermore, tending to every little noise your baby makes can cause more baby sleep problems down the road.
One thing you can do to help you and your baby sleep better is to turn on white noise throughout the night. The white noise volume should be about the level of a shower running. The constant whirring of white noise tends to drown out some of the non-critical sounds of the room (like your or your partner’s snoring!) so as not to disturb the baby. You will still wake up if your baby starts crying or a smoke alarm goes off, don’t worry!
Which Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper to Choose
With the Arm’s Reach, you have several choices from the original to a mini to a Clear-Vue and more! The Clear-Vue is a good choice because you can have a 360′ view of the baby. When you’re a new mom, you tend to feel extra worried you’re going to miss something that’s wrong, so this can be super helpful. The nice thing is the legs adjust in 2-inch increments between 24″ and 30″, so you hopefully won’t have to purchase a leg extension kit like some of the others.
Of course, I don’t think you can really go wrong with any of the options (if you follow all directions as listed!) as all of the products are safety-tested and likely are exceptional products. The 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 can even double as a play yard if that interests you!
When Baby Won’t Sleep in the Co-Sleeper
No matter how many products we buy for our babies, there is no guarantee our babies will use them! I mean, how many gifts have you received from well-meaning friends or relatives that are sitting unopened/unused in the attic, closet, or garage? Just like you, some babies just won’t like it and will refuse to sleep in a bassinet or co-sleeper even with the white noise and plush sheets. As close as you are to the baby in the co-sleeper, for some babies, it is the touch of your skin or closeness of your body they truly seek. For babies with reflux, they may need the bed inclined. It’s so hard to predict which product (if any) your baby will sleep best in!
If your baby won’t sleep in the bassinet at all, then he or she clearly doesn’t like it. This was the case for my son when I tried putting him in a borrowed bassinet. It was a basic bassinet and quite old and I’m not sure at all what it was about it that he hated, but he would not sleep even one minute in it. I stopped using it, of course. But, if your baby will sleep some of the time in the co-sleeper, it could be different things surrounding it that you may be able to resolve.
For example, if you are trying to put your baby in the bassinet when he or she is already asleep, the movement of putting them down or the difference between how your arms/chest feel versus the mattress may be too significantly different. Instead, put your baby in the bassinet awake and slightly jiggle/rock the bassinet, pat your baby’s tummy, sing to her, etc. to get her to fall asleep when she’s already in the bassinet. This way, he or she is falling asleep where they will wake up an hour or two later and they will more likely be able to go into another sleep cycle on their own.
Prepare for the Transition to Crib
Many people want to know the weight limit for the Arm’s Reach but the manufacturer states many of their co-sleepers can be used until your baby is 5 months old or whenever your baby can push up on hands and knees (whichever comes first). That’s a bit of a bummer in that 5 months isn’t a long time and you may not be finished co-sleeping by then and ready to transition your baby to a crib. But, safety is of utmost importance, obviously, and you cannot lower the mattress on this bassinet like you can a traditional crib. Perhaps the 5 months of easy access to your baby is worth the cost, though! Knowing this ahead of time can help you prepare for moving your baby to a new sleep space. You can gradually start the process around 4 months old for a seamless transition and maximum sleep.
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