Becoming a parent has definitely been the single most life-changing experience of my life and like many people, before my baby came along, I made sure to carefully look into all baby items before purchasing them. In my research, I learnt of many new gadgets and items that I had never heard of before, despite being an Aunt to many nephews and nieces. One of those things were bedside cribs or co-sleepers which many mothers touted as a must-have necessity.
I’d only ever known of a Moses Basket before as a sleeping option for newborns but I was never really a fan of them and didn’t find them worth the purchase. Bedside cribs such as the Chicco Next2Me offered an alternative to Moses Baskets and act as a precursor to standard cots which can often feel large and looming for a small newborn. Moreover, these bedside cribs offer a safe option to co-sleeping, allowing you to keep your baby right next to you whilst maintaining a baby’s own space safely.
There are now several brands selling their variations of bedside cribs with some of the most well known being the Snuzpod, the Tutti Bambini CoZee and the Chicco Next2me. Initially, I was attracted to the Snuzpod, having seen it recommended by many Youtube Mums. It looked very stylish but when I went to see a model on display in Mothercare, I realised that it was much smaller than I had initially thought, which was a big reason why I wanted to avoid a Moses basket. The Tutti Bambini CoZee also looked great but was a little bit out of my price range. So in the end, I went for the Next2me and grabbed the Circles version when it went on offer at Online4Baby.com. There seemed to be loads of different design options out there for the Next2me, but as far as I know many versions are just aesthetically different so I just went for the cheapest option.
to the 3, I think that visually the Next2me is not as attractive as the Snuzpod or the Tutti Bambini which both looked a bit more modern and stylish. The Next2Me is a bit like a big and sturdy travel cot made from fabric (it can also collapse down and comes with a travel bag so you can actually use it as a travel cot). However, one side has a zip which you can undo to push it up against your bedside. It has metal legs which can be folded back slightly (though I did not find this really sturdy) so it can tuck it up to your bed a bit more closely. It also comes with a giant strap which buckles around the crib and wraps around your bed to make it a little more safer. If you use the crib as a co-sleeper, you should not leave the baby to sleep in there unsupervised. The crib is very easy to assemble together though I must admit I did refer to a demonstration video on Youtube a few times!
Our son has now outgrown his crib and we are now at the stage of transitioning to a full cot and I am filled with a little bit of sadness at the thought! I have really loved using it and it easily would be one of my top newborn essentials. As a caveat, and perhaps as a warning to other first time parents, when I was researching the Next2me, I read so many glowing reviews of how well baby slept in there that I pretty much expected my baby to sleep soundly in there as soon as we came home from the hospital. Well, that was not the case at all, but that’s more down to a newborn adjusting to the new world and wanting to be close to his mummy rather than any fault of the product. We went through a few weeks of trying to get him used to the crib, trying all sorts of hacks such as putting an item of clothing in there, warming it up with a hot water bottle and making a makeshift sleeping nest using a rolled-up towel all in a desperate bid to get him to sleep more than 30 minutes in it. In the end, all it really took was time, persistence and his sleep cycles becoming a bit longer and deeper.
One of my favourite things about the crib was to be able to have my baby so close to me to check. I’ll admit, I was one of those mums who couldn’t really sleep much in the hospital when I was alone with him overnight because I kept wanting to check that he was ok. Was he was breathing ok? Was he moving? With the Next2Me, I was able to check on him directly, without the side of a basket or crib blocking my view of him.
Moreover, it is ideal for breastfeeding as all you have to do is pull baby over to you and then gently place them back after they’re done (though I do admit the baby would usually end up in the bed after the 3rd or 4th feed!). You don’t even need to get up or out of bed to do it and after a few weeks, I was able to feed the baby in the night, put him back almost in autopilot mode and it didn’t really feel like I was losing out on sleep. I also have friends who bottle-feed who have likewise expressed how much they love their Next2Me.
Our bed is a divan bed which meant it was easy for the crib to be pressed right up against the bed. The crib does have height adjustments so you can lower or elevate it to match your bed better. Our bed is inordinately high but it was fine for us. Certain versions of the Next2me such as the Dream version offer slightly more height levels. You may want to double-check though if you have a type of bed frame that sticks out on the side as you may end up with a bit of a gap if you try to push the crib up against the bedside. If that’s the case, you do always have the option of zipping up the side and keeping it as a free-standing crib.
I am so glad that we purchased the Chicco Next2Me. We got a good 8 months to use out of it as our son still fit inside of it and was not able to sit up independently and doesn’t roll in his sleep. Even for 6 months, it’s a great option to keep your precious baby near to you safely and comfortably.
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