Out Growing Arms Reach Co-sleeper, What Now?

Updated on January 27, 2009
C.T. asks from Davis, CA
6 answers

Our daughter is now 6 months and has been sleeping in an Arms Reach co-sleeper since birth and has always started out the night there except the first few weeks. She currently goes to bed in the co-sleeper at 7pm and is out relatively quickly unless she is having a bad teeth night or got over tired due to missing a nap during the day. I recently figured out how to nurse in bed on my side (about time!) and she wakes at about 4am to nurse and I have been bringing her into bed and feeding her and then she sleeps the rest of the night in bed with us. However, she is reaching that point where she is very active in the night and the last few nights has pulled my hair etc and I'm not sure this can last for ever. I love the closeness but not sure we can do the sitting up and crawling stage in bed with us. It won't be long until she won't fit in the co-sleeper at all so we have to make a decision about what we plan to do. We have a crib in a separate room (her room) and I am starting to contemplate switching her to sleeping in it. Possibly continuing to bring her in when she wakes until she no longer needs to nurse at night. My husband is worried that she will figure out that if she wakes up we will take her into our room and start waking up earlier and earlier I'm not sure she would do that (anyone have stories on this?). Please don't say to feed her solids to make her sleep through the night, she already is getting solids and she is often sleeping for 9 hours straight which is sleeping through the night for her age.

I plan on moving the changing table into her room so she can get used to being in there so it isn't strange and then we will start naps in the crib to start with. I would love to hear other peoples stories of what they decided to do once their kids out grew the co-sleeper/bassinet. I know developmentally she is about to go through a rough patch so we should probably get on this if we are going to or just suck it up. My husband and I both work full time, plus he is in grad school and I run my own business on the side of my full time job so sleep matters.

So specifically;
How old was your baby when you moved them out of the bassinet/cosleeper?
What did you do once your baby out grew the bassinet/cosleeper
How did it go and would you do it differently if you were to do it again?

Thanks for your thoughts and shared stories.

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So What Happened?

Thank you for your advice and support. This past weekend as I had the 3 day weekend I decided to try to do the move into the crib. She has napped in there really well and has fallen asleep in the crib the past 2 nights. Yay. Now though she is going through a period of waking up at around midnight and staying awake for a couple of hours. She started this last week before we did the move and I had hoped the move would help, that maybe she was hearing us and waking up or we were waking up when she wasn't really awake. But it hasn't helped, in fact my husband thinks she is waking up more now. Last night was pretty bad we ended up taking into bed with us and she groaned and thrashed for ages and pulled my hair and nose etc. So I have a new post up to see whether anyone has dealt with this before. Got to love the ever shifting goal posts :)

More Answers



answers from Sacramento on

My daughter didn't really like the bassinet. I had her in a swing up to about 7 months old. Then I put her in her crib.

Babies don't know where they are when they sleep, so having her in your room is really only a convenience for you. Put her in her room, in her crib and buy a baby monitor.



answers from San Francisco on

At that age we moved our child's crib into our room, took one side off so it resembled a day bed and then moved it next to our bed. We secured it same way as the co-sleeper for safety. All 3 of our children slept this way after the co-sleeper. They had plenty of room to sleep and if they woke up to nurse I could easily move them close to me and then returned them back to their bed when finished. All without getting out of bed and waking my child up. Worked well for us and allowed for maximum amount of sleep for all. Also made transition to crin very easy. Good Luck!



answers from San Francisco on

My son slept in our bed for the first five months. His chubby butt was too big for his bassinet and it was so much easier with the night feedings to just have him in my bed. He was ready to be in his crib as soon as he was sleeping through the night. Unfortunately by that time we were staying in one room at my moms house while our house was getting remodeled so that wasn't an option. When we moved into our house, we immediately started putting him to bed in his room crib. It was such a relief for my husband and I to have our room to ourselves. We could finally talk or watch TV in our room with out the fear of waking our son up. I still nurse him at bedtime in a rocking chair or on the couch then lay him in his crib and he falls asleep. If he wakes up in the middle of the night he takes his pacifier.
If she is a good sleeper, your daughter will do fine. One thing i make sure to do is have warm flannel sheets or a little warm blanket on the bottom of my sons crib that way if he is asleep when I go to lay him down, the shock of the cold sheets against his face wont wake him. ALso my son loves his binky so that helps sooth him if needed.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,

I am not sure how large the arms reach co-sleaper is but here's my input. I have a 15 week old daughter and we started out with her in a Snuggle Nest in between us in the bed but that only lasted until about 8 weeks. We then transitioned her to a cradle next to our bed. I think, or am at least hoping, we will be able to have her in there until she reaches 6 months and has surpassed the 2-4 months critical SIDS period.

That said, when possible I have been putting her down for at least one nap a day in her crib so that she can get used to the room and know that she is safe there. She seems okay with this for now so if possible maybe you can try this approach as another reader suggested. Before I did that though I started taking in there for clothes changes and playtime which I think helped ease the transition so far.

Don't know if that is much help but thought I would let you know that I am in the same boat and also anticipate your other answers. Congrats on in-bed feeding, it is so great and good luck!



answers from Salinas on

Hi- Both my girls (now 10 & 6) slept with us in a bassinet or our bed while really little but were used to sleeping alone for naps at and early age. At about six months I started putting her down in her crib in her room at bedtime for the first part of the night. When she woke I'd bring her in our bed to nurse and sleep the rest of the night. Of course that first stretch of sleep gets longer and longer over time (hopefully ;) some nights she'd sleep until early morning other nights we'd have a baby in our bed half the night. At about a year I started trying to sooth or nurse when she woke and then put her back in her crib. Lots of nights it worked other times I would bring her in our bed. I think we avoided her needing us next to her to sleep by putting her down alone at bedtime and naps so she was used to sleeping on her own a bit. I don't understand when families that say their kids can't sleep alone because it seems the kids would have to be alone to begin with, unless the adults are going to bed by 7 or 8pm, too early for me! There is no perfect way and there were many nights that I got little sleep, but trying to get a baby back in their crib at 3 am can take hours and I just felt it was a lot easier to bring her into our room. We never tried CIO or were too rigid with the system and neither daughter had problems adjusting to sleeping alone. I really think most kids grow out of their need to have Mom near at night as they age. Just do what feels right and gets you the most sleep, don't worry about her becoming "addicted" to sleeping with you, it never happened in our house and I know many mothers who would say the same. Good Luck!



answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,

You and I have very similar situations (I'm a 1st time mom, hubby and I both work full-time). My daughter is almost 7 months old, and I have yet to put her in her crib in her room. She outgrew her Arm's Reach co-sleeper at 4 months (she's pretty tall for her age). We moved her into her pack 'n' play at that point (next to our bed). Unfortunately, our pack 'n' play was recently recalled (Fisher Price Rainforest), so she is co-sleeping with us in our bed (works great since I'm nursing too!). I've slowly been getting her used to the idea of sleeping in her room by placing her in her crib when I'm putting her laundry away.
I think what you are doing is great. I'd say just keep putting her in the crib more and more, and I think she'll be more used to it for night sleeping, when the time comes.
I guess I don't have much advice (except maybe trying a pack 'n' play (playard) in your room, if you have one. I am curious to see how it works out for you, since you and I are kind of in the same boat! Take care,


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