Side-Car Your Crib So You Can Co-Sleep Without Sacrificing Space

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side car co-sleepingWe have a queen-sized bed. Sometimes it feels like plenty of room, other times I wish I had a bed to myself. Add in a child, and it can sometimes feel downright cramped. Now make that child bigger and one who doesn't like being touched in her sleep, and co-sleeping (aka bed sharing) can make my queen feel like a twin.

I used a bassinet next to my bed when my son was little, and a co-sleeper when my daughter was a newborn, but the solution I have now is honestly my favorite of all, the longest lasting, and best for toddlers.

We've turned our crib into a "side car."

This is actually a great solution for families who want to share their bed with their baby and reap all the benefits of co-sleeping, but either worry about rolling onto them or have a smaller bed. Or really, for just about anyone.

All you need is a crib that safely can have one side removed. Many turn into toddler beds, and as long as the crib mattress is still supported by the hardware of the crib, you're good to go.

Set your crib up in toddler-bed mode, but put the mattress on the highest setting that will get it as close to possible to level with your mattress. Most moms have to buy a piece of camping foam to cut not only to put under the mattress to make it level, but also to put between the mattress and the crib frame, since there can be a gap once the crib mattress is pushed flush with your mattress. You don't want gaps, or super-soft foam, as these are unsafe for wee ones. Other people have had success putting plywood under the crib to raise it, taking casters off the crib or adult bed, or any combination of things, but you want them to be as level as possible for safety.

(Mine, as seen below, isn't level, but my daughter's also 2, so I'm not really concerned with her ending up face down against my mattress.)

Many people choose to take a bungy cord or something similar and hook it to the crib's "frame," then run that under your mattress and hook it to the box spring on the opposite side, so the crib stays tight against your bed. Having the crib against the wall and your bed pushed against that can help as well.

What you're left with is plenty of space for your baby to spread out in their own safe little area, but without sacrificing your own bed space. It makes night feedings so incredibly easy, and unlike co-sleepers (which aren't level with the bed) and bassinets, the mattresses being level mean your baby doesn't awaken being picked up and moved up or down, but can even be on their mattress with you up close and nursing. It's really a great option if you already own a crib and can fit it in.

Have you done this before? Are you thinking about doing it now?


Images via amileegirl/CafeMom, Christie Haskell

bonding, natural parenting, toddler sleep

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bugsl... bugslady96

Wish I had thought of this when I was nursing my kids! What a great idea!

cuppy... cuppycake91

We had ours like that for a while but DD wouldn't sleep in it so we moved it. Now she's getting better about sleeping alone and she loves to spread out so I was thinking about trying it again to have more room.

sarap... sarapunkinpie88

Great ideas! I was thinking of doing this but I am afraid of the mattress and crib not staying together, I guess a bungy cord might work!

mtnma... mtnmama111

great idea.. too bad I'm done having children...

nicki... nicki.hemingway

I think I am going to try this.  Looks better than my too high bassinet.

nonmember avatar Liz

We tried that with my first one but she'd always crawl out because she wanted to be snuggled up to me.

One safety note: we used wire ties to tie the crib to the bed frame so there wasn't a gap between the crib and the bed.

Tanya... TanyaR1024

I have a side car crib! I love it. Perfect solution

Freela Freela

We had a big enough mattress to cosleep, but if you don't (or simply can't sleep well with baby in the bed) this sounds like a great solution.  I certainly would have got more use out of my crib that way!

sofia... sofia0587

I'm gonna try this as soon as I get her crib

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