The BedNest Alongside Cot is a co-sleeping crib that attaches to an adult bed, and is aimed particularly at breastfeeding mums.
It has recently come under scrutiny following safety concerns after the death of 7-week-old Rose Graceman.
What happened to Grace Roseman?
Earlier in 2016 the National Children’s Trust stopped selling the BedNest after finding a “small but plausible risk” of babies being injured or possibly dying when sleeping in the crib.
This warning was issued after the trust commissioned independent experts to investigate the crib following the death of 7-week-old Grace.
She died after she had been put to sleep face down (the prone position) for a nap in a secondhand Bednest crib.
Tests revealed a hazard that could allow babies to move onto or over the side of the crib, when the folding side of the crib is in the half-raised position.
As a result Bednest issued modifications to its new cribs and urged customers with older cribs to send off for modification kits that could fix the design flaw.
The NCT urged parents who used this crib not to leave their baby unattended in it when tilted or with the side incompletely lowered.
They also say you must not to use the co-sleeper with the folding side in the half-way position.
But they also explain that using the crib with the folding side fully up (or fully down if bedside-sleeping) eliminates the risk.
When we contacted the NCT they told us this:
“We have supported the modification which eliminates the risk that a baby could move onto or over the side of the crib. However, NCT does not currently endorse any product and does not have any plans to do so. This includes the Bednest crib.”
Our review when we tested it our reviewer said:
With my first baby, Jack, now 2, I was breastfeeding around the clock, every 90 minutes, for the first six weeks or so.
The worse thing about this was having to get out of bed to fetch him from the Moses basket, and eventually he slept in my bed because I was too tired to get up! Sadly for my husband this meant sleeping in a fleece (no duvet in case we smothered the baby) and while I didn’t have to get out of bed, I did spend half the night awake worrying about rolling onto Jack or smothering him with my pillow.
One solution to this is a co-sleeping crib, where your baby’s bed sits up alongside and attaches to your adult bed.
These are used in some hospitals to aid breastfeeding, and they are becoming more and more popular in the UK every year.
When it first hit the market the BedNest (made by a UK company) was originally sold by the NCT (National Childbirth Trust, a charity supporting parents and babies), presumably because the NCT is a champion of breastfeeding.
It initially sold on the now closed NCT online shop, but is no longer sold by the charity. You can still buy the BedNest on the BedNest online store.
The BedNest has fold-down sides so you can slide your baby out when feeding. It’s height adjustable so will fit most adult beds and it’s simply designed so will not clash with most home styles.
What we love
My second baby, 4-week-old Ted, and I have tested the BedNest Alongside Cot from the day he came home from hospital.
Initially I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to construct – no tools required at all – I didn’t even need to ask the husband for help. It’s also an extremely practical solution as it is no wider than a bedside table so great for those who are short on space.
The straps were easy to attach to my bed and the BedNest Alongside Cot feels very stable – important in our house where toddlers and dogs leap about!
The BedNest Alongside Cot makes those night feeds so much more bearable. I also had a caesarean this time, so it was brilliant to be able to stay in bed while reaching for newborn Ted, without having to ask my husband for help.
Ted was happy to be so close to me and I was happy that I didn’t lose even more precious sleep worrying about anyone rolling on to him in the night.
What to watch out for
The BedNest Alongside Cot is quite difficult to adjust to exactly the right height as each end of the crib is independently multi-position and therefore it’s not easy to match the height on both ends.
Also, getting the height right is very difficult unless you have a hard mattress, which I don’t. Even though I followed the instructions to a letter, as soon as I got into bed I found myself a centimetre or so below Ted and no amount of fiddling seemed to get this right.
The fold-down side is described as a ‘SafeBridge’ in the manual i.e. when it’s flat, you can lie on it to be closer to your baby.
However, because it contains solid rods the ‘SafeBridge’ is actually very uncomfortable for me to lie on, and I was worried about bending the thing out of shape!
The BedNest Alongside Cot has solid ends, more akin to a cot, and therefore won’t appeal to some parents who like softer beds such as a Moses baskets or hammocks.
Although the BedNest Alongside Cot folds up and is easy to take away in a car, it’s too heavy to be used as a travel cot for taking on a plane, for example. The travel bag is also fairly flimsy for an item that weighs 13.5kg.
Who is the BedNest Alongside Cot best for?
Breastfeeding mum, those who’ve had a caesarean, or any new parent keen to maximise the sleep between night feeds.
The BedNest Alongside Cot is brilliant for breastfeeding mums who want as least sleep-disturbance as possible.
Babies will appreciate being this close to mum, and dads may even have a chance of sleeping through the night feeds! It’s also ideal for those after an alternative to fully-fledged co-sleeping.
Just be prepared to fiddle with the adjustable height.
Want more on co-sleeping for you baby?
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