I was so indecisive when buying baby products but one thing that I had my heart set on from day one was the Chicco Next to Me side-sleeping crib. I liked the idea of keeping my baby as close to me as possible in the first few months, but I also wanted to make sure I was following all the safe sleeping guidelines. The Next to Me acts like an extension of your bed creating a space where your baby can sleep beside you. The area for baby is obviously free from pillows, away from your duvet and takes away the risk of you rolling over onto the baby while still allowing you to 'co-sleep'.
I looked at a few side sleepers, but we liked that the Next to Me was big, doubled as a travel cot and could last up until 6 months. A lot of babies outgrow their moses basket within a couple of weeks, and it made sense to spend money on one thing that would last until he goes into his own room.
We bought the Next to Me Circles which is a neutral grey colour that matches our room perfectly. I know it shouldn't really matter much but when you take pride in your home, it's really nice to have something neutral that doesn't disrupt the room decor too much.
The main selling point of the side-sleeper is the fact that during the night,you don't have to get out of bed to check on your baby. If Oliver wants fed or needs settled during the night, I just have to reach over to get him. This was a godsend in the really early days when I was checking him constantly. At first I thought this benefit would be lost on me since I'm not breastfeeding (because I'd still have to get up to make a bottle), but we actually used to take the Tommy Tippee Perfect Prep machine upstairs and have it sitting on my bedside table so I had everything to hand. An alternative to that is to use the ready made bottles during the night if you're formula-feeding (which is what we do now).
I'd heard of a lot of people using the Sleepyhead pod inside the Next to Me, and after reading reviews on both we decided to do the same. The crib is quite big on it's own, and would probably have been huge for a newborn to lie in so the Sleepyhead makes it more snug and secure for a tiny baby. I can't really give an opinion on the crib without the Sleepyhead inside, as we've always used it this way. You can read my Sleepyhead Deluxe Review here.
There's two cons of the Next to Me, in my opinion. The first being that it doesn't rock like the other popular side-sleeping crib, the Snuzpod. However, you can still gently shake the cot which helps tip the baby back over into sleep if he starts to wake during the night.
The other negative is really an issue with having a side sleeper in general. When I was recovering from labour, it was really frustrating that I couldn't just get out of the bed. Instead, I had to shuffle down past the crib which could be pretty painful at times. Also, sometimes staying in bed to settle the baby isn't an option - if Oliver's being particularly fussy during the night, he needs me to walk with him for a bit which means I need to shuffle down the bed while also holding a wriggling baby, which isn't easy.
The price of the Next to Me seems to have went up slightly since we bought ours in October, but if you're planning on getting one I'd recommend looking out for voucher codes on very.co.uk. We managed to get 20% off ours as it was our first credit order so we saved about £30.00.
I'd definitely recommend the Next to Me side-sleeping crib. The long nights can be the most difficult times in the newborn days and anything that makes them slightly easier to bear is a blessing!
Did any of you use a side-sleeping crib?
*this is not a sponsored post