As much as my husband and I planned our pregnancy, I have to admit I was dumbfounded when it came to making important health and parenting decisions. I didn’t realize we had so many choices to make, and that there is actually more than one way to be a good parent. I mean, no one talks to you about your choices until you get pregnant–things like: normal delivery or caesarean (I didn’t even think this was an option before); to breastfeed or to give formula; to use cord blood banking, practice lotus birth or not do anything at all; to hire a yaya (or nanny) or not; to baby wear or use a stroller–I honestly didn’t think parenting would be so complicated.
One of the most important decisions we had to make was whether or not we should co-sleep with Tristan. I admit, when I first heard about co-sleeping I didn’t know what to make of it. I was still stuck on the idea of a nursery and a crib, which would be in a separate room from me and Carlos. My parents raised all of us four kids that way–we stayed in the kids’ room with a yaya until we were old enough to ask permission to sleep in their room. For me this was the only way to do it, until I read about the benefits of co-sleeping. Much studies have been made about it, which lead to these awesome discoveries: I had no idea co-sleeping leads to a more peaceful sleep for both parents and baby, helps keep baby warm, decreases the risk of SIDS (or sudden infant death syndrome), has a long term positive effect on the baby’s emotional health and is actually safer than crib sleeping. I was sold. But as much as I wanted to co-sleep, I was still reluctant to have our baby sleep in our bed with us (just the idea of Tristan being around all our pillows, blanket and comforter was too scary for me).
So I did my research and found a way to co-sleep without having Tristan be in bed with us. I found Arm’s Reach, a brand of bedside bassinets (or co-sleepers) that can be attached to any bed. This is pretty amazing, because it promotes co-sleeping, allows easier breast and bottle feeding, and your baby can sleep in a secure and safe environment but still be within arm’s reach (hence, the name).
I knew I had to have this, but when I searched the website I found that it was only available in the States (or so I thought). Thankfully I found @armsreachph on Instagram, which lead me to their Facebook page: facebook.com/armsreachph, and that’s when I got to order one for Tristan. I got the Mini Arc Convertible (34″ x 20″ x 32.5″), which is more compact than their bestselling Ideal Co-sleeper (39″ x 25″ x 32.5″). I figured since we travel a lot, it would be better to get a smaller one that’s easy to pack. It also fits perfectly in my side of the room so that pretty much sealed the deal.
We started using our Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper as soon as Tristan got home from the hospital. We knew he liked it right away, because he slept so peacefully. I got to sleep too since I knew he was right beside me and I could get to him in a matter of seconds. Breastfeeding is easy, because I could do it in our bed and when he falls asleep I could quickly transfer him back to his co-sleeper. I love that I hear his every cry and sound, and I don’t have that fear of rolling over him or having him trapped under a pillow or blanket. It really is the ideal set-up and I recommend this to all expecting parents (this makes the best gift, too for your daughter, sister, or best friend).
Tristan is going on four months and he still uses his Arm’s Reach co-sleeper every night (and sometimes during the day when he takes a nap). I plan to use it until he no longer fits in it, then I can convert it to a play yard for when he’s older. Since I’ve been using it from day one, I can say it is probably the most essential thing you need for a baby.