An award-winning and recognisable brand name in many countries across Europe, the BabyBay originates from Germany where co-sleeping is a more common practice than in the UK. The BabyBay is now becoming more widely available here thanks to this small British firm.
The BabyBay has rounded edges and the Original model I tested is similar in size to a standard crib or marginally bigger than a large Moses basket. Apart from a few head-scratching moments when lining up the sides (the trick lies in not turning the screws too tight…) assembly was relatively straightforward and took around an hour.
Once up, the BabyBay can be hooked on to most adult beds, provided the mattress is flush with the frame. The cot base itself is fully adjustable to any bed height and the firm semi-circular mattress that comes as standard is a good snug fit.
The BabyBay also comes with a straight side panel to turn the bedside cot into a standalone cot and the manufacturer has gone out of its way to create a versatile cot that will last. Parents committed to the BabyBay can invest in a range of further accessories such as panels and conversion kits to turn the cot into a larger bed for toddlers, or even a playpen, bench or highchair for future use.
What we love
Any concerns about co-sleeping were immediately dispelled. The BabyBay gives your baby his own clearly defined night-time space that feels safe and secure. Falling asleep with 3-month-old Ferris nearby – knowing that there’s no chance of him overheating or being rolled upon – is a real treat. It’s a true delight for mums (and dads) wanting to bond with their baby.
Ferris also took to it straightaway and loved lying next to me, so much so that he’s refined the art of shuffling to move just that bit closer!
Night-time feeding also became easier. Rather than having to haul myself out of bed to check if Ferris wanted a feed, a blurry-eyed look across does the job. When he’s ready he’s easy to slide across or pick up and eventually lay down again. If Ferris needs a gentle pat to send him back to dreamland, I can do this while also lying down ready to drop off again.
The BabyBay is a good-looker on two counts. Firstly, it’s deceptively robust for a self-assembled piece of furniture. Secondly, its traditional cot-like design will quickly become familiar to younger babies, making the transition to a larger cot less intimidating when the time comes.
What to watch out for
Think carefully about the practicalities of setting up the BabyBay and any changes that will need to be made in the room. The cot only works alongside beds where mattresses are flush with the bed frame and some bedside furniture may have to go. By positioning the cot at shoulder level, however, rather than at head level, I managed not to lose my beloved bedside table.
Handling Ferris when in bed is easy, but learning to carry him safely into and out of bed required some thought. For less mobile mums recovering from birth or caesareans, break down this manoeuvre into stages.
The BabyBay price point makes this cot a commitment for many parents. It’s designed for babies from birth to 9 months, but Ferris is a long baby and already starting to outgrow the basic model, so be prepared for continued investment in the idea and concept of the BabyBay if you want it to last.
Who is the BabyBay best for?
New parents who want to co-sleep, but without the worries.
The BabyBay is a small but perfectly formed addition to the range of products on offer to parents keen on co-sleeping. While not cheap, it’s an ideal solution for parents looking for easier night-feeds and more sleep. Just be aware that your baby could outgrow it before 9 months.
Reviewed in: made for mums 27 Sept 2010 by Angela Rumsey.