Pros: Increases the safety of co-sleeping, You can see and help your baby right away
Cons: Incline may have some dangers.
I purchase the Baby Delight Snuggle Nest after seeing it in the baby department of Burlington Coat Factory here in the Pennsylvania area. I thought the concept was very interesting and that I needed to purchase something like it, since my wife will co-sleep with the baby in our adult queen size bed when the baby keeps on crying. I decided to buy the product but at another store, Babies r Us, since they would offer a refund if I decide to return it.
The snuggle nest I bought was for $49.99 and included a 30 degree incline which fit under the mattress to keep the babys head elevated. It also came with an extra sheet for the mattress, a sleep positioner, and had a small white night light built in near the head section which is operated by batteries. The battery opening was on the outside of the nest so there was no chance of the batteries falling in the nest.
The sheet was machine washable and the extra sheet came in handy as my daughter within 2 weeks soiled the sheet. The nest is enclosed halfway by very durable plastic. I discovered this when I inadvertently kick the nest one time and was surprised at how sturdy it felt. The plastic is covered by cushioned fabric. You can see the plastic when you unzip the fabric at the top side of the nest. The fabric of the sheet is made from 65% polyester/35% cotton combination. The mattress is made of polyurethane foam. The same is true of the incline. The fabric of the nest is made from polyester fiber batting. The is a warning label on the inside bottom of the nest.
Co-sleeping is not recommended because of the inherent dangers of the baby sleeping in the adult bed with the parents. There is the risk of overlying or having one or more of the parents sleeping or have a limb or rolling over the baby which could interfere with the baby breathing or worse crush the baby. There have been deaths in the U.S. because of this. Generally the mother is more aware of the where the baby is at in the adult bed than the father, so the risk is higher with the father co-sleeping. The risk of overlying also increases if one or more of the parents have taken drugs or alcohol. I would think the risk increases also if the parents are really sleepy. The risk is probably also higher with an obese person.
Also if the baby does co-sleep with the parents, the parents will not sleep as well because they know they need to be more aware of the baby in the bed. This is more true with the mother. This is actually one of the disadvantages of co-sleeping.
Another problem with co-sleeping is with the firmness of the adult bed as compared with a baby mattress designed for a crib. The standards are not the same so the baby may have a harder time breathing on the adult bed, particularly if it is not firm or is sagging. It may result in the baby taking shallow breaths and possibly not breathing at all.
There is the problem that the quilts or blankets the parents use will cover the babys mouth and nose and she will not be able to breathe. This is also true of the pillows. There is another danger which parents may not think about and that is the baby being trapped between the mattress and the headboard or if the bed is along a wall, the mattress and the wall.
Generally co-sleeping is not recommended by experts because of all of these dangers and also because of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) which experts dont have an exact cause for. They have suggestions you can do to reduce SIDS. One of them is to not co-sleep with your child for all of the above reasons. Some parents argue the reverse case however and that is that the baby is scared in the crib all alone and dies of fright so co-sleeping reduces SIDS. Nevertheless there have been infant deaths in adult beds.
So how does this product play a role in all of this? Well, lets look at each danger one by one and how it applies in my case with my six week old, my wife, and me. Since my wife is putting the baby in the adult bed anyway when my daughter will not stop crying in the crib in the middle of the night, this product is better protection than having nothing at all. So if you are in a similar situation then get this product.
As for the risk of overlying, it is greatly reduced or even eliminated with this product. The reason the baby is protected by a strong plastic and while it is possible to put a limb over the nest, I was not able to actually roll over the nest unless I really put effort into it. The nest wall is just under 6 inches from the bottom and that seems enough to prevent a basic rollover. You may want to test it yourself when you bring the nest home.
The nest claims to have a firm mattress. I found this not to be true. The mattress in the crib was much firmer. Granted, I did purchase the most firmest mattress I could find for the crib. I found the mattress was as firm as my adult mattress. The adult mattress was purchased as extra firm. The nest could have a firmer mattress but that would increase the cost. I dont worry about the firmness of the snuggle nest mattress too much as I have not seen it bother my baby. My advice is to open the box when you purchase it at the store and test to see if the mattress will be firm enough for your baby.
As for pillows covering your babys breathing area, the nest greatly reduce chances of that because the baby is protected by a 6 inch wall of the nest. Most pillows are under 6 inches when placed in sleeping position. What you can do is take the nest and place it between yourself and your partner. Place it as high up on the bed as possible right against the headboard. Then you can take one edge of the pillow and tuck it underneath the nest. As far as blankets are concerned , the nest reduces the chances of blankets covering her mouth and nose because you will place the nest as high up as possible on the bed. If you just put the baby without the nest, you would not do this because the baby may get trapped between the headboard and the mattress. Also the 6 inch wall prevents the blanket from climbing up too far. One note is that if you are using an incline the baby may slide down while she is sleeping and get near to your blanket. This happened to me once even with the nest touching the headboard. My advice is to keep the blanket on as low as possible and also try to tuck one edge of the blanket under the nest or if you and your partner are both using the same blanket tuck the middle part of the blanket under the nest.
Regarding entrapment between the headboard and the mattress or between the wall and the mattress, using the nest makes it virtually impossible unless there is a huge gap. So you can rest safe in that area.
I personally sleep better with the baby in the nest than if she just slept directly on the bed. In fact I have a hard time falling asleep for fear I might roll over her. The baby herself sleeps better when she is close to us as opposed to being in the crib. She makes strange breathing noises in the crib which she doesnt make when she sleeps with us. Im not saying that everything is going to be a picnic but it will be a little rosier.
One thing I wanted to mention is to also be careful of items hanging from the headboard or even the crib which could fall on the baby while you are sleeping. The baby doesnt have enough coordinated motor skills to remove the bedding or other material from her face.
One problem I had with the nest and more specifically the incline is that if the baby was upset and moving around a lot, she would slide down the nest. Not a real problem except we had the sleep positioner near her leg area, so as she slid down hear arms would get caught between the positioner and she would start crying. If you have this same problem, I would recommend you not use the sleep positioner with the incline or swaddle your baby real good to prevent her from moving or just not use the incline at all. Another problem with the sliding down is if you covered the baby with a blanket. In this case the blanket will cover the babys face and she may not be able to get it off. This happened to me twice with my own baby. She slid down and her arms got caught between the sleep positioner and the blanket was near her mouth and nose. After that I made a rule of not using any blankets with the nest if we used the incline and the positioner. Yes things are getting complicated. My wife was getting confused by all these rules I was making. I recommend purchasing something called a blanket sleeper which is essentially a blanket which the baby wears thus making it impossible for it to go over her nose and mouth.
A positive point about the incline is that we are able to see your babys head at adult sleeping level when sleeping on our side. If you were just co-sleeping with your baby, you would have to look down.
Another good point about the snuggle nest is that you can make a safe bed anywhere for the baby. You could take it to another bed, put it on a table, etc. Still take precautions however.
The incline helps the baby breathe and also helps to drain her nostrils of mucus. This is especially useful when she has a cold. However there were some dangers of the incline as I mentioned above.
I have a queen size bed and Im a large person. My wife is petite. It is manageable to sleep with the nest and the two of us on either side. I do have to keep my arms to my sides however but it is a price to pay for having the baby in our bed. Also it will prevent you from cuddling with your partner unless you put your bed alongside a wall and have the nest up along the wall with the two parents on the other side. Ideally the mother would be in the middle. But the father isnt as close to the baby. Some trade-offs to consider.
Overall, I would not recommend co-sleeping as the risk of death for the infant increases. However if you find yourself in situations where you co-sleep anyway, then get this product as soon as possible and follow my recommendations on how to use it to be even more safe.