Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baby Sidecar Co-Sleeper Bed

I finished this project in 2 days. First day was five hours, next day was two.  

We registered on Amazon for a bassinet or a co-sleeper bed that could be pulled up next to ours, instead of having the new baby (still not out yet by the way) sleep in bed with us. Doing our part to reduce the risk of SIDS. 

Here's my little tutorial for the co-sleeper sidecar bed I made in two days! I got the idea from this blogger, his was the only one I found online, so I pretty much just copied it outright.

You will need:
  • Plywood 
  • About three feet of a 1x5 or 2x4 plank
  • Wood screws for support beams and legs
  • Nails for plywood (or screws if plywood is thick enough)
  • Sawhorse or table
  • Hammer
  • Drill (with a drilling bit and a screw head)
  • Jigsaw
  • Sander
  • Paint
  • 3 or 4" thick foam (not too squishy) for the mattress
  • Material enough to cover foam. 1.25 yards was plenty for me (I even had a little extra with which I made a cute little t-shirt dress for Maya!) 
Sorry, I was so excited to start that I forgot to take pics of the piles of wood and box/tools assembly.
  • Find or buy pieces big enough to make bottom, back, and sides. Mine ended up being 28"wide x14"deep x 12" high.
  • Sand and clean the crap out of them! I like to round off all exposed edges as much as possible. I really enjoy sanding actually.
  • Nail or screw them together at right angles. I used nails because the plywood my MIL had on had was too thin for screws.
  • Then I traced a circle on the corners using a paint can and jigsawed those end pieces' corners off.

Here you can see how I (sloppily) zig-zagged the screws for the
between-the-mattress support beams, so there was no wiggling allowed.

Painted it light purple (leftover from painting Maya's room a couple years ago)

The bumps you see are spackle putty covering screws I had to hacksaw off.

That stupid corner caused me so much trouble because the wood was slightly warped and very thin on that edge, so I couldn't get any nails to stay in! I had to screw a hinge on there and then hacksaw the sharp edges, then spackle putty over the whole mess. Ugh.

Finish painting. Allow to dry and attach the legs!

  • Measure the distance from your floor to the top of your bedframe/boxspring (the bottom of your mattress)
  • Cut 1x5 or 2x4 boards to the correct length. Mine were 10" - we have a king-sized mattress.
  • Paint boards (if you desire)
  • Bore a hole in the box and the leg separately (IF YOU DON'T DO THIS YOU COULD SPLIT BOTH PIECES OF WOOD when screwing in the screws). Stick the (unattached) drill bit through the box's hole to find and line up your leg's hole.
  • At this point, I turned the leg to a slight angle, because that seemed more sturdy to me.
  • Hold the leg there.
  • Screw a wood screw into the hole you made and lined up. Bore and screw one more spot into that leg so it can't wobble.
  • Repeat for the other leg.
Slide the support beams between the boxspring and mattress and VOILA!! 
Sturdy enough for my [nearly] 2 year old!
 Then I went to the fabric store and bought some 3" foam and some cheap cotton material (material not in the picture yet). This was the only part of the project I spent any money on because luckily, my MIL happened to have everything in her scrap pile!

The cotton material, I sewed into a pillowcase-like thing to go over the foam so it would be removable, soft, breathable, and washable. I washed and dried it before cutting and sewing to let it shrink as much as it wanted. I'm thinking I need to put a waterproof layer underneath also, but we'll see.

I also laid a recieving blanket over the top of my pillowcase thing, just to make spit-up cleanup even easier. Nothing puffy or too soft for her to suffocate in.


  1. Looks great! I love your paint job :) Thanks for linking back to me :)

  2. Pretty! How much did it cost you to make this?

    1. It cost a total of $14 for the fabric and $20 for the foam. My mother in law happened to have the wood laying around, as well as the tools and hardware! I really lucked out on that one.

    2. Just a thought. Although you did a great job, and it looks awesome, let's not forget why cribs were popularized in the first place. Far too often, parents would just sleep in bed with their newborn, sometimes tragically smothering them. Good forbid something like this would happen with your project, I'd just would think it much safer if it had a third board. Maybe half height, padded, and even removable.. Sorry to be a downer, I guess I am overprotective. Best of luck, and enjoy your beautiful baby as much as you can!

  3. its really practical and an affordable option !! m gna have a lil one soon, was looking for good bed extension thing on internet, and here i am totally getting inspired by ur lil project !! :)

  4. Do you not feel the plywood under your mattress?

    1. Not at all. My mattress is plenty thick to absorb that bump. No Princess and the Pea over here!