How to Side Car a Crib {without special equipment}: a tutorial with pictures

I’m not sure how Gym Hottie did it, but he aligned the crib and our mattress exactly flushed against each other without any measuring! As for me, I just stood there as we set up the side car crib when Humnoy was 10 months. I wrote about how sleeping with a side car crib was new for all of us and that it wasn’t a full and spontaneous transition. I hope the following pictures and tutorial help if you’re searching for a way to keep your child close to you but need an option to have more space with co-sleeping.

how to side car a crib without special equipment

Materials used:

1) screwdriver

2) Stork Craft Tuscany 4-in-1 Stages Crib
It is not a drop-side crib, has multiple height adjustments, and a beautiful crib.

3) Serta crib mattress

4) comforter
I used this to fill in the gap between the edge of crib mattress and the crib slats. There’s a gap because the front side of the crib is removed and with the crib mattress pushed as far close to our bed, it leaves a bit of space for baby to get caught in. I’ve seen firm foam be used as well.

Set-up & Pictures:


Different levels of height adjustment


The mattress board base sits lower to account for the height of the crib mattress


If the height was not fitting, a second crib mattress can be used for height. (Ours worked with just one, obviously)


I filled in the gap between the crib mattress and the crib slats with a comforter. I rolled it up into a long tube and stuffed it in between.


No gap!

20120504-165605.jpg Oliver, the Sidecar Companion


View from sidecar ain’t so bad




Night time

I nurse him down to sleep and gently place him in the crib. He has slept (without struggle) the entire evening in his sidecar crib three times and counting so far! Only reason it hasn’t been a full transition is because we unanimously vote to have him back in our bed some nights. I love having the space, but having him close as well. I get to be in arms reach and can snuggle when I want to.

Do you sidecar, cosleep, or both? If you have any questions, please feel free to post below and I’ll try to help!

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43 thoughts on “How to Side Car a Crib {without special equipment}: a tutorial with pictures

  1. We’ve been cosleeping for the past 14 months but I am thinking this looks handy! What kind of crib is that? I heard you can only do it with drop-side cribs, is that true? Was it already the same height as your bed? Sorry for all of the questions!

    • Hi Jessi! No problem with the questions, I really want to answer them to help you out in any way.

      1) We have the Stork Craft Tuscany 4-in-1 Crib.
      2) This is not a drop-side crib (they’re called stationary sides) but we removed the front slat by unscrewing it so yes, it does NOT have to be a drop-side.
      3) Husband eye-balled it to match up the height of the crib mattress on the crib’s adjustable mattress board base. So, it had to be adjusted to the height of our bed, which is a pillowtop mattress on a metal bed frame without wheels.

      I hope that helps! If it doesn’t, please feel free to ask again!

  2. well we couldn’t afford to buy a crib, but our queen mattress was molding when I was pregnant so we just splurged for a kingsized, which is great since my partner is 6’5″ and sleeps on his side taking up half the bed, and he didn’t want to get a bigger bed originally! I got a double mattress which I had on the floor in our room until we moved and now it’s on the floor in the living room, which is great. I’m slowly transitioning my 2yo into the double bed but I end up sleeping with her most nights just because I don’t like having to walk through the house in the middle of the night when she wakes up to nurse (down to one or two night time nursings now).

    • I love that cosleeping and breastfeeding are the best combo! It seems like it’s the same for your family. I can’t imagine sticking my child in a crib when I carried him for 10 months so co-sleeping just seemed like “it” was for us.

      And yes, to those who are wondering, GH and I still have time for sexy time believe it or not (PLENTY OF IT!) 😀

  3. OOh! That looks so easy. I know it’s not, though. (Sigh…) I think we’re going to have to sidecar, pretty soon, as she’s growing out of the Arm’s Reach Co Sleeper. Though I do feel more and more comfortable with heron our bed.

    I love being able to dream feed, too!

    • It was (fairly) easy since I didn’t really do anything! Husband did all the manual labor 😉

      I too feel comfortable with him on our bed! I believe it has made our breastfeeding relationship easier because of dream feeds!

  4. I’ve never actually seen this before. What a brilliant idea! We co-slept for about 14 months then introduced a crib next to our bed, at 18 months we just moved the crib into the nursery. Maybe next time around we can do something like this to give us all a little extra room!

    • I’m glad you are inspired by it! It’s a nice change and a great option for space when (and if) he decides to fully transition out of Mama and Dada’s bed!

      I’m not complaining though, promise. 😉

    • … and nurse down for naps, meltdowns, etc. 😀

      Those “experts” don’t think that it’s the only thing that works for *most* (if not all) nurslings. If they come with a gentler solution without involving my boobs, I’m all for it!

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  8. This looks great… I only wish I had the space for a bed the size of my room 😛
    Currently I’m living with the parentals (ugh barf I’m too old for this) so I don’t have a lot of room to spread out around the house. Soooo baby daddy comes over (he lives with married roommates, their 2 kids, and her MIL) he sleeps on the floor and I share the bed with baby girl. 😉

  9. any ideas on how to attach a queen mattress to a twin mattress so they don’t move apart? We are on the floor so if baby rolls off it isn’t too far, but the beds keep moving apart…

    • Hi Lisa,

      I have seen a few other tutorials that use a bungee cord to connect mattresses. I could see how one side of the bungee cord on the twin mattress and the other side on the queen mattress, but I’d be afraid of any damages done from the hook. Another thing I can think of is researching a ‘rug stopper’ like this: Rug Stopper

      Hope that was somewhat helpful! Please let me know if those options work for you otherwise I’ll refer to my readers for more ideas! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. We currently cosleep/breastfeed but would like some space occasionally. We need sexy time!!!! Makana is 6 months now think he is old enough to let dad have mom for a bit lol Will be attempting this very soon. Thanks for the info!

  11. Thought I would let you know that the rug stopper thing doesn’t work very well. The beds still slip apart…bummer.Currently I have a blanket stuffed into the crack to help keep it from being too bad.

    • Bummer! Thank you for letting me know! I’m glad the stuffed blanket trick works though 🙂

      That’s what we use for the crack between the crib and crib mattress. Who knew a stuffed blanket would do wonders? Again, thanks for coming back to let us know what works and doesn’t work, Lisa.

      Sent from my iPhone

  12. Would love to do this b/c i love co-sleeping but there just isn’t enough room for 3 in our queen size. So now i have a crib next to our bed. but how do you handle naps/early nighttime sleep without H wandering off or rolling off big bed? is that a problem or am i just paranoid?

  13. This is great! So is your baby sleeping through the night better with this? What are you doing now that you have a new baby?

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  17. It’s so wonderful to see how much you love your little boy. I wish more women had your enthusiasm for motherhood. If done correctly, with supportive husband, faith and mother home, it will always be a joy-filled experience. Thank you for following my blog. Enjoy your journey.

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  19. Hi, can I pick your brains…I’ve slept with a cot sidecar arrangement like you for 8 months, but now my girl keeps wriggling into my bed in the night and I awake to find her next to my chest or belly which makes me uneasy as I worry I won’t wake and she’ll be face into my clothes breathing rebreathed air. Any ideas for encouraging her to stop at that dividing line between cot and bed?

    • Can you put up some sort of barrier? Sturdy enough to hold up her body weight yet something breathable. If you’re willing to risk the chance of waking her, maybe move her back but that’s just something we all know might not work, right? lol

  20. I just wanted to share an idea that I had. I setup our sidecar a few nights ago and love it. But I was uneasy about using a blanket to fill in the gap at the back of the crib. I went to buy floral foam (saw that idea somewhere) to use instead but found out how expensive that was going to be and changed my mind. I ended up buying 4 pool noodles. I cut them down to 51 1/2 inches (same length as the crib mattress), and used duck tape to secure them together then wrapped a crib sheet around it. It fills in the gap perfectly, and now I can sleep better.

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  22. Thanks so much for this wonderful idea! My husband has been gone several weeks for work and while he has been gone I began cosleeping with our young daughter (she grew out of her bassinet and absolutely REFUSED the crib.) We both get restful sleep now but was worried what to do once daddy returned home. This is the perfect solution and we will all have our own space on the bed. Problem solved thank you!

  23. This is great! I usually end up sleeping sitting up in a recliner with baby on my chest. We’ve been warned about the “dangers” of co-sleeping and did not plan to do it but its the only way I’m getting any sleep. DH is against it, but then he’s sleeping soundly in the bed all night long!:/
    I think I may be able to sell him on this idea though, hopefully! My little cuddler is a month old and mamas got to get some sleep!

  24. This is the answer I’ve been looking for! With baby #1 I had a bassinet next to the bed because hubby was paranoid about him sleeping in the actual bed with us. But I was paranoid about being so tired and dropping baby boy between our bed and the bassinet in the middle of the night. With baby #2 due in July, this seems like the perfect solution! Thank you!

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  26. My 4 month old sleeps in our new king size with me. Trying to figure out how to keep him from falling out as he gets more mobile. It’s between moving the bed to the wall with a pillow at the bottom, building a bed rail that’s actually tall enough for our bed or doing a sidecar.

    • Side car, it’s so much less stress. I blocked the end off with a pillow and duvet under the bed in case of any accident. I then slept at the edge of my kingsize so if lo moved in the night I would wake anyway. I tucked my duvet around me like a sausage.

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