Published on May 13th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Co-Sleeping Singlar Hack

Materials: Sniglar Changing Table

Description: Before we had our baby, I had planned on her sleeping in her crib from the start. Yeah, I should have known better. The first night home we set up the hand-me-down pack-n-play in our bedroom and attempted to let her sleep in that. I think I made it through 2 night feedings before I gave in and put her in our bed. And thus started my complete and utter lack of sleep.

See, our bed is the queen size Ikea Malm and in no world is a queen-sized bed big enough for 3 cats, 2 adults and 1 newborn baby. We looked at co-sleepers and couldn’t find anything that worked because our bed was now too low to the ground. We attempted to use these foam rails but they ended up just taking up more room. We needed a co-sleeper badly and finally decided if we can’t find one, build one. But hey, if you can find an Ikea product to hack into one… even better! And that’s just what I did.

I hacked the Sniglar Baby Changing Table into a Co-Sleeper and finally I could sleep.

First I sewed sleeves for all the top, bottom and vertical rails. I then sewed the side panels which consisted of a top sleeve, bottom sleeve and netting. Next I sewed the vertical sleeves to the panels.

Then I fit it all the sewn rails on to the right bars. To assemble I put all the vertical pieces in, then the top and bottom pieces, laying them out ready to be assembled. I assembled according to the Sniglar instructions except I did the non-sewn side last and left the top rail off all together.

When completing the assembly, I left off the top shelf and the top crossbar that has no fabric on it as they aren’t used at all. Don’t worry, this doesn’t compromise the structure at all. It is hard to get the bottom shelf into the slits with the thin fabric covering them, but it will go if you’ve found the right satiny thin fabric. The bottom rail with no fabric also takes some work to get on since you’re not assembling the way Ikea intended.

To make the mattress I used 4″ foam cut to 26 3/4″ x 24 1/2″. I set the foam into the Sniglar and marked where the uncovered bottom rail hits. Then I cut a groove the length of the foam as wide as the rail and as deep as necessary to get the foam to lay flat.

I made some sheets using cotton fabric that went nicely with the co-sleeper and our bedding.

If you want to see more details of the Co-sleeper, hop on over to our flickr set or see more here.

~ Siouxzi Donnelly

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

30 Responses to Co-Sleeping Singlar Hack

  1. Anonymous says:

    You can also “hook” the co-sleeper bed frame to your own bed bed frame, this way no need to place holes on the floor (specially because it is not always possible). I’d show you how, but our co-sleeper is no longer in use. Now we have a normal cot bed (like the leksvik one), we did not put the barriers on one of the sides and the cot bed is stuck between our bed and the wall, impossible for it to move (and for me to get out of bed through my side ;-) )

    Co sleeping, helps a lot, even more when the little ones want to feed during the evening for a long time (as my 2 younger ones)

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a fabulous idea. I did the same with a simple Ikea crib, from which i removed one side and clambed the crib to the Malm bed with steel plates at the bottom.
    I do like cats around kids. The are famous for never attacking babies, there is just no known case of cats acting cruel to babies. They are known for scratching little children by the way, but that should be a learning expirience i think…
    I do agree with some people that there is a real danger of goodwilling cosy curling cats suffocating newborns, i’ve rescued my eldest just in time once. I then put a little net around the crib. Make sure the grid of the net is small and pull the net very tight, in order to prevent the baby from getting entangled in the net… ;-(

    When the baby was 6 to 8 weeks old i restored the crib and put the baby to sleep in his own bedroom. When the baby started to flip over, the bed was safe.

  3. Fabulous hack although I also would be worried about it moving away from the bed during the night.
    The people worried about the cats sound like the types that have a fit if their child gets dirty. Normal exposure to animals,germs etc is actually good for children and helps the development of their immune system.

  4. Anonymous says:

    your baby is adorable, and looks very cozy snoozing away in that cot. What a great idea

  5. Faye says:

    moontree i was put in a little drawer gtoo! i was 3 month premie and was so tiny my mom didnt want to roll over on me. AND i doubt its your real name but my mother wanted to name me moonspell and almost did if it werent for my granny.

    about this whole cosleeper businuess though, i just dont see it being a long term thing, i love my son sleeping in my bed, and although i dont mind, it interferred with the marital stuff and i certainly am not going to do it with my son in the room. plus im not going to have an 8 year old sleeping with me, so i opted to have the occasional sleepover with my son and he has his own bed and room to sleep in. i didnt see why i should feel like i was kicking him out later when he was bigger so i got him used to it now. if he ever needs to be close or is sick or just wants sleep with us he is welcome, but he has his own bed. and i definitely wouldnt get a bigger bed to accommodate my children in it. that would be the end of my ever having more children.

    having said alll that (sorry) i do love this alternative to the cosleepers (for when they are infants of course :) very cute and with the added safety features is perfect!

  6. Amanda says:

    Where did you get your pillow cases? I love them!

  7. Nina says:

    I haven’t read all the comments here, but what about just using one of the IKEA cribs where you actually can remove one bedside? At the lowest position of the bed, I think that should work with Malm or any other regular bed, but I haven’t checked this as the IKEA site doesn’t mention what the lowest position actually is.
    You might remove one side of several IKEA cribs, for instance the Gulliver:

    When one side is removed, you attach a new simple rail (called “conversion kit”) which is included. This way the bed also can be used for toddlers who start to climb out of their crib. (The Vikare guardrail may be attached).

    I think one might be able to attach this converted crib onto the side of the Malm bed with some angle brackets or other fastening devices?

  8. Anonymous says:

    *smile* I have had three co-sleeping children (now 21, 14 and 12)

    I didn’t do anything as pretty or fashionable as you have done with your hack, we just purchased a king sized futon and went with that.

    I noticed that a few folks were disturbed about your cats…

    Off topic for the post (forgive me) but I have always had cats near my babies (three female cats and one male cat at the time) and I DID notice that the females became very protective of my babies when our male cat went near – one scratched my youngest son by accident while chasing the male from my son as he slept.

    The female cats (one in particular who had nursed two ‘rescued’ kittens even though she had never given birth herself)reacted very strongly (in a protective way) even when I was pregnant.

    Although I can agree that you should be cautious in all things you feel may pose a threat to your children, my experience with my own cats has been that well adjusted and cared for pets are members of your family…

    You would not leave a newborn unattended with a toddler (even your own – for obvious reasons)and if you think of your cats as having ‘human’ abilities on par with those of a toddler – you will be able to gauge when it is appropriate to be able to leave a small child alone with one.

    Good luck with your baby and I enjoyed your hack very much (you are quite creative!)


  9. Yahvinah says:

    I would say a soft wall with a similar netting to portacots could be possibly added that can be unhooked for when you need to feed. I just don’t like how easy it would be for the baby to come out of it, and end up on the floor.

    She is a big baby and she is going to be scooting in her sleep in no time flat. My baby rolls all over her cot at night, and if it was missing a wall, she would definitely end up on the floor, bolted down or not.

  10. Anonymous says:

    You sound like us. We have a full bed that is shared with the two of us and the baby. The 3 cats got booted to the living room when baby was born, as the are super snuggly and try to curl up on her and lick her face! I think this cosleeper could be nice to also put a net around to keep the cats out, but so the cats can stay in the bedroom.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is a great idea! People will find the “dangers” in any new or out-of-the-box idea. It’s a good thing there are inventive folk like yourself to come up with new, problem-solving ideas.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Once more on the cats: I am not worried about attacks or germs, it is just healthy for children to get exposed to those, if the immune system is already capable of dealing with it. I do not worry about attacks: A cat is unlikely to do any real harm before the child alerts its parents. There is another danger here, at least to a newborn: The well-meaning cat. Trying to keep the child warm or just wanting to snuggle up to it, there have been known cases of the cat suffocating the child by lying down own its face. Not very common, but possible.

  13. anditron says:

    Oh, one other note, if you look at the additional photos we posted, there is one that shows how the mattresses line up completely flush to each other so when clamped there is no possibility of baby rolling between.

    We know this isn’t a long term solution and we will have to find a new one once she’s a bit bigger and has reached some new milestones, but she’s 4 months now and so far she’s doing great in it.

  14. prue says:

    as was said before, the great thing about tybalt’s criticism was that it not only said what was BAD, but also actually made suggestions on how to SOLVE that problem.

    maybe the midwife could inform us on the safe options?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Regardless of the use of clamps, this is just NOT a safe co-sleeper. I am pro safe co-sleeping all the way, and I am also a midwife and attachment parenting coach.

    This design while beautiful to look at, it is unsafe for your baby once they start rolling or even creeping in their sleep. There is nothing stopping them from rolling on to the bed, while you are sleep and falling on to the floor.

    I think it’s great you are co-sleeping, but please find a safer way to do so.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Cats are no inherently dangerous for babies. I’m surprised that that myth persists.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It looks gorgeous!

    We used the cot that converts to a toddler bed, took one side off and strapped it to the bed ;) Not at one point did he get stuck or slide down etc, although we did wedge a body pillow into the gap where the rails were.

    We had our son in there for about 18 months until he decided he wanted to go and sleep in with his brother and sister, so we took the other sides off and voila!

    I have a photo of my first babe all swaddled up and the cat lying next to her… the cat was bigger than her!

    Love the hack. Nice to see another coslept babe with cats :)

  18. m.winter says:

    Awesome idea, wish I thought of something like this back in the days when my daughter was fussy about sleeping in her crib.

    But I do agree, there needs to be some adjustments made so it is safer, as well as putting the cats out. Cats have been known to attack babies since they constantly smell of milk.

  19. anditron says:

    Thanks for your comments. I should have mentioned that we do have clamps holding it to the bed so no worries about that.

    As for the cat concerns, it’s an erroneous, antiquated idea that cats are somehow dangerous for babies to be around. Pets are good, they teach children a lot about compassion, manners and much, much more. In fact children also teach pets too. We have an extreme hater kitty. She’s hated everyone (but me) and avoided them her whole 16 years. The day our daughter came home from the hospital I was nursing her and our hater kitty came and laid down beside her happily. (All three kitties take their turns cuddling with her now.) She’s never hissed, growled or tried to bite her and surprisingly doesn’t even run away when the baby cries.

    Our cats are our daughter’s older siblings. They love her and we love them. We don’t want a bubble baby, it’s just not right for our family. You have to know your own pets to make your own decisions. It’s cool if the super-protective route is your way, that’s what makes the world diverse. :)

  20. Anonymous says:

    Just a thought, but having cats around babies really isn’t safe. I wouldn’t recommend letting them sleep (or leaving them unattended) in the same room.

    Cats spread mild infections to children and babies, and since they recognize that the areas around children are well kept and clean tend to try and use that space. They might touch the baby out of curiosity and scratch it, etc.

  21. Cara says:

    Could you bolt it to the bedframe somehow? Personally, I wouldn’t want permanent nail holes in my floor. I’d rather put holes into a bed frame, since that would be easier to repair after the baby starts sleeping elsewhere. You can cover the holes in the frame with bedding, fill them with wood putty, or replace the bedframe entirely. Holes in the floor are harder to cover up.

    All that said… it looks great, and your baby looks comfy in it. :-) Your cat looks like he/she wants to curl up in there and take a nap, too. ;-)

  22. Tybalt says:

    (To give you an idea of how unsafe many commercial co-sleepers are, a Google Image Search for “co-sleeper” will show that most of them not only have no mechanism to attach the CS to the bed, but most have WHEELS on the bottom! The ultimate in idiot design. Yours is miles better).

  23. Tybalt says:

    Unfortunately, this one is not safe. With nothing to brace the co-sleeper against the side of the bed except the pressure of the mattress on that side cushion, a strong possibility exists that the co-sleeper can be pushed away from the side of the bed, creating a possible wedging or fall.

    Also (and unfortunately it shares this design flaw with most of the commercial co-sleepers I have seen) it is no longer safe after the baby is able to roll itself over (usually in the area of 10-13 weeks) because it presents a soft vertical surface (the side of the bed including duvets and cushions) that I am seeing that can lead to suffocation issues. If it’s still being used at that point (especially at the crucial time between about 10 and about 24 weeks when the baby can flip back-to-front but not front-to-back) I would recommend sleep padding to keep the baby from flipping over in the night.

    Still, you’ve created a co-sleeper that is safer than many of the commercial products out there. I would simply recommend a very easy expedient – nail two triangular braces into the floor behind the legs of the co-sleeper. That will give you the structural stability you need (assuming the bed can’t slide along the floor).

  24. Anonymous says:

    No kidding. I would through those kittens from my bedroom. A kid is enough.

  25. Moontree says:

    I have a really simple solution: free up some space by giving your 3 cats the boot!

    Ok, kidding, kidding. Your baby is super cute, congrats. Just make sure that thing is safe for her to snooze in. That said, my parents used to put me in a dresser drawer when i was little ;)

  26. hansning says:

    It’s scary how similar you sound like us. We bought a crib because, well, that’s what people buy when they’re expecting kids. However, after our daughter outgrew the basinette that was loaned to us, we just let her sleep with us due to the ease of cosleeping combined with breastfeeding. We didn’t have a queen Malm though; we had a full/double. it was tiny. We decided to remove one railing of our Sniglar crib, , and moved it to the side of our Malm. It is very similar to what your setup is right now.
    This didn’t last long though. My daughter didn’t like to be moved after she falls asleep, and she has the terrible habit of sleeping at the breast. We couldn’t move her back into the crib after she fell asleep. So instead, we just got rid of it all, and are sleeping on a king. Now, we are all sleep comfortably.

    I hope you the all the best with your baby sleeping endeavors!

  27. Angela says:

    @ Tybalt: THANK YOU! This is a helpful critique instead of the typical: “this is not safe, you’re going to kill your baby” type commentary I was expecting. You explain why it’s not safe, and THEN you tell how to fix it! Woohoo!

    You have my appreciation and gratitude. :)

  28. Leslie says:

    as long as it’s attached to the bed so that it can’t scoot away and create a nook for the child to roll into, it should be safe…

    and Siouxzi, you were wrong, your lack of sleep started when she was born, not just because you started co- sleeping!! :)

  29. Anonymous says:

    Is this safe?

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