A Robust Side Bed for Our Incoming Daughter




Introduction: A Robust Side Bed for Our Incoming Daughter

Our daughter will be born soon and we need a crib for at least next six months, before moving her into a bigger cot.

We were looking for a low cost and custom solution so we evaluated multiple options.

Personally I don't want the baby to sleep in the bed with us because I move a lot during the night and I am scared to harm her. In the meantime I think the best for my wife is to have the baby really close to easily let her drink the night, without standing up.

I was inspired by this https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Sidecar-Co...

This variant to the original design was suggested by Angelo, a dear colleague of mine. I also received a lot of hints and suggestions by local vendors where I bought material.

Step 1: Measure, Buy and Cut the Planks

This is the design phase...

Use the sketch above and choose your sizes according to your needs.

Material I used is 2.5cm thick multilayer poplar. It is quite robust and should not warp with aging.

I asked the shop to cut the planks with the required sizing. I also asked for the round cut because I haven't any adequate tool to do it.

It is worth to notice that the horizontal plank is sligthly larger than 35cm to avoid any empty space between the crib and the mattress. It's not mandatory but you have to evaluate if it is your case.

Step 2: Rounding the Borders

Rounding the borders is a must! I am not a carpenter and the easiest solution I have found is to use a half pipe together with the sandpaper.

Find a pipe with a diameter slightly greater than the thickness of the planks, let's say 4-5cm should be ok.

Cut it with a saw. Put a rough sandpaper inside and good luck...

I spent about 1 hour for each plank.

Step 3: Treatment

If you don't want to add chemicals to your project, skip this step.


1) Use a fine sandpaper to finish the plank and make it smooth

2) Make one or two pass of mordant

3) Make one or two pass of wax

Step 4: Add Two Small Supports

It is extremely important that the horizontal plank, where the baby sleeps, is perfectly in level.

Even if you make precise measurements you will always risk to make a mistake because of imperfections of the floor of the room or due to the lateral planks or what else.

I suggest to put small slats on the lateral planks that can be used later to level the horizontal one. These are not a support but are helpful as reference for the next step.

Be sure they are aligned on both lateral planks.

Step 5: Assembling and Levelling

Now you have to assemble the planks numbered 1, 2, 3 as in the first picture.

The easiest way I have found to do the job is using screws. Screws here are 5cm long and 4mm diameter.

Find a way to hold the planks 1 and 3 at 90 degree.

Drill a 2mm hole.

Use the countersink to enlarge a slot for the head of the screw.

Make the same with plank number 2.

Put the horizontal plank on top of the slats and use small spacers until it is in perfect level.

Step 6: Air Intakes and Stress Test

As optional steps I suggest to drill holes for air intakes and to perform a stress test.

The former is needed to avoid mold formation due to humidity, while the latter is to be sure the crib can stand few Kg of your son/daughter.

Step 7: Safety Lock

Also this step is optional and is suggested if you fear the crib can move away from your mattress during the night.

Step 8: Decorations and Felt Pad

My wife added nice decorations simply gluing them.

My mother is doing buffers to put on the borders. I will update the instructable when I have new pictures.

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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago

    This is really nice, I'm sure she'll love it :) Congrats!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you!


    3 years ago

    I think the general idea is sound. But I have one issue and it may not even be anything to worry about. I would make the side that goes up against the adult bed with a small side on it. That way IF the crib-like bed for the baby ever moves away from the adult bed, the baby can't fall out. Other then that, I like it.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi gm280. Thank you for the suggestion. Safety locks described in step 7 are made to clamp the crib to the bed. I tested it and there is no possibility to move away from the bed. However she will stay in for not more than six months.


    3 years ago

    Hi, Congratulations on your baby girl. An infant from zero to 3 months doesn't move much (usually swaddled and doesn't roll over) but I agree with gm280 if you keep the baby in this bed longer. A 6 month old baby is very active. But you may decide to move her into her own room sooner. I personally kept my babies in their own room from day one so they never had to be weaned from my side. I was lucky to have easy babies (they nursed and slept well). I think every family should choose their own sleeping arrangements. This looks like a safe option for co-sleeping for an infant. I'm not a pro...just a mom! Enjoy every minute. They grow up fast!