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Choosing a Cot for Your Baby

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 8 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Cot Crib Bed Baby Safety Sleep Standard

If you’re pregnant and planning for the arrival of your new baby, or you’ve been using a smaller crib or moses basket and are about to move your baby up to a cot, then here’s some practical advice and tips on choosing a cot for your baby.

One of the essential pieces of furniture you’ll need for a baby is a cot. It’s where they’ll sleep from a young age until they’re at least 18 months old and it needs to be somewhere that is safe, secure, comfortable and practical. When you’re shopping for a cot, there are various factors to look out for.

The Size of a Cot

Cots come in various different sizes, including smaller cots, adjustable cots and large cots. Small cots may seem ideal for a newborn baby, but you invest in one that is small and can’t be adjusted to accommodate a growing baby, you’ll find yourself having to go out and buy a bigger cot as your baby grows.

A large cot can seem huge for a tiny baby, but it does at least mean that you won’t have to upgrade before your child is old enough to be in a bed. When you’re checking out the size of cots, don’t forget to measure the amount of space you have available at home in the area where the cot will be placed. It’s frustrating if you find the perfect cot, then get it home to find it doesn’t really fit.

The Sides of Cots

Another aspect to take into consideration when choosing a cot, is whether or not the sides are fixed or drop. Drop sides on a cot make life a lot easier for parents, as you can lower the side down to put your baby into the cot or take them out again. Some cots just have the drop side mechanism on one side of the cot, whereas others have them on both sides.

There are cots on the market that don’t have the drop side ability and instead have fixed sides. Cots with fixed sides may look good and be well priced, and may seem fine for when you have a tiny baby. However, do give a thought to what it will be like when your baby is older, bigger and heavier, as it can be a long way to lean down into each time, which doesn’t suit everyone.

Cots With Adjustable Bases

Cots that are adjustable and can be used with tiny babies and older babies usually have a height adjustable base. This means that when your baby is tiny, you can set the cot base to be at the highest level, so that you don’t have far to lean down into.

As your baby gets bigger, and develops the ability to move around and pull themselves up using the bars of their cot, you can adjust the base so there’s no worry about your child accidentally pulling themselves right out of the cot. This is a really useful function to have on a cot, especially if you’re aiming to keep using it until your child is ready to move up to a big bed.

Like other pieces of baby equipment, cots need to comply to safety standards, in order to ensure they are fully safe for babies to use. Look out for the British Standards number BS EN 716:2008, as this means the cot in question meets the strict standards and should be safe for use.

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