There are so many types of cots, or cribs, for babies that it’s difficult to choose. You need to decide what you want from your cot and how you plan to sleep at night before deciding. You may want one cot to last until your baby is ready to go to her own bed or you may be happy to have several cots as she grows. You may want the baby in her own room as quickly as possible or be happy to have her with you as long as she wants. Whatever you want it’s important to choose carefully.
The Moses Basket
This isn’t actually a cot, but a basket of woven material--usually with carry handles, a padded interior and an adjustable stand. It’s best used for a newborn and is very convenient for nighttime feeding. Its size means that it can easily go next to your bed. Its limited size does mean that it doesn’t last long as the baby soon grows out of it—2 to 3 months is about average.
A rocking or swinging cot is usually smaller than a regular cot but bigger than a Moses Basket. The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) recommends that a baby sleep in your room in its own cot or crib for the first 6 months; a rocker will probably last that long (depending on the size of your baby) so it might be worth skipping the Moses Basket and going for this from the start.
They come in many different styles but they should all share similar features, such as a drop down side for ease of access and adjustable mattress height so that the cot remains safe as your baby get bigger. Your baby might be in his cot until he’s 3 years old, so it’s important that he can’t climb out of it—once he can it’s not safe for him. Style is important when choosing a cot; you want it to match the nursery, but remember that your baby doesn’t care and once he starts teething he will probably chew at the sides of his cot. So, don’t be put off by cots with protective plastic strips, particularly if you’ve gone for a painted model.
The cot bed is a practical and economical purchase. A regular cot will last your baby until she’s 2 or 3 years old; a cot bed converts to a bed when she’s big enough so that you will only make one purchase until she’s 5 or even older, depending on her size.
For some parents, sleeping with a baby is important but co-sleeping does have risks. The bedside cot can solve those safety issues and keep your baby with you all night for as long he needs to be there. One side is fully removable so that it can join up to your bed with no barriers. Make sure that the height adjustment is sufficient for your own bed and the bedside cot becomes an extension of your own sleeping space, just for your little one. They are available in a variety of sizes so your baby can be with you even as a newborn.
- Photo Credit cuna image by JMFontecha from Fotolia.com
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