Choosing the right cot will be one of the first things you do when planning for your baby’s new nursery. Your baby will spend longer alone in their cot than anywhere else so it is very important that it is safe. this will gives you the peace of mind you need to get your much-needed rest.
It’s hard to imagine it at first, but before long, your newborn will be an active little baby, crawling, and standing, as well as pulling herself up and trying to climb! Here are some tips to make sure she’s safe in her cot:
1. There are cot safety standards in every country. You should find out what this is for your country and make sure the cot you buy complies.
2. The space between the bars of the cot shouldn’t measure anything more than 6.5cm. This is to make sure your baby’s head doesn’t get trapped between them.
3. The distance between the top of the cot side and the top of the mattress should measure at least 60cm. Anything smaller and there’s a risk your baby will be able to climb out and fall.
4. Choose a cot with bars that go all the way around so that air can circulate freely while your baby sleeps. There are some cots that have solid header boards which will prevent this.
5. If you have a second hand cot that is painted, you may want to strip it and paint it again. It is possible that an older cot hasn’t been painted with lead free paint, which could place your baby at risk of lead poisoning.
6. When you put the cot in the nursery, make sure it is safely away from blind cords and curtains which may cause a risk of strangulation.
7. If the space between the side of the cot and the mattress is more than 2.5cm, there’s a risk your baby could fall into the gap.
8. Make sure there are no horizontal bars or other features inside the cot that your baby may try to use as a ladder to climb over the side of the cot. Some cots have decorative cut outs in the header boards. These are unsafe because your baby could get a limb trapped in the gaps. Or she may use them as leverage to climb out.
9. Check for screws or parts that stick out on the cot. Your baby’s clothes could get caught on these.
10. Choose your baby bedding with safety in mind. Loose blankets and sheets could cover your baby’s face making it difficult for her to breathe. Snug, fitted sheets and a good quality sleeping bag will keep her safe and warm.
Use these 10 tips when selecting a cot for your baby’s nursery and you will be able to rest knowing your baby is safe.
If you are expecting a baby there are a lot of details to consider before the arrival of your newborn. Everything from the nursery furniture to the toys, linen and the cot has to be organized before your baby’s birth. Deciding which cot is best for your baby can be a confusing task, since there are so many different products to choose from.
As a starting point, the cot should be purchased from a reputable supplier. It should carry the British Standards Institution (BSI) number BS EN 716:1996, which indicates that it complies with the required safety standards. The cot should be strong and sturdy and without cracked or broken slats, jagged points or edges, loose parts, missing knobs, screws or sharp catches, peeling, cracked or splintered wood. If you are looking for a transportable cot, then it should be lightweight, compact, comfortable and easy to set up.
The following may help you to choose a cot that is just right for your baby:
1. A carry cot makes an ideal first cot as it can be easily moved from room to room. It can be used for night-time sleeping, for car journeys and holiday travel or as part of a pushchair or pram. Carry cots usually have a fabric-covered hood, which makes them perfect for all weathers. If a separate mattress needs to be purchased, it should be firm enough to support your baby while she sleeps.
2. A Moses basket or baby sleeping basket makes a cosy sleeping environment for the first few months. Baskets are made from palm, maize or wicker and have carrying handles, which allows for easy, lightweight transportation in the home or on car journeys. Wicker baskets are the most expensive, but will last longer. Baskets usually come complete with their own foam mattress, bedding and fabric-covered hood. The basket can be put on the floor or placed on a stand at a convenient height next to your bed. A sleeping basket can also aid the transition from crib to cot.
3. A co-sleeper is a lightweight, transportable cot with a drop-down side that can be used from birth to three years of age. It is designed to fit securely on the side of any adult bed. If your baby is restless, you can simply reach over and comfort her without having to get out of bed. The co-sleeper is also a great cot for twins as they can lie beside each other and close to you. With its compact fold, the co-sleeper can be converted to a free standing cot, a changing table, a play pen or travel cot.
4. Cots come in many shapes and sizes and can be used from birth to six or seven years of age. Some are designed to fit in the corner of the room, while others can be converted into a junior bed when babies outgrow them. Most cots have drop sides, which can be lowered when your baby needs to be picked up or a base that can be adjusted as your baby grows. Most cots are not transportable, although some may have fitted casters. Some wooden cots have a protective, plastic coated rail around the edges, which prevents your baby chewing on the slats when she is teething.
Baby cots are available in a variety of designs, colours and sizes. Key points to consider may include your baby’s size, growth and the length of time that the cot is going to be used. Measurements displayed on the cot label should help you to select one that fits your baby’s needs. The size and layout of the room is another factor that you may wish to consider. Some cots are designed to match the nursery furniture, so you may want to choose one from a coordinating range. Allow for delivery times as your chosen cot may be out of stock when you need it. Most cots will be delivered flat packed and will need two people to assemble them.
Duvets and pillows are not safe for babies under the age of one year as they can cause overheating or accidental smothering. Instead, use blankets and a sheet in the cot. If your baby is too cold or too hot, you can easily add or remove a layer.
Having the right size bedding for the crib or cot is important too. Avoid sheets or blankets that are too large as your baby may become entangled in them.
Place blankets and sheets halfway down the cot and tuck them in under the mattress. Place your baby under the covers with her feet at the end of the cot, so that she cannot wriggle down under the bedding.
Avoid covering your baby’s head with a hood or hat. Your baby will lose excess head through her head, which helps to regulate her temperature.
If your baby kicks off her bed covers in the night, then a baby sleeping bag is an ideal way to keep her warm and comfortable. Make sure that it fits snugly around your baby’s chest. The tog rating (e.g. 0.5 to 1.0 for the summer months; 2.5 for the winter months) must also be suitable for the season.
The Foundation for Sudden Infant Death (FSID) recommends that soft toys are not put in a very young baby’s cot. Cuddly toys act as insulators and can cause overheating or accidental smothering