Need to choose a cot for your baby? We talk you through what to consider in order to make the perfect choice
Ahh, there’s such an air of excitement when you’re in the throes of sorting baby’s nursery. Along with the artsy wall prints, height chart and bundles of cushions, there is, of course, the most important part to the puzzle… the cot.
It’s a known fact that for the first two years of a baby’s life, they’ll spend more time sleeping than not, so putting some time aside for buying the right cot is crucial. The safest place for your baby to sleep is on their own surface, in the same room as you, for the first six months. Many parents choose to use a small crib or moses basket for the first four to six months, then move the baby into a cot.
In the UK, all cots must meet European Safety Standards and should carry the British Standards Institution (BSI) number BS EN 716:2008. This means that the cot is deep enough to be safe for your baby, that the bars are the correct distance apart (no more than 6.5cm apart), and that the cot does not have cut-outs on which babies could potentially harm themselves.
When it comes to choosing a cot, space is obviously a major influencer. If you’re on the cosy side, you may be best off buying a cot as the dimensions are usually much smaller than those of a cotbed. If space isn’t an issue, cotbeds are a better investment as they grow with your child; just remember to check the measurements before making a purchase.
Scandi-design has been a real trend in the nursery world, with Dutch and Danish brands such as Kidsmill and Leander offering some modern takes on the traditional cot. British brands offering some real crowd pleasers include Snüz, as part of The Little Green Sheep empire who launched the Snüzkot last year, and emerging effortlessly cool brand Mokee. There are also heritage-style brands such as Silver Cross, Boori and Dragons of Walton Street offering some rather opulent options.
Features to look out for are drop-sides and adjustable base heights, both designed predominantly for comfort of the parent. A drop-side – as the name suggests – literally means that one of the sides drops down – a saving grace if you’re suffering with a bad back or have had a c-section; however, this isn’t usually an option with cotbeds. Adjustable base heights work in a similar way, changing the height of where the mattress sits. Start with the base high while your baby is very young, so that you can easily take her in and out. As she gets older, you can lower the base so the mattress is further from the top, preventing adventurous babies from climbing out. The majority of cots on the market come with this function, but the number of different heights can vary; realistically you need no more than two or three settings.
Some other features you may come across are teething rails and wheels. A teething rail protects your cotbed as many toddlers make a habit of chewing on their cot. A few cots come with one fitted, or you can often buy these separately from the cot manufacturers. You’ll also find that cots can come on wheels, but fear not – these are lockable. Far from an essential, but something worth contemplating if you think you’ll be moving the cot from room to room.
When to buy
Finally, don’t leave it to the last minute! Delivery times for cots can alter depending on the company, with some taking over four weeks to arrive. Bear in mind that some companies offer to build the cot for you, while those such as TaskRabbit offer flat-pack services. Remember this is a special time, so enjoy it, because before long you’ll have a beautiful sleeping baby in there.