Your baby’s bed will be one of your biggest expenses, so you’ll want to make sure that you get it right. The different sleeping options are endless, you could start with a moses basket before moving to a rocking crib, then a cot then to a toddler bed… We’re going to look through some of the options available to help you decide what will be best for you.
Moses baskets are brilliant when baby is little as your tiny baby won’t look quite so lost inside, compared to a full-size cot. It also means that there is less chance of the baby wriggling about and ending up under the blanket.
A moses basket is great if you want to keep baby in your bedroom but your room is too small for a big cot. You can place the moses basket right by the bed so you can feel close to baby in the night, and reach out a sleepy hand to help them settle back to sleep after a feed.
The stand of a moses basket usually has to be purchased separately. I was always afraid I would trip over baby on the way to the bathroom in my sleep-deprived state so was really grateful to have a stand. I have known people to place the moses basket inside a cot, as they like the idea that baby is snuggled inside the basket, but they don’t want to buy a stand.
The disadvantages of a moses basket are the cost, and the fact that it might not last very long if baby grows quickly. You might find that at 4 months they will need to go into a cot. People do tend to keep hold of their moses baskets, and they are often handed down the generations so it’s worth asking if anyone you know has one you can borrow. You can buy a new mattress for your borrowed basket very easily and cheaply.
You could just put baby straight into a cot from birth, and this will save you from buying a moses basket. However, it is recommended to sleep baby in your bedroom for the first 6 months, so this won’t be possible if your cot does not fit into your bedroom.
Cots can have sides which lower to help you put baby into the bed. These seem very handy at first, but make sure you try them out in the shop. They will need to be easy to lower and raise with one hand, and slide up and down silently. In reality, you probably won’t use them much as it’s too much trouble (unless you have health problems which could make them invaluable).
You will have the choice of different height positions when you buy a new cot. Some come with lots of different positions but three is about right. High for when baby is tiny, then a lower one when they can sit up and a really low one when they start to stand and climb. The lower the cot goes, the longer it will last you.
If you’re anything like me and are terrified of your children moving into a toddler bed, and giving them the run of the house at night, then you’ll want them to stay in their cot for as long as possible. They can stay in a cot until they start being able to climb out. As soon as your baby is able to lift their leg over the side of the cot and pull themselves out, it is time for a bed… Using a sleeping bag can give you a little more time as they can’t separate their legs enough to climb out.
Cot beds are brilliant if you want to invest in a bed that will last your child through to primary school. Having owned a cot and a cot bed, I found that the lowest position was much lower on the cot bed than on the cot. This meant that it lasted much longer as a cot, as my rather adventurous baby boy couldn’t lift his leg over the side.
Cot beds are slightly larger than cots, which is great as they will last longer, but not so great if you have a small nursery.
Children are usually ready for a toddler bed at around 2 years old. The transition can be a difficult one (for the parents at least) as suddenly your child can get out of bed at 5am to pay you a visit, or climb onto the wardrobe while you’re sleeping peacefully next door. You’ll want to find a bed that is very low, to reduce the damage should they fall out of bed in the night. Some toddler beds come with sides, or you can purchase bed guards which attach to the bed and offer some protection for wriggly sleepers.
This is a guest blog by Custard and Crumble, a nursery furniture retailer selling cots, baby bedding, moses baskets and nursery furniture sets.