Finding the right cot for your baby can be tricky business! It’s going to be the centrepiece of your nursery and most likely the most costly thing on your baby shopping list. So we’ve decided to cover off a few essentials you’ll need to be aware of in order to make the most informed decision.
TYPICALLY, HOW LONG WILL A BABY STAY IN THEIR COT?
In our experience it’s typically 18 months to 4 years, but that depends on the baby. Which is why it’s a good decision to invest in a cot that is designed to convert to a toddler bed. When baby outgrows their cot, you can pull the off the cot side and transform into a toddler bed. This provides a ‘big kid’ bed feel but with the comfort and familiarity of their cot. The perfect transition!
Nifty Timber Cot Pictured above. Suitable for up to toddler years.
WHAT KIND OF COT SAFETY ISSUES SHOULD PARENTS BE AWARE OF?
Yes, sure your cot needs to look amazing and be comfortable but safety must come first. You must ensure the cot you’re looking at meets Australian Safety Standards. If it doesn’t, don’t buy it. All of our Design Kids cots have passed these mandatory Safety Standards.
Secondly, always follow instructions carefully when assembling and using a cot. Ensure all bars, panels and the mattress base are firmly attached. This is not a flat pack project you want to freestyle. You should also position your cot away from any potential hazards for your baby - be aware of what things are placed within babies reach, such as cushions, pillows and other toys. It’s also recommended that you don’t place anything inside the cot when baby goes to sleep. Not only does this pose a safety risk for newborn babies, they can also act as a climbing aid for an older bub. When you bring your newborn bundle home, adjust the cot to ‘infant’ (to the upper position) to save your back! But lower the cot to the lowest position just before your baby starts sitting up and becoming more active. You want to ensure they can’t make an escape!
Lastly, don’t set and forget. Regularly inspect your cot hardware to ensure that nuts and bolts are nice and tight.
WHEN IT COMES TO THE COT MATTRESS, WHAT SHOULD PARENTS KNOW?
A tight fit is really important here. No more than a 20mm gap between the side of the cot and the cot mattress. So, super snug. Really, there should just enough space to lift it out to change the sheets. Also, we want the cot mattress to be firm – this is especially important for babies between 0-12 months for safety reasons. See our recommended cot mattresses here.
DO NEWBORNS REALLY NEED A BASSINET BEFORE A COT?
Baby bassinets are lovely, but they’re not a must-have. They’re handy for keeping your new baby close to you at night for the first 6-8 weeks, and they make the multiple ‘crying alarm clocks’ a little easier to manage. (We've introduced our brood to their nursery cot for day sleeps, so they get used to sleeping in that space. At 6-8 weeks we move them into their own cot at night to begin encouraging a good sleep routine.) It’s worth noting, bassinets are not subject to Australian Safety Standards or rigorously tested in the same way cots are. Another good alternative to a bassinet are infant loungers that are specifically designed to cocoon your baby when they are newborns. These infant loungers sit within your cot and if need be you can
WHERE SHOULD THE COT BE PLACED IN THE NURSERY?
Make it easily accessible. You’ll be visiting the side of that cot many, many, many times throughout your baby's first few years. You want to make it easy to get to – day and night. Also make sure it’s positioned so you can easily scoop your bub from the cot. (And definitely not next to anything that your standing bub can use to climb out!) You want to ensure good airflow, but no draft from windows or vents. And not directly under a pendant light!
WHAT OTHER NURSERY FURNITURE ITEMS DO YOU REALLY NEED?
Your baby cot is just one piece of the nursery puzzle! Your dedicated baby space should also include a Baby Change Table or Baby Changer / Dresser and a comfortable Feeding Chair, Nursing Chair, Rocker or Glider. Also, storage for baby books and toys. If you’re short on space take a look at Ubabub’s very clever and space saving clear acrylic Booksee Bookshelves or our Babyletto Tally Toy Storage piece. Other items to help create your ideal nursery space include cushions, throws, a soft rug, pictures & mobiles.
See our full range of baby cots click here.
See our full range baby change tables click here.
See our full range of Nursing Chairs click here.
Our cots and change tables are also available in our Design Kids cost-saving Nursery Packages.