Choosing the Right Cot for Your Baby
Buying a cot, also known as a bassinet or crib for your baby is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make as you prepare for your little one’s arrival. You’ll be spoilt for choice when you go cot shopping but don’t let the cute designs and the adorable colours distract you from the most essential factors you should keep in mind when buying a cot.
Cot Safety: When purchasing a brand new cot the following safety features are a must have:
The panel bars on the cot must ideally be of the same length and at least 26 inches tall, including corner posts. The slats of the cot should be narrowly spaced (about two inches) to make sure the baby’s head, hands or legs don’t get stuck. The cot must not have any rough/sharp edges, peeling paint and splinters. The side rails should ideally have plastic teething covers. The locking mechanism for dropping the rails of the cot should not be accessible to your baby. If you can, rather avoid buying a pre-owned cot because it could be unstable, unhygienic, poorly designed or have lead-based paint.
Choosing a cot mattress: The cot mattress should be firm and should fit the dimensions of the cot almost exactly. A standard cot mattress is about 133cm x 71cm x 13cm. You can layer the mattress with waterproof cot pads/sheets but all loose ends must be securely tucked away. For infants, it is important to select a breathable mattress which is more hygienic and safe.
Cot colour and style: The cot will be the centrepiece of your nursery, so it should be well coordinated with your baby’s room. Cots are available in an array of colours including cherry, espresso, white, oak, and natural wood. You could also paint the cot in your favourite colour. Also consider buying a coordinated dresser and changing table (compactum). Decorate the cot with canopies and soothing musical mobiles in fun themes.
Placing the cot: Buying a cot that meets all safety requirements is futile if you don’t position your baby’s cot carefully. Use common sense and don’t place the cot near windows, flowing fabric, loose cords, lamps, or any sharp objects. Also avoid electrical sockets and air vents.
What to avoid in a baby’s cot: Don’t place anything fluffy inside the cot, like stuffed animals and toys, bags or pillows. These might suffocate your baby. Avoid thick blankets, ribbons or anything else that poses the risk of suffocation. Do not use bumper pads as they could put your baby at risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.