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The lowdown on cots

A cot is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make for your baby so getting it right is crucial. Here are some tips to help you decide

What to look for when choosing a cot

When choosing a cot for your baby, here are some important things to look for

Cots

Even though many parents choose to put their child into a smaller bed first, such as a Moses basket or crib, a standard-sized cot can be used from birth and will last until your child is around 18 months to two years old.

What to look for when choosing a cot

A cot with a range of mattress base heights is an important thing to look for, as it makes it easier to get your baby in and out when they’re small, especially if you’ve had a C-section. You can then drop the height down when your baby starts to roll or push themselves up.

Many cots have a protective cover on the edge of the cot, known as a teething rail, which not only protects the wood, but your baby’s gums too, as they often start chewing the side of the cot when cutting teeth.

A drop side is another useful feature as it makes it easier to put a sleeping baby to bed without disturbing them. Look for a smooth, quiet mechanism you can use one-handed.

Make sure you measure carefully how much space you have in your bedroom or nursery and check that your chosen cot will fit.

If you’re lacking in space an under cot drawer is handy for storing blankets, nappies or clothes.

Need to know about cots

If your baby is under one year, do not use a duvet, quilt or pillow in the cot. Never use electric blankets or hot water bottles.

It’s important to make sure you buy a mattress that fits correctly with no big gaps. Most companies who sell cots offer the compatible mattress too, but always ask for advice if you’re unsure.

Checklist

  • Look for features like different base heights, teething rails and a drop-side
  • Do not use pillows or any loose bedding for babies under a year old
  • Make sure you have enough room for your chosen cot
  • It’s essential you buy a correctly fitting mattress

The lowdown on cots