How to buy - Moses baskets, cribs and cradles

How to buy - Moses baskets, cribs and cradles

Back to Moses baskets, cribs and cradles

The expert guide to buying a Moses basket, crib or cradle

A Moses basket, crib or cradle is great when your baby is tiny, as it not only provides a cosy place to sleep but it also is fairly portable, meaning baby can sleep in whatever room you happen to be in and beside you at night. They aren’t essential though, so you might want to save the money for other things.

Sleep Safely

All you need to know about safe sleeping for your baby

Where should my baby sleep?

The safest place for baby to sleep for the first six months is in your room. Even if you are planning a nursery in another room, make sure your baby’s first cot, crib or Moses basket can be in your bedroom with you. This makes night feeds easier too! Never put the cot or crib next to a radiator, heater or in direct sunlight and keep it away from cords on curtains, blinds or lights.

Back is best

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) and the Department of Health say that you should always put your baby to sleep on his back, never his front. The baby’s feet should be at the bottom of the cot and the bedding arranged to come just up to his chest. This is called the “Feet to Foot” position (see picture). This stops the baby wriggling under the bedclothes and getting too hot.


You should have a new mattress for every baby, so even if you buy or are given a second hand cot or crib, buy a fresh mattress for it. The mattress should fit snugly into the cot with no gaps that your baby could get an arm or leg stuck in. It is very important that your baby’s mattress is kept clean and dry. It should have a waterproof cover (such as PVC) and ideally should not be ventilated (with holes) as it is hard to keep the inside clean.


Your baby’s room should not be too hot – ideally it should be around 16-20C. Use a thermometer to be sure. Also, do not over heat your baby with lots of bedclothes. Use either cotton sheets and cotton cellular blankets, which you can layer as the temperature changes, or a special Tog rated sleeping bag. A good alternative to blankets, it must be hoodless, with the right size opening at the neck so your baby can’t slip down inside. Never use with a duvet. To make sure your baby doesn’t become too hot, choose a lightweight bag.

Don’t use

If your baby is under one year, do not use a duvet, quilt or pillow. Never put your baby to sleep on a pillow, cushion, bean bag or waterbed. If you buy a Moses basket that has a quilt or coverlet that is polyester filled, replace this for night time sleeping with sheets and cotton blankets or a sleeping bag. Don’t use electric blankets or hot water bottles.

There is more information on how to ensure your baby gets the best night’s sleep in the Bounty guide, You And Your Newborn, which you’ll get in your next pack - or visit www.bounty.com.

If you would like more help, the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) has lots of tips and advice on its website: www.fsid.org.uk. We would like to thank them for their help with giving you this information.

Moses baskets

Suitable from: Newborn to around 4-6 months

A cosy little bed for the first few months, a Moses Basket is not an essential buy but many mums like the option of being able to take it from room to room and also use it when travelling. If the basket comes with a polyester filled cover or quilt, replace this for night time sleeping with sheets and cotton blankets or a sleeping bag. Remember never to carry the basket with the baby in it, as the handles might give way. You may choose to buy a stand for the basket, some of which have a rocking base.

Look for:

  • A good, supportive mattress.
  • Washable covers.
  • A canopy to provide some shade in the daytime.

Cribs and cradles

Suitable from: Newborn to around 4-6 months

There are many cribs and cradles that swing, this can help rock a grumpy baby to sleep. Those with a gliding action often give a smoother motion and it is more difficult to rock the baby too energetically (an important point if older children might be tempted to ‘help’ by swinging too roughly).

Look for:

  • A swinging or gliding cradle that you can lock too.
  • Sturdy base and a generous size.
  • Slatted sides to which you can attach a mobile.

Bedside cribs

Suitable from: Newborn to around 4-6 months

A crib with a drop down or removable side, plus an adjustable mattress base you can position right next to your own bed. This makes night-time feeding easier. Remember to measure the height of your own bed before buying.

Look for:

  • Wheels that lock.
  • A good selection of mattress heights.
  • Side that is easy to lower and raise quietly.

How to be an expert

Early on

Decide early on where you want your baby to sleep and make sure you measure the space. You don’t want to be unable to open the wardrobe if you put the crib in the wrong place!

Time to move

Know when it’s time for your baby to move on to a bigger bed. When your baby can roll or pull himself up, it’s time to move him out of the Moses basket or cradle and into a cot or cotbed.

How much to buy

Don’t buy too much – a couple of sheets and blankets will be enough for a small crib or basket – one can be on the bed while the other’s in the wash.

Featured product

Wink Safari Moses Basket

Cosy and warm, this Moses basket is an ideal first bed for baby, giving a safe and secure environment in those first important weeks. A Moses basket provides your baby with a snug bed and features a foam mattress, extra padding and fine quality washable fabrics. The Tiddly Wink Safari Moses basket comes from a wide range of Moses baskets and stands from Lollipop Lane and features Hector the Giraffe.

All Boori cot beds feature a Safe Track drop side and two base heights to keep baby safe and minimise back strain.