family & pregnancy

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What types of cots or cotbeds are safest or most practical for my baby?

There are so many choices of cots and cotbed available today, it can be difficult to make the right choice. Which is best for my baby? Which is safest for my baby?

Cotbeds have grown in popularity over recent years because they will see your baby right though to age five or six. This is cheaper than buying a cot, followed by a bed after eighteen months or so.

However, cotbeds do tend to be bigger than standard cots so if you have a small nursery, they may not be the best option. A baby room can fill up very quickly once you buy a wardrobe, changing unit, toys and everything else your little one will need.

It's also worth remembering that many cots and cotbeds will be too big for newborn babies to sleep in. Moses baskets are commonly used by parents to help their young baby feel secure whilst sleeping.

Regardless of what type of cot you buy, it should be sturdy, and any moving parts should not allow fingers or clothing to get trapped. The bars must be securely fixed and between one inch and two inches apart. Always look for the British Standard mark BS 1753, as a sign of safety and quality.

However, perhaps even more important than the cot itself, is what you put in it. Your mattress, bedding, bumpers and toys must be chosen very carefully. Babies are very vulnerable, particularly in the first few months, so always double check the suitability of anything in or even near their cot.

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