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Article: Beds for Baby

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One of the most important starting points for the nursery is the place where your newborn will spend most of their time, i.e. their bed! There are several different products on the market to cater for your baby’s sleeping needs. These are:

· Moses Baskets
· Cribs
· Carrycots
· Baby Hammocks
· Cots

Cot beds

Moses Baskets
Moses BasketMoses baskets are generally made from palm, strong maize, or wicker, and provide a secure and cosy environment for your baby to sleep in. Wicker baskets are the most expensive type of Moses basket, although they tend to be more durable. All Moses baskets normally come with a padded cotton lining and quilt, thin foam mattress, fabric-covered hood, and carry handles to enable you to move baby around with you. They can be placed directly onto the floor, or put on a special stand, although these stands are rarely included in the price and are generally purchased separately.


A Moses Basket takes up less room that a cot, which is a good space-saving consideration if baby is sleeping in with you for the first few weeks or months.

It is not likely to last baby longer than a few months, even less if your baby is bigger or longer than average.

It is designed to be portable, and so allows you to be within close range of your baby at all times.

Moses baskets can be expensive to buy new, which may not be cost effective given the short amount of usage. In addition, stands normally need to be purchased separately.

The basket and hood allow baby to feel secure in a snug confined area.

The mattresses which come with Moses baskets are quite thin and hard.

Most of the stands allow a gentle rocking motion, either head-to-toe, or side-to-side, to help soothe baby to sleep.

The baskets can be quite bulky, and it can be difficult to carry baby around from one room to another without waking them up.

The mattress has a protective top which is wipe clean.

The sensor pads from sound/movement monitors can be easily used with Moses baskets, as long as the wire is well secured and out of reach.

When you are ready to put your child into a cot, you can get them used to it gradually by placing the Moses basket inside the cot.

Tips: When buying a Moses basket, ensure that the handles meet in the middle!

Click here to see our reviews on products for the Nursery.

Cribs provide a slightly larger sleeping environment for a young baby than a Moses basket and are usually made of wood, with two or more slated sides. They have the additional feature of a rocking or swinging action, and are usually bought flat-packed.


They are bigger and therefore last your baby longer than a Moses basket, usually up to six months.

Cribs are not portable and cannot be moved around the house with you.

They take up less room than a cot.

They are more expensive than a Moses basket.

The crib can be locked in a fixed position, or the rocking action can be used to soothe your baby to sleep in the first few weeks.

The mattress is not usually included in the price and must be purchased separately.

The crib allows baby to feel secure.

Sound and movement sensor pads can be easily used with cribs, as long as the wire is well secured and out of reach.

Click here to see our reviews on products for the Nursery.

If your pram and pushchair has a carrycot, you can also use this as your baby's first bed. They have a carry handle for lifting. Stand-alone carrycots can also be found in specialist mail-order catalogues and websites.

You may already have a carrycot as part of a pushchair or pram.

Although your pushchair carrycot is suitable for night-time sleeping, your mattress may not be, and you may need to check with the manufacturer, in which case you may need to buy a separate mattress.

They take up very little room and are portable.

They provide a snug sleeping environment.

Click here to see our reviews on products for the Nursery.

Baby Hammock

Baby Hammocks
Baby hammocks are available from specialist websites and mail order catalogues. The hammock looks like a sling and comes with a metal frame from which the baby cradle hangs. It is designed to mimic the feeling of support and security provided in utero, and the hammock can be gently rocked to soothe your baby to sleep. The head of the baby is slightly elevated in the hammock, which is ideal for babies who suffer with reflux, and the hammock’s rocking motion can ease symptoms of colic too. The hammock comes complete with sheets, a mattress, and mattress cover.

Very cosy sleeping environment which may help young babies to settle themselves to sleep.
They are expensive to buy, although the stands are included.
They are portable and easy to assemble.
They are not widely available in high streets.
Your baby can be rocked to sleep. Your baby is likely to outgrow them fairly quickly, especially if they are bigger or longer than average.
They are suitable from birth up to 12 months.

Click here to see our reviews on products for the Nursery.

A cot is the most popular choice, and is likely to be your baby's main bed until they are at least two or three years old, and should be strong and sturdy for this reason. Cots are generally made from wood, and come in all different shapes, sizes, and costs, so it is best to look around before buying. As well as the traditional rectangular shaped cots, you can also buy oval shaped cots that convert into junior beds, and corner shaped cots that fit neatly into the corner of a room. In addition, bedside cots which have a removable side and stand right next to your own bed, to allow you easy access to your baby for night-time feeding.

Cots usually come with a drop-side mechanism, which allows one of the side railings to be lowered to make it easier for you to lift baby in and out. They also have an adjustable base height, where the base can be lowered as your baby grows older. There are normally three base heights to chose from, the highest position being suited to a newborn or young baby, and the lowest being appropriate once your baby is old enough to start sitting and pulling themselves up. Another feature is a protective plastic coating around the edges of the cot sides to allow your child to gnaw on the rail when teething, without damaging the cot. Cot mattresses are not normally included with the cot and must be purchased separately.

A cot can be used from birth, and will last your child a good few years.

If baby is sleeping in your room, a cot takes up a lot of room, which is not ideal if your are short on space.

If you use a cot from birth you do not have the added cost of a Moses basket.

The slatted sides are wooden and make wake baby up if they roll into them in the night. This may be helped by using cot bumpers, i.e. a piece of padded fabric which attaches to the inside of the cot, although this needs to be fastened on securely, and removed altogether as soon as your baby can sit up.

The mattresses for cots are usually more springy and comfortable for baby, and many mattresses have a removable top layer which is machine washable.

The cot is usually static, and cannot be transferred from room to room like a Moses basket.

The drop-down side and adjustable height options allow the cot to be altered to suit the size and age of your child, and reduce strain on your back following birth.

A newborn baby can look very lost in a large cot.

Toys and mobiles can be easily attached to the side of the cot for soothing baby to sleep and for quiet play when they wake up. Some cots have rollers in between the bar at the top and bottom ends.

The whole cot may need to be dismantled to adjust the base height, although if this is the case then one solution is to set the cot to the lowest base height and just use the drop-side option.

Some cots have lockable swivel castors, to make it easier to manoeuvre the cot.

The mattress must normally be bought separately.

Tips: Ensure the mattress fits the cot with no gaps, and make sure the bars of the cot are no more than 45mm to 65mm apart.

Click here to see our reviews on products for the Nursery.

Cot BedCot Beds
Cot beds are longer and wider than standard cots, and have removable sides which convert it into a junior bed once your child grows out of the cot. Mattresses are not normally included in the price.

Due to their bigger size and conversion, they may save you money as they will last a child from birth up to about 6 years old.
Cot beds do not normally have drop sides and not all versions have different mattress positions, so it may be more difficult for you to lift your baby in and out.
They provide an easy transition from cot to bed.
They may not be money saving if you plan to have another baby, as you will need to buy another cot.

Tips: Ensure the mattress fits the cot bed with no gaps, and make sure the bars of the cot bed are no more than 45mm to 65mm apart.

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