Choosing the right cot for your baby
Granted a cot is not going to be one of those enduring pieces of household furniture – its usefulness of course expires when your baby moves onto a ‘big kid’s’ bed. That said, along with car seats and prams, this will be one of the most important baby purchases you make.
We’ve tried to make the selection process simpler by sharing information we hope will help you choose the right cot for your baby. Here’s to many a night of them sleeping snug as a bug in a rug!
The cot must comply with Australian Safety Standards, of which there is a combination of mandatory and voluntary requirements. Safety considerations include:
• Dimensions – the cot needs to be an appropriate fit for your baby. When the cot’s dropside is set at the lowest position and is closed, there should be at least 500mm between the top of the mattress to the top of the lowest side. When the cot is set to the upper position there should be 300mm distance. When the dropside is down then you need to aim for at least 150mm.
• Secure dropside – there must be no chance of your baby being able to pull the dropside side, or for it to come down on its own. Once in place, it needs to stay that way until you next use it. You or any other adult carer should be able to move the dropside confidently and smoothly – it should not jar or be stubborn at any point. It should also not drop to the floor when opened, otherwise there’s every chance your feet will feel the full effect!
• Mattress fit – very important as you don’t want your baby dropping/ getting caught in any gaps created by an ill-fitting mattress; the risk of suffocation is significant. Make sure there is no more than 40mm gap between the edge of the mattress and the adjacent cot side.
• Getting stuck – check thoroughly for any potential gaps in which your baby’s head, fingers, feet or other body parts might get stuck.
• Sturdy and smooth – is the cot very secure? No chance of it tumbling over if your baby moves too much? No chance of any pieces coming apart? Check that everything is securely in place – pieces should be either permanently in place or you should require a tool to be able to take anything apart. Run your hand over the entire cot – be sure the surface is smooth and that all contours are gentle (no blunt or sharp areas that might hurt your baby).
• Ensure there is nothing – including toys – in the cot that would effectively give your baby an opportunity to leverage themselves over the side of the cot.
Now you’ve ensured your cot ticks all the necessary safety boxes it’s time to move onto the fun part of cot buying. Once upon a time mums may have had to make to with a one-cot-fits-the-lot look but these days, you have plenty of options. There is a cot out there that is just right for your baby and their nursery! So what style are you after?
– this style is a great option if you’re after clean, simple lined furniture that will look fresh in most rooms.
– certainly make for a flexible décor. If you’re not 100% sure on how you ultimately want your nursery to look, or you’re still purchasing other furniture and you want them all to match, then white cots can be a smart way to play it safe!
– are a lovely touch for those wanting the charm and cosiness of yesteryear styled cots.
– looking for a burst of colour to add pop to the nursery? Coloured cots can be a great way to give a nursery some fun and flair.
– the freshness and simplicity of Scandinavian design seems to have rippled around the globe, and nurseries have benefited from the trend as well! Now days you can purchase from a beautiful range of Scandinavian style cots.
– if you want your family to tread lightly and leave a minimal carbon footprint, then you’ll be pleased to know that sustainably made cots are on the market.
If you thought a cot was just for your baby to sleep in – think again! Designers have had plenty of fun and challenges creating cots that give you so much more than just a safe sleep for your baby. Additional functions include storage, change tables, ability to convert to a toddler bed or even a sofa… Short of making you a strong coffee, cots these days tick plenty of additional boxes!
When choosing the right cot, keep in mind the various cot accessories you may also want to consider. These could include anything from teething rails and cot castors for easier moving around the nursery, to cot bumpers, linen, travel bags and more!
Once you have figured out everything you must have from your cot, then it’s time to consider budget. The good news is there is a cot out there for all budgets – it’s just a matter of finding it. TiniTrader.com.au makes it easy by searching for a cot within your price range. Just remember if you do select a pre-loved cot, you need to ensure it complies with current safety standards.