When bedtime comes along, it’s important that your little one feels as safe and cosy as possible. Whether you’re at home or staying away, a comfy place to sleep will help your baby settle. That means they’ll sleep soundly… giving you a chance to catch up on some well-earned rest.
These days, you’re faced with a myriad of choices when it comes to sleep furniture. So sit back and relax, while we tell you what’s what.
Moses baskets are typically made from palm or wicker, and lined with cotton fabric. Strong handles and a lightweight construction make them easy to move from room to room – so you can keep your baby close by, wherever you are.
You can rest a moses basket on the floor, or on a purpose-built stand. Either way, it will provide your baby with a nest that’s comfortable and snug.
Suitable for: babies up to four or six months old (13lbs)
A crib combines the sturdiness of a cot with the cosiness of a moses basket – giving your baby the best of both worlds. Most cribs feature a swinging or gliding mechanism, to help soothe and calm your little one.
Suitable for: babies up to four or six months old (13lbs)
The soft folds of a hammock cradle your baby in a safe, cosy, womb-like environment. Hammocks are usually suspended from a stand, at a central point or at either end. This encourages a gentle swinging motion that comforts and settles your baby when naptime arrives.
Suitable for: babies up to nine months old
Most cots are made from wood, and some have either one or two drop sides. They are available in an array of styles, colours and finishes.
Your baby can sleep in a cot from the moment they are born, until they’re ready to move into a bed.
Suitable for: newborns through to toddlers
As its name suggests, this converts from a cot into a small bed for your toddler.
A cot bed can help to soothe the transition from a cot to a regular-sized bed. And, because it’s designed to grow with your child, this option usually represents good value for money.
Suitable for: newborns through to toddlers/school-age children
Travel cots are light, compact cots that fold away for travelling. Most have fabric sides, a solid frame and base, and a soft, foldable mattress. The majority also come complete with a handy storage case.
Suitable for: newborns through to toddlers
A bedside cot, or co-sleeper, offers a safe way of sleeping close to your baby. Removable sides allow you to position the cot right up against your bed. Not only does this closeness reassure your baby, but it also puts them conveniently within arm’s length for nighttime feeds and comforting.
Suitable for: newborns through to [what age roughly?]
Are you a frequent traveller? Whether you’re going on holiday or visiting family and friends, consider investing in a travel cot. It’s convenient, and saves you worrying about where your baby will sleep. Alternatively, you may prefer to use a moses basket for a younger baby.
Budget: If you’d like to minimise what you spend, think about buying a cot bed. It adapts to your growing child, and thus represents a longer-term investment. For a young baby, consider choosing a moses basket over a more expensive crib.
Style: A cot is likely to be the centrepiece of your baby’s nursery. Think carefully about its style, and whether this will coordinate with the rest of the room and its décor.
Size: Cots can vary in size, so make sure you purchase one that fits in with your plans. The longer you intend your baby to sleep in a cot, the larger it should be.
Would you like to sleep near to your baby? A bedside cot provides a convenient and safe means of doing this. Many bedside cots also convert to freestanding cots – providing you with flexibility.
Choosing what’s right for your baby
When it comes to your baby’s needs, age is a key consideration.
Moses baskets and cribs provide a snug, secure sleeping environment for babies up to about four months old. After that, you will need to move your baby into a cot, bedside cot or cot bed.
Rockable stand: the smooth motion of a rocking stand can help to settle and reassure your baby.
Washable lining: when it comes to keeping your moses basket clean, a machine-washable lining can be a blessing.
Height-adjustable base: you can alter this as your child grows. For the first few months, you may want to secure the base at its highest level, so that you can lift your baby in and out of the cot with ease. As your child becomes more mobile, you can lower the base to make it more difficult for them to climb out of the cot.
Teething rail: this is a covering that protects your baby’s gums, and the bars of the cot, when your baby starts teething and chewing.
Drop sides: this enables you to lower one (or both) sides of the cot – making it easier to lift your baby in and out. For convenience, many drop-side mechanisms are designed to be operated with just one hand.
Fixed rails: although a fixed-rail cot lacks the convenience of a drop-side cot, it provides a safe and cost-effective option.
Castors: these make it easy to transfer your cot into a different room, or move it when you’re cleaning.
Adjustable mattress: this allows you to raise your baby’s mattress to the same height as your own, for a seamless co-sleeping experience.
Storage bag: a storage case provides a convenient way of transporting your travel cot. Some storage bags also have room for your baby’s accessories – helping you to minimise your luggage, and save on space.
Adaptability: some travel cots double up as playpens. This can prove very handy, and help you maximise the value of your purchase.
Wheels: travel cots can be heavy to move around and transport. This makes wheels a valuable addition – to the travel cot itself, or to the storage case.
Door clamp/ceiling hook: if you’re pushed for space, a door clamp or ceiling hook can be a real boon. They both allow you to suspend your hammock from existing structures, rather than using a separate stand.
Mattresses: As with adult-sized mattresses, cot mattresses come in several different styles:
Foam: this usually comprises a layer of foam, protected by a waterproof cover. Denser foam creates a firmer sleeping surface, but will also make the mattress heavier. Foam mattresses are usually less expensive than any other type of mattress.
Sprung: a coiled spring interior, coupled with cushioning layers of padding, provides your baby with comfort and support. The more coils there are, the firmer the mattress will be.
Coir: coconut coir is bound with natural latex to produce a springy, breathable, highly supportive core. Layers of other materials, such as wool, are then added for further comfort.
When choosing a mattress, it’s essential to pick one that fits snugly into your baby’s cot. Make sure that there are no gaps between the mattress and the cot frame, as these can trap small digits and limbs. Also ensure that the mattress provides good support for your baby’s developing spine.
Bedding: when it comes to dressing your baby’s cot, there are a variety of options:
Sheets: fitted sheets have elasticated edges that make them easy to fit, and keep the fabric stretched flat against the cot mattress. Although flat sheets are more cumbersome, and can be easily crumpled by a wriggling baby, they come in very handy when used as a top sheet.
Blankets: these are available in three main types: fleece, cotton cellular and acrylic cellular. Blankets are easy to layer – helping you to regulate your baby’s temperature.
Coverlets: a coverlet is a lightweight bedspread that’s safe to use from birth, as it doesn’t contain the thicker padding of a quilt. It provides similar warmth to a sheet and blanket.
Sleeping bags: these are usually made from cotton, with a lightweight filling. They fasten around your baby’s neck and arms to provide a cosy, comforting cocoon that won’t ride up or slip down as your baby moves around during the night. Sleeping bags are available in a variety of tog ratings, to maintain a comfortable temperature all year round.
Cot bumpers: these are padded pieces of material that line the edges of a cot. They are designed to protect against bumps, and prevent your baby’s limbs from getting trapped between the cot rails.
Over-cot changing tray: this sits atop your cot, and provides a useful space on which to change and dress your baby. Being at waist height, a cot-top changing tray can ease the strain on your back. Not only that, but it can be stowed away underneath the cot – making it a great option if space is tight.
All of our sleep furniture:
When it comes to choosing sleep furniture, you can rely on us to give you advice that’s informed and impartial. As parents ourselves, we have an interest that’s personal, as well as professional. We’ve researched the options, weighed up the pros and cons, and pondered how best to spend our budgets. If you’d like us to help you do the same, we’d love to share our wisdom. Simply pop into one of our stores , and let us know how we can assist.
Comfort, within arm’s reach
At Born, we believe it’s important to keep your baby close to you at night, as well as during the day. In many cultures, this is accepted as the norm – and with good reason.
A baby’s sleeping pattern is very different from an adult’s. When a baby first falls asleep, they sleep very lightly for up to 20 minutes. After this, they oscillate between states of deep sleep and light sleep throughout the night. When your baby is sleeping lightly, they awaken very easily and find it difficult to fall back to sleep. Not only does your presence in itself makes this easier, but it also means you’re there to comfort and reassure your baby when they do wake up and cry.
Research has also shown that, when a baby and parent sleep near to each other, the baby’s temperature, heartbeat and breathing stabilise. This, in turn, helps reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
We think these are compelling reasons to sleep in the same room as your baby – and to do so for as long as possible. Your options are plentiful: you baby can sleep with you in your bed*, in a crib or cot attached to your bed, or in a moses basket, crib, cot or hammock close to your bed.