We might not be getting much as new parents, but we can sure dream.
Which means having the right bed sorted for our newborns and then hoping against hope that they'll sleep in it! Considering that newborn babies tend to snooze somewhere between eight and 18 hours a day, finding the right bed for them is one of the most crucial purchases you'll be making before D-day. Figuring out which bed to buy for your baby can be a confusing process since there are so many options on offer, from Moses baskets to swinging cribs to cot beds you can even put them to bed in a swinging hammock if you like.
The truth is, first-time parents just want to ensure their baby's bedding is snug and safe and it doesn't hurt for it to look stylish, too. While it's lovely that there are endless options out there to suit every interior's style and budget, figuring out which baby beds will work for you and which ones will be the best value can be tricky — and that's before you've even started to think about what goes inside the bed.
Moses basket or crib in the early days, a cot up to 18 months to two years or a cot bed to approximately five years years," explains Kiddicare product expert Linda Holmes. Moses baskets Typically made from palm or wicker, Moses baskets are suitable from birth and feature a cosy-looking design with sturdy handles and linings available in a variety of prints and colours to suit any space or set-up.
Alternatively, once your little one begins to move around, it's time to move them into another bed. According to Caroline Bettis, nursery buyer at John Lewis , the main advantage of investing in a Moses basket is that "it can be moved from room to room so your baby has its own sleeping place which is fully portable.
When moving your Moses basket from room to room, Kiddicare's Holmes advises putting your hand beneath it in addition to holding the handles for additional support. If you've already invested in a pushchair that comes with a carrycot, you may be tempted to use this as baby's first bed. Bettis urges against it: If you're desperate — and you've checked that your pram or carrycot has been tested for overnight sleeping and is suitably ventilated — you can use it as a Moses basket alternative, but it's likely to be less convenient and heavier to move than a typical Moses basket.
If you like the idea of a Moses basket but not the traditional look, there are other, more contemporary options available, namely the brightly hued Moba Moses basket, available at John Lewis, which is made from an eco-friendly recyclable material with anti-microbial and hypoallergenic properties. Unlike wicker or palm versions, the Moba won't fray, split, or potentially become contaminated in storage and it's vivid colour options means baby's first bed can be neon orange as opposed to tame pastels for a change!
When your baby has outgrown the Moses basket, it also doubles as a stylish piece of nursery furniture that can be used to house and display cuddly animals and toys. The swinging crib An alternative to the Moses basket that can also be used from birth, a swinging crib can be placed beside the bed and creates a gentle rocking motion that can help the baby drift off to sleep. The bedside crib Another option for new parents who want to keep their babies close is the bedside crib.
This is to prevent suffocation. They are constructed of the traditional baby cot materials and many can be used as a side sleeper or as a regular, stand-alone crib.
It either attaches directly to the parents' bed with one adjustable, drop-down side or is designed to be placed alongside your bed. These cribs give babies their own space while keeping them within easy reach and offer the closest alternative to creating a co-sleeping scenario with your tot without actually having them in bed with you.
They are also a convenient choice if your movements are restricted, for example after a C-section.
The sides are mesh and you can see you can see your baby through the material. It has received fantastic reviews, one reads as per below. Our cribs also come with an adjustable base so that you can change the height of the mattress as your baby grows bigger.
If you're unsure about committing but curious to try one of these, they're also available to rent from six weeks upwards from the NCT. They are more expensive than Moses baskets and not as portable. In case you're tempted to co-sleep Mums who struggle to get their baby to sleep in Moses baskets or cribs may feel like co-sleeping presents the simplest option, especially if they're breastfeeding through the night.
Cot or cot bed?
While some parents choose a smaller bed for their baby to start out in, others put their little ones into a cot from day one — it's all a matter of personal preference, as long as the bed you choose meets the safety recommendations and conforms to British safety standards BSEN While cots may be more suitable for smaller spaces, cot beds are a longer-lasting option, so give you better value for money. No matter what you end up choosing, be sure to pick a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition to reduce the risk of SIDS, advises safer sleep charity, The Lullaby Trust.
Even if you've got a second-hand cot or cot bed, it's probably worth investing in a new mattress to feel safest. Most importantly, always remember to put baby down to sleep on their back, in the feet-to-foot position with their feet at the bottom of the bed. Another reason to invest in a cot bed is the longevity — it is a piece of furniture that changes and grows with your family and some styles can turn into day beds that last beyond early childhood. If pressed for space, look out for cot bed units with removable changing table attachments or underneath storage compartments to maximise your room.
There's also the Sleepyhead — a favourite of John Lewis' Bettis - a multi-functional, portable baby bed that you can use from birth and that has a longer shelf life than your average Moses basket. It can be used around the house — put baby in it while lounging on the sofa or keep it in a cot or travel cot.
Bumper to bumper While cot bumpers can help your nursery to look very sweet, you're better off skipping them invest in an eye-catching wall print if you're looking to add some pattern and colour to your space. Bumpers are a protective padding that fit the mattress base and are designed to prevent babies from bumping their heads on the sides of the bed and their limbs from escaping through the cot bars. They are best avoided since they can pose a risk to babies as soon as they can sit themselves up.
Other bedding If your baby is under 12 months old, do not use pillows or duvets in the bed to avoid any possibility of suffocation. Instead, opt for minimal and lightweight bedding like a sheet or blanket and don't place anything above shoulder height. If your baby loves nothing more than to kick off their hand-crocheted blankets, keep them warm and safe at bedtime with a sleeping bag. Here's our guide to buying a baby sleeping bag.
NCT's guide to choosing a bed safely: The recommendation for the Bednest has been removed following the NCT withdrawing it from sale.
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