Kitting out your Nursery - Beds
Now most people like to start off with a Moses basket for the first six months of your little ones life. The good thing about a Moses basket is you can put it right next to your bed, which helps you to sleep soundly knowing that your little one is safe. It is also a lot easier to deal with getting up for feeds etc. when your baby is right next to you.
DAD TIP: Make sure you get a stand for the basket that has a side to side rocking base. We found that the rocking motion really helped to get our little one off to sleep. Sometimes if we were really lucky we could reach an arm or a foot out of the bed and rock her back to sleep without even getting out of bed!.
Now while you have the time (and believe me you will never ever have as much spare time when your baby is born!) it is probably a good idea to buy a cot. There are only really two options here, a cot-bed and a normal cot.
The cot-bed is a cot which eventually turns into a normal bed when your child is ready. These are normally a bit bigger than traditional cots which is something to bear in mind if space is at a premium. Remember that a lot of parents like to put the cot in the bedroom with them for the first few months of usage.
The only other variations are whether you go for a side panel that lowers for easy access, this can be useful if you or your partner is short, as some people I know have found it diffiecult lowering their baby into the cot with a fixed side rail.
We opted for a cot-bed where the base has three different heights which was good as we lowered the base as our daughter got older. When she gets a bit older we will convert the cot into a bed although I don’t envisage doing this until she is about three years old.
DAD TIP: See if you can get a bed with a teething rail, this is a clear plastic strip that covers the top rail of the cot, and is there to prevent your baby damaging the cot when she is teething, as teething babies will inevitably gnaw away at things like a little baby beaver!
One thing that influenced our cot buying decision is the round bars or flat bars debate, some people believe that flat bars are more forgiving than round bars if your baby accidently bangs their little head on them.
The first thing to remember is to make sure you buy the right size mattress for your cot, your mattress must fit nice and snug in the cot with no gaps at all between the edge of the mattress and the cot frame. It can be quite difficult to choose a mattress, after all you cant try it out like you would your own mattress, and your baby isnt able to let you know if its too firm or soft. Here are a few guidelines that will help you choose.
· New or Second Hand – The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) recommends that you always use a new mattress.
· Cover – To keep the mattress as hygienic and clean as possible, choose one with a PVC-covering or a removable top panel that you can wash at a reasonably high temperature.
· Thickness – Look for a mattress that is at least 10cm thick.
· Firmness - Squeeze a selection of mattresses in the shop and choose one that feels firm rather than soft. To compare firmness, squeeze at the edges and at the centre. Your baby needs a mattress that provides good support and won't sag.
· Safety - Check it conforms to safety requirements: mattresses should carry the BSI number BS 1877-10:1997.
· Foam cot mattresses - Foam mattresses tend to be the least expensive. The simplest versions are made from a single layer of supportive foam completely covered with a wipe-clean, waterproof PVC cover.
o Generally easy to keep clean.
o Good value for money.
o Can provide good support and resistance to denting.
o Some parents may not like the idea of the basic PVC-covered mattress because of concerns about clamminess.
· Spring-interior cot mattresses - These traditional mattresses have a coiled spring interior with layers of felt and foam padding. They often have a cotton cover on one side and PVC or other wipe-clean material on the other.
o Many parents like the familiarity of a traditional spring mattress.
o The wipe-clean side is the recommended surface for your baby to sleep on because of the practical advantages, but you can flip it over onto the cotton side if you prefer – eg if it's hot and your baby feels clammy.
o More expensive than foam mattresses.
o The cotton side may be preferred for comfort but can be more difficult to keep clean (unless you buy a mattress with a removable panel).