Making sure your baby has the perfect night’s sleep is important to ensure that both they (and you!) wake up feeling refreshed. Equipping a nursery can be expensive and it is important to consider the next stage when making your purchases as your little ones won’t stay little for long.
The Lullaby Trust (formerly known as the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths – FSID) says the safest place for your baby to sleep is on his back, on his own sleep surface, in the same room as you, for at least the first six months.
With that in mind, we teamed up with professional Nursery Advisors at John Lewis who have put together their top tips to help you and your baby make the transition from first Moses basket or crib, to a cot, or a toddler bed, and offer advice on how to consider what’s best for your baby and your budget.
Cribs or Moses baskets
Babies sleep well in Moses baskets or cribs initially as they provide a small sleeping environment which helps them feel secure.
The rocking or gliding action of a crib should help baby settle. It’s important to make sure that swinging cribs are locked when not in use or when baby is unattended, particularly as baby gets older and stronger.
The best time to move baby from a Moses basket or crib to a cot is between four and six months, or until your baby starts to push up onto their hands and knees and sits unaided.
Introduce your baby to the cot gradually by placing the cot next to, or near, the crib for a couple of weeks before making the full transition. If you are using a Moses basket you could try placing it inside the cot for daytime naps. You could also put your baby into the cot for twenty minutes while you play during the day.
Sleeping in a cot from birth, rather than a crib, is a good economical choice as it means your baby can use this from birth until around age three. It’s also better for the environment as it means less discarded furniture. BUT this may mean you have to get up and feed your baby in the nursery during the night, unless you have room in your bedroom for a cot.
If opting for a cot from birth, use the highest base position for newborns and lower it as baby starts to push up on their hands and knees, sit and stand.
Choose a cot with a drop side, teething rails, lockable end castors, and adjustable mattress height base.
When putting your baby to bed, you should position them in the feet-to-foot position, on their back, in a baby sleeping bag or with the bedding tucked in but covers coming no higher than the shoulders. Health professionals recommend maintaining a regular room temperature of 18oC.
A cot/bed which converts from a cot to a junior bed as your child grows can help ease the transition from a cot to a bed as the same piece of furniture is used but the sides are removed and a new bed end is attached.
A cot/bed is a good investment as it can be used from birth up to about 5 or 6 years, depending on the size of the child.