How do I choose a Moses basket or crib?
Moses basket, crib, cot, cot bed, co-sleeper? The range of sleeping options for your new baby can be dizzying.
Each type of bed is different – but you may choose a Moses basket or crib for the first few months of your baby’s life as they are specifically designed for newborns, smaller than a cot, and provide a cosy, reassuring space for your new baby.
A Moses basket or crib can take up much less space than a cot or cotbed, meaning it’s easier to fit in your bedroom, and this is one of the main reasons some parents opt to use one.
The LullabyTrust says the safest place for your baby to sleep on is a flat, firm, stable surface.
The Lullaby Trust also advises that your baby sleep in a room with you for the ﬁrst six months, and we also recommend that you always follow manufacturer’s instructions at all times.
Moses basket or crib or baby nest/pod?
A Moses basket is recommended for a baby up to 3-4 months, though this can be longer, depending on the weight, length and mobility of your baby. Most baskets are woven from palm, though maize, cornhusk, and the more durable and expensive wicker are available, too.
Carry handles are a useful feature, enabling you to move the basket around the house so your baby is always close by. Check that the handles are strong and won’t flop onto your baby. A new Moses basket usually comes with a foam mattress, set of bedding and sometimes a hood, so there’s no additional costs.
You may, however, want to buy a separate stand that places the basket at a more convenient level next to the bed. Rocking stands for Moses baskets are also available.
Cribs are more spacious and expensive than a Moses basket, with a slightly longer lifespan, lasting to about 6 months. However, a crib shouldn’t be used once your baby becomes active.
A crib is usually made of wood, either natural or painted, and may come flat-packed. Some have rails for fabric drapes at the head end, though bedding and a mattress often have to be purchased separately, adding to the cost.
A crib can have a rocking or gliding action, to help send your baby to sleep. Some babies don’t like this motion and others can be wrigglers and cause the crib to sway, but most rocking or gliding cribs can be locked into a stationary position.
As opposed to the solid body of a Moses basket, a crib usually has bars or slats, enabling you to see your baby more easily when you’re lying in bed. Being larger than a Moses basket but smaller than a cot, a crib may give your baby a feeling of space but also security.
The downside of a crib is that it’s not portable like a Moses basket.
Can I use secondhand mattresses?
No, if you’re buying or using a secondhand Moses Basket or crib it’s recommend you buy a new mattress each time, even if you used it previously with an older child.
Some research suggests that there could be a link between SIDS (‘cot death’) and secondhand mattresses. An old mattress might contain mould, bacteria and dust mites, which could be linked to SIDS. The ideal situation is to buy a new mattress for each new baby. However, if you can’t afford to buy a new one, you can use the one you have as long as it’s completely waterproof and has no tears, cracks or holes. You’ll also need to clean and dry the older mattress throughly.
Read on for our picks of the best Moses baskets and cribs…
Mamas & Papas Welcome to the World Moses basket, £119, MadeForMums Bronze Award Winner
The classic design of this beautiful wicker Moses basket was a winning feature for our MFM judges, who gave it the bronze award in this category.
Perfect for a traditional or modern nursery, the basket has leather handles and comes with a luxury cotton liner, foam mattress and 2.5 tog hand-pleated coverlet, for added nighttime comfort.
The additional stand (£49) turns this basket into a rocking crib, and it can be used for babies up to 9kg.
What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Mamas & Papas Welcome to the World Moses basket:
“Beautiful looking, feels sturdy.” Mum of 1, Meena
“A traditional classic beautiful statement design.” Mum of 1, Rachel
Available from: Mamas & Papas
Bloom Alma Mini Crib, £300
The minimalist Alma wooden crib from Bloom is designed for tight spaces and can be folded away for easy storage. It has two mattress heights and four lockable castors, and comes complete with mattress and cot sheet. It comes in a range of colours, including white, black, green and grey.
Available from Uber Kids
Shnuggle moulded Moses basket, £74.99
Hypoallergenic, wipe-clean Moses basket made from a strong moulded shell, which is ventilated and about 10% larger than other baskets, so it can be used for longer. It is available in six pastel colours, has woven cotton handles and comes with mattress, lining, hood and quilt.
Available from Shnuggle.
Mothercare swinging crib, £69.99
Freestanding natural wood swinging crib with locking option and easy-to-see-through slats. It is available in natural or white.
Available from Mothercare.