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Advice For Buying A Cot

Aug 17, 2007
Newborns spend most of their time sleeping, sometimes as long as twenty hours a day, so choosing the right cot is an extremely important decision. Cots are available in many styles and designs, making it easy to find just the right color to match your baby's nursery. Most infant cots have sides that drop down to make it easier to pick up your baby and some models will grow with your child, transforming into a toddler bed when your child outgrows the cot.

Your baby's cot should meet the current infant bedding safety standards. Ensure that the cot is deep enough to hold your baby safely. The sides should be at least 500 mm higher than the mattress when it is in its lowest position. The bars should be at least 45 mm apart to prevent your baby's arms and legs from becoming trapped between them, but no more than 65 mm apart so her head will not slip through.

Make sure every component of your cot is sturdy and firmly attached. Check the bars, the mattress base, and the drop sides, as well as any other panels or pieces for stability and for protruding knobs or hardware that may catch your infant's clothing. The mattress should fit snugly inside the cot, coming within at least 25 mm of the sides of the cot. Any paint used on the cot should be lead-free to prevent future learning delays and neurological complications.

The placement of your baby's cot in the nursery is another important safety factor. Avoid placing the cot near windows, especially those with curtains or blinds. Cords on window coverings are a leading cause of strangulation in young children. You should also consider placing the cot away from other furniture that may help your little one climb out of her bed in the future. Lamps and heaters can also pose dangers if they are left to close to your baby's cot. Do not hang pictures, mirrors, or other objects that may fall on your infant directly above the cot.

When you put your baby down to sleep or nap in her cot, always lay her on her back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Refrain from using a pillow with your child until at last two years of age and keep toys with small parts or elastic cords out of the cot. Always leave the drop sides locked in the up position and lock any rolling casters as well.

To prevent burn injuries, never use electric blankets, heating pads, or hot water bottles in your infant's cot. Once your infant can sit up on her own, you should move the mattress to the lowest position to keep her from falling over the edge when she begins to pull up. After she learns to lift herself to a crawling position, it is time to remove any hanging toys like mobiles that could strangle her. When she is pulling herself up to a standing position, remove any large toys or bumper accessories in the cot that may serve as climbing aids. Once your little one starts climbing, or when her chest is above the cot's top rail, it is time to move her to a toddler or standard sized bed.
About the Author
Gary Clay is an authority on cots and owner of Nursery Furniture shop, MonkeyShine
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