The designer cots in the magazines look so stylish, but I would never purchase one of them for my child. After months of broken sleep, all a new parent wants is a cot that isn’t frustrating to use. Here are the lessons I learned the hard way…
Is it lightweight and easy to move around? I’m always surprised that with many nursery items,
they are so heavy you need the strength of a man to move them. Who designs these things?!
Will it fit through a doorway? Perhaps your nursery doesn’t have the best heating or cooling, and you want to move the cot closer to an air conditioner. But you don’t want it there during the day. Or baby gets sick and you want to bring her into your room for a few nights to keep an eye on her (or him). Or maybe you don’t have a spare room for baby at all and you are making do with the space you have. In my experience, it’s best if you don’t to have to dismantle it to move it from room to room.
While we’re on this subject, is your pram narrow enough to wheel round a crowded café and through a supermarket checkout? And can you fold it up with one hand (you will be holding baby with the other)?
Does it have wheels? My first child was so unsettled I had to spend a few nights in a sleep centre. The nurses there taught me how to roll the cot backwards and forwards in a deep, sweeping motion. When I returned home, I combed through the Ebay listings looking for a cot similar to the ones they had there. This cot came from a childcare centre which was getting rid of some of their older stock, so I knew it was endorsed by people who look after babies every day. It has sturdy hospital wheels with safety brakes, and a mattress that is easy to take out to change the sheets. The mattress even has a waterproof lining so that if baby’s nappy leaks, it won’t seep through the mattress. Best of all, it can be rocked. It’s a bit plain I suppose, but over the years I have come to like its industrial look.
Is it gender-neutral? This is important to consider, but not just for any siblings who may come after. Restless babies can get over-stimilated by too many bright colours in the nursery, and they wake more often. After coming home from the sleep centre I immediately took off the bright patterned sheets I was using and invested in some plain, pale coloured bed linen.