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Cots & Mattresses

baby on pile of mattresses
Ask any new parent what they most wish for and they will always tell you - sleep! Sleep deprivation can make life miserable causing headaches, poor concentration, anxiety and if not checked it can lead to physical exhaustion and depression. So anything that can help a baby sleep better will always be a big hit with parents.

The current fashion in cots is simplicity. Beech has been popular for the past year and despite costing more than the more usual pine, there's no sign that it is becoming outmoded. Beech offers that balance of natural and modern that is what parents are looking for. Combined with ‘flat' slats the overall design is one of clean lines and understated style. You only have to look at the cots on the Mothercare website to see how simple designs are taking centre stage. Mamas and Papas designs are noticeably simple too with finishes being mostly in mid or light toned wood. Slats are wide or narrow but usually flat. Cosatto and Saplings offer similarly understated designs.

However there are exceptions. After the immense success of the Bedside Cot with the up-and-over-side, Brio has introduced a standard cot with flat slats in a wide choice of painted finishes including vibrant green and red. So this design can be an attention-seeking centre piece or a low key necessity in white or wood finish.

When buying a cot it's important to think about the mattress there and then. Legally the mattress should fit the cot or cotbed to within a minimum of 4cm of any edge in order to prevent little limbs or heads getting stuck. Pillows are not recommended for babies under the age of 12 months simply because babies do not feel the need for them, they interfere with the natural lie of a babies' spines and there is always the outside risk of suffocation from any bedding that may be moved accidentally by the baby on turning.

Duvets too are not recommended for babies younger than 12 months although there are a number now that claim to be suitable from birth. A baby ideally should be tucked up in natural breathable fabrics such as cotton or merino wool, which allow air to circulate freely, so helping to reduce the chance of overheating, which has been shown to contribute to the chance of SIDS.

A multi-level mattress base height option will make life much easier for parents, as the height should be lowered as the child gets older, ensuring the baby is safely inside the cot and cannot climb out. A dropside is also well worth having as it means mum or dad's back doesn't need to twist to lift the baby out, but ensure that it is straight forward to use. Extra features such as teething rails and toys, castors and of course the ability to convert into a junior bed, are all a matter of individual taste. It is worth noting that if you are looking at buying a cotbed, that it will only last up to the age of about five, and if you are planning more children, the cot will soon be required for use again.

Don't forget that we can make cot mattresses in any size at all to fit any make of model such as Mothercare, Kiddicare, Stokke, Cosatto, Saplings, Leander, Boori, Silver Cross, East Coast etc. etc.

Mattress Advice

  • Parents should never buy second hand
  • The mattress should fit the cot exactly to within a 4cm gap all round
  • Look for the BS safety code on the label
  • PVC coverings catch leaks but should not cover the head area. Holes punctured in foam encourages air to circulate in the top third.
  • A sprung mattress retains its excellent shape
  • Natural fibre types are made from coconut coir, cotton and sometimes wool. They hold their shape well and have temperature regulating properties during summer and winter
How to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

  • Do not smoke during pregnancy, fathers included
  • Do not smoke in the same room as your baby
  • Place the baby on his or her back to sleep
  • Keep the room temperature between 16 - 20°C
  • The baby's head should be uncovered when sleeping
  • Ensure the baby's feet are at the foot of the cot
  • Do not share a bed with your baby
  • Allow your baby to sleep in a cot in your bedroom for the first 6 months
  • Do not allow your baby to become to hot at night
24th May 2012, 11:07
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Page updated 5th Oct 2015, 13:25
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