This weekend (13-15 May) The Baby Show comes to Birmingham, selling everything you need to kit out your bump, baby or bedroom. Get ahead of the crowds with our pick of the best cots and cribs.
Preparing to become a parent is a daunting task and as countless “helpful” colleagues or “well-meaning” friends will have no doubt told you, many a sleepless night lies ahead. But can you can ease the burden by choosing the right bed for your new arrival and trying to establish a bedtime routine as early as possible. From baskets to bassinets and cots to cribs, baby beds are a booming market and one it can be hard to navigate, but make your choice early and stick with it - there is no right or wrong answer so don't be swayed by the multiple opinions that are on offer.
Some parents choose a simple Moses basket for the early days, and there is no reason not to. You can place the basket on a stand in your bedroom at night time and carry it around the house during the day. A bedside crib or pod that latches on to your own bed is also a good option for the early days as it keeps your newborn close while removing the safety risks associated with it allowing it to sleep in your own bed. It is also a good option for breastfeeding mothers who have undergone surgery during the birth as it allows you to feed the child from the comfort of your bed. Traditional rocking cribs make beautiful nursery pieces as well as offering the soothing rocking action that should help your little one to drift off. But for something more durable – and that won't need replacing in a few short months – opt for a convertible cot that can be adapted to meet your child's changing needs.
Adjustable mattress heights allow your child to grow and still stay safe while optional add-ons can increase the size as your baby becomes a toddler. Many cots feature removable sides for when your child gains in independence and can climb in and out by themselves and some even convert into full junior beds. While certain designs may seem on the expensive side, if they last more than a couple of years try to view it as an investment. Don't get carried away with cute cribs and beautiful baskets that will only last a few short months - by all means buy them, but don't over spend as this is an area where you can afford to keep costs down. If you want to splash the cash, save it for a high quality convertible crib.
1. Obaby Lincoln Sleigh Cot Bed: £299.99, Argos
This convertible white cot features a beautiful curved, sleigh-like design and is constructed from solid wood. It has three adjustable mattress heights, teething rails that will protect your baby’s teeth if they do decide to start gnawing on it and, when required, it converts into a stylish junior bed. Mattress included.
2. Stokke Sleepi Oval Crib: From £575, Stokke
This attractively-shaped oval cot is designed to do exactly what your child will: grow. And while it does come in at the pricier end of the market, the wooden design adapts from a newborn’s crib to a toddler’s cot, then into a junior bed suitable for children as old as 10. So, it should be viewed as an investment. An extension kit (sold separately) increases the size, a wall can be removed for when your little one is big enough to get in and out by themselves and the mattress (sold separately) height is adjustable.
3. Ikea Gonatt Cot: £150, Ikea
If you’re brave enough to assemble your own, Ikea offers a range of affordable, reliable cots. Among them is this traditional shaped cot with a modern-looking light grey finish. The mattress can be set at two different heights as your baby gets bigger and one side can be removed as they get older. The drawers underneath are a useful storage solution and the rounded edges make for an attractive design. Mattress sold separately.
4. Mamas & Papas Kingston Oak Cot: £399, Mamas & Papas
This traditional looking cot-cum-toddler bed is available in oak or white/oak and is suitable from birth up to about four years of age. It converts from a newborn’s cot into a daybed and later a toddler bed. Matching furniture – including a wardrobe and dresser/changing table – is also available, meaning you can give your entire nursery a makeover to match. Mattress sold separately.
5. Snuzpod 3 in 1 Bedside Crib: £169.99, Toys R Us
This bedside crib is ideal for newborns and especially helpful for new mothers who have undergone a caesarean birth or other surgery as it allows you to breastfeed your child without leaving your own bed. It also offers the reassurance of having your baby sleeping next to you without the risk of actually having them in your bed. The three-in-one design includes a bedside baby crib that attaches to your bed, a stand-alone crib and a removable rocking bassinet that can be used around the home. Suitable up to six months. Mattress sold separately.
6. Mamas & Papas Oxford white cot/toddler bed: £699, Mamas and Papas
This is another option from the top end of the market, but it does have the benefit of adapting to your growing child’s needs while offering a useful storage area in the form of a drawer underneath. The simple yet stylish design means it will go with even the boldest of nursery themes. Suitable up to about four years of age, sides and bars can be removed as your child develops and the cot mattress (sold separately) can be set at two different heights.
7. White Company Ercol Devon Cot Bed: £695, White Company
If two mattress height settings aren’t enough for you, the White Company has a solution: three. It does come with an inflated price tag but this solid oak piece will serve your baby from birth until way past the terrible twos. The painted white trim softens the wooden design and the side panels can be removed to transform it into a junior bed, complete with footboard. Mattress sold separately.
8. Marks and Spencer Loft Finley Cot Bed: £299, Marks and Spencer
The Finley forms part of M&S’s Loft range of furniture which is designed for smaller living spaces – ideal if you are struggling to accommodate all your new arrival’s accessories. The cot features adjustable mattress heights and later converts into a little bed. The design features a smart white lacquer finish with timber turned handles and feet and offers great value for money.
9. Poco Crib: £119.99, Not On The High Street
This cute beech wood crib is a money and space-saver and the stand (available in a choice of coco or white) folds up easily, making it extremely portable. The padded crib and mattress cover are washing-machine safe and the design offers a modern alternative to a traditional rocking crib or Moses basket. Suitable from newborn up to six months.
10. Lil’Gaea Rocking Cradle Newborn Crib: £329, Not On The High Street
Eco-conscious parents will love this newborn rocking crib that is lightweight enough to carry around the home. This dainty design is constructed from eco MDF and solid wood and finished with non-toxic water-based paint. Suitable for babies aged up to four months, the crib features a magnetic rocking motion that can be set to stop it from rocking once your baby has fallen asleep. Mattress and bow detail sold separately.
For nervous new mums, the Snuzpod is a great compromise as it reassures you by allowing you to keep baby close by without the stress of thinking you are going to roll over and crush your little one in the middle of the night. If you've had a difficult labour and had surgery or stitches, it will make feeding that little bit easier on you too.
The Obaby Sleigh Cot bed is a real all-round winner. It combines an attractive design with great value for money and is one of the few products to include a mattress in the price. It looks beautiful, is suitable from birth and will go the distance, converting into a bed when the time is right.
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