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Corey April 16, Loading Facebook Like button There are a plethora of cots, cribs and baby beds on the market these days, so determining which aspects are important to you can make the task even harder. Baby Cot FAQ To start, here are some of the most commonly asked questions by new parents when buying their first cot. What is a cot? A cot is a small bed designed for babies and young children with high barred sides to prevent them from falling out.

How long will my baby sleep in a cot for? Typically, most babies will sleep in a cot from the day they are brought home, up until they are between 18 months to three years old.

Do I need to buy a cot before my baby is born?

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Most parents like to be prepared and buy a cot well before their baby arrives. However, some parents prefer to sleep their baby in a bassinet near their bed for the first few months if they want easier access to the child. How much do cots cost? Pricing is often based on the materials, features and overall quality of the cot. Do cots need to pass any Australian Standards? A comfortable cot makes for a happy baby. Key Aspects to Consider Safety and Australian Standards Much like buying your own bed, there is a number of factors that need to be considered when looking at cots for your little one.

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  • By far the most important aspect to any cot is whether the cot passes the relevant Australian Standards. However, those buying a cot online, especially from overseas shops, will need to make sure the cot passes these requirements.

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    Allowing your baby to sleep in a cot that does not meet these standards puts them at significant risk. Deep enough to stop a baby from climbing out Stops head and limb entrapment hazards by putting minimum distances between bars and slats Has a minimal gap between the mattress and the frame Makes sure there is no foot holds for babies to use to climb out Stops any sharp objects from harming your child or snagging their clothing A full guide to checking whether the cot passes the Australian Standards can be found in the infographic below.

    If you plan on viewing potential cots in-person, bring a tape measure along to make sure that the cot meets the Australian Standards.

    Otherwise, ask the supplier to see the documentation which shows that the cot passes. Other safety aspects to consider include: Cot Mattress More often than not, the cot you will be buying will come with the appropriate fitting mattress. This mattress should perfectly fit within the frame already. This can be done by measuring the inside of the cot and buying a mattress to those dimensions. Otherwise, the dimensions for a recommended mattress size should also be found on the cot base too.

    You should feel a feel bit of resistance if you were to push moderately down on it.

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    A cot mattress needs to be both firm and comfortable for your child. Drop Sides or Fixed Sides Drop side cots allow you to lower one or both of the sides of the cot.

    This makes it far easier to pick up and lower your baby into the cot, especially if you are a shorter parent. If you are considering a drop sided cot, be sure to check the mechanism thoroughly before purchasing it.

    This should make it impossible for an energetic toddler to pull down the side and escape or fall out of it. However, drop sided cots have been the cause of a number of infant injuries and a few deaths over the years, so much so that they are now banned in the USA and have very strict European Standards around them now.

    Drop sided cots make picking up and lowering your baby much easier. Convertible Cots It can be fairly daunting for a child to switch from a small, cosy cot to a large open single bed. There are a number of benefits to having a convertible cot, including: Certain convertible cots can also transform into high chairs, small couches and other furniture pieces, further increasing their life cycle.

    Some questions to consider: Are the joints secure? Is the finish smooth and free from splinters, metal burrs or imperfections? Do the struts and mattress base slats feel solid and secure? Does the cot come with a warranty? Do you feel confident that you could leave your baby in this cot? Other Considerations Cot size: Before making the final decision on which cot is right for your baby, be sure to measure the planned space and size of the cot.

    Does the cot need to match the current decor of the nursery or your home? Will you need to repaint the cot to suit it? Most cots come flat-packed and will require you to construct them yourself.

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  • The procedure varies between manufacturers but typically, instructions and most required tools are included. Otherwise, a cot may be able to be pre-assembled by the supplier at an extra cost. Some cots allow you to adjust the height of the mattress base as the baby grows. For example, for the first few months, parents may choose to keep it on a higher setting so picking up and putting down the baby is easier, then choose to lower it once the baby has grown and can begin to pull itself out. Teething strips and rails: A protective cover that goes over the side rails of the cot which prevent damage to the cot through biting.

    Being able to move your cot around the room can be helpful if you have limited space. However, the wheels need to be lockable to stop the cot from moving easily. Second-hand Cots Although in the short-term it may be more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly to buy a second-hand cot, there are some inherent safety issues with it.

    In particular with heirloom cots, if the cot was constructed or repainted before , there is a chance it may be finished with toxic lead-based paint. If a child was to chew on the rails and swallow this paint, they could become sick or worse.

    If a cot is this old, it will unlikely meet modern safety standards and should be replaced regardless. The older the mattress, the less firm it is.

    Made from maple with your choice of black, red, yellow, blue or green rails, the Caravan Crib converts to a toddler bed with no extra tools required. Convertible three-in-one cot that turns into a toddler and double bed.

    At a minimum, the mattress should be replaced with a new one if using a second-hand cot. The cot should meet modern Australian Standards, even if it was built prior to Make sure the second-hand cot you are buying comes with full assembly instructions and product details. The most common reason for a drop side cot to break and cause potential injury is the mechanism being overused. Therefore, be cautious of a second-hand drop side cots as they will likely have been used for many years already.

    Before purchasing a cot, check to see if the model has had a product recall on it. If it has, check with the supplier to see if you will be receiving the updated product.

    Common issues include the added mattress being undersized, the recommended mattress size being incorrect or the cot has failed to pass Australian Standards after being sold. The full list of cot recalls can be found at Product Safety Australia , where you can sign up for email alerts for extra peace-of-mind. Here is a small collection of our favourite cots from the Myer Market, all of which pass the required Australian Standards.

    Key features Comes in a huge range of soft pastel colours including grey, pink, green, navy blue, white and more to suit your current home decor Conversion kit can be bought separately to transform the cot into a toddler bed Comes flat packed with all the tools required to assemble it.

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