Cot Buying Guide

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Cot Buying Guide

Parents shopping for a new baby cot may be unsure of where to begin. After all, there are many options available, and these cots come in many different styles, dimensions and features. Before making any decisions on this major piece of baby gear, parents should consider their many cot choices and what sets each one apart from the others.


Cot Styles

There are a few types of cots on the market. One of the most popular is the drop side cot. This makes it easy to get the baby in and out of bed since the adult is able to drop the side down to reach the baby.

Another option is a cot bed. This cot can be converted into a toddler bed once the baby is older. This conversion usually just involves taking three of the rails off. Some cots also transform into a day bed, but in these cases, only one of the rails comes off. Either way, a cot bed is usually ideal to use for the first several years of a child's life.

Parents who wish to co-sleep might consider a bedside cot. This is a cot that is as tall as the parent's bed so that it makes it easy to pull the baby onto the larger bed. One of its rails should be simple to remove when the cot is pulled up next to the parent's bed.


Taking the Measurements of the Cot

In order to ensure the baby cot is safe and up to national standards, shoppers should have a tape measure handy to make sure each cot is the right size. The cot obviously needs to fit into the baby's room, but more importantly, it needs to have certain dimensions to be considered safe.

In particular, the cot's mattress should be deep enough to keep the baby from falling out over the side. When the mattress is in the lowest position within the cot, the distance to the top of the cot should be 500mm or more.

The other dimensions of the cot are also important. In order to prevent the baby from trapping his head, the space between each bar should be no smaller than 50mm. At the same time, to prevent the baby from falling out, no openings should be larger than 95 mm.

Similarly, to keep the baby's arms and legs safe, smaller openings in the cot should be either more narrow than 30mm or wider than 50mm. Protecting the baby's fingers is equally important, and this is why openings between 5 and 12mm should be avoided.


Ensuring Safety

For a baby cot to be considered as stable as possible, no more than two of its legs should have castors, and those casters should have brakes. In addition, any locking mechanisms on the cot should be hard for a child to work but simple enough for adults to easily release.

When it comes to safe materials, all cots should be lead-free. If it is not clear whether a cot has been covered in lead-based paint, shoppers should buy a lead test at the store before putting their baby in the cot. Of course, cots should also be free of any sharp edges or protruding hardware that could scrape or cut the baby.


Extra Features

Parents shopping for a baby cot should also take into account some helpful features. For example, some cots have wheels - or casters - attached to a couple of the legs. These make the cot easy to move from one room to another, and this feature also allows easy moving within a room when cleaning or rearranging furniture.

Another nice option to have is a teething rail. This can protect the cot's rails from the baby's teeth. These really come in handy since many parents are surprised to find that a teething baby will chew on just about anything. Of course, a teething rail can also protect the baby's growing teeth and body from the wood and paint on the cot.



Parents shopping on eBay will find a huge variety of baby cots to choose from. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all of the options, they should stick to these tips to help choose the right cot.

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