When you’re kitting out the nursery for your new baby, a cot bed could be a canny investment.
Rather than having to shell out for a Moses basket, then a cot and then upgrading to a bed, a cot bed does all these jobs from day one.
But it’s going to cost you more money upfront to invest in a cot bed – anything from £100 up to £500 – so you want to make sure you buy the best.
Here’s what to consider before you shop:
How easy is the cot bed to put together?
You’ll need to assemble the cot bed from flat pack pieces, first as the cot and then converting it into a toddler bed as your baby grows. This is generally a two-person job.
Some cot beds contain heavier pieces than others, worth knowing which these are if you’re going to be trying to do it when you’re in your final weeks of pregnancy.
Always remember where you put the screws and pieces you’re going to need when it comes to converting it. It’s also worth sticking the instructions to these pieces as you’ll never remember that safe place you stored them when the converting time comes around.
Find out which cot beds we’ve found are best for DIY novices, but are also sturdy, in our cot bed reviews.
Will it fit?
It’s worth knowing that cot beds are generally bigger than a cot – most cot beds are usually around 146cm long and 77cm deep and somewhere between 90cm and 105cm tall at the head end.
Size could affect you in a number of ways. Firstly, if you only have a small space for your baby’s first bed, you’ll need to check to make sure a cot bed will actually fit.
Secondly, as most cot beds have side rails that are around 84-87cm high, they can sometimes be a challenge for shorter parents to reach over and lay a sleeping baby down.
You can overcome this by going for a cot bed with adjustable base heights. Most come with three different heights, to make it easier for you.
Whether the style of the cot bed fits your decor plans is also key. The style you select for your little baby’s room might be very different to the space you want for your burly toddler. So consider how the bed will grow with your baby’s personality.
Silver Cross has found that 78% of parents choose white furniture when shopping for their baby. But there are also any number of classic wood finishes or brighter colours you can plump for.
Find out our opinion on these four popular cot beds in different finishes:
- Mamas & Papas Mia – Classic styling which can also include added under-cot storage and a cot-top changing table
- Silver Cross Notting Hill – A sleek cot bed in a high-gloss white finish
- Cosatto Story – Pop-coloured cot with graphics plus storage and changer
- Mothercare Lulworth – Contemporary-style cot bed in white or off-white.
How sturdy is it?
It goes without saying you want a cot bed that feels safe for your little one and that’s sturdy. How long the cot lasts depends on the weight of your child and how much wear and tear he or she puts the bed through.
To keep your cot bed in tip top condition as your child grows, do regular checks to make sure that all of the bolts of the bed are firmly screwed in place and that the joints are solid.
Examine the slats for any signs of cracking or damage.
Find out which models we’ve named as Best Buy cot beds.