Thursday, 18 January 2018

A Quick Guide to Buying Baby Cots

Babies will spend the first few of years of their life inside a baby cot, so choosing the right one is crucial towards ensuring their comfort and well-being. To help parents make the correct purchasing decision for their baby, I'm sharing 10 criteria that should factor into their consideration when buying baby cots.

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BSI Certification: The British Standards Institution (BSI) is a non-profit royally chartered body tasked with establishing national technical standards for products sold within the United Kingdom. For baby cots, BSI has established a certification process which tests a wide variety of elements on commercially sold cots, such as fatigue and bend resistance, flexibility and indentation of polymeric, rubber and thermoplastic materials used for padding, and exposure to chemicals. While nothing is ever guaranteed in life, buying cots with this certification will reduce the risk of your baby being harmed by poorly manufactured products.

Spaces between bars and guardrails: While a BSI certification should theoretically eliminate this problem, bring a measuring tape nonetheless when shopping for a cot. Measure the distance between each bars or guardrails. It should be no less than one inch and no more than 2.5 inches to prevent the baby’s head from slipping through or getting stuck between the bars or rails. In addition, the bars and guardrails must be vertical, not horizontal. Otherwise, your baby could use them as support to stand, and when they are older, to climb out of the cot.

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Cot Mattress: Mattresses included in low-end baby cots are rarely suitable for babies. For one thing, they are always thinner than three inches, which should be the absolute minimum. For another, they must have sufficient tensile elasticity and regain their shape when not under pressure. Otherwise, a baby could sink into the mattress, which could be dangerous if the baby is lying face down. Do a simple finger test to determine the elasticity of any cot mattress – use two fingers and gently press on the mattress for a few seconds. If the mattress doesn’t regain its shape after your remove your fingers, they are not the mattress you want for your baby. Keep an eye out for mattresses made from high-density fibre, which responds well to the weight of babies. If your budget allows for it, limit your search to mattresses with anti-bacteria and anti-allergy (hypoallergenic) properties.

Clear internal area: The sleeping area should be flat and clear, with no risk of a baby being covered with skirts or ruffles, to eliminate the risk of suffocation. There should also be no gaps between the mattress and the sides of the cot, as babies sometimes tend to bunch their bodies up at the sides – a large gap could increase the risk of suffocation. Latches and locks for the rails and bars should not be on the inside, as babies could accidentally pull them, and risk falling down or having the bars or rails fall on their limbs.

Wheels: Consider getting a cot with wheels as this will enable you to move it between the baby’s nursery and your room. This is especially important during the first few months after birth, a period when parents are recommended to sleep in the same room with their babies. But please make sure the cot comes with a brake or wheel clamp.

Convertible Cots: Convertible baby cots, sometimes labelled as 3-in-1 or 5-in-1 cots, cost higher than conventional ones. However, they might prove cheaper in the long run. As your baby grows older, the convertibles can be converted into a proper bed with a larger sleeping area. The storage space of convertibles is also useful to store things for the baby such as diapers and spare milk bottles.

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And please don’t worry if you come across as too fussy when shopping for a baby cot – your baby deserves it, and a good sales person will understand this.


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