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How to prepare a safe cot and a cozy nursery

Now for the fun part. As you near the end of your second trimester you can start thinking about getting your baby’s nursery ready. From cots and Moses baskets to cozy blankets and sleeping bags, what’s best for your baby?

 

  1. Moses basket

After being cocooned inside you for nine months, your newborn baby is going to need somewhere equally cozy and safe to sleep when you bring them home from the hospital. A Moses basket is a good choice as it’s small and portable. It also means your little one can be close by when you go to sleep so you can feed quickly and easily in the night – hopefully giving both of you a chance to fall back to sleep... if only for a few minutes. Make sure you buy sheets and bedding that are made specifically for a Moses basket so they fit perfectly.

 

  1. Cot

When your little one gets to about three months old it’s likely they’ll need somewhere bigger to sleep. Cots come in all shapes and sizes and you can even get ones that will convert to a toddler bed. What’s important is that it has a height adjustable base so that you can move it down as your baby grows, to prevent them being able to pull themselves up and fall out. The gaps between the bars should also be less than 6.5cm apart to stop your baby’s head getting trapped.

 

  1. Mattress

Buy a firm, thick mattress that fits the size of your cot snugly, so there are no gaps between it and the cot frame. Also try and find one that has a waterproof cover to protect the mattress from any little accidents. If you’ve inherited a second hand cot, it’s a good idea to invest in a new mattress so you can be sure it’s clean and fits properly.

 

  1. Sleeping bag

Baby sleeping bags are a great way to make sure your little one stays warm and safe while they’re napping or sleeping. They come in different sizes and thicknesses, so you can get the right one for your baby’s age and for the different seasons. They’re also perfect for wriggly babies who like to kick off their blankets as it means they’re less likely to wake up cold in the night.

 

  1. Blankets

If you do opt for blankets remember to tuck your baby in tightly, making sure they don’t come up any higher than the shoulders. Don’t use a duvet or pillow until your baby hits their first birthday and never use an electric blanket.

 

  1. Sleeping position

You’ve got all the right equipment but how should you put your baby down in the cot? The safest way is for your baby to sleep on their back with their feet at the foot of the cot (feet to foot).

 

  1. Temperature

Keep an eye on the temperature in your baby’s nursery to make sure they doesn’t get too hot or too cold – a constant temperature of around 18°C is perfect. Check your baby’s head, back or neck to make sure it’s not sweaty or too cold. Keep the cot away from the window to avoid them sleeping in a draught or in direct sunlight.

 

  1. Changing

Let’s face it, with around 10-12 nappy changes every day in those first few months, you’re going to need somewhere comfortable to perform all that wiping and cleaning. Changing stations are a good idea as they stop you having to bend down too far and give you space to keep spare nappies, bags and creams, so you have everything you need at the ready. If you’re short on space, a cot-top changer is a good option as it can be stowed under the cot when you’re not using it. It might be a good idea to keep a couple of spare changing mats in other rooms so that you can whip one out when you need it.

 

  1. Comfy chair

The other thing you’ll be doing a lot of in those early days is feeding, so you’ll need to make sure you have a comfortable chair. This is especially important for in the middle of the night when you’ll want somewhere soft and supportive to feed. When your little one is a bit older it can also be the perfect spot for you both to cuddle up for a bedtime story.

 

  1. Monitor

A baby monitor is a useful gadget for making sure your little one is sleeping safe and sound. You’ll be able to hear them if they cry or if you choose a video monitor, you’ll be able to see them on a screen too. Some models allow you to talk to your little one without the need to go into the nursery and some can play soothing nursery rhymes to ease them back to sleep if they wake. Just be warned the cycle of songs is likely to drive you mad after a while...

 

  1. Mobiles and toys

Soothing music can help a baby drift off to sleep, but you might want to avoid having a mobile directly above the cot if it has lots of dangling things to look at. You certainly don’t want anything that will distract them from their most important job... sleeping. Instead, hang it near their changing station to give them something to look at while they’re having their nappy changed. Again.

 

  1. Blinds and curtains

Keeping the nursery dark and warm during naps and at bedtime will help baby sleep well. Choose a black out blind that has no cords so there is no chance of your baby getting caught up in them. If you prefer curtains, you can get ones with a blackout lining to filter out the light. Keep them open at all other times so your baby quickly learns the difference between naptime and play time.


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