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When it’s time to set up a nursery one of the first things people think of is the cot. What most new parents don’t realise is there is quite a bit of variety when it comes to cots.
Red Nose Australia (formerly known as Sids and Kids) recommends that babies room share with their parents for at least the first six to 12 months. If you’re wanting your baby to sleep in your room initially, the first thing to look at is what size infant sleep space will actually fit in your room, as many bedrooms won’t fit a full-sized cot beside the adult bed.
This is where a bassinet comes in handy because they’re smaller and can fit into most bedrooms. Another option to help squeeze a cot into a smaller space is opting for a “sidecar” style of cot or bassinet. They’re designed to be pressed right up against the adult bed, which also makes checking on and feeding your baby a little more convenient through the night.
Many cots can easily convert from a regular-sized cot to a toddler bed by removing one or more of the cot walls so your toddler can get in and out of their bed themselves. One reason parents transfer their child from a cot to a toddler bed is that their child is starting to try to climb over the edge of the cot. This is obviously quite dangerous, so having the option to just take away the edge – and taking away that risk – is extremely helpful.
There are also some convertible cots that start off bassinet sized, then with some adjustments, and a larger mattress, they grow to the size of a regular cot. From there they become a toddler bed. Some of them can even continue their life cycle as a daybed or couch so they can be used even once your bub is in a regular bed.
There are two basic sizes for cots. The standard is a 60cm x 120cm cot – this is the size that the vast majority of cot mattresses, sheets and other bedding are designed to fit. You can also get a larger cot, called a Boori Large Cot – they are 77cm x 133cm, so they are notably larger in size.
Getting a larger cot can be an advantage if you’re planning to use the cot as a toddler bed later one. That extra-large space means you’ll have a bit more time before needing to upgrade to a regular bed for your child. One downside is you’ll have less variety in sheets and bedding, and also because it’s a specialised size the bedding you buy for it will likely be more expensive.
The Red Nose website is a great resource for information for safely setting up your baby’s sleep space and advice on how and where your baby should sleep. It’s well worth familiarising yourself with the latest information and recommendations for SID safety.
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