The baby’s cot will always be one of the most important pieces of furniture that you will buy. This will be one place where the baby will not only sleep but will also spend considerable time in the early months of its life. The cot has to be safe, practical, and durable so that it can last for 2-3 years and can be used for future siblings.
Cots come in two varieties, the standard cot that has one or two collapsible sides that make it easier to remove the baby from the cot. The convertible cot doubles up as a toddler bed as the child grows older and can be used right up until the child’s teenage years. Some cots also have drawers to store cot linen and sheets. Here are some safety aspects that you need to keep in mind while choosing a cot.
Important Safety Aspects Of A Baby Cot
The Cot Measurements
Look for the manufacturer’s label, which amply states that the cot matches up to all safety standards. The cot slats should not be more than 2 3/8 inches apart. There should be no splinters and cracks in the wood. The minimum rail height should be 26 inches when the mattress is at its lowest position. There should be a secure locking mechanism for the side that collapses or drops. The paint of the cot should not peel and the edges should be smooth and even with no broken or sharp edges.
The mattress Support
Look for a mattress support in the cot that is made of metal to take the baby’s weight as he/she jumps and plays around. Metal is more hardy than wood. The mattress support should also be adjustable. It should be able to lower itself, as the baby grows older.
The Rails should have teething covers made of plastic so that the baby cannot chew on the wood while teething. All cots should have casters with a lock for mobility.
The Age of the Cot
If you can afford it, buy new cots. Avoid cots that are more than ten years old. Old cots may be charming, holding sentimental value but they are hardly able to meet the current safety standards. Old cots have slats that are too far apart, have lead in their paint and the paint is often peeling or chipping. The slats may also be made of wrought iron with sharp edges, which is not good for the baby.
The Cot Mattress
The cot mattress should be firm and sturdy so that your baby can sleep comfortably on it. There are two kinds mainly innerspring and foam. Innerspring mattresses are firmer and last longer. They are also more expensive. Choose an innerspring mattress with higher number of coils. The higher the coil, the sturdier is the mattress. If you are buying a foam mattress, look for one, which has higher foam density, which makes it safe and comfortable for the baby. The mattress should fit snugly in the cot with not more than a two-inch gap between the mattress and the cot.