Safe sleeping or using cots and cribs for babies are getting acceptance in India and there are many parents who want to buy a cot or a crib for their new born.
Cots are convenient because it allows the new mother to rest, it is safe for the child especially if there are pets at home and it helps in making independent sleeping a routine.
So what are the things to look for while buying a baby cot. This is a practical guide as experienced by us at Precared after interacting with hundreds of parents who have used them. Here are some things to consider when buying a baby cot:
Dimensions: Surprised that we are mentioning this as the first thing to consider when buying a cot? Most of our city homes have limited living space. Give a lot of thought before you plan to buy a cot because it will be in that place for a very long time. If you plan to use a cot for a new born, then chances are that you plan to fit the cot next to your bed. Try to ensure that the space available next to your bed is more than the size of the cot that to you intend to buy.
Some features like dropside, bedside, underneath storage need extra space to function. Make sure the cot isn’t cramped in the space that you intent to keep it in, and you are able to use all the features of the cot.
Base height adjustments: This is a desirable feature to look for while looking for a cot. Some cots do not offer base height adjustment options, some offer 2 levels, some 3 and others 4 to 8 levels. This feature is useful as the baby grows. You use the top most level when the baby is small and cannot sit on its own, as this helps in access to baby. But babies grow fast and before you know you will find them reaching the next development stage and able to sit on their own. A base height adjustment will allow you to lower the base as the child grows and also useful as a playpen for the baby as he grows.
Dropside: A dropside is a feature which allows one side of the railing to drop down a couple of inches leading to a better access to the baby. This is very important in the first 6 months, as the baby will want your attention more frequently and mothers need to take care of their back. But usually after the baby is 4 months, we at Precared have noticed that this feature is not used much by the parent. In some cases it would be advisable to fix this feature as older babies tend to fidget with this feature, and it could pose as a safety concern.
Also many parents confuse the dropside feature with bedside, and believe that using this feature they can make their babies sleep closer to them along with their beds. This is practically very difficult and you should not confuse the use of this feature.
Bedside: For parents keen that their continue to co-sleep with them during night while at the same time have their own space, this is the feature to look for. In this feature one of the bed rails not only goes down, but it is possible to push the bedrail beneath the mattress base. This allows complete access to baby during night. Also the feature is very simple to use and can be done/undone within seconds.
You will find very few models with this feature being sold in India and are sold at huge premium.
Wheels/Castors: This is a feature much wanted by expecting parents, but seldom used. The space planning is important here, if you feel you have enough space to move around the cot within your bedroom, across rooms, alleys, door spaces, then you should look for this option. Else, this is not used much. Also as most of the baby cots are light in weight, you can lift and move the cot for daily cleaning. We advise you to have locks on wheels.
Underneath Storage: This is a feature demanded by most of the parents in India. The reason being space constraints again. Though this is a practical feature to have, you have plan for the fact that for the storage to be accessible, it will need an extra 1 to 2 feet space on the sides (as the storage needs to be pulled out). If you do not plan the position of the cot properly, you will end up never using this. Some parents use a standalone storage, this is storage box with wheels/castor which can be pushed on the floor underneath the cot and can be pulled out with ease.
We recommend that a branded cot is always better than a local one, unless someone assures that all the safety aspects and useful features are taken care of. There is a lot of research which goes into simple designs.
A cot demands premium based on the wood quality, finish, design and spares used. Always check that you are given all the accessories and parts and you assemble them accordingly. Even a small part missing can be undesirable and might affect the safety of the baby..
Many parents use small cribs/cradles for the first 6 months and later use cots for their babies.
We will talk about choosing a mattress and other cot accessories in our next blog.
If you wish to buy a baby cot, inspected, sanitized from Precared. Please visit us here. Also shop for sanitized cot accessories here.