You will need a set of bedding for your baby's cot, but you don't need to spend a lot of money. Save your cash for when your child wants his favourite television character on his duvet.
You can buy bedding in various sizes to fit cots, cot beds, cribs, Moses baskets and travel cots. Cribs and Moses baskets are not used for long, so it may not be worth buying extra bedding to fit. Try customising spare bed sheets to save money.
For your convenience, make sure that most of what you buy is machine washable and tumble dryer safe. It helps if all bedding is white or light-coloured so it can all go in the same wash. You will spend less time separating washing loads.
As the name suggests, a waterproof mattress protector is a sheet with a waterproof layer. It fits over the mattress and protects it from accidents. When you remove the cover the mattress is dry.
A mattress protector is not essential, but you will save yourself a clean up job if the mattress gets soiled. You will have your cot or cot bed mattress for a long time, so it is worth keeping it nice.
Starting from around £5, it's a good idea to buy more than one mattress protector in case you have to do a bedding change in the middle of the night.
Bottom sheets that fit over the mattress can be flat or fitted. You may find fitted sheets are easier to put on and less likely to come untucked. A flat sheet goes on top of your baby and tucks down the sides of the mattress.
You'll need at least three top sheets and three bottom sheets. This allows for one in use, one in the wash and a spare in the cupboard.
You can buy a two pack of cotton cot sheets for about £7.
A lightweight baby blanket is usually made from cellular cotton or soft fleece. It goes over the top sheet to keep your baby warm and cosy. Depending on room temperature and time of year, you may need more than one blanket. In warm weather you might not need one at all.
Blankets are useful both in and out of the cot so you'll need at least three. Use them for keeping your baby warm in his pushchair and car seat, and for swaddling. Blankets start from around £6 each.
Your baby can sleep in a lightweight sleeping bag instead of sheets and blankets. With neck and armholes, the bag zips up around your baby while still allowing him to move. A sleeping bag is a good option for a baby that keeps coming out of his covers.
Sleeping bags have different Tog ratings. For example, a 1 Tog sleeping bag is appropriate for warm weather, while a 2.5 Tog bag is suitable for winter.
Sleeping bags are popular, but they are expensive compared to sheets and blankets. You will need to buy bigger sized bags every few months that are suitable for your baby's age and weight. You also need different tog ratings depending on the time of year.
Ranging in price from £15 to £35, you could find yourself spending £150 on sleeping bags in the first 18 months. This compares to around £40 for top sheets and blankets, which will last a lot longer.
Here's how to ensure your baby is warm, comfortable and safe while he is sleeping.