Are you confused about where your newborn baby should sleep? With the vast array of Moses baskets, cots, and cribs on the market it wouldn't be surprising.
A point to note is the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome appears to be lower, if your baby sleeps in a cot in your room. It also makes it easier for you to do the night feeds.
Here are your baby's sleeping options and their pros and cons:
Cots come in many styles with different features. These include variable mattress heights, drop sides and teething rails. Some have useful underneath storage drawers.
Choose a sturdy cot with smooth, secure bars 25mm to 65mm apart to ensure your baby's head cannot get stuck. The cot should follow the latest British safety standards.
You may find a cot that converts to a bed when your baby is about two years old is a better investment than a standard cot. You will get many more years of use out of it. A cot will only last about two years, while a cot bed will last around seven.
You can put your baby straight into his big cot from day one. But you may not be able to fit it in your bedroom and you can't carry it around the house!
Many parents prefer their newborns to sleep in a Moses basket, crib or carrycot in the early weeks. If you can't fit the baby's cot in your bedroom, then one of these may be a better option.
There is nothing wrong with Moses baskets, cribs and carrycots. But these small cots don't provide much room. Rather than being cosy and comfortable, your baby may feel cramped when he tries to stretch his arms out. This could cause him to wake in his sleep.
Also, when he outgrows his small cot he may find the transition to his big cot in his own room unsettling. You can avoid these issues by getting your baby used to his big cot from day one.
A co-sleeper is a cot with one side removed that attaches to the side of your bed. So even though your baby is in a separate bed, he can still sleep alongside you at arm's reach. When he wakes in the night for a feed, you can roll over to tend to him and you don't even have to get out of bed. This is especially useful if you are recovering from a C-section.
Larger than a Moses basket, a co-sleeper is likely to last your baby longer, up until he is around six months old.
The downside is that costing at least £150 from new, co-sleeping cots are expensive. But it is safer for a baby under six months to sleep in a cot next to your bed, rather than in your bed. So if you are keen to bed-share, a co-sleeper is a great option. To get the most out of a co-sleeper, look for one that converts to a free-standing cot, travel cot and playpen.
A travel cot is the ideal solution if you are taking your baby on holiday or visiting friends and family. It's handy for nap times and sleep overs at the grandparents, and doubles up as a playpen. Practical and lightweight, a travel cot folds up into a bag for storage and transport. Depending on the size of the cot, it could last until your child is around three years old.
You can pick up a basic travel cot for £30 to £40. But if you think it's worth the money, you can splash out more than £200 for a luxury cot.
Travel cots often include a foldable base mattress, but these can be thin and hard for babies to sleep on. Pad out the mattress with a couple of blankets to make it more comfortable, or buy an extra travel cot mattress. (Don't forget to measure the internal dimensions of the cot to ensure you buy the right size.)
For more information about baby's sleeping arrangements, sleep safety and SIDS, these links may be of interest: