Choosing Baby’s Bed: Crib, Cot or Moses Basket?
Choosing between a crib or Moses basket for newborns
Your newborn will spend a lot of time sleeping during their first few months, so it’s important to ensure they have the right environment to support their sleep and development. Most parents will opt for either a crib or a Moses basket for their newborn. But what’s the difference? And which should you go for? It comes down to personal preference, but to help you make your choice, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of each below.
First, let’s take a look at Moses baskets. If you’ve been browsing Pinterest for nursery ideas, you’re sure to have come across plenty of images featuring this sweet baby bedding option. They sure do look lovely, and can be cosy and comfortable to sleep in. But are they the best choice for your precious little one?
What is a Moses basket?
Benefits of Moses baskets
Moses Baskets FAQs
How long can a baby sleep in a Moses basket?
Moses baskets are suitable for newborns, and the relatively small size of this bedding option means that your baby will have a cosy, compact and comfortable place to sleep. However, it does also mean that they’ll soon outgrow it. They also shouldn’t be used when your baby is more mobile, and can pull themselves up. This means that most babies will only sleep in a Moses basket for three or four months before transitioning to a cot.
What bedding to use in a Moses basket?
Choosing baby bedding can be tricky for any new parent, and Moses basket bedding is no exception! Most Moses baskets will come with a foam mattress, but you should make sure that it’s firm and supportive, breathable, and fits the basket without any gaps. If you decide to buy a different mattress from the one that comes with the basket, ensure it’s the right size and fits well.
The Lullaby Trust states that you only need to use a thin lining with a Moses basket. Any baby bedding you choose to use, like sheets or blankets, should be tucked in to keep your baby cosy and supported, and they shouldn’t come up any higher than baby’s shoulders.
What are the different types of Moses baskets?
Most Moses baskets are made from either palm or wicker. The main difference between the two materials is how flexible the sides are. A palm basket generally has softer sides, and wicker ones are a little firmer. They come in a range of colours, so you can find something that perfectly complements your colour scheme.
Other than the material and colour, there are some other options to consider. Some Moses baskets come with rocking bases, designed to gently soothe your baby to sleep, while others come with a free-standing base. Moses baskets should be placed on the floor, but you can choose to elevate your baby’s basket by using a stand. With both rocking bases and stands, it’s best to buy these at the same time as the basket, so you can ensure they match in style and fit safely together.
Another option is the Noah pod, a slight variation on the Moses basket with higher sides and a modern shape.
How safe are Moses baskets?
Well-made Moses baskets are perfectly safe for your little one. It should come with sturdy handles which meet in the middle and a good, supportive mattress. When you’re carrying the basket, make sure that you have one hand underneath it, supporting your baby.
Choose a Moses basket with washable covers and dressings, and always look for the British Standard safety number BS EN 1466:2014.
Instead of a Moses basket, some new parents opt for a crib as their little one’s first bed. If you’re considering this option, we’ve got everything you need to know about cribs below.
What is a crib?
Benefits of Cribs
How long can a baby stay in a crib?
As cribs are slightly bigger and longer than Moses baskets, you should be able to get more use out of them. Most babies can happily sleep in a crib until they’re around six months old, after which they’re likely to be ready to transition to a cot, and maybe even sleeping in their own room.
What bedding do you need for a crib?
Similar to a Moses basket, you’ll need a firm, supportive mattress for your baby’s crib. Your chosen crib may not come supplied with one, though, so you’ll have to buy this separately.
Make sure that it fits well, and leaves no gaps at the edge of the crib. You’ll also need a fitted sheet, and a light cover for your little one, which should be tucked in no higher than your baby’s shoulders.
The issue of choosing a bed for your baby is further complicated by the fact that some parents decide not to go for a Moses basket or a crib and instead their little one sleeps in a cot from the start. There are pros and cons to choosing a cot bed from the get-go, so let’s take a look!
What is a cot?
What types of cots are there?
Whether you choose a cot or a cot bed, there are a few different styles to choose from, so you can pick the one that best suits you and your little one.
One option is a fixed side cot. With this style, you have to bend over the side of the cot to put baby in, and to take them out again.
If that doesn’t sound very appealing, you can also go for a drop-side cot. This simply means that one side of the cot can be lowered, making it easier for you to get your little one in and out for their naps.
Most cots come with adjustable height positions, so you can drop the mattress height down as your little one grows. That means it’s easy to reach them when they’re little, and as they grow bigger and more mobile, you can drop the height down so that they can’t climb out of the cot.
Some cots even come with under-bed storage, like many adult beds! This can be a game-changer if you’re short on space, as can a cot with a built-in cot-top changer. This changing unit simply slots onto the top of your cot, and means you don’t need to have a separate changing unit and mat elsewhere in your house.
Of course, you can also buy travel cots, which are handy for holidays and nights away. These are lightweight and portable, and worth investing in if you have plans to spend time away visiting family or friends.
Are cots safe?
To make sure that your little one is as safe as possible in their cot, it’s important to check that it meets British Safety Standards BS EN 716:2008. Also check that the distance between the top of the mattress and the top of the cot is 50cm, and that the bars of the cot are no more than 6.5cm apart. Cot bars should always be vertical.
If the cot has designs cut into the headboard and footboard, make sure that your little one’s limbs can’t get stuck in them.
What is a cot bumper?
Cot bumpers are cotton pads that line the edges of a cot, designed to create a soft cushioning for babies around the edges of their cot to protect them from any minor bumps.
What bedding do you need for a cot?
As with cribs and Moses baskets, the mattress you choose for your baby’s cot should be firm and supportive, conforming to the British Safety standard 1877-10:1997.
When it comes to bedding, choose a fitted sheet and a light blanket that can be tucked in below baby’s shoulders. They should be placed to sleep with their feet at the bottom of the cot so they can’t wriggle down as they snooze.