Nowadays there's a wide range of options for new parents. From the traditional basket to the bedside crib, there really is something for everyone, whatever your individual needs and budget.
Lullaby Trust Safer Sleep Advice
First and foremost, the Lullaby Trust strongly advises that any product you choose for your newborn complies with British Standards, and you should take special note of this when buying anything over the internet.
However, although complying with British Standards covers lots of things such as making sure a product won't fall apart, or that it won't set on fire easily, this doesn't cover safety surrounding SIDS. Therefore, the Lullaby Trust also help to de-fog any confusion by offering three straightforward recommendations for achieving the safest possible sleeping conditions for your baby.
First, they suggest the surface you use should be:
- Entirely flat
- And waterproof
The cot should also be kept free of any toys or loose bedding, and the Lullaby Trust do not recommend the use of any pods or nests, cot bumpers, hammocks or sleep positioners, as these can cause your baby to overheat while asleep.
They also remind parents they should never put a baby to sleep on their front or side, and they should never cover their face or head.
The Lullaby Trust also say: "Some products clearly do not fit within our guidelines. However, our advice and the research that informs it only relates to the safest sleeping place and doesn’t look at individual products.
“Therefore it is up to parents to make a decision about their baby’s sleeping environment and whether this conforms to the advice we give to reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).”
Now we've got that sorted – it's time to choose your newborn's bed. Designs and costs can vary largely, and a crib, basket or bassinet can be a significant purchase. This means choosing the right product will need some careful consideration to ensure you pick the best solution for you and your baby. With that in mind, we’ve compiled some tips to help you choose the product that’s right for you.
A crib or basket is the right buy for you if…
- You’re looking for a separate bed for your baby. Some parents like to co-sleep and share a bed with their baby, but if you’d prefer yours to have her own safe space, you will definitely need a crib or basket.
- You have room for one in your bedroom or downstairs for daytime naps. Some products are definitely bulkier than others, and so you'll need to make sure you have space in your home. A cot with a removable bassinet such as the Knuma 4-in-1 is a great option so you can pop your baby down wherever you are.
A crib or basket is not for you if…
- You would prefer to share your bed with your baby and co-sleep (If this is the case, do always make sure that you follow the Department of Health's guidelines for safe co-sleeping.)
- You have a limited budget and would rather spend money on a cot bed that will last longer than a crib or basket.
When DS was born I bought a bedside crib. It was absolutely brilliant. It felt great to be so close, but to have enough room at the same time.
How the figures stack up
Cribs and baskets range in price from as little as £20 to well over £400. If yours stays in good condition, you can expect to recover around a third to half of its value on resale, particularly if you invest in a top-of-the range or popular model like the Snuzpod2.
How to choose the right newborn bed for you?
Consider which kind of sleep solution appeals to you
Does the idea of co-sleeping appeal to you, or would you prefer your baby to sleep separately and further away from you? Do you need something that will assist in you breastfeeding, or perhaps a solution that will make it easier to pick up your baby after having a c-section? Think about what you need your baby’s ‘bed’ to do and how you would prefer them to sleep before deciding on the type to buy.
Consider your budget
How much money do you want to spend? Consider factors such as whether you may have another child that might use it one day? Would you rather purchase a product that has longevity and can be used in different ways, or are you happy with something simpler and cheaper?
Think about your space
Do you have room for a bedside or standalone crib, or do you need something smaller or portable? Do you need a product for downstairs as well as your bedroom or can you find a product that fits both spaces and can be used portably?
I found it really useful to have DD in a moses basket, so I could be in the same room as her when she slept in the day. If you only have a cot bed, you might want to put your DC down to sleep on a blanket or something in the daytime. There's no way I would have been comfortable with DD in her own room while I pottered about doing housework etc.
Future-proof your choice
Do you want a product that will grow with your child? (The Knuma 4-in-1, for example, can be simply converted into a child’s seat and desk after use.) Or perhaps you would like to buy a bedside crib that can be used again if you have more children?
It doesn’t matter what kind of crib, nest or basket your baby sleeps in but what is absolutely crucial is how safe it is. Has it passed safety standards? Has it been made from breathable materials? Can it be knocked over easily? Is it well made? Can a bedside crib be safely secured to your bed? Is the stand sturdy? Does it keep your baby safe and secure?
All of the above are important things to consider to help you choose the right crib, nest or basket for your baby.