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Parents of newborn babies or those expecting a baby very soon, often have a decision to make - whether or not to buy a baby cot. Once the decision to go ahead and buy a cot is made, parents need to know what points to consider while picking up a cot.
Nap times are one of the few times we leave our babies unattended for longer-than-usual periods of interval, hence we have to make sure that the cot is completely safe for our little one. Baby cots are used until the baby is 2-3 years old – so, it is important to buy the right one for our baby – one which will keep our baby safe as well as comfortable - during nap times, as well as otherwise.
Size and design – The space that you have available for the crib will decide the size and shape of the cot that you will buy. Depending on how many children you have, the baby cot is a piece of furniture that you might have with you for a long time – hence, it is better to choose a design that is classic and that will stand the test of time.
Gap between the railings or slats – The crib slats or railings should be strong and the gap between the slats should not be more than 2 and 3/8th of an inch. If the gap is more than that, then there is a danger of the baby’s hand or leg getting stuck in the gap. If the crib that you are buying has been painted, you should ensure that the paint that has been used is non-toxic – since teething babies tend to chew on the railings and ingest toxic paint.
Material used – Ensure that you buy a crib made of solid wood. Inexpensive cribs might compromise on the quality by using veneer that is cheaper – but the disadvantage is that veneer is not as strong as solid wood and could chip off easily – posing a danger for your baby.
Décor Matching - The colour of your crib should match with the colour of your décor. Baby cots come in different materials and styles – so, with the amount of choice that one has, it is not difficult to find a baby cot to match the décor of ones home.
Drop sides – Most cots have drop sides and an adjustable base height to make it easier to lift your baby in and out as he grows. It is a good idea to lower the base when your baby is old enough to pull himself up, so that he stays secure in the cot. Drop sides ensure that we do not have to bend over the crib from above – we can simply adjust the crib side so that 1 wall slides down. However, cribs with drop sides have often been associated with infant deaths.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Defective or damaged drop side rails can create a gap with the mattress where a baby could get caught; hence some countries like the United States of America have banned cots with drop sides.