What else might I need to help my baby sleep well? As excited as you may be about setting up your baby's sleeping area, you may be baffled by the variety of furniture and bedding options available. So here's our guide to what you'll need to keep your baby comfortable and safe while he sleeps.
What type of bed will my newborn need? Depending on your budget and the size of your room, there are many types of bed to consider. Cot Once you've chosen a cot, your baby is likely to use it right up until the time he has his own bed. So make sure you choose a strong, sturdy model, as you'll probably want it to last for two years to three years. If you have a little extra money to spend, you may also like to consider a cot bed, which is bigger than a standard cot and can be converted into a junior bed when your toddler's ready.
Bedside cots and co-sleeper cots are height-adjustable and have one open side. They can be fitted right up against your bed, which can be great for night-time feeds.
Bear in mind that your newborn may look a little lost in his cot at first. If you'd rather not buy an extra bed for your newborn, cot separators are a good option.
You can place these horizontally across the cot, keeping your baby in the 'feet to foot' position, so he can't wriggle down under the covers. Drop sides and an adjustable base height will make it easier to lift your baby in and out as he grows. When your baby is old enough to pull himself up, simply lower the base, so he can't climb out. This will be listed in the product's specifications. The standard ensures that the cot: There are so many types of cot to choose from nowadays that you'll want to consider the features you'd like before you go shopping.
For example, do you want the cot to sit neatly in the corner, or be oval-shaped, or have the ability to convert into a sofa when your baby's older? Moses basket In the first few months your baby may prefer the cosiness of a Moses basket to the vast expanse of a cot. Moses baskets are usually made from palm, maize, or the more expensive but durable wicker.
Most come with a set of bedding, a fabric-covered hood, and a foam mattress. You can use a Moses basket until your baby is about three months to four months. Moses baskets are secure, lightweight and portable.
This will help in the early months, when you will want to keep your baby near you. Carry the basket with the handles together and with one hand placed firmly underneath. A wooden stand lets you raise the basket to a more practical height. A stand will also help with feeding at night, when you want to easily reach your baby. Carrycot If your pushchair or buggy has a carrycot, it can double up as your baby's first bed.
It's smaller than a cot and is more of a snug fit for your newborn. Using a carrycot can save you money too, as you don't have to buy a separate Moses basket or crib.
You should also check with the manufacturer to see if you need to buy a separate mattress for night-time sleeping. The mattress must be firm enough to support your sleeping baby. You can also buy standalone carrycots. Crib Cribs are usually made of wood and are smaller than cots, making them suitable for newborns.
Many cribs have a rocking or gliding option to help you get your baby to sleep in the first few weeks. If your baby seems ready, encourage him to self-soothe once he's about three months. Cribs can be used up to six months , so they're better value than a Moses basket. But they cost more to buy, and you can't move them from room to room as easily. Hammock A baby hammock is a sling that hangs from a metal frame.
They often come complete with sheets, mattress and a mattress cover, and are best sourced online. Hammocks offer a cosy sleeping environment which may help young babies settle themselves to sleep. However, they're expensive and your baby will have probably outgrown it by the time he's a few months old. So it's perhaps more of a stylish luxury than a necessity. What bedding will I need for my baby?
Mattress Cot mattresses should be at least 8cm 3in to 10cm 3. A Moses basket or crib will need a mattress of no more than 5cm 2in. Whether it's made from foam, natural fibre, or has a coiled spring interior, make sure it's firm, fits the cot without any gaps, and doesn't sag. This number should be available in the product's specifications, and tells you that the mattress has been safety tested. Buying new rather than second-hand is the safest option. Foam mattresses cost the least.
If they have a wipe-clean cover they're easy to keep hygienic, though PVC covers may make your baby a bit clammy in hot weather. Spring interior mattresses contain coiled springs covered with a layer of foam and are a bit more expensive. They're usually covered with PVC on one side and cotton on the other, allowing you to turn them as needed. Natural fibre mattresses have a coconut fibre or wool interior and are coated in natural latex, which is waterproof. The covers are soft cotton which are good if you'd prefer your baby not to sleep on synthetic materials.
They're durable but a bit more expensive than foam mattresses. Hypoallergenic mattresses may suit you if your family suffers from allergies or asthma. The detachable quilted top layer can be washed at 60 degrees C to kill dust mites.
However, they aren't cheap. Sheets and blankets Buy sheets to fit whatever your baby is sleeping in. Fitted sheets are time-savers and stay in place. You can choose from woven cotton, brushed flannelette which feels warm to the touch, stretch-cotton terry or cotton-jersey. Two or three sheets should be enough.
Cellular blankets can be layered, which means you can keep your baby at the right temperature by removing or adding covers as needed. You shouldn't need more than about three. If your baby sleeps in a cold bedroom, try using acrylic cellular blankets.
If you opt for wool, check they're machine-washable. Polyester fleece blankets may make your baby too hot, and are better saved for the pram on a cold day. You can swaddle your baby until he starts rolling over onto his tummy during sleep. You'll need a flat cotton cot sheet for this or you can buy special swaddling blankets.
This cot is not as portable as some of the others listed here. If you are cold, chances are your baby is as well.
Swaddling may help to settle your newborn, though some babies are less than keen! Sleeping bag Lots of parents prefer sleeping bags to blankets as babies can't kick them off , become cold and then wake in the night. They also stop your baby wriggling down under the covers. Sleeping bags can be used from birth. But make sure you choose one made for newborns so that the neck size is correct.
This will stop your baby slipping down inside the bag while he sleeps. Never use a sleeping bag with a quilt or duvet, as it will make your baby far too hot. In very hot weather, you may only need to put your baby in a nappy and a 0. If it is cold, try layering your baby's sleeping clothes and remove one if he gets too warm NHS a. Don't use duvets or pillows until your baby's 12 months old. They can restrict his movement and may make him too hot. Blankets, sheets and sleeping bags should be enough until your baby moves to a big bed.
Baby monitor A baby monitor isn't essential to help your baby sleep, but it may give you peace of mind. Monitors come in two parts. One part stays with your baby, and the other is for you to keep with you when you leave the room. Audio monitors pick up the noises that your baby makes. You can keep tabs on your baby from any room in the house and hear every cry or gurgle. Breathing and sensor monitors are similar, but come with additional pads that go under your baby's sheet.
These pads alert you to changes in your baby's movements or breathing. Such monitors can cause more anxiety than peace of mind though.
There's also no evidence that breathing monitors protect babies against SIDS. In general, creating a safe sleeping environment and keeping your baby's room at the correct temperature is a better way of preventing SIDS. Some premature babies have periods where they stop breathing for more than 20 seconds Tommy's This is called apnoea. In this case a breathing monitor may bring you peace of mind.
But bear in mind that your hospital is unlikely to discharge your newborn while he has apnoea Tommy's Learn how to establish good sleep habits with your newborn. February References NHS a.
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