Should You Buy A Cot, A Moses Basket Or A Co-Sleeper?

To begin with many new parents assume that they will need a cot for their new baby, but of course once you start looking around you realise that the choice isn’t simply about colour, style, features or size. In fact, should you buy a cot at all? Or should you just get a moses basket or co-sleeper?

Should you instead be considering a co-sleeper, or even a Moses basket? It’s not easy, and it isn’t obvious at first glance which is best for you. Here’s a quick overview of the benefits and possible drawbacks of each of the three main types of sleeping arrangement for a new baby.

Option 1 – The Cot

Regardless of whether you go for a Moses basket or a co-sleeper, your child will eventually end up in a cot, because neither of the first two options are truly long term ones.

So if money is a serious consideration you may choose to go for a cot from the very start. Having said this, neither Moses baskets or co-sleepers are likely to be as costly as a cot.

Have a look at our article on how to choose the best cot if you are unsure about you things you should take into account.

Some cots can convert into starter beds for young children, and this can help in terms of cost, making your investment go further. However, this period between your child moving on from a cot and needing a full child’s bed is only fairly brief. See our article on when to move your child from a cot to a bed.

One of the main benefits of a cot is that your child will quickly get used to sleeping by themselves. It is delightful to have your child sleeping right next to you in either a Moses basket or co-sleeper, and whilst these do offer real benefits, it is also true that children can become used to sleeping close to their parents, and may struggle once you move them away and into their full cot.

To avoid this potential transition problem many parents choose to stick with a cot from the beginning. The initial disadvantages of this might possibly be compensated for by ensuring your child is happy to fall asleep without you next to them in future.

Option 2 – The Co-Sleeping

The co-sleeper is a little like a cot, but with one side missing. The co-sleeper then pushes up against your own bed, attaching securely. This means that your baby has their own space, but is still able to sleep right next to you.

For both the baby and the parent this is extremely comforting, and can mean that both of you get a much better night’s sleep.

Inevitably of course your baby will wake up and need feeding, but what many mothers find is that with a co-sleeper this process is much easier. If you can manage to breastfeed lying down then you hardly need to wake up fully, and you and your child are likely to fall asleep much more quickly after the feeding, helping you both to feel more rested.

However, whilst there are benefits, some parents can find that the child becomes used to having their mother or father right next to them, and when the time comes to moving on to a proper cot there can be problems.

It is also possible that with some co-sleepers the parent’s duvet could cover the child. Although this is unlikely, it is possible in cases where the co-sleeper doesn’t have a very high side. With two parents and a thick duvet the temperature can rise, and this could be dangerous for your child. It’s an unlikely scenario, but one which you should be aware of.

Option 3 – The Moses Basket

Moses baskets are often viewed as being largely unnecessary, and used mostly because they just look beautiful. In fact though they are extremely practical, and allow you to let your baby sleep anywhere at all. Have the Moses basket downstairs, let your child fall sleep, then simply carry it upstairs with your baby still inside fast asleep.

The Moses basket can initially be right next to your bed, but can then be moved further away, and eventually right into the nursery, helping with the transition.

The higher sides mean that unlike with a co-sleeper you won’t be able to see your baby without sitting up, but it’s still lower down than a cot. It’s a flexible solution, but often one which your child will grow out of fairly quickly.

So you can see that each option has its own benefits, and compared to other options, some disadvantages. Partly it will depend upon budget and space, but it’s important not to assume which is the best option, but to look into it carefully, considering the benefits and options, and perhaps chatting to other parents to find out what their experience was like.

Here is a video demonstration of the Chicco Next2Me, one of the most popular products if you choose to buy a co sleeping cot.

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