How to Choose a Baby Cot

Written by kent page mcgroarty
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How to Choose a Baby Cot
Find the right cot for your baby. (Full House Images/Photodisc/Getty Images)

You want your baby to be both safe and comfortable, so finding the right baby cot is essential. A baby typically sleeps in a cot, or crib, until the age of 2 or 3. Cots made after 1974 must adhere to strict safety regulations. For example, slats must be no more than 2 3/8-inches apart. According to The Baby Department, it is best to purchase a cot that was made after 1999 to ensure complete safety for your baby. Many cots come with additional features you will need to consider before choosing which is right for you.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Research the different types of baby cots available to best fit your needs. Standard cots come in single drop side and double drop side. Other types of cots include canopy, round and convertible. Convertible cots convert from a standard cot to a toddler bed, and finally to a day or full-sized bed for when your child grows.

  2. 2

    Look for standard safety features. Cot slat distance should be no more than 2 3/8-inches, and the drop side locking mechanism should be secure. According to The New Parent's Guide, drop sides should be at least 9 inches above the mattress support when lowered, and at least 26 inches above the mattress support when raised. The space between the mattress and the cot side should be two fingers' width at most. Check for rough corners, peeling paint, splinters or rough edges.

  3. 3

    Look at optional features. Some cots feature a teething rail, which will keep your baby from chewing on the cot itself. Make sure the mattress is sturdy. Metal support frames have more give than wooden supports, which is something to consider for when your child gets older and becomes more active. Adjustable mattress height is also convenient as your child grows, while rolling casters with a wheel lock can make changing sheets easier.

  4. 4

    Check if the cot you wish to purchase has ever been recalled. Search for the product on the official websites of Consumer Reports and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Tips and warnings

  • Other additional features include detachable toys and music mobiles, bumper guards that line crib sides and sleep positioners so you may position your baby on his front or side.
  • Avoid purchasing second-hand cots, particularly those that were made before 1973. Such cots can contain lead paint, have slats that are too far apart, rough edges or splinters.

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