What the cot must look like and what you need to take into account. A safe place to sleep in a suitable environment not only favours the healthy sleep of the baby, it also contributes considerably to avoid the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Carrycot or cot for the first weeks?
For newborn babies the ideal for the first weeks is, for example, a carrycot, a rocker or a cot. If the place where baby sleeps is not too big, he will feel comfortable and protected. However, it must have a surface area big enough for the air to circulate well.
There must not be any danger of overheating or re-inspiration. If the baby is nervous for no apparent reason, rock or shake him gently from side to side and he will quickly return to dreamland. Also, collet cots that adapt directly to the parents’ bed are perfectly suitable. The important thing is to assemble it well so that there are no gaps between the cot and the parents’ bed.
Cradle from birth?
Thick and bulky materials are not allowed to reduce the size of the cot, because, on the one hand, there is the possibility of heat accumulating and, on the other hand, the baby could sink his face in and suffocate. In the case of newborn babies, also avoid thin fillings used as a nest for the cot. Some consumer organisations even recommend giving up these nests completely.
If you want to place your baby in his cot from the very beginning, make sure you have a fixed place in his room. Generally, cots are manufactured in such a way that it is easy to remove some parts to adapt them to the child’s growth. When buying a cot, parents should ensure that you don’t need to be too skilled to be able to adjust the height of the mattress at different levels.
Removable bars convert the cot into a comfortable bed for children without the need for additional expenditure. Some cot models also have a mounting kit with other sides or a lower headboard and foot. In other words, quality cots can accompany the sweet dreams of the child for several years.
Appropriate equipment for the baby’s cot
Regardless of whether parents decide at the beginning on a cot, a carrycot, a cot or another type of bed for the baby, do not put on bulky pillows, blankets, sheepskins, thermal bags, electric pillows or soft toys, because they increase the danger of overheating or suffocation. On the contrary, special sleeping bags for babies that cannot be pulled over the head or taken off with the feet are perfect.
It is necessary to choose the right length for the baby/child. As long as the sleeping bag is well fitted without limiting freedom of movement, there is no danger of the baby turning over on his stomach (which is a posture considered dangerous for sudden death syndrome).
Nowadays experts also recommend not to place in the bassinets reducing pillows or rolled up towels to prevent the baby from changing position. While in the past it was thought that sleeping on the side had a positive effect on breathing and on the shape that the baby’s head acquired, now doctors recommend that the baby sleep on his back.
How to avoid accidents
It is important to ensure when choosing a cot that practically all possibilities of accidents are eliminated, it should have no protruding parts, sharp edges or gaps. The various seals and certificates from various independent bodies (such as the German TÜV) already offer a certain degree of safety in this respect. In addition, parents should check the following:
- Any ropes, elastic bands or cords in which the baby can get caught should not be within reach.
- The same applies to canopies and mosquito nets.
- All screws and other assembly parts of the cot must be tightened.
- The swing cot or the carry cot must be stable enough so that older siblings cannot turn them.
- The distance between the bars of the cot must be enough so that the baby cannot pass between them.
- The mattress must be the right size for the baby’s bed. There must be no gaps between the frame of the cot and the mattress.
- The bottom sheet must be placed in such a way that the baby cannot loosen it or take it off.
The right temperature to sleep
To gauge, the ideal temperature is around 20°C, to sleep between 16°C and 18°C. It is best to ventilate the room well instead of always having the window closed. Just as the cot equipment must not be too warm, it is also highly recommended not to wear very thick pyjamas. Parents can check if the baby is too hot or too cold by touching between the shoulder blades. If it has a nice warm temperature, then it is perfect.