Picking a cot for your little one can seem like a daunting task, but don't fret, we're here to outline some important things to look for.
1. Make sure the cot has a current and up to date safety standard sticker
The New Zealand Government has released safety standards which everyone selling cots must comply with (even second hand cots).
However, rather than assuming the seller has it right, it pays to satisfy yourself that the sticker is current. This means it shows that it complies with AS NZ 2172 (learn more here and be aware the standards may change in the future).
2. Check the base
The mattress base is basically where the integrity of your cot rests. In addition to the permanent warning and information sticker, consider:
- how many slats there are,
- how those slats are put in (e.g. screws or bolts, and how many), and
- whether there's a centre support beam (these are increasingly becoming less common, but if they exist it will mean a higher weight limit).
- whether the base is a solid piece or slats - this impacts the breathability
3. Cot aesthetics
You'll be living with this cot for some time, so you will want to ensure it fits your personal style and your life.
Or perhaps you're more interested in fitting the cot into a small space, or in maximising the life-use of the product with a cot that can convert from a bassinet through to a cot, and eventually into a toddler bed or day bed.
If you've already purchased your airnest Mattress, we recommend checking that it will fit your desired cot.
4. Get out the measuring tape
The current NZ safety standard (as at October 2017) allows for gaps between bars of 50-95 mm.
This allows for air to flow through the cot, which decreases SIDS risks, but the gaps remain small enough to prevent a child or toddler slipping between them and injuring themselves.
5. Shake it
Drop sides can be convenient, both for lifting baby in and out of the cot and for making the bed.
Look for a drop side that doesn't easily shift from the inside when a child bounces, or opt for no drop side.
6. Make sure it's difficult for baby to climb out of
When you buy your first cot, your baby is usually either a newborn who doesn't move much, or have purchased before your little one arrives. When your little one begins to grow, you don't want to have to go shopping for another cot due to climbing antics!
Cots which have bassinet and cot settings are really handy for this reason as you can drop the cot down when baby grows.
7. Check for gaps
You'll want to ensure that there's no possibility your baby could slip down the side of the cot and the mattress.
The safety standards allow for no more than a 20 mm gap when the mattress is centred. Make sure your cot complies with that.
There are a number of different cot sizes in New Zealand. We recommend buying a mattress when you buy the cot just to make sure the cot fits the mattress perfectly.
We have a list of cot recommendations that will fit Growbright airnest Mattresses.