6 things to think about when you buy a cot or cotbed

If you’re a new parent, the world of baby beds can be more than a little daunting.

With so many different shapes and sizes to choose from, it’s easy to feel out of your depth. After all, when it comes to your newborn’s safety and comfort, it’s not exactly a decision you want to rush into.

But don’t worry – we’re here to help you make the right choice for both you and your little one.

Here are six things to consider when you buy your baby’s first cot or cot bed…

Vox Bosque Baby Cot

Gaia Baby Serena Complete Sleep Cot Bed

1. Do you want a cot or a cot bed?

Scratching your head over whether you need a cot or a cot bed? There is no right or wrong answer between the two – it entirely depends on your nursery and baby.

A cot bed is a little bigger than a cot. That’s because, once you remove the sides, it’s big enough for kids to use as a toddler bed. It’s a great halfway house between a cot and a single bed – making that big switch less daunting for everyone involved. Plus, a cot bed is a savvy way to get more for your money. As your little one can use a cot bed for twice as long as a cot, it’s a cost-effective choice.

When your little one outgrows their cot, a single bed is often still too big. So a cot bed means you avoid splashing out on a cot, a toddler bed and a single bed – you can simply skip the middle toddler bed phase.

However, a cot still has advantages over a cot bed for many parents. For example, you might be planning to have another baby sooner rather than later. And if that’s the case, you’ll want to free up the cot in time for your youngest – which is tricky if your older child is still using the cot bed up until the age of three or four.

Plus, a cot bed can often be too big if you’re currently short on space. So if you’re waiting to move your little one into a bigger bedroom within the next couple of years, a cot can help you save more space in the meantime.

And since cots are often the cheaper choice upfront, they’re a more budget-friendly option if you’d rather save money right now.

Obaby Stamford Space Saver Cot in White

Lifetime Baby Cot Bed in White & Birch

2. Does the mattress adjust?

If you’re new to the world of baby beds, you might not think to ask whether you can adjust the mattress or not. But actually, it’s one of the first things you should check…

When your baby is a newborn, you can leave the mattress up high so you can easily lean over and reach your baby without stooping down low. You’ll save yourself from getting an achy back when it comes to those nonstop night feeds…

But by the time your baby can sit unaided, you’ll want to lower the mattress a little. This means there’s no chance your little one can wobble and fall out of bed, so you can rest easy knowing your baby is totally safe and secure.

And when your little one can start pulling themselves up, you’ll be ready to lower the mattress again to its lowest setting. This will stop your youngster from clambering out of their cot during the night – right up until they’re ready for a big bed.

You can adjust the Vox Vintage cot bed (below) to three different heights, so you can easily keep your baby safe until they outgrow the cot. And once they reach that stage, you can simply take off the rails to transform the cot into a toddler bed.

Vox Vintage Baby Cot Bed

3. How long would you like your child to use it for?

Believe it or not, you can buy a cot that grows with your child for up to ten years.

If you’d like your baby’s bed to go the distance, you need to check to see whether you can convert your cot into a toddler bed. If it does, you won’t need to think about buying another bed until your child reaches the age of four or so.

But if you’d like your baby’s bed to last even longer, you’ll need to check whether the cot bed has an optional conversion or extension kit.

Take a look at the 5 in 1 cot bed from Oliver Furniture below. You can easily transform this bed into a junior bed for kids. It means you won’t need to think about buying another bed for nine years!

And thanks to a selection of clever conversion kits, you can convert this cot into a low loft bed or bunk bed, too. You can even add a roof to make a cosy little den… the possibilities are endless!

Oliver Furniture Seaside Lille+ 5 in 1 Cot Bed

4. Do you need any additional storage?

If you’re short on storage space, find a cot that has a trundle drawer underneath. Lots of cots have a pull-out under bed drawer, which is super useful if space is limited. And even if you have ample space, you can never have too much storage when you have a baby…

So if you’re after extra space to store baby essentials, look no further than the Vox cot bed with drawer (below). With a full-length storage drawer, there’s heaps of space for toys, bedding, nappies, and more. Goodbye nursery clutter, and hello extra space!

Vox Simple Cot Bed with Storage Drawer

5. Does the cot have teething rails?

By the time your baby starts teething, they’ll be gnawing on everything in sight. And that includes their own sleeping quarters…

So to prevent your little one from hurting their growing teeth (and damaging the cot), it’s good to get a cot that has teething rails. With a teething rail, you cover the cot with a plastic layer to save your baby from chomping on wood.

Lots of the cots we supply have teething rails. For example, the mini cot bed by OBaby (below) has teething rails as standard, so you won’t need to worry about any damage to the lovely warm grey wood effect! Or your little one’s teeth, of course…

Obaby Grace Mini Cot Bed in Warm Grey

6. Does it meet all the health & safety regulations?

Most importantly of all, the cot you choose must conform to the latest safety standards.

But don’t worry. At Cuckooland, you won’t need to read up on pages of chunky health & safety legislation before you buy your cot.

Each and every one of our cots is designed with safety in mind, so you can rest assured your baby’s new bed meets all the right standards. Phew!

Tutti Bambini Malmo Cot Bed, Cot Top Changer and Mattress Bundle

Find your baby’s first bed with Cuckooland

Safety, style, size, storage… whatever you’re looking for, our range of cots and cot beds tick every box!

If you’ve got a question before you buy, our customer service team is here to help. Get in touch on +44 (0) 1305 231231 or send us an email today.


With more than 8 years’ experience in providing advice and support to parents looking for their perfect kids bed, mother of 2, Nathalie Davis is passionate about helping children develop. In her role as Director of Product Procurement at Cuckooland, Nathalie has helped thousands of parents improve their children’s sleep and sleeping habits through the beds and mattresses she sources and the articles she writes. In her spare time she teaches her Golden Retriever to be a responsible vegetarian and is often spotted sifting through clothes at her local Charity Shops.

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