One of the first doubts of future parents is the choice between a cot for a newborn or a real bed. Someone also opts directly for the wheelchair, to avoid buying further products. In reality, within the limits of the possibilities of each family (space and economic), the cradle represents the ideal solution for the first months of the child’s life.
It is comfortable, light, practical, and many models also allow you to swing the baby. If you are also looking for one, you will have already noticed that there are many types and that it is not easy to decide which one to buy.
Here we had listed out the best cradles that are listed below.
When buying any object intended for a newborn baby, it is normal to have a thousand doubts. In the following section, we will try to answer the most frequently asked questions of those who, like you, are looking for all the possible information on the baby cot.
What Exactly Is a Cradle?
The cradle is a wicker or bamboo basket, with handles and often with a “roof,” ideal for the rest and sleep of newborn babies in the very first months of life. However, as the baby grows, it is advisable to transfer it to a cot so that it has greater comfort and freedom of movement.
What Should the Mattress of The Cradle Be Like?
Most cots include a mattress, but not all of them are recommended for your baby. For this reason, before choosing a model, you must make sure that the mattress is of adequate size: if it is too small, it may be particularly uncomfortable for the newborn to sleep in the cot.
Also, it must be rigid at the right point (neither too hard nor too soft) to ensure maximum comfort for the child.
As a rule, the mattresses already included in the purchase of a cot are too thin, so it won’t hurt to have a second thicker for the baby to sleep better. If the mattress adapts to the weight and height of the baby, it will favor its growth.
How Much Does a Cot Measure?
The standard size of a cot is 80 x 40 x 25 cm, although this is not the only size available. The canopied and rocking cradles are usually larger, and the folding ones are smaller. Bear in mind that the bigger the product, the more time you can use it, and the baby will sleep safely longer.
Types of Cradles
Initially, the cradle was used by mothers to have their babies next to them and be able to carry it with them easily. For this reason, almost all models have handles to improve transport.
Today, however, many models do not have handles. Below, let’s see what types of cradles you can find and their characteristics.
- Travel cot: usually packaged in canvas and foldable to be easily transported. Takes up little space.
- Cradle with handles: with or without a support structure. The handles allow it to be easily moved around the house. Usually, they are wicker or wood.
- Cradle for co-sleeping (attached to the parents’ bed): it fits and hangs on the bed, so that the mother will not have to get up at night, but will have her baby next to her without barriers. It is very useful for the first weeks of life, in which the infant is breastfed very frequently.
- Scissor cradle: folds very easily and takes up very little space once stored. It consists of two parts: the portable cradle and the frame.
- Cradle with a canopy: has a protective sheet in the part of the roof, which, in addition to an aesthetic purpose, is used to avoid strong lights, dust, and mosquitoes at night.
- Rocking cradle: its balancing system uses it to cradle the baby while he is falling asleep. Once he is asleep, the swing can be stopped with a locking system.
- Cradle with wheels: perfect to be moved from one part of the house to another to keep an eye on the baby while he is busy with household chores. It has brakes.
- Non-Motorized Mobile: commercially available carousel- free mobile devices that are moved either manually or by air flows. They are generally made up of cuddly toys or wooden objects that produce sounds when moving. These are simple and essential types so that they can also be made at home: you simply need a pole, wire, toys, such as small puppets or models, and lots of creativity. They are the so-called DIY carousels.
- Battery-Powered Mobile: they are equipped with a motor that allows you to have numerous functions to use to relax and distract the little ones, such as lights and sounds, in addition to the plush or fabric puppets that rotate. The melodies can be different and last up to 30 minutes, enough to make the baby fall asleep. They can be equipped with projectors that emit lights of different shapes on the ceiling and that, once the child has grown up, can be detached from the central body and used independently.
What Are the Advantages of Using a Cot?
Buying a cradle is an excellent idea, not only because it is a safe and comfortable option for the newborn, but also its countless advantages over other types of the cot. Below, we explain why buying this product is a choice you will not regret, finding the right product for your needs.
- It takes up very little space. Therefore it is ideal for use in small homes. Thanks to its small size, you can keep it next to your bed to keep your baby close at night, supervise and breastfeed him.
- A cot will make it easier to take the baby in your arms to calm him down if he cries, as he is taller than a standard cot.
- It is perfect for moving around the various rooms of the house while doing household chores. Many people also choose the cradle to take it to work, being very easy to handle thanks to its size and weight.
- The cradle transmits comfort and safety to the baby, reminding him of the mother’s tummy and a small and cozy environment. Also, even by stretching, it will reach the edges of the cradle, feeling comfortable.
- It is essential in the first months of the baby’s life because it prevents him from turning as he could in a larger bed and feeling unprotected.
How Long Can I Use the Cradle for My Baby?
It is recommended to use the cradle up to four months of age, although this is subjective and will depend very much on the growth rates of the baby. But how do you know when it’s time to move the baby to a bigger bed?
When he starts trying to turn around and can’t do it well, or when he starts using his hands to pull himself up, it’s time to take him to sleep in a more comfortable and safe place.
A good way to make the transition to the cot not too abrupt is to leave the baby in the cot during the day, but continue to let him sleep in the cot for the first few nights. In this way, the child will gradually become familiar with the new bed and will not undergo a sudden change.
How to Choose the Best Cradle?
To choose the best carousel for the cradle, it is necessary to take into consideration the types available, the structure, the games and the stuffed animals to hang, the presence of relaxing music and melodies, the projector of lights, the presence of extra accessories, product safety, and the brand.
As regards the structure, it is important to evaluate the support arm, the fixing system, and, if the carousel is battery operated, the base with the motor inside.
The support arm of the mobile for the cradle can be made of plastic or wood, and it must be adjustable. This feature allows parents to lower or raise the upper part in such a way as to allow the child to grasp the cuddly toys and hanging toys or to keep them away if they are not suitable for contact with the child.
Each support arm is equipped with a fixing system useful for attaching the carousel not only to the cradle but also to the cot.
We specify that the fixing system is compatible with cradles and cots that have a rigid structure and are equipped with bars. Some types can also be equipped with one clip that allows you to attach the carousel to the stroller or use it comfortably while traveling.
The battery models are equipped with an additional component, which is a base that contains a mechanism that allows the carousel to move independently.
Games and Stuffed Toys to Hang
The games and plush to hang on to are very important because of their movement, their colors, and their form depends on what the child can be distracted and calm down.
It is generally puppets in the shape of animals, the stars and planets, or Disney characters even if it is not rare the presence of small, pendants that, moving, emit sounds. In the case of cuddly toys or puppets, it is important that they are soft and made of safe and non-toxic materials.
The most used materials to make them are plastic, wood, or fabric. If the chosen product is equipped with plush fabric, the advice is to check that they are washable both by hand and in the washing machine.
Since these are objects that children can also grasp, they must always be clean and sanitized. In this regard, we point out the possibility of being able to choose a carousel with games and soft toys that can be detached and used by children as toys.
Relaxing Music and Melodies
Just like games and cuddly toys, the presence of relaxing music and melodies is essential to help the child fall asleep or distract him when he has a tantrum.
The best carousels for the cradle allow you to choose between different possibilities and to be able to select a lullaby, music, or the sounds of nature, perfect for reconciling the sleep of the little ones.
The so-called white noises are particularly appreciated by children, even infants, of low frequency, sounds that can be found more and more often in these for their ability to calm them in a short time.
Another suggestion is to choose a carousel that has music and melodies with a fairly long duration. Those of the best brands can last up to 30 minutes, even if the most popular models are those that have a duration that is around a minimum of 4 up to a maximum of 30 minutes.
The cheaper ones, on the other hand, work through a music box that must be recharged by hand when the song or lullaby ends. If you choose a model with music and melodies, it is important to buy one that allows you to adjust the volume so as not to annoy the child.
The best mobile for cradles is also equipped with projectors that reproduce starry skies or other shapes on the ceiling. It is an additional factor that helps to stimulate the child further, as well as to distract him from the movement of the lights, and they effectively relax him.
We point out that in many models belonging to a high price range, they provide the possibility of detaching the projector from the structure and being able to use it as companion light to be placed on the bedside table when the little one becomes bigger.
If you decide to buy a crib mobile equipped with music and a light projector, it must be equipped with a remote control that allows you to operate or stop the various functions remotely without approaching the cradle or bed and run the risk of disturbing the baby sleep.
Being a product that is mainly used with newborns, it must be safe and reliable. Whether it is a purchased or a home-made carousel, it is important to check that the threads on which the toys are hung are never of such a length that the little ones can grasp them.
Furthermore, the various components must be well assembled, and there must be no objects that can accidentally detach and fall.
Even puppets and pendants must be placed away from the face of the child in such a way as to prevent that when he grows up, he starts to stand up autonomously and can grab them.