In the first months and years of life, babies sleep in special beds called cots that are equipped with high barred sides in order to prevent the baby from falling out. Cotbeds are types of cots that have a removable end panel as well as removable sides. Therefore, they can be easily converted into toddler beds and used for a long period without having to be replaced with a new bed for the growing child. Cotbeds with dropsides thus help to save money as well as space. The dropside mechanism means that the sides of the bed can be lowered or raised in order to get the baby out of or into the bed easily. This mechanism is especially useful when it is necessary to move the baby while he or she is asleep.
Cotbeds can be found in high street furniture shops as well in bigger supermarkets, but they can also be conveniently purchased on online auction sites, such as eBay. The features of cotbeds should be studied before making the final decision, in order to find the best option for individual needs.
Besides having dropsides, cotbeds have other notable features that should be considered before buying a bed for the baby. With a baby in the house, it is useful to look into cotbeds that also have teething rails, castors, and adjustable base positions when flexibility is required.
The dropside mechanism is generally included on one side of the cotbed, although some models are available with dropsides on both sides. With the mechanism on both sides, it is easy to get the baby out of the cotbed from either side, and this gives more flexibility when choosing a place for the bed. The dropsides use various types of mechanisms. The mechanism may come with triggers, foot pedals, or catches that need to be undone when moving the dropside up or down. These catches are more difficult to use and require both hands. The so-called "nudge and lift" mechanisms are simpler and can be operated with one hand. In this case, the dropside is pushed into a position where it can be moved. The dropside cotbed mechanism should be chosen carefully in order to ensure that the baby does not fall out of the cotbed.
In the US, cotbeds with dropsides may become banned, but European safety standards still allow them to be manufactured. If the dropside mechanism is in working order and parents take care, there should be no problems, especially when screws, bolts, and nuts are checked about once a week to ensure that they are tight. Babies may turn a lot during a normal night, so occasional checkups are advisable.
It is worth thinking about a cotbed that comes equipped with a teething rail. Once the teeth start to come, babies feel the need to chew and may therefore chew the edge of the cotbed. A teething rail is a protective covering placed on the side-edges of the cotbed. It is designed especially to accommodate chewing and thus does not damage the teeth. The teething rails on cotbeds are also non-toxic. For hygienic reasons, it is best to buy a new cotbed or to get a used one in very good condition and disinfect it with a special spray.
If the cotbed with dropsides has castors mounted onto it, it is easier to move the bed around in the room or into another room. When cooking in the kitchen, for example, a mother can keep an eye on her child, because the baby can be moved with the cotbed. Moreover, cleaning under the bed is also easier when the bed can be moved without too much effort. Cleanliness and a dust-free environment is essential in the nursery, so castors are a desirable option. A cotbed may have either two or four castors, and at least two of them should be lockable to enable the cotbed to be secured in place.
Most cotbeds allow for the height of the base to be adjusted for increased flexibility. When the baby is smaller, it is best to keep the base relatively high. This makes lifting the baby in and out of the cotbed much easier. When the baby grows and is able to stand up without help, the base can be lowered to prevent the child from getting out of the cotbed when the parents are not watching. Most adjustable cotbeds have two or three height variations, although some may even have more. For most people's needs, two base height positions are enough. The number of base positions can be determined from the cotbed specifications.
The safety of a cotbed with dropsides should be considered in case of any cotbed, but it becomes especially important when buying a used cotbed, as it is possible that a used cotbed has suffered some damage. Old cotbeds that have been passed on in families may look fancy and antique, but they occasionally fail to meet current safety regulations. Cotbeds that carry the number BS EN 716:2008 printed on them are in compliance with the necessary safety standards of the British Standards Institution.
The bars on the cotbed should be a maximum of 6.5 cm apart, because then the baby cannot get stuck between the bars. Another measurement to be considered is the distance from the top of the cotbed to the top of the mattress. This should be at least 50 cm in order to prevent the baby from getting out. Cut-outs, ledges, and footholds should be avoided on cotbeds, because they can also help the baby to climb out. Other dangers include transfers on the inside of the cotbed and protrusions on the top rails. If the paint is peeling, the whole cotbed should be stripped and then repainted. Before a freshly painted cotbed is put into the nursery, the paint must be allowed to dry completely in order to avoid issues with toxic fumes. Cotbeds with dropsides should have smooth dropside mechanisms that stay securely in the up position.
Cotbeds are bigger than simple cots because they are meant to be used into toddler years. This should be taken into account when planning a spot for the cotbed, either in the nursery or in the parents' bedroom. For the first six months, it may be best to keep the cotbed in the bedroom with parents, to allow for quick access when the baby starts crying in the middle of the night. There should be enough space around the cotbed to make it easy to move around it.
Cotbeds come in many different sizes. These vary by manufacturer and can change often. However, most cotbeds measure about 146 cm long and 77 cm deep, while the height is between 90 cm and 105 cm. The side rails are generally about 85 cm high, while the lowest dropsides reach 65cm to 70 cm high.
The cotbed should be measured in order to choose a suitable mattress. The base of the cotbed should be measured from the inside. For safety reasons, the gap between the cotbed and the mattress should be no more than 4 cm. With such a gap, it is still possible to tuck the blankets in and to move the dropside panel.
If you decide to buy a cotbed with dropsides on eBay, start with a simple search by typing the keywords "cotbed with dropside " into the search box that you can find at the top of any eBay page. Once you receive the initial search results, you can click on related searches if these seem more suitable for your needs. You can also narrow down the choices by sorting the results by price and auction time.
Other customisable options include condition, brand, and material, amongst others. As a cotbed is a relatively large item and may cost a lot to have delivered by post, you may want to look into local sellers who may be able to arrange a local pick-up and help you save on delivery costs. For safety reasons and best quality, explore the item listing carefully and contact the seller should you have any questions about the cotbed. You may enquire about refunds, exchanges, payment methods, and postage. For best service, choose top-rated sellers by checking the seller's feedback and ratings.
Cotbeds are a step up from baby cots because, thanks to removable end and side panels, they can be converted into toddler beds and therefore used longer. Many feature a dropside mechanism that allows the caregiver to raise and lower the sides to get the baby in and out of the cot easily. The mechanisms on dropsides can be simple "nudge and lift" systems or more complex ones with foot pedals, triggers, or catches. In any case, the mechanism should lock firmly in the up position, for safety reasons.
Other features to look out for on cotbeds include teething rails that help to keep the teeth and gums healthy, castors that allow for easy changes of location, and adjustable base positions that allow for different mattress height settings. Safety is a crucial factor when choosing a cotbed, and therefore the space between the bars as well as the gap between the cotbed and the mattress should be taken into account, with measuring being a vital part of the buying process.