A basic plastic sheet is the cheapest option, but these tend to make babies sweaty and rustle a lot. Fabric protectors made from layers of absorbent material are more expensive but a lot comfier to sleep on. They come in different sizes to fit Moses basket, crib, cot or cot bed, and are usually made of a soft fabric like cotton jersey or terry towelling. You can buy luxury blankets in fabrics like pure wool, merino or cashmere, but these are harder to wash and dry and are very expensive.
Flat sheets can also be used but are trickier to put on and often get rumpled up.
Baby blankets are generally cellular with lots of little holes in them or fleece; both of these materials are breathable and quick drying. An alternative to using sheets and blankets is to use a swaddling wrap or baby sleeping bag.
These are only suitable up to about four months, but can help little babies sleep more soundly. Sleeping bags come in a variety of thicknesses, and are designed to stop your baby kicking off his blanket, getting tangled up in it, or pulling it over his head.
Coordinated nursery bedding bundles often come with pillowcases, duvet covers and bedspreads.
Although these can look lovely in the nursery, you should never give a pillow or duvet to a baby under 12 months, as it increases the risk of cot death. Finally, cot bumpers are padded fabric barriers that tie on the inside of the cot bars. These are intended to stop your baby bashing into the cot bars, but they have been associated with accidents when babies are old enough to roll around the cot and entangle themselves in the ties.
I wish I hadn't bothered with a Moses basket and just used the co-sleeper from the start. I rarely had to get out of bed unless he needed a nappy change. With decreasing technology prices and increasing house sizes,  it has become increasingly common to have a baby monitor nearby so as to alert the caretaker when the child awakens.
Need to know To reduce the risk of SIDS, the safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot with no loose bedding or cot bumper. Your baby should sleep on his back, with his feet at the bottom of the cot. Blankets and top sheets should be tucked in tightly at his shoulder height, or you can use a baby sleeping bag. In the height of summer, he may need to sleep in just a nappy with no covers. Before 12 months, you can cover your baby with flat sheets and blankets, or use a baby sleeping bag.
Cot bumpers are best avoided, and must be removed once your baby is mobile. Your browser cannot play this video.
Once Mimi moved into her own room and we made the tricky transition from co-sleeper crib to full size cot we lowered the mattress base and I really began to appreciate the design. If you have a big baby, you may have to buy a toddler bed sooner than you'd planned. Traditional cots are smaller than cot beds.
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