Cot vs Cot Bed: Which Should You Choose?

Welcome to the world of baby sleep! The vast array of options may seem confusing at first, but we’re here to break things down and set the record straight so you can make the best decision for your baby’s bedtimes. So, let’s start with the basics, shall we?

What is the difference between a Cot and a Cot Bed?

Though they come in various sizes, a standard UK cot generally requires a mattress size of 60cm x 120cm. Depending on the child, cots can last your little one between 2-3 years. Most parents will begin considering the switch to a single bed as their little one becomes more active and fidgety while on the cot’s lowest level. Otherwise, it can become quite clear when your little one is outgrowing their sleep space and needs more room to wriggle about.

Sample

Depending on the child, making the move from cot to bed may be a matter of comfort or necessity. For parents planning on having several children only a few years apart, switching your first to their ‘grown-up bed’ may be a matter of urgency when your new arrival is due to sleep in the cot very soon.

It’s recommended that your newborn sleep in the same room as you in their first 6 months, so any cot you choose should fit comfortably in your bedroom for this time. Failing this, a Bedside Crib or Moses basket can prove a worthwhile investment for those first few months before transitioning, allowing you to be closer to your little one in their early days, without them looking too tiny and lost in a cot from the get go.

Cot beds, though very similar to cots, are generally bigger in size due to their versatile design. Typically requiring a standard mattress size of around 70cm x 140cm, though this can vary between brands and models. SnuzKot, for example, sits right in between the standard cot and cot bed sizes and pairs perfectly with SnuzSurface for sustained support as your baby grows. SnuzKot will see your little one through years of comfortable sleep up to 4 years of age, make that 10 when bought with an extension kit!

Now, let’s break this all into a neat Pros & Cons list for anyone needing a bite-sized rundown!

Pros & Cons of Cots

Pros:

  • Smaller and usually cheaper than Cot Beds
  • Can be used from birth as long as kept in the same room as parents in the first 6 months
  • Ideal for use with future children, as it may be needed for the next baby before there’s time to convert Cot Bed to bed for the older sibling. In this case, a cot to bed transition is usually what’s needed

Cons:

  • The transition from cot straight to junior bed can be jarring for some children, and affect their sleep pattern when they make the switch
  • If bought for use with future children, parents must consider storage space to keep it in the meantime.

Pros & Cons of Cot Beds

Pros:

  • Can be used from birth as long as kept in the same room as parents in the first 6 months
  • Has removable sides and end panel so it can convert to a short, low bed for a toddler
  • Lasts twice as long as a cot if not longer when bought with extension kit, more cost-effective in the long-run
  • Gradual transition and familiarity with sleep space can ease your child’s transition from cot to a ‘big bed’

Cons:

  • Larger than a cot, may be difficult to fit in smaller home
  • Slightly more expensive upfront when inc. larger mattress, bedding, extension kits etc

Buying a Mattress for Your Cot or Cot Bed

Once you’ve decided whether you’re going for a Cot or Cot Bed, you need to invest in a mattress. Given the amount of time babies spend sleeping — on average 12-14 hours a day! — it’s worth investing in a good one.

Sample


Safe sleep advice is that a new mattress should be bought for each new child. If this isn’t possible for you, safe sleep experts recommend that if you are going to use a second-hand mattress, it be one you know the history of, that has been appropriately stored and carefully looked after, as well as used with waterproof mattress protectors.

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