moses basket or carrycot & stand

  • A Moses basket is an oblong shaped woven wicker basket with carry handles and stand, lined with fabric and a mattress for use as baby’s first bed.
  • Nice to have but not a necessity although they look extremely pretty.
  • A good carry cot or pram will probably last longer and be easier to clean.
  • Very much a personal preference.
  • If you do buy a Moses basket ensure it conforms to the safety standard and if you buy second hand remember to buy a new mattress.

cot or cot bed

  • One of these will be the main bed bed for your baby.
  • Has high sides to prevent baby from falling out or climbing over.
  • Drop sides can make it easier to get baby in and out.
  • Cot-bed will convert to small bed when baby is ready by removing sides and lowering base.
  • Large numbers available second hand.

With any cot you must make sure:

  • that bars are close enough together to stop baby’s head from getting stuck;
  • paint or varnish is non-toxic;
  • mattress fits closely with no gaps;
  • that drop sides have secure, baby proof catches.

If you buy second hand be sure to buy a new mattress.

Cot beds will last longer as you do not have to buy a bed until child is about 5 years old.

cot bumpers

  • Cot bumpers are padded edging to go around the top of the cot.
  • They can protect your baby from bumping his head on the side of the cot, getting his arms and legs stuck outside the bars and to help keep out draughts.
  • They are not recommended for small babies as they restrict air circulation around the cot.
  • Be careful of fringes and ribbons etc. – you don’t want your baby to get chords in his mouth, round his neck or fingers. Can often be bought to match your nursery décor.
  • Ensure that they are washable.
  • They can also be bright for baby’s entertainment and can also contain an activity centre.


  • It is important that you buy a new mattress for baby’s cot and that it conforms to safety standards BS1877 and BS7177.
  • It is important that the mattress fits correctly into the cot as there are lots of different sizes i.e., for cribs, prams, cot beds etc
  • The main thing is that it fits securely with no gaps.
  • You must make sure the mattress is always clean, dry and well aired following accidents.
  • It is not recommended to use the mattress for more than one child.


  • You will definitely need a base sheet for cot or crib, fitted are by far the easiest.
  • A top sheet and at least one blanket (depending on time of year) are then needed.
  • You will need quite a few sets of sheets as they need changing after accidents and these can be quite frequent.
  • Avoid little details that can trap baby’s fingers.
  • Duvets are not recommended for babies of less than one year.
  • Once baby can turn over and starts to move around the cot covers will not stay on much and warm sleepwear is more important until they’re old enough to pull the covers back on.
  • You can economise by cutting up a sheet to make several cot sheets.
  • Cellular blankets are probably the most useful because they are light and warm.

baby monitor

  • This is a device for listening to baby when they are in another room.
  • More expensive versions can include movement and heat sensors and video in extreme cases!
  • Can be mains powered or battery powered or rechargeable.
  • Battery or rechargeable are the most versatile.
  • You can make any battery powered monitor into a rechargeable one by using rechargeable batteries from any other device.
  • Radio frequency monitors (by far the most common) usually have only two frequencies and you should be aware that they can transmit up to several hundred meters so if you are having a conversation, an argument or just gossiping within range of the baby unit anyone with a compatible monitor can listen in!
  • Baby monitors can offer added reassurance to first time parents in particular and they are very useful when you are staying in someone else’s house.
  • If your home is small you will probably hear your baby crying without a monitor. Also worth noting that many breastfeeding mothers will wake instinctively when their baby cries, even at night.
  • Often worth waiting to see if you will actually make use of it before you buy.

room thermometer

  • This will help you monitor your room temperature and make sure your baby isn’t too hot or cold.
  • Often split into too cold, just right and too warm rather than just the temperatures.
  • Often given away as free gifts or can be purchased from any baby shop.
  • Don’t put the thermometer near a radiator, in sunshine or near an open window as this will give a false reading.

night light

  • Small light that you leave on all night to give reassurance to baby if he doesn’t like the dark.
  • Probably not worth using unless baby does become distressed as this could cause problems later on.
  • A soft light will also come in handy for night feeds so that you don’t disturb your baby too much.
  • Lights come in all shapes and sizes including automatic sensors for switching on/off, sensors to detect if you child makes a noise or just standard plug in.
  • Make sure that any electrical chords are away from your baby’s bed so that they can’t reach out and pull the lamp down.