buyers guide nursery and bedding

Everything you need to know about bedding & nursery furniture

Babies spend as much as eighteen hours a day asleep in their first year so investing in the right sleeping solution for you, your home and your lifestyle is time and money well spent. A well-rested baby means a happy baby. And a happy baby means a happy parent!


What is a Moses basket?

Moses baskets give a lovely traditional look to the nursery or your bedroom and give baby a nice cosy sleeping environment in the early days.

  • birth to 3-4 months
  • made from wicker or palm
  • sturdy handles for easy portability (always put your hand beneath for additional support when moving baby)
  • most have a removable hood
  • padded mattress included
  • some have rocking or gliding action stands which can also be fixed still
  • washable trimmings
  • stands & Moses baskets sold separately

What is a crib?

Larger than a Moses basket, a crib is a rocking or static sleeping unit that again gives baby a snug place to sleep in the early days.

  • birth to approx. 6 months
  • choose from fixed, gliding or swinging
  • not all come with mattresses
  • some feature drape rods
  • natural or painted wood

Some parents choose a hammock-style system like Amby Nature’s Nest for their newborn’s early months; a compact baby bed suspended from a metal frame.

Safety tip: neither Moses baskets, cribs nor hammocks are suitable for babies who have become active.


Your baby's cot is the staple of the nursery – the place where blissful uninterrupted sleep and happy dreams happen. It’s also the focal point that all other furniture fits around.

What’s the difference between a cot & a cot bed?

A cot is suitable for babies from birth to approx. 18 months – 2 years whereas a cot bed is suitable from birth to 5 years. A cot bed features removable and split end panels to easily convert into a junior bed when baby is ready, approx 18 months - 2 years.

Features to look out for:

  • drop side. One side of the cot lowers for easy access
  • one-handed drop side. Genius invention that allows you to cradle baby while lowering or raising the side of the cot with one hand
  • adjustable mattress height. Most cots come with 2-3 base positions; the highest position ideal from birth & for easy reach, the second level or lowest position is for active babies that can stand up
  • teething rails. Clear non-toxic plastic covering to protect little gums (and also the cot!) once teeth start appearing

And some extras you might like to consider:

  • bumper. A protective padding that fits the mattress base & attaches to the sides of the cot to prevent little heads from going bump & little limbs getting between the rails
  • bed guard/rail. Cloth/mesh bed guards & solid/slatted wooden bed rails to prevent little people falling out of bed. Suitable from ages 2-5
  • Safababy divider. A safety device which promotes the recommended ‘feet to foot’ sleeping position with baby’s feet touching the foot of the cot; this prevents baby sliding down beneath the sheets (see Safe sleeping below). Also ideal if you have twins

Junior or starter beds

When little ones outgrow their cot a junior (starter) bed is an ideal next step.

  • approx 18 months – 4 or 5 years depending on development
  • designed to let little ones get safely in and out on their own
  • some come with safety side guards

At Kiddicare you can buy a cot, cot bed or junior bed either on its own, with a mattress or as a handy all-in-one combo including mattress & bedding.


There is no 'best' mattress but there are different types; ultimately it comes down to personal preference and budget. The most important thing is getting the right size mattress for your cot, cot bed, starter bed or travel cot. There shouldn’t at any point be a gap of more than 3cm between the mattress edge and the cot.

All Kiddicare mattresses come with removable, washable covers. The two main types of mattress are:


  • quite simply a high density, dent-resistant foam block
  • non-allergenic & fire resistant
  • great value for money


  • coil or individually housed pocket springs covered with a layer of foam
  • firm & durable
  • moisture-resistant, antifungal, antibacterial & hypoallergenic

Top tips:

  • choose a firm mattress
  • never use a worn, dirty or damp mattress
  • rotate the mattress every month
  • waterproof mattress protectors will protect your mattress keeping it clean & dry. It’s worth buying 2 or 3 for those little accidents!
  • if asthma or allergies run in the family be safe & use an anti allergy mattress
  • remember: one mattress for one child. That’s the advice from the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID)

Be sure to read our advice on Safe sleeping below and rest assured that all Kiddicare mattresses meet the highest possible standards of performance (BS7177:2008) & safety (BS1877:Part 10:1997).


And now we come to the fun bit: expressing your interior designer skills with beautifully chosen linens, bumpers & coordinating accessories!

Making up a baby bed is very different to making your own. Notably, no pillows and no quilts. Well, not until baby reaches 12 months anyway. The best advice is to use lightweight bedding in layers – you can always add or take away to keep your baby at a comfortable temperature. All bedding should be tucked in and covers should reach no higher than baby’s shoulders. The recommended layering of bedding for prams, cots and cot beds goes like this:

Fitted sheet + flat sheet + blanket

Sheets & blankets

Flat and fitted sheets come in a range of colours to use and usually come in a handy two-pack so you can use one, wash one. Blankets range from supersoft fleeces to pure cotton cellular blankets and scallop-trim shawls. Great for bedtime and cuddle time alike.

Bedding sets & bales make life easy by combining a coordinated range of linens in one handy pack.

Pillows, quilts & grobags

Pillows aren't recommended for babies under one year (with the exception of the ClevaFoam baby pillow designed to prevent flat head syndrome). Likewise quilts aren't recommended until babies reach 12 months. They can be heavy for little legs to kick off and they can also lead to overheating.

An ideal interim solution is a grobag. Essentially it's a sleeping bag which goes over baby's shoulders with different tog ratings from a lightweight 1.0 tog to a thicker 2.5 tog. These are only recommended for babies weighing over 7lb.

Once baby reaches 12 months a snuggly quilt can be used. Tog ratings range from between 2.5 for mild nights and 4 for cooler nights.


Your baby will probably sleep in your room for the first six months or so but sooner or later your little one will need a place of their own. Lots of cots can be bought as part of a coordinating roomset package but it’s the size of your nursery that determines which pieces you buy. A good starting point is a cot/cotbed, drawers and wardrobe. If you have space go for a standalone baby changer unit or choose a dresser/cupboard with a changing unit on top, otherwise a changer that attaches to a cot or cot bed is a great space-saver.

You’ll be surprised how much kit your baby accumulates in the early years – particularly if you have generous gift-giving friends and family! There’s no such thing as too much storage so look for clever ways of maximising space: a cotbed with storage drawer, a nappy stacker to store nappies, a toy box for fun stuff…

When you’re planning your nursery make sure you have plenty of space for the door, wardrobe doors and drawers to open.


A few simple reminders and precautions for safe sleeping and happy dreaming:

Sleeping position tips

  • ‘feet to foot’ is the correct positioning. Baby’s feet should touch the foot of the cot to prevent sliding down beneath the sheets.
  • babies should lie on their backs to sleep (unless otherwise advised by a health professional)
  • babies old enough to roll over should be allowed to choose their preferred sleeping position

Bedding tips

  • use lightweight bedding in layers so it’s easy to add or remove for optimal body temperature
  • use duvets & quilts with caution as there’s a potential overheating hazard, & only after 12 months
  • remove bumpers when little one can sit up unaided (you don’t want them acting as a springboard to freedom!)
  • tuck in all bedding & make sure covers don’t reach above baby’s shoulders
  • remember: one mattress, one child

Cot & mattress tips

  • check that the drop side of the cot is secure and that your clever little one hasn’t figured out how to lower it
  • make sure the mattress fits the cot and there are no gaps of greater than 3cm between mattress and cot
  • make sure your baby’s mattress is clean & dry. regularly rotating it will help extend its life
  • don’t stick transfers or stickers inside the cot that baby can reach and make sure mobiles above the cot are well out of reach

Temperature tips

  • make sure your baby’s cot isn’t positioned in sunlight or next to a radiator. A room thermometer positioned above the cot will give you peace of mind
  • a room temperature of around 18°C is ideal
  • check that your baby isn’t too hot or too cold by feeling neck or body (not hands/feet)

©Kiddicare 2014

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