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It's an exciting day when you bring your newborn baby home from hospital, hopefully you already have a bed ready for them?! Initially you will probably want them in your own room, and a 'Moses' basket is plenty big enough for your new bundle of joy. Moses baskets may be sold with or without a stand, and stand options include fixed or rocking. You don't require a stand; and rocking stands cost a little bit more than fixed ones, but it's good to be able to comfort your baby in their sleep with a gentle rocking.
As your baby grows out of a Moses basket, you have a choice between a cot and a cot bed. A cot is designed to be safe and to contain your child from falling out of bed during the night, and the sides are permanent and fixed. A cot bed offers the same safety as a cot, but is designed with removable sides, and often a headboard that can be reduced, so that it can convert into an undersized single bed. A cot will generally suit a child up to the age of 2 whereas a cot bed will suit a child until around the age of 5.
After a cot or cot bed you will want to buy a single bed for your children. Single beds come in two widths; standard width is 3 foot wide, but you can also buy narrower singles that are just 2'9", perhaps more appropriate for a very small room.
If you have two or more children then you might want to consider bunk beds. Although sleeping in a top bunk is not recommended until the age of 6, you can still buy detachable bunk beds sooner, where each bunk is a self contained single that is also designed to stack later. This arrangement saves you buying two singles and later buying a whole additional bunk bed.
Whatever their size, beds are an expensive purchase and you don't want to have to buy more than you need! Plan ahead and think how best to get the best use from your beds, and how to minimise the cost over the first few years of your children's lives!