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!
There's no doubting the fact that if you are the baby of a Prime Minister, you will grow up with some pretty remarkable stories, but perhaps none more unlikely than the story that emerged last week that David and Samantha Cameron's new baby Florence sleeps in a cardboard box! That'll be some boast at school - that she used to sleep in a cardboard box in Downing Street!
Florence's early arrival into the world caught the Cameron family out; they were holidaying in Cornwall and didn't have a cot for their newborn daughter. Six year old sister Nancy came to the rescue by decorating a cardboard box as a fitting crib for sister Florence. When they returned to London, they decided to keep Florence in the cardboard box!
Nancy and four year old brother Arthur are reported to adore their new sister. We're excited for the family too and wish them all the best, and hope they are able to find enough private time to enjoy being a family despite the pressures of dad's rather high profile job!
Comforters come in all shapes and sizes: it could be a favourite teddy, a blanket or muslin, a soft toy or even a favourite sock or top! Whatever it is, if it helps your baby to sleep, it's probably worth having. Studies have shown that babies with comforters of some sort do sleep better than those that go to bed with nothing. When children have a favourite item or toy, they are more able to self soothe if they do wake up in the night, and this is essential to getting back to sleep on their own.
Parents who rock, cuddle or feed their baby to sleep find in the most part that when they wake in the night, they have to go through the same rigmarole during the night. This is the only way that the baby will go back to sleep. When they have a comforter of some sort, they manage to get to sleep independent of you being there.
For many children a comforter is an effective way of dealing with anxiety or stressful situations. It soothes them and is a comfort. It helps them deal with the situation.
What to choose as a comforter?
You may find that your baby chooses their own comforter independent of your choice. They may always reach for the muslin or ask for a particular teddy. However, if you are trying to decide on something, try to follow these tips...
How to choose a comforter?
1. Choose something that is easily replaceable (ie teddy that is from a high street store or a muslin that is indistinguishable from others.)
2. Choose something specifically designed for babies to use at night time: i.e. not a wooden train or a hard toy that could hurt them.
3. Choose something that is age appropriate i.e. soft toys designed for babies (with no loose eyes or buttons that could come off during the night and present a choking hazard).
4. Choose something that is soft and warm to touch; something that can be stroked or snuggled into.
5. Chose something pale in colour because bright, highly contrasting colours stimulate babies and do not help them sleep.
6. Make sure it's washable!
When should a baby be given a comforter?
You can place a small soft toy in the cot from a very early age. Try holding it close against your skin for a while before bed so it takes on your smell. This can add to the comfort for babies, as well as being able to see it.
Children between 6 months and 2 years will begin to form a real attachment to objects and will be more keen to use a comforter. They can have it at night or when they are somewhere new or in situations when they feel anxious.
By 3 years, they may only need it at night, but be led by them.
By age 5, most children have favourites, but the need to rely on one comforter tends to have passed. Try not to feel pressure from other children or parents to give up the comforter. If it's doing it's job, keeping your little one sleeping through the night or helping them cope with stressful situations, then keep it!
If you're expecting your first baby, you probably don't know what to expect - here are some of the essentials that you'll need as soon as your baby is born!
Don't panic if you get home and suddenly realise that there's something you have forgotten to stock in advance. You'll probably be able to get hold of most essential equipment or clothes from your nearest supermarket, even if it means asking friends or family to run an errand for you!
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