Time flies so quickly! One day you're hugging that tiny bundle of wrinkles that can hardly hold her head unassisted and the next, she's twirling all around you like a tornado. I call her TsunaMia. And when she's on the move, you'd better look for shelter because that's no weather to venture out.
One of our solutions? The cot-bed.
Does that slow the little Duracell Bunny down? If course not. But at least it keeps her confined, leaving her a very restricted area to move around. At first sight, it may look like the safest place ever. But any environment should be proofed and safety measures must be taken, even in the most obviously safe spaces.
I am no safety expert but I thought it'd be helpful to share tips and tricks based on personal experiences. I would love comments and/or advices by other moms and dads out there should they ever pass by this blog :)
So back to our cot-cage :)
In Dubai, we have the beautiful Chloe white wooden bed by Mamas and Papas carefully padded with cushioning which worked fine for a while. Why? Simply because Mia was not independently mobile then.
However, since we've come to Beirut, Mia has started to walk in her travel cot. Only problem is, her head and shoulders are now higher than the borders which means that if she trips, and she does often, chances are she may hit her head against the plastic corners or the hard borders which are quite painful.
So, since the walking began, new rules have been established which I will gladly share with you. These are some tricks I believe all parents should take into account.
- Try finding paddings for the corners and even for the four borders if available. Baby will always try to tear them apart, but if the size is accurate, they should hold on tight.
- Never leave baby unattended and if you have to step away for a few moments, make sure you only leave soft toys in the bed. When baby's on the move, particularly on the unstable base that is a mattress, tripping will happen. You don't want baby to fall face first on something hard.
- Baby will use hard (and soft) toys as steppers to climb higher, in the hope of escaping that cot-cage. Hard toys will provide for good climbing aids so make sure they are not high enough for baby to be high enough to lean on the border. I have found Mia once, stepping on a plastic bucket, diving head first and ready to jump/fall out of the bed!
- Also, do not leave small toys or any other objects baby can swallow or choke on. Keep the cot uncluttered.
- The holes of the net must be smaller than baby's fingers so that they don't get trapped and injured as baby tries to stand up.
- Always lock the cot's brakes.
- If baby is in a bed like Mia's Chloe, then you must make sure it is padded properly. Gaps between the bars are dangerous as arms, legs and even heads may get stuck. Make sure the bed you choose adheres to international safety standards.
- The gap between the mattress and the cot sides must be minimal (less than 20mm).
- If toys like mobiles are hanging over baby's head, make sure they are not accessible once baby can stand up.
- Keep toys with stretch or elastic cords away from baby. Similarly, toys that work on batteries should be carefully proofed. If the batteries are not safely locked with screws, do not leave the toy within baby's reach.
- Check for bolts, knobs and corner posts that might catch onto baby’s clothing and cause distress or strangulation.
- When positioning the cot, whether permanently or temporarily, make sure there are no curtains or blind cords to avoid any strangulation hazard. Always keep away from heaters, stoves and power points as well as pictures, mirrors or hanging objects which could fall on or near baby. Mia is notorious for pulling even larger furniture like chairs if she can reach them!
- Avoid pillows for children under two years old. Blankets can also be replaced with sleeping bags which are very practical: they ensure all night warmth as baby cannot uncover while remaining far away from baby's face hence allowing for proper breathing space. Of course, never use electric blankets or hot bottles for babies or young children.
- And with Number 2 on the way, I should keep newborn babies in mind too. Before baby can sit up, the mattress can be on a higher position to spare mom and dad from back pain. However, once baby can sit up, the mattress must be on the lowest position.
That's all I can think of for now regarding Cot Beds.
I'm happy to add or amend these tips should you have any comments or suggestions.
BE SAFE EVERYONE!
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