If you’re expecting your first child or grandchild, this buying guide will help you choose the right mattress and bedding your new baby.
Choosing a Baby Bed
Before choosing your mattress and bedding sizes, you’ll need to know which baby bed you will use.
Safe Place To Sleep
The safest place for your baby to sleep is on their own sleep surface, in the same room as you, for at least the first six months¹. Many parents use a smaller crib or moses basket for the first 4-6 months then move the baby into a cot or cot bed¹. Co-sleeping cots and bedside cribs are also becoming increasingly popular as they attach to the side of the parent’s bed, keeping the baby close but in their own crib. However, a cot or cot bed can also be used from birth.
Moving Baby To A Cot
A cot has fixed sides so it can be used from birth to approximately 2 years. A cot bed is larger and has removable sides, so it can be converted into a toddler bed when your child grows, enabling it to last until they are approximately 5 years. Most parents purchase a cot bed instead of a cot nowadays².
What's the best mattress type for my baby?
Whichever baby bed you choose, a firm and flat mattress is recommended by experts as the best mattress type for your baby for safer sleep. It is advised to use a new mattress for your baby. Your baby’s mattress should be in good condition and fit the Moses basket or cot properly¹.
Check the mattress size required for your baby bed (this is usually found under product details online or in the instruction manual). Most cots require a mattress size of 60cm x 120cm and most cot beds need a larger size of 70cm x 140cm. Some brands may vary so it is beneficial to double check what size mattress you need. The mattress should fit the cot with no gaps down the side that are more than 4cm. If you have an usual shape of moses basket or baby bed, you can use a made to measure service.
Many baby beds come with a foam mattress included, but lots of parents choose to research and buy a better quality mattress for their baby to sleep on. Natural fibre or organic mattresses can provide superior breathability to foam mattresses, helping the baby regulate their body temperature throughout the night. Natural fibre mattresses tend to be chemical free and don’t contain synthetic foams so they are thought to be the healthier option and better suited for babies with allergies or asthma. The Naturalmat Coco Mat mattress is designed for newborns and is available for moses baskets, cribs, cots, cotbeds and many other popular brand sizes. This award-winning mattress is firm and breathable making it the perfect choice from newborn to toddler and beyond. A waterproof cover (or mattress protector) is recommended to keep your baby’s mattress clean and dry as this can be removed and washed¹. The Naturalmat organic waterproof mattress protector is soft, breathable and machine washable at 60°C making it a practical and comfortable choice for your baby.
A fitted sheet will provide an additional protective overlay to your child’s mattress and protector and will hold in place if your baby wriggles around in the night. If you have an oval shaped crib or moses basket (that is not rectangle), a fitted sheet may not be available so a flat sheet firmly folded under the mattress is an alternative option. You can choose from soft brushed cotton or crisp cotton percale. The Naturalmat organic cotton baby bedding set includes a mattress protector and two sheets so makes a great starter set.
Most parents use a baby sleeping bag instead of top sheet or blanket². The Baby Mori Swaddle Bag is made from bamboo and organic cotton and is designed for the first three month and the Merino Kids Go Go Bag is made with pure merino wool and is suitable from 2-3 months through to 2 years.
If you do use a flat sheet or blanket as a top sheet, it should be firmly tucked in and not above shoulder height. Naturalmat organic flat sheets are available in soft brushed cotton or crisp cotton percale. Place your baby on their back in the ‘feet to foot’ position – this is where the baby’s feet are placed at the foot of the cot – so they can’t wriggle down under the sheets¹.
Quilts, Duvets and Pillows
Quilts, duvets and pillows should not be used for babies under one year old¹. After this, you could replace baby blankets and top sheets with a cot duvet. Try the organic lambswool cot bed pillow and the cot bed duvet in Summer or Spring/Autumn weight.