5 Tips to Make a Cot Bed More Cozy
A cot bed, or crib bed, is a small bed made especially for infants and very young children. Choosing your baby’s cot bed is more than just a question of interior design. Safety during your baby’s first year of life is crucial, and making your baby’s sleeping space as warm and welcoming as possible will ensure it’s easier to make them calm and fall into sleep peacefully. It might even give you a few extra hours of valuable sleep during the day. A lot of parents have problems getting their baby used to sleeping on a cot bed, so making the cot bed more cozy is something you should try so it will be easier for the baby to get used to it.
Below are some practical tips to make your cot bed more cozy:
- Tip 1: Provide sensory comfort for your baby
- Tip 2: Create white noise to make them sleepy
- Tip 3: Swaddle your baby to make the cot bed more cozy
- Tip 4: Eliminate motion
- Tip 5: Maintain a nice temperature in the room
A cot bed is essentially a variation of a cot, yet it has some features that aren’t present in a cot. Those features include a teething rail, casters, headboard, footboard, and under-cot drawers. It is usually used from birth until the age of 4, due to its ability to transform into a toddler bed by removing the bars.
There are also many different types of cot beds. Other than the standard type, there are drop-side cot beds, which have the rail on one side for better access to the baby. You can remove the drop side and rail to make it into a toddler bed. There are also sleigh cot beds that got their name due to their sleigh-like shape, and these can come in a drop-side or a fixed-rail type.
- When should you take the sides off the cot bed?
- Are cot beds necessary? What are the pros and cons of cot beds?
To Make a Cot Bed More Cozy, Follow These Tips
It's not unusual for babies to be hesitant towards the idea of sleeping alone in their cots, away from their mother’s warm bodies that they used to snuggle up to. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make the transition to a cot bed an enjoyable and hopefully sleep-inducing experience.
There are things you can do to help your baby feel safe and comfortable while sleeping in a cot bed. Just remember that you can’t change a baby’s routine in a single day. Babies are routine lovers and they also need their parents’ warmth to feel safe.
Give it a week at least, while following the tips below.
Tip 1: Provide Sensory Comfort for your baby or babies
If your baby only likes falling asleep on or next to you, it could be because they find your scent reassuring and like cuddling up. Roll up a shirt that you have worn, and put it close to your baby’s head as part of the cot bed. If the bed smells like mom (or dad), your baby is more likely to feel safer in their cot bed. Note that even twins can share a cot bed for a few months.
Newborns are surprisingly skilled at sniffing out their parents’ scent. While you shouldn’t have anything additional in a crib bed with your newborn, you can tuck an unwashed t-shirt or another piece of clothes that smells like you under a corner or edge of the crib mattress. Your little one might be able to reach and smell it without being able to pull it over their face. The idea is that he will be comforted by the presence of your scent.
But don't be tempted to leave any loose item of clothing in the cot.
The scent of a baby’s mom has been proven to have a calming effect on the baby, and it increases the probability of it having a good night’s sleep in the cot bed. Repeat this method every night and the baby will surely start to get comfortable and cozy in there.
Tip 2: Create White Noise to Make Them Sleepy
Babies are used to the noise in the womb; the sound of white noise drowns out other distractions and can very effectively help them sleep. Strangely, it can also help to calm them down by blocking out all other outside stimulations.
You also don't need to buy an expensive white-noise gadget. Just try switching your radio to analog and turning the dial until you find a suitable white-noise frequency for your baby or using a white noise app on your phone.
Other parents say that this method had a great effect on making their baby feel comfortable in their cot bed.
Also, there’s one other thing you can try, and it involves a hair dryer. Follow the instructions below:
- Put your baby inside a cot bed
- Place pillows around it
- Turn on a hair dryer and keep it at a safe distance from the baby
- Leave it like that for a couple of minutes
Your baby will fall into a cozy and comfortable sleep in no time.
Tip 3: Swaddle Your Baby to Make the Cot Bed More Cozy
Parents have been swaddling babies since the dawn of time, and it’s for a good reason: it works. Wrapping your infant in a blanket and fashioning them into an adorable burrito are comforting for them.
One of the reasons a baby gets upset when trying to transition them to a cot bed is that it is being transferred from the warmth of your body to a relatively cold cot. Some babies enjoy swaddling as it feels like they are still being cuddled and held close.
Alternatively, for over-three-month-old babies, try using a baby sleeping bag or just holding your palm over their belly for a few minutes to keep them warm and reassured of your presence.
For the first few months of their life, babies demonstrate something that is commonly known as the Moro Reflex. Before birth, they felt snugly supported in a compact space.
After birth, there’s all this space and air to contend with, and they sometimes feel like they’re falling and react quite suddenly, jerking their limbs outwards and inwards.
This behavior is completely normal, but it can seriously disrupt your baby’s sleep.
Swaddling a baby snugly in a breathable, lightweight blanket is one way that can recreate the support from the womb and calm your baby down, allowing them to fall into a deeper sleep. Swaddle blankets are usually thin and specially-shaped in a wrapping-friendly design.
Not all babies love swaddling though. If it makes your baby feel safe, it will only work for a few months. You’d better stop swaddling your baby after it is three months old.
Tip 4: Eliminate Motion
If your baby is used to sleeping in a car, slowly eliminate motion to give them better sleep habits. Motion can have an irresistibly soporific effect, which can be useful but in fact it isn't the best way to get them to sleep at night.
Try breaking the motion sleep cycle by gradually eliminating motion at nap time. For example, try putting the baby in the buggy when they are tired but without pushing it, to see if they would fall asleep.
There is another strategy parents use to eliminate motion: using sleeping bags.
Sleeping bags can restrict your baby’s movement while sleeping, especially if there isn’t enough room at the bottom for their feet to kick about. Make sure you purchase the right size—there should be at least six centimeters between their toes and the bottom seam of the bag.
They come in a huge range of sizes, designs, and thicknesses for the optimal thermal environment. Plus, they’re really easy to get on and off.
The only hassle is getting the temperature right. They come in different seasonal varieties, which means your summer sleeping bag won’t cut the mustard when the weather cools down.
Related article: Why you shouldn't use cot bed bumpers - suggestions for alternatives
Tip 5: Maintain a Nice Temperature in the Room
Before putting your baby in bed, make sure the bed is not too cold. You can either put a warm (not hot) water bottle (or something similar) in the bed for a while before putting your baby down or, even better, use a sleeping bag for your baby like we mentioned in the section above. With a sleeping bag, your baby will enjoy more or less the same temperature all the time, helping him/her to stay comfortable.
Babies love warmth. The womb was warm and cozy, and so are your arms and bosom. So putting a hot water bottle down in the cot before the baby goes in will warm it up nicely. But remember to remove it before putting the baby down to sleep—they must not sleep with a hot water bottle in the cot bed.
The ideal temperature for a nursery is 16–20°C. Using a room thermometer can help you accurately monitor the temperature in your baby's room and avoid the baby becoming too warm.
Parents can be tempted to make a room really warm in the winter; however, it is best to dress the baby appropriately and have the bedroom no warmer than 20°C for safe and comfortable sleep.
Warning about Toys in the Cot Bed
Don’t ever clutter the bed with toys—Doing so seriously increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). If you want to put a lovey or white noise plush toy in the cot to help your baby sleep, wait until they’re six or eight months old and have better control over their movements.
Hanging mobiles over your baby’s bed will either stimulate or soothe them to sleep, so it’s worth testing to see if the soothing effect is the one taking place.
Choosing the Right Mattress for Your Cot Bed
There are two basic types of baby bed mattresses: foam mattresses and innerspring mattresses.
Foam mattresses are lightweight and cost-effective, though they vary in density and quality. Denser foam mattresses regain their shape faster when weight pressure is removed. They, therefore, offer your baby more support while they’re sleeping.
On the other hand, innerspring mattresses are usually more durable, firmer, and more expensive. Some mattresses are filled with organic materials, which may be a desirable alternative to the typical flammable or toxic compounds/chemicals used to manufacture standard foam and innerspring mattresses.
If your baby refuses to sleep in the cot bed no matter what you do, you have two choices: switch to some other type of bed or let your baby sleep in your own bed.
Switching to some other type of bed means different things for different babies. For younger babies, something smaller than a cot bed, like a cradle or the stroller, is usually more accepted. After the age of 5 to 6 months, it is often the opposite: for older babies, cradles and bassinets are too narrow to allow the baby to move around freely and safely while asleep.
The other option is to consider co-sleeping. Many babies sleep a lot better together with their mom during their first months of living.
We know how hard it can be for new parents to get their baby to adapt to the cot bed and find it cozy and comfortable, but we hope that the tips and methods explained in this article helped you in getting the baby used to the cot bed.