Besides needing a layette, a newborn baby also needs somewhere to sleep, to be bathed, to be changed, to sit and to play. It is also essential to have some equipment for keeping the baby safe, and for taking the baby out to shops, park and other places.For sleeping:* Cot* This cot has got slatted sides which allow the baby to see out. This stylish wooden cot is appropriate with nearly all children’s bedroom features and furniture. When the baby can climb out of the cot, then it is time for a bed.
Safety features:* The bars should be between 45-65mm apart, to prevent the baby’s head getting caught in between them* Mattress should fit so that there is just enough room for the bedclothes to be tucked in. There should be no gap more than 4cm anywhere round the mattress in which the baby’s head, arms, legs can be trapped* Cots usually have one side which drops down, with catches to hold the drop-side in the upper position. The catch needs to be too difficult to be undone by the baby or a young brother or sister.* Cot bumperThis is a foam-padded screen which fits around the sides of a cot. It protects the baby from draughts, and from knocking it’s head on the sides. Alternatively, a blanket can be pinned firmly round one or more sides.Safety features:* Cot bumpers are not recommended for children who can sit unaided in case they become entangled in the ribbons* Carry-cotA carry cot makes a suitable first bed.
It is useful for the first 6 months until the baby becomes too big and active to be left in it safely. The sides and hood keep out draughts; it can be carried from room to room, and strapped in the back of a car or taken on a bus. If made of weatherproof material and fitted with a hood, apron and wheels, a carry-cot has the added advantage of being a pram as well as a bed. If there are cats around the baby, the carry-cot will prevent one from snuggling the baby’s face for warmth and comfort.
Safety feature:* Made of waterproof material* Fitted with hood* Moses basketA Moses basket can be used as a bed for a young baby. Latticed sides enable the baby to see out, but draughts won’t be a problem. The cradle can be lined, and made to look very pretty. They are fun for baby’s to rock on.
* MattressesThese are needed for the cot. It should be comfortable, and the firm one is safer than the soft one because the baby cannot bury his head in it and suffocate. The ventilated one is available which have a head section with ventilation holes to make air flow, which helps to prevent suffocation.Safety features:* Firm mattress so the baby can’t bury it’s head in it and suffocate* Ventilated mattress- prevents suffocation* Waterproof covering on the mattress allows it to be sponged clean* Blankets and sheetsIt should be made of materials that are easy to wash and dry.Sheets are needed to cover the mattress of both cot and pram. A minimum of three is required, although more will be useful as they need to be washed regularly.
Safety feature:* Duvets are not recommended for use by baby’s under 12 months, because the risk of the baby becoming overheated* Blankets should be made of materials that are easy to wash and dry* PillowIt is safer for a baby to sleep without a pillow because there is a higher risk of suffocation. When a pillow is used to prop up the baby in a chair or a pram, it should be firm and not soft. If a pillow needs to be used because of breathing problems, it should be placed under the mattress.
Safety feature:* It should be firm* Baby monitorsThis is a device which enables noises made by a baby to be heard by the parents when they are not in the same room. The sounds are transmitted by a radio to a receiver by up to 100 metres away. It may be battery-operated or rechargeable for portability.This alarm has these advantages:* 100% digital portable monitor* Digital clarity and security* 120 channels/zero interference/privacy guaranteed* 2 way communication* Sound sensitive light display* Remote controlled night light* Room temperature display* Vibrate mode on parent unit* Last feed timer* Rechargeable portable parent unit* 300 metre range* Prams and pushchairsThere are various types of prams which have a body which can be lifted off for use as a carry-cot and a base which folds for easier storage.Safety features:* Efficient brakes* Be stable-should not tip over easily* Be easy to steer* Needs to be used as soon as the baby can sit up* Have a basket which fits underneathA pushchair is a very useful piece of equipment which is likely to be in use until the child has passed through the toddler stage.
It’s used for babies who are old enough to sit up. It’s good for shopping but May not be so well sprung. A baby or child in a pushchair needs to be secured by a safety harness with shoulder, waist and crotch straps.There are points to be considered when deciding which pram or pushchairs to choose include:* Weight- will it need to be carried upstairs?* Size- will it be used in busy streets, lifts?* Comfort- will the child be spending much time in it?* Where it will be stored- does it need to be fold-up?* Is it needed for one baby or two?* Family budget- new or second hand* Walking reinA walking rein attached to a harness gives a toddler freedom of movement whilst remaining the control of an adult. This can be replaced by a wrist strap when the child has outgrown the rein.* Baby nestIt is designed to keep a young baby warm while being carried, its looks like tiny sleeping bag with or without handles. The baby will only be safe when laying in his back, otherwise the face may become buried in the soft surface and the baby may suffocate. Some babies have died while sleeping in nest either by suffocation or because they have become overheated.
* Baby carriersParents may find it convenient to carry their baby in a sling or older babies and toddlers who can sit unsupported in a carrier on the back. It leaves parents hands free for other tasks. At the same time the baby has got comfort and security of being close to their parent.* Bouncing cradle or rockerThis can be used from the age of two months. It makes a change for the baby from lying on his back in the cot or pram. The baby will enjoy the bouncing movement and being able to look around. It must be placed on the floor, not on the table as it might move when the baby is wriggling and then fall off.* Baby chairThis can be used when the baby is able to sit upright, which is at about 6 months.
There are two types of baby chairs:* High chairThe baby is at table level and can be part of the family at mealtimes* Low chairIt is safer because being less top-heavy; they do not topple over so easilySafety features:* It should have a broad base* Stable, so that it will not easily topple over* The tray on the front should be large with rounded corners, which are easy to clean* Car seatThe newborn baby leaving the hospital can travel home safely. It is illegal for a child to travel in the front seat of a car or on an adults lap. A child in the car should always be restrained by a belt or placed in a harnessed safety seat to prevent him from being thrown around.* Baby bathThis is not an essential item of the nursery equipment, because a young baby can be bathed in the wash basin. Care must be taken to ensure that the baby does not knock himself on the tap.
There is also the danger that the baby could receive burns from touching the hot tap. Some parents therefore prefer to use baby bath.* Baby bouncerThis is not an essential item of the nursery equipment. Baby bouncers are popular for babies from 5 month onwards. They are recommended when the baby can take their weight on their legs and are starting to stand. The babies bounce gently up and down and are able to move their legs and arms freely.
* Play penIt is useful when the baby begins to move around. It keeps the baby safe while the parent is busy or out of the room for a short while. Most babies will feel happy playing in it until they realise the freedom outside the pen.