As a soon to be first time parent it has been a steep learning curve when it comes to identifying, pricing up and finding value in the baby market. One of the products for which it was tricky to find good value in the market was a cot bed for our future little lady.
In this guide, I will explain what we looked for when it came to getting our cot bed when trying to find the best value option. Hopefully my tips will help some of you in the future!
Tip #1: Buy second hand
We looked high and low and found some absolutely beautiful cot beds from the likes of Mamas & Papas, John Lewis and Mothercare. Every time we looked at them, though, we were taken aback by the extortionate cost of buying a new one. For sure, if you have a ridiculously limitless budget, then get yourself a new one.
For the majority of people, including Charlotte and me, there is no reason not to get it second hand.
We had a look on Ebay, spoke to friends whose children had outgrown their cot beds, looked at nearly new ones/ex display model, but in the end we plumped for one we found on Gumtree.
Obviously we had to drive to the address and hope it would be of good quality, but the one we purchased looked like it had hardly been used and was only £100 compared to nearly £400 new.
When we arrived we gave the product the once over to make sure it was in good condition and that no parts were missing. Also, as it was taken down for ease of travel, we actually rebuilt it to make sure that we weren’t going to be left disappointed when we got home.
As an added bonus, we got a changing table that fit the cot bed, made by the same company, thrown into the deal as clearly the old owners didn’t need it without the cot bed!
Tip #2: Buy your mattress and bedding new!
I am all for saving money but there are health reasons relating to cot death that mean it really is important to get a new mattress for each child. Buying a new mattress separate to your cot bed itself is no problem as long as you don’t buy one that is the wrong dimensions.
Tip #3: Choose your style with care
I was very keen on the sleigh style of cot bed. That style was fine for our house as the room we have picked for our baby has the space we need. For smaller rooms, though, the curved style might eat up a lot of space.
Some cot beds won’t allow you to have a changing facility on top as well, so you may end up spending more money on a changing table. As well as this, some styles won’t allow you to adjust the height of the bed so you can use it for your child safely between the age of 0 and five or six.
Tip #4: Get the best you can afford and do your research
Yes, second hand is the way to go in my opinion. That said, if you buy well, your cot bed could easily last until your little one is five or six. For this reason alone, you need to know that your cot bed is built to last.
If you buy a cheaper brand or even buy a poor model, you will potentially lose out on resale value, may find that you have to replace worn out parts, or might just find that your child falls out of love with the bed’s style and level of comfort.
Before we decided on our cot bed from Gumtree, we researched the company that made the cot bed to check everything looked as it should.
I hope this guide helps you and if you have any ideas about buying cot beds or know of some that really worked for you, please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on my Facebook page.
Finally, for those of you who are interested, here is our cot bed in all its glory!