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Buying Guide - Cots for Twins & Multiples

A cot is one of the first purchases expectant parents will make as they prepare for the birth of their baby. When you are expecting twins, triplets or quads, this purchase can pose a range of different questions.

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the purchase of moses baskets. cots for twins and triplets and nursery furniture for your multiples' nursery :

How many Cots should we buy for our twins/multiples?

As you prepare for the arrival of your babies. this is probably one of the foremost questions on your mind. Cots can be expensive. ranging in price from under 100 to upwards of 1000. When you consider multiplying that times the number of babies that you're expecting. it can be one of the biggest costs of having twin and multiple babies.

The answer to this question depends on your family, with several individual factors to consider. Keep in mind the following:

  • your budget
  • the size of your nursery/home
  • the needs of other or future siblings
  • your experience in hopsital/SCBU

Initially, many parents find that they don't need more than one cot. In fact. many don't even use cots at all at first, preferring the cosy confines of a moses basket. As twins begin to spend more time sleeping a cot environment. they may be perfectly comfortable sharing a single cot or cot bed. Younger babies don't take up much room and don't move around much as they sleep. However, a new and innovative solution are cots which attach to the parental bed, like the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper, which is large enough for twins to sleep side-by-side (and some triplets). As healthcare professionals recommend that babies sleep in the same room as their parents for the first 6 months, this is the ideal solution. It allows you to keep your babies close and caring for them is made easier as you don't have to get out of bed!

Using a Cot Divider can be a useful idea when twins are sharing a cot as this helps keep the babies in the recommended feet-to-foot position. Both babies should be placed in the feet-to-foot position and it is also recommended that you use baby sleeping bags rather than top sheets/blankets. However, whilst you may get away with a single cot for up to 6 months, eventually the time will come when sharing a cot space can be an obstacle to efficient sleep. Older babies may disturb or distract each other and it will start to get cramped. When that happens, you want to be prepared with other sleeping options to avoid the frustration of sleepless nights.

Can Twins sleep in the same cot ?
Putting twins together to sleep. particularly if space is limited. is a matter of choice. As with singleton babies. it is important to have them both sleeping on their backs with their feet at the end of the cot. to avoid them wriggling under the blankets and getting too hot (use baby sleeping bags as an alternative to sheets/blankets). Also bear in mind that they could become hotter by being in such close proximity to one another.

It is also important to give them more individual attention and to view them as personalities who may appreciate their own personal area. However. once in their own room they may well enjoy having their cots close together, in order that they can communicate in their own special way. Undoubtedly twins. particularly identical ones. have a strong relationship. possibly forged from their life in the womb. Having time together in ways other than sleeping is as important and valuable.

One alternative is to purchase a double or twin cot /bed this provides each of the twins with their own space but they can also sense each other and sleep in the same room - this option is also great if your space is limited. The Shanticot Double Bunk Bed is a unique, well designed twin cot/bed that has all the space saving features you need whilst still maintaining an elegant design. Designed to keep twin babies close together but without having to share a cot. this twin cot combines practicality and convenience in one - the essential furniture you need for your twins nursery.

Some hospitals put twins together when they are born; other units put twins in separate cots. What you experience in hospital will probably influence what you do at home. Recent research from the University of Durham into sleeping patterns of twins showed that co-bedding did not appear to be more risky than separate sleeping arrangements for young twins.

Newborn twins can sleep side by side and the same guidelines for avoiding cot death should be adhered to with babies placed in the 'feet to foot' position in the cot. and ideally sharing the parents' room for the first six months. Sooner or later you will need to put them into two separate cots. Look out for a new Tamba leaflet on Twins and Sleep later in the year.
Should we put the multiple cots in one room?
This is a personal decision that each family must make based on what works best for their family's dynamics. In the hectic early days of twinfancy. it is sometimes helpful to designate one room as a nursery and keep the cots. changing table and other equipment in one place. But. if need be. re-evaluate the logistics as the babies grow and their needs change. Is one baby waking the other during the night? By all means. move a cot to provide privacy. Anything to promote sleep!
Should we buy Moses Baskets for our baby twins/multiples?

A traditional Moses Basket is a beloved symbol of infancy. But it's not necessarily a must-have piece of equipment. especially if you're trying to outfit a nursery for twins or more.

Moses Baskets are used for a very short period of time during infancy. Older. bigger. and more active babies aren't comfortably accommodated in a moses basket. However. during that short stage of infancy. and if you have smaller than average babies (twins are on average born at around 5.5lbs). moses baskets can be useful because they provide mobility. They're easily moved from room to room. which conveniently allows you to keep your sleeping babies near you as you go about your activities throughout the house.

Moses Baskets can also provide an alternative to multiple cots when you have twins or triplets. However. most babies will need to transition into a cot after a few months. so it's at best a temporary solution. Another alternative to Moses Baskets are the new Carrycot options you can purchase with twin pushchairs - these can provide a handy multiple function crib as they act like a cosy twin pram on your double buggy and can also be used in and around the house. at Grandparents or when travelling on holiday. Not all carrycots are suitable for overnight sleeping and special mattresses may need to be purchased. See our range of Buggies. Prams & Pushchairs for a model to suit your needs.

What should I look for in buying cots for twins/multiples?

Because your babies will spend a great deal of time sleeping in their cots (fingers crossed !). you want to be sure to invest in a safe. sturdy product. If you're buying new cots they should follow British Standard safety guidelines. Aside from basic safety guidelines. choose cots that match your style preference and budget limits. If you don't know -- or are unsure about -- your babies' genders. go with a neutral style. The last thing you'll have time to deal with once they're born is redecorating their room!

Where to put the cot(s) in the nursery

  • Keep the cots away from power points.
  • Place the cots away from curtain cords and other cords or ropes in which babies could get tangled.
  • Always have the side(s) up when the baby(ies) are in the cot(s)
  • Have cot mobiles well out of reach.
  • Keep the cots well away from heaters. electrical appliances and lights.
  • Keep the cots away from windows. especially if the window is not on the ground floor.
  • Make sure the space above the cots do not have pictures or mirrors. They could fall and injure the child(ren).
View our Let Us Sleep nursery department for twin cots and nursery accessories.

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