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Find out how to buy the best cot bed. You'll most likely need to buy a cot mattress separately, and current advice is that you need to buy a new one for each child. Before you shop, read our guide on how to buy cot mattresses.

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If you have the space and budget, a changing table can be a really useful purchase. You'll be changing thousands of nappies in the first year, so it's good to have a well-organised and comfortable setup for doing so. Many parents swear by a good changing table, and if you buy one that doubles as a dresser, it can be used in your child's room for longer as they grow out of nappies.

But if you're sticking to the essentials, you can get by without one: some parents use a changing mat on the floor or bed or use a changing mat on top of a regular dresser. Most parents find a chair in the nursery useful, but it doesn't have to be a specifically designed nursery chair if you're looking to reduce your nursery spend a bit. Choose a very comfy chair and ideally one with a bit of a rocking motion to help soothe your baby to sleep. For your standard big nursery basics, such as a cot, cot bed, wardrobe and chest of drawers, colours are still mostly limited to whites or different shades of wood, with some ranges occasionally dropping in an on-trend colour or finish, such as grey or ash.

If you want something more exciting, Mothercare and Cosatto have different options. Most parents choose to add personality to a nursery by accessorising with smaller items, such as toy boxes, bookcases and artwork, which come in flashier colours. After all, you might want your nursery furniture to last for more than one child, so you don't want it to be going out of style too soon. Of course not. But you might find you get a better deal if you buy several items brand new from the same brand. The best time to build your nursery furniture is when it's right for you. Some parents are superstitious about building it too soon.

If you're pregnant and you're going to have to tackle the DIY on your own, aim do it before you get too far along - the larger you are, the trickier it may be to deal with all those bits of wood. The main things your baby is using the nursery for are sleeping, changing, feeding and playing. So when you're designing your nursery layout you want to consider these four things. Are all your changing items within reach of each other, for example? You also want to think about safety. As your little one gets older you want to make sure there's no bookcase near the cot that could end up becoming a dangerous climbing frame.

10 Best Baby Cribs

Also make sure the cot is positioned away from other potential dangers, such as blind cords or open windows. Make sure you keep longevity in mind when buying furniture for your nursery. Not only is it important to have sturdy and durable pieces, you might want to think about whether you'll be replacing things a few months in to your baby's life.

Of course, you need to keep in mind the specific needs of a newborn baby, but you can also create a space that will grow as your child does. Furniture that is adaptable or convertible can offer good value and help your child maintain a sense of comfort and space in their own room as they get bigger. If you're worried about how to properly kit out a smaller room, there are ways you can cleverly maximise the space you have. Stick to the basics: you might want to either jettison a changing table — by using a changing tray on top of your cot, a wall-mounted changing unit or a mat on the floor — or make sure it doubles as a dresser so that you don't need two pieces in the room.

Think about other furniture that can serve a dual purpose, like a folding crib or bassinet that can double as a playpen. Think about the size and placement of your baby's cot. If they're likely to be sleeping in your room for a while, you could use a bedside crib or a smaller cot in your bedroom, freeing up nursery space for other furniture. Be clever with storage: under-cot storage, hanging nets and wall shelving or hooks can help you keep stuff — books, toys, extra nappies — out of the way for when you need it.

TAMBA says that research has shown that sleeping similar-sized young twins in the same cot does not mean they wake more often; in fact, their sleeping patterns become more similar. Multiples that are used to co-bedding do not disturb one another. It is not recommended that you co-bed in a Moses basket owing to the limited space and the risk of overheating.

In the early weeks, when your babies can't roll over onto each other, they can be placed side by side on their backs at the bottom of the cot in 'feet to foot' position ie with their feet at the bottom of the cot or crib so they can't wriggle down under the covers and get their heads covered in bedding. Another option is to sleep them at either end of the cot on their backs with their heads in the middle. Or you could use a cot bed and co-bed your babies following the feet to foot advice. Cot beds are bigger than normal cots and you can adapt them to become a toddler bed later on.

Follow all the same safe sleeping advice as for single babies — it applies to multiples, whether they are in a cot together or not. It is particularly important that all the advice on reducing the risk of cot death is followed for babies who are born at a low birth weight under 2. For triplets or higher order multiples, co-bedding all babies in the same cot while they are still small enough to fit is an efficient use of space.

However, there has been no specific research undertaken on sleeping arrangements for triplets and higher multiples. If three or more babies are sleeping together, parents should be mindful of any size discrepancies and take note of whether the smallest baby is crowded by the others if placed between them.

We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent. The Bromley set from Silver Cross is well-made with subtle details and round pewter handles. The wardrobe has an overhead shelf and two hanging rails, and the chest has a removable changing top. Unusually, a good quality mattress is included in this set.

Nursery Furniture

Buy now. The Lulworth cot bed has three heights: higher is easier to lift a newborn in and out of, and lower stops a toddler from climbing out. The changing unit has three wide drawers, and the wardrobe is spacious, too. The let-downs here are the quality of materials for the price, and the self-assembly, which can be tricky. This good-value set from Little Acorns has all the essentials but is quite basic in style.

The Goods Stuff

The double wardrobe has two hanging rails and various compartments to help with organisation, and the dresser has three roomy drawers with a secure changer on top. The sleigh-style cot is less grand and more practical: it adjusts to three positions and converts to a bed. The traditional-looking Hollie set from Babystyle is best for adaptability and storage. The cot is height adjustable and has a handy drawer in the base for keeping everything in one place. The tall wardrobe also incorporates two bottom drawers. If you're not a fan of traditional white furniture, this drift-wood style makes a welcoming change.

The cot bed has rounded corners, converts to a toddler bed, and has a decent quality for the price. The top of the dresser is designed to be used for changing. The drawers are a little small but the wardrobe gives a good amount of space.

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A reliable, sturdy choice. The Lucas set is modern and convenient, with the curving lines of popular sleigh-style furniture, but not the bulk. The adjustable cot bed has an integrated drawer and teething rails — plus it conforms to two British Standards for peace of mind. The wardrobe has two hanging rails but no shelves. The dresser has three good-sized drawers on metal runners and a built-in changing top.

Partial self-assembly is required for this set. The finish of the East Coast Dorset set has real quality. The oak pieces have subtle long-lasting style, feel robust, and have contrasting moulded handles that are a pleasure to use. This set has plenty of storage, with a drawer under the convertible cot, one in the double wardrobe and three in the dresser which comes with a removable changing top.

The Amy set caters to style-seekers, with trendy touches like the soft grey finish and on-trend leather handles. The chest requires a separate changer that will require secure fixing.

The Dover set features lots of child-friendly curved edges and round handles. The calming grey finish and wood panels have a faint coastal theme. The wardrobe has a built-in drawer and the changer top on the dresser is removable. The Bromley set from Silver Cross makes a good neutral furniture set for any nursery. A high-quality cot mattress is included, making it even better value. And a good level of care has been taken to ensure safety and longevity. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage.

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