“ Brand: Mothercare / Type: Cribs „
Thai became mobile in a very odd fashion at 5 ½ months and was crawling properly at 6 months. Living in a very small flat where you had no room to hide wires, plugs etc I needed a cot to put her safely in when I couldn’t be in the room. We also knew that from time to time we would be going away so decided to opt for a travel cot. Seeing as how when my daughter became more and more mobile she would need to spend more and more time playing in her cot, (at least until we got a bigger place), we wanted to get a very big one. Also important was that it needed to go as small as possible when folded for easy storage. I got all that and more with the Mothercare Basinette travel cot. Features include a large cot, a matress that secures via velcro and a bag to put the folded cot into, that also doubles as a storage space on the side. There is a changing mat that sits on top of the cot (only when in use) and a basinette extension for younger putting younger babies to sleep in. The changing table and basinette are suitable for babies up to 3 months but I still use the changing mat just not on the cot. One particular feature I liked about the mat is that it has a harness for that wriggley baby hence why I still use it. The basinette is attached by inserting metal bars into the top of the travel cot and is a brilliant idea for putting your baby to sleep without having to lean right over. Unfortunately I was unable to take advantage of this because she was over 3 mths when I purchased it. There is lots of room inside and I often fill it up with toys which these days little miss thoroughly enjoys throwing out again! The storage bag is great for putting in toys during the day or your nappies, cream and wipes to use when you are doing a bum change on your younger baby. The best thing is how it all goes away. The storage bag zips up to become the holdall, and you put everything inside. The travel cot is easy to put do
wn and up taking just as little as 5 seconds once you understand how it works and how to do it, and comes together neatly. Around the cot you fold the mattress and it fastens with velcro tabs though loops. The changing mat folds in two and the basinette comes apart. And the whole lot goes neatly into the bag. If you have limited room or are frequent travellers who need to take a cot with you then this is your best buy in my opinion. As Thai has gotten older I’ve found that the mattress (which is very thin more a mat than a mattress) is too hard for her so I put in a mattress from Mothercare and I fill the gaps with pillows. Once the whole lot has a sheet over it she sleeps as well as if it was her own cot. This is only suitable though until she can stand high enough to risk falling out.
What a superb playpen this turned out to be. I bought it when my first child was three months old and used it for him and his younger brother. It's easy to assemble and fits the description of "pack 'n' play" ie. you can quickly collapse it and put it in the boot of your car. This was a huge advantage, as we could take it with us when we visited people. Its construction is sturdy and comfortable and youngsters will happily stay in it until they are at least 1 year old. It's quite a large playpen so there are considerations on available space and one addition I would have liked to see is a net, to fit over the top, rather like a cat-net on a pram. For me, this was simply because I had my second child (in the play pen) when my first was 13 months old, therefore.. many toys and objects were hurled into it !
I absolutely have to tell you about this travel cot, which is made by Graco for Mothercare (they slyly left their logo on some of the parts, such as the ‘feet’ of the cot). It’s really well-designed and takes a lot of the stress out of travelling, knowing that baby’s sleeping arrangements are taken care of. For a start, it’s very easy to set up. It’s an umbrella folding mechanism that just opens and snaps into place. The mattress is just as comfortable as a normal cot mattress, and it’s the same size too, unlike lots of travel cots, so you don’t have to buy different bed linen. The basinette is brilliant, although you can only use it for babies up to 6.5kg (approx. 3 months). Basically, it’s a way of raising the mattress so that you don’t have to bend down to lift baby in and out - great news for bad-back sufferers. It consists of a kind of hammock (for want of a better word) that slides onto a couple of bars that slot onto the top of the cot and in which the mattress is suspended (I’ve made it sound quite flimsy but it’s not, it’s very well-made and strong). It’s just a shame that when baby weighs more than 6.5kg there is no other way of raising the mattress. The two ‘long’ sides of the cot are mesh, which is good because baby can see out and you can see in without peering right over and possibly waking baby up. Some people prefer to have travel cots with one side that is solid, but it is easy enough to attach a towel to hang over the outside if you really wanted to block out the light. The whole thing folds up very easily and quickly and slides into its bag to hold it all in place. It resembles a medium-sized sports bag, and it’s a really good size and shape to pack into the boot of a car. It’s not too heavy, either, although I wouldn’t want to carry it very far if I was walking. I have seen some models that have w
heels on the bottom of the bag, which is an excellent idea – this one could use that. Oh yes, one more thing. When the cot is up and in use, the bag (that you carry it in when folded) can be attached to the end with pop-studs and you can use the three big pockets to store things in, such as nappies, baby toiletries or toys – well, anything you want to! It’s really handy because when you’re travelling you often end up with piles of things all over the place. I bought this cot just before they brought out a new model, and they now throw in a hard-backed changing mat that slots onto the top of the cot. That’s a brilliant idea and really useful. I was so annoyed to have missed out on that because they don’t sell it separately. (However, the good thing about the model I bought was the pattern is much cuter with little cats on it – they’ve replaced it with a horrible yellow and blue checked pattern). In short, I’m delighted with this travel cot and really recommend it for anyone who, like me, travels a great deal. My baby always sleeps really well in it, and that is the main thing after all, isn’t it?
Age - 0-3 months. Basinette which can also be used as a crib and playpen. Aims to be easily transported in its own carry bag. Features include see-through mesh sides and end for visibility, a padded base and rails, and a fitted sheet and wipe-clean changi