Hello, hello! How are you all? Hope everyone is having a brilliant summer – have you managed to squeeze in a lovely holiday? Lots has been going on here behind the scenes as I’ve been working on launching a new venture – more on that to come soon – and Jules is in the process of changing jobs so we have spent the summer in London. Mimi is growing so, so fast and we have well and truly left the newborn days behind us; she has hit the six month point with a very quick crawl so I think my next interiors project will be baby-proofing our flat (that’s a project I’d prefer skip to be honest).
I have had lots of questions since posting pictures of Mimi’s nursery (you can see the full tour here) about how she has been getting on in her own room. We actually moved her in there when she was four months old, a couple of months earlier than is recommended, as she started sleeping through the night when she was eight weeks (lucky us, I know!) and having her in our room meant we disturbed her when we came to bed and she disturbed my sleep as I woke with every tiny noise she made so it wasn’t really working for either of us. Also, she started to become quite mobile at four months old and was busting out of her co-sleeper – we had the Snuzpod, which was brilliant – so it felt like the right time to move her to her big girl cot, the beautiful Sebra Kili cot bed* (see how we made that transition at the bottom of this post). We got the cot from Houseology and although they have since sold out they do have some other rather lovely kids furniture and accessories including this baby rocker that’s the most stylish baby item I’ve ever seen! You can see Mimi happily rocking in hers here.
It goes without saying that the Sebra cot is beautiful and I won’t deny that the Danish aesthetic was the main thing that attracted me to it. However, I was very interested to know whether the design would live up to the practical demands that would be placed on it. I couldn’t find any thorough reviews of it online so I hope this will be useful to anyone considering getting it for their own child. Before I go on, I do want to acknowledge that Mimi sleeps incredibly well – I know sleep can be a very sensitive subject with parents so I just want to make clear that I know how lucky we both are and I don’t want anyone to think that I am making light of the issue.
Anyhoo, back to the cot. Other than how beautiful it looks (it genuinely is the first thing anyone comments on as soon as they walk into the nursery) the second thing that appealed to me about the cot was its smaller than average size. I really wanted to have a day bed in the nursery for feeding during the day and if family wanted to stay so we didn’t have a huge amount of space and some cots are flipping huge! The Sebra Kili cot bed is the perfect size for a small room but doesn’t feel restrictive for Mimi. Also, it is designed to grow with your baby as the sides are removable so it can become a toddler bed and the ends stretch out to become a junior bed until the age of about seven with a mattress extension piece. This justifies the high price tag, in my mind, as there’s no need to invest in a toddler or junior bed.
Before Mimi was born I really had no idea how I would use any of the ‘baby stuff’ and I kind of thought I wouldn’t use the cot at all until she was ready to move into her own room at six months old. However, the base of the cot is adjustable so that you can have it at its highest level and easily reach a newborn. That made it the perfect place to safely pop her down when she was teeny tiny if I needed to be hands free or to dress her there. Look at this cute picture of the one and only time I managed to put her down there for a nap when she was teeny. As she got a bit more alert she loved lying there watching a moving mobile so that gave me precious time to do the million other things I had fallen behind with. As she began to move around and learning to roll she loved playing in there and exploring how to use the sides of the cot as launchpads for movement. It was definitely a very well used space.
Once Mimi moved into her own room and we made the tricky transition from co-sleeper crib to full size cot we lowered the mattress base and I really began to appreciate the design. Unlike most other cots the bars don’t go all the way round at mattress level so it feels so much cosier and less exposed. We stayed with family recently and she slept in a traditional cot with bars and she woke up so many times with stray hands and feet getting caught between them and she got so distracted being able to see straight into the room. I really, really love that the Sebra cot’s sides are blocked in and I think it made the transition from crib to cot so much easier.
By adding a really sturdy thick foam bumper* this has become the perfect cot for Mimi; she loves it and sleeps so well. The bumper stops her banging her head, which is what she was doing when she first moved into the cot as she moves around so much in her sleep and whilst she’s settling herself. It also makes it feel more cosy and she often rests her back against it and sleeps on her side or wedged into the corner. So cute.
I chose this cot bumper from my favourite kids’ store Smallable because I really wanted to use wallpaper in Mimi’s room as I can remember my own when I was a small child and all the stories I would make up based on the characters in the design. However, we didn’t really have the time to paper the nursery so this bumper feels like a really good alternative. The beautiful detailed illustrations are quirky and unique and I can see us basing bed time stories around the funny characters for years to come as the bumper can be used when it becomes a toddler bed, too. Sometimes, I hang around out of sight when I put her to bed or down for a nap and watch her stroking the bumper and chatting as though she’s trying to play with the funny animals in the drawings. She’s too much!
I was very nervous about making the transition from Mimi’s small co-sleeper crib to a full size cot, I’m always worried that the good sleep spell will be broken, so these were the steps I took:
- When Mimi grew out of her swaddle bag at about 12 weeks we decided it was time to go “swaddle-free”, which was a major step as she had slept in it since week two and I’m pretty sure it was the biggest contributing factor to her sleeping through the night. She thrashed around like a baby dolphin without the swaddle but she was also in a Sleepyhead so that helped and after a few nights she was pretty settled again.
- At about 16 weeks we decided to take away the Sleepyhead as she was just getting too big for it and started to look uncomfortable. Therefore, we put her into a sleeping bag straight into the co-sleeper crib. Again, it definitely unsettled her and she thrashed around and woke herself up but after a few nights she was ok.
- At 18 weeks when Mimi learnt to roll we decided it was time to start the process of moving her into her big cot in her own room. The first thing we did was place the crib into the big cot so that she could get used to being in different surroundings but still have the comfort of her familiar crib. We also hung the mobile she had had over her crib in our room over her big cot, as well as taking her light show and the same toy. This worked really well and I don’t think she even noticed that she’d changed rooms.
- At 22 weeks (I should have done this a lot sooner!) I realised that the reason Mimi was waking up so early was that she was desperate to roll over in the crib, still placed inside the big cot, but couldn’t as the crib was too small for her to move around in. I made the decision that the crib had to go and we needed to finally rip the plaster off and put her in to the cot properly.
- The first week in the cot was quite unsettled as she was learning to crawl at this time so she would wake herself up by moving around so much and start doing laps of the cot. Also, because she had been so used to being so snug in the Sleepyhead and then the small crib she couldn’t get over the fact that she suddenly had so much space. She never really cried or got upset to the point of me needing to go to her during the night but she was more tired during the day as she had had less sleep than normal. I was also tired as I would wake when she did and stay awake worrying about her. The best decision we made was to get a cot bumper as this stopped her banging her head when she moved around and gave her a feeling of cosiness again. Since we put the cot bumper in she has not woken once during the night and she is so happy in her cot.
I mean, just look at her (and that dreamy cot!).
If you do have any questions about the cot please do leave a comment or pop me an email. Obviously, I haven’t tried it out as a toddler or junior bed yet but I would highly recommend it as a cot for a baby. We are both very, very happy with it.