Sleeping like a baby:
how to buy the right bedding

There's nothing like a good night's sleep for you and for your little one. Babies do most of their growing while they sleep, both physically and mentally [1]. So making sure your baby's bed is as comfy and cosy as possible will help them to get the rest that they so need [2].

Here’s our guide to what you need to buy before welcoming your new arrival.

yawning baby ready for bed
moses basket

choose a crib or moses basket

For the first few months your baby will sleep in a crib or moses basket in the same room as you.[3]

Moses baskets are portable and quite solid, made from woven palm or wicker. A crib is slightly bigger, with wooden slats so you can see in.[4]

Babies can stay in a crib slightly longer than a moses basket, but they should move to a cot once they start to push up onto their hands and knees and sit unaided (usually aged four to six months).

view cribs & moses baskets here >>

add a mattress

Babies can’t have bulky bedding like pillows, quilts or duvets, but they will need a cot mattress.

Choose one that fits your crib or moses basket snugly – you want your little one to be as comfy as possible. You also don't want any gaps around the edges that they can roll into.

view mattresses here >>

mothercare mattresses

mothercare mattresses

mothercare mattresses

stock up on sheets

You'll need enough clean sheets for surprise bedding changes (hello leaky nappies), especially when you've not had time to do a wash.

Start with four fitted sheets. These cover the cot mattress and protect it from getting grubby. Fitted sheets are great because they don't come away from the mattress when baby wriggles.You should also buy four flat sheets to cover and keep your little one warm while they snooze.

Flat sheets can be used on their own in warmer rooms or with a blanket in cooler ones. If your fitted sheets are still in the wash, a spare flat sheet can step up to the job.

buy some blankets

You'll probably get some blankets as gifts from friends and family, but it's a good idea to buy a few just in case everyone goes down the sleepsuit gift route.

view blankets here >>
babies in mothercare baby sleeping bags


pick up a baby sleeping bag

If your baby kicks their way through the night, pop them in a baby sleeping bag. It’s almost impossible to kick off a sleeping bag so you know they'll stay cosy all night. You can use sleeping bags right from the moment they’re born.

You don't need to use a blanket with a sleeping bag – if you choose the right tog rating it will be warm enough. The table below will help you decide which tog is right:

view sleeping bags here >>
Room Temp 0.5 Tog Bag 1 Tog Bag 2.5 Tog Bag 3.5 Tog Bag
12-15°C Too cold! Too cold! Best with a long-sleeved bodysuit or PJ's Best with a long-sleeved bodysuit
15-19°C Too cold! Too cold! Best with a long-sleeved bodysuit or PJ's Best with a short-sleeved bodysuit
19-21°C Too cold! Best with a long-sleeved bodysuit Best with a long-sleeved bodysuit or light PJs Too warm!
21-23°C Best with a short-sleeved bodysuit Best with a short-sleeved bodysuit Too warm! Too warm!

keep track of temperature

Babies sleep best in rooms that are between 16-20°C and it’s important your baby doesn’t get too hot as this can increase the risk of SIDS, a room thermometer will help you keep an eye on the temperature.

Keeping the room just right will also give your little angel one less reason to wake up in the middle of the night.

add some swaddling

Wrapping your infant in swaddling keeps their arms and legs close to their body, like they're giving themselves a big hug. You should buy four swaddling blankets before baby arrives. If you're not planning to swaddle, it's still good to have a couple just in case, as you might change your mind later on.

If you are swaddling, use thin fabric so that your little one doesn't get too hot, and don't swaddle them above their shoulders. Don’t swaddle too tightly - their legs should be able to move in a frog motion while they're wrapped up and you should never place them on their stomach when they’re swaddled.

baby in mothercare swaddling blanket

what not to buy

It's easy to get a bit carried away while decorating your nursery. If your child is younger than 12 months it's important not to use cot quilts, duvets, pillows, sheepskin or hot water bottles. These can make the crib, cot or moses basket far too hot, and can also stop your baby from moving about comfortably.

When baby has grown up a little more, then it might be time to start looking into buying toddler bedding.

Keep it light and simple and (we hope) you’ll be rewarded with a baby who could sleep for Britain.


[1]. What your baby needs to thrive, Baby Centre, July 2017

[2]. Is your baby resisting sleeping in a cot, Bounty [Accessed April 2019]

[3]. NHS, Sleeping Safely, NHS Inform, March 2019

[4]. NHS, Sleeping Safely, NHS Inform, March 2019