Drop Side Cots Vs Fixed Side Cots
When we are asked “Are Drop Side Cots worth it” the answer is YES and once the customer is shown one, they agree straight away.
Do you need a drop side cot? No, but there are many benefits for you and your baby.
Types of Drop Side Cots
There are generally two types of drop side cots. You can either have a single hand or a two hand drop side. The difference is that with a single hand mechanism, you can literally walk up to the cot with baby in one hand and drop the side and pace them in the cot.
With a two hand drop side, you will need both hands to drop the side. This means you will either need to remember to drop the side or leave the side down when you remove baby from the cot. This way, it will already be down when you come back. Otherwise, it will be inconvenient to put baby down somewhere safe just to drop the side before placing baby back in the cot.
Single Hand drop sides on a cot are therefore the ultimate option.
If you have had a C Section, then a single hand drop side cot is the ultimate solution. If you are shorter or have a disability, you will also appreciate a side that lowers.
I am taller and I still appreciate a drop side cot.
This is particularly because bending over and reaching out with your arms to pick baby up and put baby down can be uncomfortable. With the drop side lowered, this reduces the height. As a result, it makes it easier and more comfortable for you as a mum each day.
Drop Side Cot Benefits:
The most obvious and important one is that you will save your back. This is because you do not have to bend over a rail to reach down deep into the cot to pick up your child.
The next and just as important benefit is that you end up waking baby less. With a single hand drop side, you can easily drop the side of the cot and carefully place a sleeping child in the cot in one simple move.
On top of that, when it comes to changing the bedding on the cot, it is much easier when the side is in the lowered position.
Fixed side cots do not offer any of these benefits.
Drop Side Mechanisms
Regardless if you choose a single hand or two hand drop side, the mechanism must be looked at and evaluated.
They are normally either metal or nylon. Both have pro’s and con’s.
Metal ones are much better in terms of lifespan as they don’t suffer from wear and tear as easily. The downside is that they can be more noisy. They can make a bit of noise as they slide up and down, depending on how well that they are designed.
A Nylon (plastic) mechanism, whilst can suffer wear and tear if used for multiple children, are much quieter. This means that you wont be waking baby as easily when either removing them from the cot or placing them in the cot.
This is a personal decision, I personally, prefer the nylon mechanism. Worst case, if it wore out, I would simply buy a new mechanism as a spare part – no big deal.
Internal VS External Mechanisms.
Some cots have external mechanisms. We do not recommend cots with external mechanisms. This can potentially be a safety issue and it certainly does not look pretty.
Therefore, Internal drop side mechanisms are the only way to go.
Are Drop Side Cots Safe?
Absolutely. In the U.S., drop side cots were banned. The reason was that there was not safety standards that addressed the quality and design like we have in Australia. Rather than put some safety standards in place in the USA, they decided to go and ban them full stop.
This has put fear in the minds of parents world wide who do not understand the reasons why they were banned when it could have simply been resolved by putting product safety standards in place.
Australia did not have this issue as we have very strict Australian Standards that ensure if a cot meets that standard and is assembled correctly, you are protected. The Australian Standard (AS/NZS 2172:2010) includes a lot of testing for cots and has this covered!
Drop Side Cots are:
- Safe if Purchased in Australia & it has been tested against Australian Standard (AS/NZS 2172:2010)
- Better for your back
- Help keep baby asleep
- Not Required but worth it
- Make a big difference if you have a C section
- Make a big difference if you are Shorter
- Make a Big Difference if you have a disability.
- Quiet if you go with a Nylon Mechanism
Single Hand Drop Side Cots are the ultimate in practicality, there is no arguing that.
Cot manufacturer’s in Australia who make any suggestion that they are not, are doing so because they do not have them.
The best way to choose the right strategy for your exact needs is to find true experts and ask for help.
I can not stress the importance of getting the right advice from true experts, not just a sales assistant working in a large multi-store who may not even be working there next month. Nor is asking a manufacturer of cots – they will just tell you what they want to sell.
The key is talking to a true independent baby store with experts that have all options for you.
We have a full team of highly trained staff on helping you decide if a drop side cot is best for you and then choose the best cot for your needs. Do not hesitate to seek advice from us. We are here to help.
About the Author
Frank is a founding owner of Bubs n Grubs. He is also the sole author of the Bubs n Grubs Baby Blog. He has been personally evaluating baby products & testing them before offering them to our customers since 2009. In addition, he is consistently giving manufacturer’s feedback & product development advice, reviewing & getting customer feedback. He has been doing this since the business started in 2009. He is proud to be one of the rare baby store owners who regularly engages with customers in store. Frank values the constant feedback and regularly seeks it out. He has been featured on the Morning Show & the Today Show on Channel 7 and Channel 9 and is a recognised expert in baby products as a result.