Do you know the difference between a crib, a co-sleeper and a cot bed? There’s a lot to get your head around as a new parent when it comes to buying a bed for your baby.

Even if you have kids already, the recommendations for safe sleeping are always changing, so it’s worth keeping on top of the latest products and advice.

Moses baskets are suitable for the first three or four months.

These are small and portable, making it easy to carry your baby from room to room. Some designs incorporate a stand for the basket too.

Cribs are useful up to six months, and offer a more secure enclosure.

Some have a rocking or gliding motion that helps your baby sleep. Co-sleepers are a type of crib with one retractable side – these let you safely sleep with your baby, without sharing the bed and covers.

Once your baby is able to sit up and be more active, a cot is the best solution. These adjust in height for maximum use as your baby grows.

Cot beds have even more use, as they can convert into a bed to see you through the toddler years too.

You can trust our independent reviews. 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.

Chicco next2me magic cool crib: £239.99, Argos

Another co-sleeper or bedside crib that does well on safety and all-round functionality. Like the Schnuggle bed below, it tilts to help aid reflux and congestion, but this wheeled design (that locks in place) is easier to handle. It has a sliding side panel, a rocking action, and adjustable heights to match the level of your bed. It’s particularly good if you’re travelling, as it comes with a storage bag and fixings to attach to any bed. This crib includes a mattress.

Buy now

Snüz snüzkot skandi cot: £349, Snüz

This cool cot is made in natural beech, a longer-lasting choice compared to MDF and veneers that hide composite materials. It comes in six colours, and adjusts to three different mattress heights. The cot converts into a toddler bed that suits kids up to four years. There’s also a conversion kit (£79.95) to turn it into a junior bed to last up to 10 years. It’s pricier than a crib or regular cot, but not when you consider how long this smart design can last.

Buy now

Clair de Lune bedside crib: £199, Precious Little One

This sweet bedside crib has a grey wicker basket that sits securely on a height-adjustable stand. The basket has fold-down mesh panels for easy breathing, and it comes with a soft cotton sheet in a star pattern, with liner and mattress included. The stand is made for allowing your baby to sleep at your bedside, allowing you to adjust it to the height of your own mattress. It’s suitable from birth up until a weight of 9kg, or before your baby can sit up and roll unaided.

Buy now

Stokke sleepi oval crib: £575, Stokke

A designer crib that comes in a calming mint green colour, as well as natural beech, white or grey. The unusual oval design makes it a central feature of the nursery, and allows for easy access from all sides. The crib does have wheels that lock for moving around the home. It suits a newborn up to a three years, and an extra conversion kit (£70) makes it a bed suitable up to age 10. A hypoallergenic foam mattress with removable cover is included.

Buy now

Balham cot: £80, Mothercare

This basic cot does much of what more expensive ones do, just without the frills. It’s suitable from birth, has a three-position base height, and is made of solid pine with steel fixings. It requires self-assembly which can be tricky, and the sides are fixed which can make access difficult. It won’t last beyond the toddler years, but if you’re looking for a bed on a budget this is a good place to start. The mint green version gives this simple design a fresh look.

Buy now

Schnuggle air bedside crib: £199.95, Amazon

This bedside crib is a favourite with parents, as it performs several functions at once. As a crib it’s suitable for babies up to six months. The mesh sides aid breathability and help your baby feel close to you. You can adjust it to an incline, and zip one side down for use as a co-sleeper. It’s designed for use with Schnuggle’s own foam crib mattress (£50) that’s been designed to increase air permeability. A converter (£120) turns it into a cot for children up to two years.

Buy now

Childhome retro rio upholstered baby cot: £515, Cuckooland

For something a bit different, this cot has retro-style splayed legs and buttoned upholstered ends that give it a luxurious look. It’s made by Belgian brans Childhome from solid wood, giving a robust feel. But the price is really about the quirks rather than functionality. This cot doesn’t convert to a bed or include a mattress. It does adjust to three heights, and have a slatted base for extra comfort and air permeability.

Buy now

John Lewis & Partners charlotte cot bed: £250, John Lewis & Partners

This is a sturdy classic cot is made of pine with a traditional white finish. It’s self-assembly but fairly straightforward, and suitable from birth. Like many cots, the base adjusts to three positions to make it easy to lift baby in and out of. It turns into a cot bed, where the high ends make a useful headboard. But this cot doesn’t include a mattress, making it a little pricey compared to others.

Buy now

Sebra cot bed: £725, Nubie

The ends of this trendy cot from Danish brand Sebra slide apart to convert into a bed without the need to buy an extra kit. As a bed it can last a child up to seven years, which goes some way to justify the expense compared to cheaper cots. Rounded edges give the cot bed a pleasing shape, and it looks stunning when paired with a canopy. The painted finish on the birch wood comes in four muted colours.

Buy now

Mamas and Papas rocking crib: £95.20, Mamas and Papas

Suited to babies up to six months, this crib helps babies transition to a full cot. It’s also more compact than a cot, ideal for smaller nurseries or keeping in the parents’ room. It’s made from pine and composite, with a painted finish in either ivory or pebble grey. The rockers let you gently soothe baby to sleep, but there’s also two grips to lock this crib in a fixed position when you are not in the room.

Buy now

The verdict: Baby beds

The Chicco next2me magic cool crib comes with lots of functions but not the eye-watering starting price. It’s small enough to have by the bedside, with good attention to comfort and use for baby and parent. It also has thoughtful extras that make this crib easy to travel with.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.