You asked

As a first time mum, what should I look out for when buying a cot?

Considering the amount of time your baby will be spending in it, it is important that you buy a crib that is comfortable, safe and durable. 
 
When choosing a cot always make sure it has a CE mark, as this signifies that the product conforms to EU safety and standards.
 
Only purchase a cot where the slats are positioned close together so that your child won’t get their head stuck between them; slats should be no more than 2 3/8” apart (the width of a coke can) and corner posts should not be higher than 1/16”.
 
A safe cot should have no cut outs in the head or foot boards and cribs with drop sides are not considered safe, so stick to fixed sides for peace of mind.
 
Before buying the crib, inspect the paint condition and check for shards and splinters, even new cots can have flaky paint work and uneven edges. 
 
A crib’s mattress is just as important as the actual frame and should be firm and fit snugly in place. There are many mattress options available but ones made foam are usually the least expensive and lightest. A good mattress is one that retains its shape and a mattress cover, while not necessary, is handy for when nappies leak.
 
When setting the crib up make sure it is located away from any windows and avoid strangling hazards by ensuring cords, blinds and shelves are out of your baby’s reach.  
 
Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings.

More questions

Considering the amount of time your baby will be spending in it, it is important that you buy a crib that is comfortable, safe and durable. When choosing a cot always make sure it has a CE mark, as this...
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