“ Manufacturer: John Lewis / Type: Cot „
In the past week my two year old son has made the transition into a 'big boy' bed and I've just spotted Mark loading the now unused cot into the back of his van to take to the charity shop - it's quite sad really, feeling like the end of an era as I'm not planning anymore children so waving goodbye to this final cot has made me feel almost bereft. It's been a super cot though, considering it cost less that £100 I've had two full years use out of it and it's still in perfect condition hence why it's going to find another home rather than be broken up to use in our chiminea as was the plan last week.
Ours is a white cot although at the time of purchase it was also available in a light brown colour, I chose the white as I thought the brown one looked a little 'unfinished'. Both are the same price (£69) and neither come with mattresses, although you can purchase a mattress to fit from John Lewis for around £35 at the moment of writing (I paid £29 for my mattress). It arrives flat-packed as you'd expect for this very cheap price but there's a very good sheet of instructions included, as well as all fixtures and fittings being present and correct (including Allen keys) which is always a bonus I find when buying this type of item! We didn't need the instructions to be honest as not only do we have sixteen years worth of experience in erecting cots, but the Luca is also very straightforward and designed so that you can't really go wrong - the most fiddly aspect when putting it together was attaching the drop-side, but that is invariably the awkward part of assembling any cot so I can't really moan too much about that. I'd guesstimate it took Mark twenty minutes to put the cot together, this was without any help from me as I was days away from giving birth and completely not in the right frame of mind for 'building things'.
There are two positions for the mattress to go in, when David was a tiny baby we fitted it at the highest position to make nighttime feeding and the constant in-and-out easier but as soon as he was able to pull himself up (and thereby risk him falling out of the cot!) we moved the mattress down and that's where it has stayed. Again, this is an easy job and involves only loosening the ends of the cot slightly in order to push the cot base into the lower position before tightening it all up again - literally a five minute job. This is quite a compact cot with a length of 48" and a 24" width - these numbers may look pretty low, but bear in mind that David is a bulky child and we've had no problems at all about his sleeping space. Obviously the narrowness means he'd sometimes hit the bars of the cot with his arm (or occasionally his face!) while sleeping but to be honest he's such a tosser and turner in his sleep that this would probably happen even with a much wider cot.
The drop-side has been a pain in the backside from the moment David was big enough to start taking notice of his surroundings. Always a noisy boy, he learned from an early age that if he touched the drop-side with the most featherlight touch he could make a rattling sound - fast forward a couple of months and he was able to create the most apocalyptic crashing/scraping noise by putting all his weight into rocking the drop-side. There was never any danger of it falling off, but the absolutely ridiculously loud noise was enough to get me taping it up tightly to the ends of the cot and foregoing the use of the drop-side in order not to be woken at 4am by this horrendous racket. This has never happened with any of our other cots and looking at it now I can see that it's due to the fact that the construction is a little 'cheap' with the rod which allows the drop-side to move being far too loose and not keeping it as tightly in place as it should - actually I knew this anyway as I always thought the drop-side of this particular cot was extremely loose and although the locking mechanism worked well it always seemed to me that there wasn't enough resistance whenever I used it.
I'm far more impressed with the base of the cot than I thought I would be, it's constructed of lots of very slim slats which initially I didn't think would be strong enough to hold the mattress and a growing baby - based on these slats I thought David might not be able to use it safely once he hit around the twelve month mark, especially as he's always been somewhat of a 'bouncer'. I kept a close eye on these slats, always on the lookout for cracks starting to appear, but even now (two years later) they're still in superb condition and look as strong as they did when I first purchased the cot. The mattress I purchased fits snugly into the base with no gaps at any of the sides and I'd completely recommend buying the John Lewis mattress if you want an equally good fit thanks to the fact that this cot is a bit of an awkward size (compared to other cots in the same price bracket) and unless you're very careful you could easily buy a mattress from elsewhere and find it doesn't fit as nicely as it should.
Aesthetically the cot is lovely; it's nothing special really but considering the cheap price you can't really expect a Mamas & Papas level of embellishment. I've never been wholly struck on the appearance of white cots but am pleased with this one as it's nicely glossy with nice shaping to the head and foot boards - I brightened the cot up with funky sheets (also available from John Lewis, although to be honest I used single bed sheets and tucked them tightly underneath the mattress) and a selection of cuddlies (invariably thrown out each morning). My only complaint really is the lack of a teething bar along the cot sides as David is a big chewer and has dented the wood in several places, none of the paint has flaked off or even cracked but I feel a plastic strip would have resulted in the cot looking brand new for much longer as this is the only issue I've had regarding the construction of it. The shiny wood is easily wiped over so using a baby wipe I've managed to keep it looking in super condition, there's a strange unidentified 'wet wood stain' on one of the slats which I have absolutely no idea where it came from but it's not shifting so I've had to leave it - obviously the mattress covers it, but I'm curious now as to how it happened considering these slats haven't been open to the elements at all during the life of the cot!
I recommend this cot, and am glad I went for the cheaper option this time rather than laying out mega-bucks as I usually do when buying my kids their cots. Admittedly it's more 'spindly' looking than other (vastly more expensive) cots I've used in the past, but it's proved to be a good, comfortable and long lasting buy - which is all that matters really with a purchase of this type.
My little boy was a hulking 9lbs 6 oz when he was born so after a couple of months his Moses basket started to look a little snug and we started looking for a cot. It had to be cheap and quite narrow as I wanted it to go next to a double bed in a rather small bedroom. After looking around at Argos (cheap cot but didn't have any mattresses in stock), Mothercare (pricey and have had issues with delivery before) and IKEA ( lovely cheap cot but we'd have a three hour round trip to get it), I eventually went with my old stalwart of John Lewis and ordered this cot for £69.00, a mattress at £29.00 and three fitted sheets at £15. Unfortunately this was when the snow was affecting everything and it took four goes to get the cot delivered. John Lewis was totally helpful throughout and even gave me £30 instantly off my order after the third attempt, even though it was the weather at fault and not them. Delivery was free.
The Luca cot comes in natural light brown wood or white and has a matching change station as well, which is £59. At the moment they are advertising it as 'a new lower price' but its still the same £69 I paid in January.
The cot comes in one large box with all the pieces stacked on top of each other. The fittings are attached to one of the legs and there is a set of very comprehensive and easy to follow instructions. My mother and I immediately set about putting it together in the very small space available and found it incredibly simple. However when we got to the last stage of putting the side bar catches on we found one was missing and had to contact John Lewis again. They gave me the option of a new cot or for them to open up another one and send me the fittings. I opted for the fittings as we really needed the cot right then and there and they got them to me within a week. In the meantime we managed by sellotaping the wobbly side to the main frame of the cot. Other than this little issue we were quite pleased with the cot. It went together easily, looks very nice and there is a bar at each of the shorter sides which you can unscrew and move up and down to change the mattress position (two positions). The mattress support is a separate piece which just drops onto these bars and then you put the mattress on the top. The drop-side moved easily, however the mechanism which makes this possible is quite flimsy and cheap looking. Two narrow metal bars run through the drop-side, which is stopped at the bottom by a plastic plug. At the top is another screwed in plug which a very flimsy looking plastic catch which you flip up and round to rest the drop-side on when you pull it up. This makes the whole drop side quite rattly when it is knocked, there is a distinctive noise to it.
If you lose the instructions you can get them in pdf form from John Lewis, they are available on the item listing page-very useful if you want to store it or pass it on but lose the instructions.
Size when constructed is: L120 x W60 x H96cm, which is a standard cot size length and height wise going by the other cots on the John Lewis website. It is slightly narrower however- around 7cms, which makes it useful for smaller spaces.
We have now been using the cot since January (its now the middle of September) and we are generally happy. My daughter had an older John Lewis cot that had been her cousin's, but we gave it away once she went into a bed and I regret this as it was sturdy and well made piece. This cot is good enough, but the quality is not what I was expecting; I suppose whatever cot you buy in this price range you are going to get something similar. The main body of the cot is sturdy enough, although if I had an older child in the cot (2+) I would be concerned about the mattress support resting solely on those two small bars at the short end, leaving the middle unsupported. My children can't be alone in being bed bouncers or wanting to sleep curled up right in the middle and I would have qualms as they got heavier about this arrangement. It could do with a support along the longer side as well.
The height of the mattress has suited us well, the higher level meant that my son was just slightly higher than our bed mattress, meaning I could just open my eyes and see him or stretch out a hand and put it through the bars to him. The lower setting means he can't climb out of the cot at a year old, although I don't think its going to be too long before he has a go, as the cot bars reach only up to his chest when he stands up.
The cot sides have taken some heavy chewing during the teething stage but have held up well without a teething bar. There are dents but the wood has not split or peeled and I was impressed with this.
The main problem though with this cot is that cheap drop-side fitting which rattles. This was no problem at all when the cot was squeezed between my bed and the wall, but once he was in a room of his own then it became more of a problem. When he rolled or stretched out an arm or a leg he hit the bars and they clattered loudly which often woke him up-which then of course woke us up too. We ended up abandoning the drop-side function and taped the sides together which eliminated much of the noise. It doesn't look very pretty however and there have been times when I really could have done with the ability to drop the sides when necessary. The noise is in general caused I think by the metal bars rolling around inside the drop-side and the whole thing hitting the rest of the cot as it moves. The catch mechanism which holds the side in place is really flimsy too which doesn't help and it is very difficult to manipulate, especially in the middle of the night. At 12 months he has at least of foot of space lengthwise left to him, but width wise he has much less, which means a flailing arm often hits the bars or even worse gets caught, which obviously wakes him up in pain. When sleeping without a sleeping bag its his legs that get caught, usually four times a night so we have kept him in a lower tog sleeping bag instead, but sadly we can't do anything about those arms! This is definitely due to the cot being around 7cms narrower than other cots. Those 7cms count!
So would I recommend this cot? Possibly. Neither of my children spend long in cots, less than a year each before I move them into a little cot bed once they are moving. I do this because of my brother's habit of piling all of his toys into one corner of the cot and using them as a ladder to escape, and my children both showed signs of doing something similar. I'd rather they didn't have so far to fall! So £69 for about 9-10 months of use is pretty good and I can pass it on to other family members. However if you are looking for a cot for longer term use I am not sure this one is for you, I'd probably be looking for something starting at £100 and I'd want to actually see if before I bought it. This one is a good bargain option, but I think I probably would have gone for the IKEA option given just how little it will have been used and saved myself £35. The drop-side is a major negative and overall I think I would rather not have had the option at all - a solid sided cot would not have been too inconvenient compared to the troubles we have had with it. So an OK cot, from a good retailer but with some problems.
We were on the lookout for a small white cot for a very small nursery, and this fit the bill perfectly. At just L120 x W66 x H96cm it was one of the smallest cots we could find, and was also one of the few that would fit in our rather small nursery! I was also really pleased to see it was such a reasonable price at only £69, and with free delivery - as with all John Lewis products.
We did have to buy a mattress as it didn't come with one, and as it isn't a standard size cot, do check before you buy a mattress to go with it.
The cot was very easy to assemble, even by a pregnant woman and her DIY-phobic husband! On assembly, the cot is very simple with clean lines, and looks great in a little room as it's small and very unfussy. The cot also has a drop-down side which may be useful - but I must admit we have not used it once!
The cot's inhabitant is now 18 months old and the cot is still perfect for her and her assortment of little teddies. I think she will still get quite a bit of use out of it before we have to upgrade her to a bed. The cot also comes in a natural wood, without the white veneer.
We have no regrets about buying this product, and I would highly recommend it to any expectant parents, especially if you are low on space.