“ Brand: Mamas & Papas / Type: Cot „
==Mamas and Papas Aime Cot Bed==
When I was pregnant with Jack we were also moving into our first mortgaged property and funds were tight (thus a 100% mortgage in 2007 = bad idea!) but luckily family members all chipped in as best they could and that is how come we were able to afford this cot bed set from mamas and papas.
I was initially looking at getting a cot which was a lot cheaper but having done a bit of research I found that the cheaper one wasn't actually suitable past the age of 2 so for the bit extra it seemed far better to get a cot bed which once the baby had reached two you could transform into a toddler bed which will last up until they are 5.
==Price and Availability==
As with most of my larger purchases this cot bed set was bought from Argos. I think it was around the £250 or just under when we bought it but having had a look online now I can see that the standard price you can get it for is now £265 but the price increase is to be expected in 4 years. This is a little bit more expensive than other cots and cot beds that were being sold in Argos but because you got two added items other than the cot bed it seemed worth while.
Because it was my mother in-law that was buying it I can't say that we really bothered to look around too much for a cheaper price elsewhere as we found going into Argos a quick and simple task and they delivered the item straight to my door within the following week. It does seem however that there are various places in which to get this particular set, even now, although by the looks of things prices really don't vary too much from the £265.
==Look and Design==
As I said, the cot bed comes with a couple of extra items and these are a under cot storage drawer and a on top of cot changing panel. At the time of being pregnant with my first child, this seemed like a great idea and we were keen to have the added extras as well as the cot bed. There were a choice of two colours to choose from and these were antique pine and white. We chose the antique pine look as this seemed more fitting with all the other furniture in the nursery plus I felt that the white colourings looked a little more girlie than the pine although I am sure other people will disagree with this.
The cot bed, changing unit and drawer all came in one large cardboard box in a ton of pieces. It is a two person assembly item and everyone needs to STAY CALM. Flat pack stuff I usually find quite therapeutic but Himself doesn't quite see it as that and will often get himself rather worked up trying to do it and more often than not we bicker whilst doing it! All good fun! The instruction booklets that accompany the screws, bolts, nuts and wooden pieces all seemed really straight forward and easy to understand. There were clear diagrams and a brief description as to what to do with each step of building it. It is really worth noting that any spares screws and items left over from the build need to be kept along with the instruction booklet as this will be needed when the cot is changing into the cot bed. Building of all three aspects of this cot bed set probably took a good couple of hours and did need two people so that sides of the cot could be held upright whilst other sections are screwed and bolted in. However if you purchase direct from Mamas and Papas you could pay £100 for a trained member of their team to come out and build it for you! (£100.......I ask you!!!!)
Once the cot, the drawer and the changing board had been set up and put in place you want to hope you realised that the mattress doesn't come with the cot bed and its not included in the costly price of it. You will need to buy this separately and expect to pay another £100 or so to get a fairly decent one. Thankfully we had remembered that we needed to get this and placed it on order for delivery at the same time. We also ordered a lot of cot bed linen as again it is worth knowing that normal cot linen wouldn't fit on this cot bed as it is a lot larger than your standard cot. The dimensions of this cot are: H: 102 x W: 79 x L: 145 cm.
The cot itself is a very nice one and has both of the sides made up from cylinder type wooden bars which are secure and safe as you would expect. The two top ends of the cot are a full panelled design and they have a small swirly pattern etched into them on the inside of the cot, this is the only real aspect of fancy design on the whole cot and it is not instantly noticeable but once you are close enough you pick this out and it does add to the expensive look of the cot. The height of which you have the mattress is adjustable as neither of the sides are of a drop down sort like some of the small cots you get can be. We had the mattress set to the highest level when jack was a new born and as he got older it got lowered down the three different settings until we were taking it apart to change into a cot bed as soon as he started scaling the sides of the cot.
The drawer for underneath the cot bed and the changing unit which securely fits on top of the cot were far simpler to put together and once completed looked really good all set up and stood together. The drawer has a wheel in each corner of it which make it slide in and out from under the cot bed with ease and it is split up into various sized sections inside to divide up the drawer and make it easier to keep different items in without it getting too much in a jumble. The front of the drawer is curved to make sure that it is easy and comfortable to pull it out and this is a good design aspect and does actually work. There is the small Mamas and Papas logo on a silver plate stuck to the front of the drawer which is about the only sign that this is a branded item but saying that you can see from the quality of the items that it is an expensive and well made piece of nursery furniture.
The changing area that comes with the cot bed is again a rather good design with the fact that the bottom of this is shaped to hooks on the top area so that it hooks over the top bars of the cot and once there is difficult to move and is really secure in its positioning. This item does come with an actual plastic covered foam changing mat which is easy to clean and has an appealing design which is cream and beige and not too bright or offensive. The sides of the wood are slightly raised which means you baby is not going to go anywhere but of course it is still not a place where your baby can be left unattended and I would always keep one hand on Jack as the fear of him rolling off into the cot and banging his head was far too great.
==General Use As A Cot==
In those first few months once Jack came out of his Moses basket and into this cot I just remembered him looking so tiny and doll like (what happened!) and it was strange to put him into this large cot. As the months passed and he got bigger he started not to look so out of place in the thing. He seemed very happy in this cot from day one and luckily enough was a good sleeper and slept from 6 till 7 from around 3 months of age and still does the same now (although bedtimes are sometimes later now). The cot did well at keeping him in and safe and even when he started to walk and climb when the cot was at the lower mattress setting it meant he was caged in (as harsh as that sounds) and we knew he wasn't getting out of bed and getting into mischief.
The cot lasted until he was around 2 years old before he started wanting to get out and we decided to make the transition and change the cot into the cot bed.
==Taking it Apart==
Luckily we had kept all the pieces we needed to change the cot into the bed and the instructions were close at hand and boy did we need them. I don't know what was more difficult, putting the bot together in the first place or changing it into the cot bed. We had to take a load of screws out from the cot to begin with and once the sides of the cot were down we then had to half the head board and the footer to make them half the size to create the smaller headboards of the cot bed. This was described in the instructions as "simply pull apart the two sections which make up the headboard". Simply! Himself had the legs of the headboard and I tried to have a grip on the top of it. Himself pulled and I pulled whilst walking backwards. Nothing. Not even the slightest bit of movement. We pulled and pulled, we swapped positions and tried again yet still nothing. We ended up having to get a Phillips screwdriver and wedged it in-between the two sections of the headboard and give it a little wiggle, then a harder wiggle. It moved slightly. We then pulled and pulled again and to cut a long story short we were there a long time just trying to get the two sections apart. It was not easy. Once those sections were halves and the bottom parts saved for a possible baby No2 the rest of the cot bed wasn't that hard to put together as the instructions were straight forward and we had all the extra bits of support that we kept from the initial building of the cot.
==General Use As A Cot Bed==
The main draw back to this set when using it as a cot bed means that you can't use the under bed storage drawer because it is too large to fit under the toddler bed. This seems like such a waste for this drawer even though it has gone into storage (Mums loft) and we will be able to use it again it seems a shame that they didn't make it just that few inches smaller to enable it to fit under. However I wasn't bed pleased with the use of the drawer when we were using it under the cot as it seems to get all the dust into it and I would rather have kept Jacks sleep suits and the like away in a chest of drawers rather than in this open topped drawer.
The cot bed however has done us really well and Jack is still using it now. It is not the strongest of beds and I have to repeatedly tell him not to jump on it for fear of it breaking in two and us not being and to use it for baby No2. I do have to confess that more often than not I have joined Jack in this bed (a squeeze it may be) and read him his bedtime story or just given him a cuddle. The bed has bowed a fair bit but its all still in one piece, just.
The height of the toddler bed is good because even if Jack falls out of bed he has less than 15 cm to fall and it is more of a roll than a fall and nothing is going to get broken bone wise. It did make me laugh though when he came toddling out of his bedroom a few weeks back and said "Mummy my bed is broken!" and me thinking that we had been waiting for this to happen rushed in there only to find his duvet cover has come off of his bed and he thought it was broken! LOL.
Really I have to say that this has been our one and only cot bed and therefore we have nothing to compare it to but that said it has done us really well and I should think if Jack doesn't bounce on it any more it will still be about for baby No2 although probably not as sturdy as it once was.
I like the design of the cot and the look is one which shows it is expensive whilst at the same time being practical. Although it seems expensive the fact that it has lasted this well means that it is well worth the money. The only thing I would think is that I probably could have done without both of the extra items such as the drawer and the changing area as most of the time the drawer stayed empty and we ended up changing jack on the plastic mat on out bed or on the floor so it didn't get used as much as I initially thought it would.
I think all in all this cot bed is a good one and other than unnecessary extras there is nothing negative that I can say about it. I think with hindsight I would probably opt for just a cot bed on its own and maybe save a few pennies in doing so. Otherwise this has got to be a high scoring product of 4 out of 5 stars and a high recommendation!
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
Many thanks for taking the time to read.