Das Babybett, being the long and inglorious saga of how we (eventually) acquired a cot, and what that tells you about our experiences thus far

Right now, Dude is sleeping in his very own cot for the first time. For most of the past month he has been sleeping on a mattress on the floor (or sometimes in his car seat), and I have generally been feeding him when he wakes (many, many, many times a night) sitting cross-legged on the floor, leaning against my own bed for meagre support. 

This is not ideal. 

So naturally, since arrival, getting baby sleeping arrangements sorted has been top priority. And yet, it’s taken this long. How so? Consider this a case study in exactly what has been so hellishly hard about this process. It’s just one example, and I’m leaving out all the infernal and tedious details surrounding getting online, getting a car, getting into our flat, etc etc, all of which were essential parts of the process and none of which were straightforward. We pick up when those three elements were in place, about two weeks ago. Bear in mind that every one of these steps, even those that would seem to require just 10 minutes on Google, instead takes days because BABY and other factors.

1. Find cot going free on We were looking for a cheap used one, but free is obviously great. Dispatch Armin to collect it with the express instruction: check that it is 60x120cm (to fit our mattress).* (Ideally of course I would have checked this beforehand but BABY etc. In any case it seemed to be a UK make so we expected UK sizing.)

2. Armin asks only: is cot standard size? Yes! He brings home, cleans thoroughly (it was in state of ugh) and assembles a beautiful cot that turns out to be, of course, too big. It is standard continental size, i.e. 70x140cm. It comes with a mattress in similar stage of ugh, but less easily cleanable.

3. Look up extra large cot mattresses. Find plenty for sale in UK. Ask Armin to research mattresses in CH as I do not trust my German Google fu. He finds plenty. 

4. Find time to look at mattress possibilities together. Turns out Swiss cot mattresses do not have waterproofing, as ours does; instead the cot sheets have waterproofing, and are rather expensive. Since we have to buy multiple sheets, for laundry purposes, this is annoying.

5. Dither. Conclude it makes more sense and is cheaper to buy a new cot to fit our mattress and sheets than to buy mattress and sheets to fit old cot.

6. Look for cot on (eBay equivalent). Realise they are more expensive than buying new from Ikea. 

7. Choose Ikea cot. At this point, cot becomes part of the bigger Ikea problem, ie: how to pay? We have recently discovered that Swiss bank accounts do not come with debit cards, as we are used to, but instead with rather special Maestro cards (not the same as UK Maestro) that can be used in store, but not online. Our bank will, on request, provide us with credit cards (for Fr100 a year apiece) or prepaid cards (like the kind you use for currency when travelling; transferring funds back to bank account will cost around Fr30). Being used to UK-style banking, with free cards etc, we are affronted on general principle. Supermarkets Migros and Coop have recently started offering credit cards without a swingeing annual fee, but we can’t apply till after Armin officially starts work on 1 June. So, further questions arise:

(a) How does one pay for online purchases from Ikea? Answer: with physical Maestro card on delivery. 
(b) Do we actually have funds in our account at this point? Having been haemorrhaging money since arrival.
(c) How best to transfer funds from UK? 
(d) How long does that take?


So then we made transfer happen and went to Ikea in person today anyway and bought a cot and disassembled a cot and built a cot and there we have it. That wasn’t hard, was it?

Was it?

* For Claudia we borrowed a cot, but bought a rather good mattress, which of course we still have. 

2 thoughts on “Das Babybett, being the long and inglorious saga of how we (eventually) acquired a cot, and what that tells you about our experiences thus far

  1. Aargh. 😦 It sounds exhausting. I hope it’s a lovely baby sleeping arrangement and worth it, and makes life Better. xo

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