Types of Beds Your Baby Can Sleep In

Parents often like to use a bassinet for their baby’s first bed as it is a convenient size for sharing a room with your pēpi. There are lots of brands, makes and models, but bassinets generally stand on their own and provide a separate sleeping space; they are not usually designed for bed sharing use.

For parents who choose to bed share with their pēpi, there are two sleep space options: a wahakura or a Pēpi-Pod®. A wahakura is a kaupapa Māori safe-sleeping device woven from harakeke flax and a Pēpi-Pod® is an infant bed made from polypropylene, a food-grade plastic. Both provide a separate sleeping space for your baby, while still enabling you to keep them in close proximity to you.

Once your baby is too large for their bassinet, wahakura or Pēpi-Pod®, or when they can push up or roll over, they should be placed in a cot to sleep. Instead of buying two types of beds, you may choose to put your baby into a cot from birth, which is perfectly fine as well.

When buying a cot brand new, look for the safety standards sticker – this means it complies with the requirements of safety standard AS/NZS 2172:2013. If you’re buying one second-hand, do your due diligence to make sure it meets the safety standards that are mandatory in New Zealand. For more information on the product safety standards for household cots, visit the Commerce Commission website, comcom.govt.nz.

It is dangerous to fall asleep on the couch while holding your baby. It’s always safest to put your pēpi down in their separate sleeping space.



If you can’t afford to buy a bed for your baby, tell your LMC, GP, or Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse. You may be eligible for a free Pēpi-Pod® or you may be able to apply to Work and Income for a Special Needs Grant to purchase one. Visit workandincome.govt.nz or call 0800 559 009 to enquire.


Many Hapū Wānanga antenatal courses provide hapū wāhine with a wahakura upon completion of the programme. Alternatively, some district health boards (DHBs) offer Wānanga Wahakura, a free workshop where you can learn from expert weavers how to create your own wahakura for your pēpi. Ask your LMC or Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse for information on upcoming Wānanga Wahakura in your local area.