All cots sold in Australia must meet the current mandatory Australian Standard for Cots (AS/NZS 2172), and should carry a label to indicate this.
All portable cots sold in Australia must meet the current mandatory Australian Standard for children’s portable folding cots, AS/NZS 2195, and should carry a label to indicate this.
Cots used at a service should meet current standards. Download the guide to infant and nursery products publication – Keeping Baby Safe – for more information from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s website.
Bassinets, hammocks and prams/strollers do not carry safety codes for sleep. Babies should not be left in a bassinet, hammock or pram/stroller to sleep, as these are not safe substitutes for a cot.
Safe cot mattresses
Mattresses should be in good condition; they should be clean, firm and flat, and fit the cot base with not more than a 20mm gap between the mattress sides and ends. A firm sleep surface that is compliant with the new AS/NZS Voluntary Standard (AS/NZS 8811.1:2013 Methods of testing infant products – Sleep surfaces – Test for firmness) should be used.
Mattresses should not be elevated or tilted. Testing by hand is not recommended as accurate in assessing compliance with the AS/NZ Standard. For information on testing adequate mattress firmness, watch this video or refer to written instructions.
Remove any plastic packaging from mattresses.
Ensure waterproof mattress protectors are strong, not torn, and a tight fit.
In portable cots, use the firm, clean and well-fitting mattress that is supplied with the portable cot. Do not add any additional padding under or over the mattress or an additional mattress.
Light bedding is the preferred option; it should be tucked in to the mattress to prevent the child from pulling bed linen over their head.
Remove pillows, doonas, loose bedding or fabric, lambs wool, bumpers and soft toys from cots.
Soft and/or puffy bedding in cots is not necessary and may obstruct a child’s breathing. Download the information statements – Pillow Use, Soft Toys in the Cot and Bedding Amount Recommended for Safe Sleep – for more information on the Red Nose website.
Ensure a safety check of sleep and rest environments is undertaken on a regular basis.
If hazards are identified, lodge a report as instructed in the service’s policies and procedures for the maintenance of a child safe environment.
Ensure hanging cords or strings from blinds, curtains, mobiles or electrical devices are away from cots and mattresses.
Keep heaters and electrical appliances away from cots.
Do not use electric blankets, hot water bottles and wheat bags in cots.
Do not place anything (e.g. amber teething necklaces) around the neck of a sleeping child. The use of teething bracelets (e.g. amber teething bracelets) is also not recommended while a child sleeps.