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Cots - what to look for

cots; portable; mattresses; mattress; safety;

Many parents put their babies and young children into a cot for sleep because this is what is normal in their culture. The cot becomes an important place to the child – a space that 'belongs' to the child.

There are two main good points about cots.

  • The child sleeps at a level which is comfortable for the parent – caring for a baby is more comfortable when you do not have to bend down to reach the baby.
  • The child is in a confined and safe place. The child cannot leave the safe place, and the cot provides protection from some risks - it keeps other young children away, and can keep pets away from the baby (although cats may still be able to get into the cot).

The safest place for a baby to sleep in the first 12 months is in the same room as their parent on a separate sleep surface such as a safe cot, because this lowers the risk of a sudden unexpected death. Have a look at the topic Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infancy (including SIDS) for more about this.

There are many different kinds of cots and bedding on the market for babies. Babies don't care about how smart their beds look, but what is important is that they are safe.


To read more about cot safety have a look at these topics on other Australian website:

Product Safety Australia (http://www.productsafety.gov.au/) There are Standards in Australia and New Zealand for standard 'household' cots and for portable cots

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

Kidsafe NSW https://www.kidsafensw.org/

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

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