Baby Cot Safety Standards

Most parents think that baby cots are entirely safe. However, before you buy the first one that meets your eyes, it is necessary that you understand what a cot needs to do for your baby. Most manufacturers and designers ensure that the baby cots meet their safety regulations, but often, the standards are not quite met. Rather than focusing on comfort, style and colour, make sure that safety is your top priority.

Checking Height, Depth and Spacing for Safety 

  • Ensure that the openings between 5mm to 12mm have no small holes that may trap the baby’s little fingers
  • Ensure that there are no spaces between 30mm to 50mm that might trap the baby’s legs or arms
  • The minimum depth of a cot from the base to the top should be a minimum of 600mm
  • The cot should have two levels.
  • The spacing of the panels or bars should be between 50 mm to 90 mm apart. This is to prevent bigger gaps from trapping the baby’s legs, arms or head.
  • It is recommended that the cot bars should be vertical. This is because if the bars are horizontal, the baby might use them to climb out.
  • The bars should also be on all four sides to allow proper circulation of air while the baby drifts off to sleep.

Tips for Settling a Baby Cot

If you’re like many moms you would perhaps wish all things came already set up, right?  On the brighter side, you just got your baby’s new cot! Setting it up can be fun if you  and your partner or close friend can work it together. 

Here are a few  tips to help you through it :-

  • Carefully follow instructions when settling a cot
  • Position the cot away from windows, blind cords, power points and heaters
  • Avoid hot water bottles and electric blankets in your baby’s cot
  • Avoid hanging mirrors and pictures near the cot as they might fall into the cot when the baby is asleep
  • Ensure that there are no toys or elastic cords left in the cot
  • Avoid using pillows for babies under the age of three years
  • Keep small objects away from the cot to prevent your child from choking
  • Remove large toys from the cot as these may act as climbing aids thus causing a fall over the cot
  • Check the bolts regularly to ensure that they are tight
  • When the baby falls asleep, put up the drop side.
  • You should move the mattress to the lower level as soon as the child can stand.

The Cot Mattress

  • Use a new mattress if you are buying a cot for the first time. But if you are using a second hand mattress, ensure that it is thoroughly clean, free from tears and dry.
  • The mattress should have no gaps or sagging but firm.
  • Ensure that the mattress fits well equivalent to the size of the cot
  • The cot mattress should have a removable cover or a wipe clean cover that can be washed regularly at a high temperature.
  • Use a mattress that has a protector to prevent it from getting wet, especially when the nappy leaks
  • The mattress should not be thinner than 8 cm.
  • You can choose from different types of mattresses which are either coir cot mattresses, spring interior mattresses or foam cot mattress.



#Please note that development differs from one child to another

# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: betterhealth, nct

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