Portable cots are foldable sleeping spaces for babies.
They’re handy when travelling with your baby, but keep in mind they are only designed for temporary, short-term use and are not as robust as household cots.
There are a few simple steps you can take to keep your baby as safe as possible in their portable/folding cot.
Choosing a safe portable/folding cot
There are some important features you should check when choosing a portable/folding cot for your baby:
- Look for statements/labels that show compliance with the latest Australian safety standards. If you’re unsure or can’t find them, ask the supplier. Safety requirements for portable/folding cots help to prevent injuries from falls, entrapment, strangulation and suffocation.
- Make sure there is a secure locking device to prevent the portable/folding cot from collapsing while in use, keeping your baby safe from serious injuries and suffocation.
- Babies quickly grow out of portable/folding cots. Consider whether a portable/folding cot is right for your baby and upgrade to a low bed when your baby:
- Can stand, shake the sides and ends and/or climb; or
- Weighs more than 15kg.
Using a portable/foldable cot safely
- Follow the instructions provided when assembling and using a portable/folding cot and ensure the locking mechanism is secure.
- Set up the cot away from blinds and curtain cords to keep your baby safe from strangulation. Keep decorative mobiles out of reach.
- All cot accessories, including bassinette inserts and change tables, should be removed when the cot is in use to avoid your baby becoming trapped or tangled.
The mattress matters
- Only use the mattress specifically designed for the portable/folding cot. Using a mattress that doesn’t fit properly or using extra mattresses can create dangerous gaps that can trap and cause suffocation.
- Make sure the mattress, padding and cushioning material is firm to prevent it from forming to the contours of a child's face and suffocating them. Inflatable mattresses should not be used.