Unlike cots, there are currently no mandatory Australian safety standards for cradles and bassinettes. Here are some important safety features to look out for when buying and using a cradle or bassinette for your baby.
Choosing a safe bassinette
- A bassinette must have a wide, stable base and sturdy bottom to prevent it from tipping over.
- The mattress should fit well and be snug. Be sure that it’s firm, smooth and no more than 7.5cm thick.
- The sides of the bassinette should be at least 30cm higher than the mattress base.
- Set up bassinettes away from blinds, curtain cords, heaters and any electrical appliances to prevent strangulation risks and burns. Although they are nice to look at, keep decorative mobiles out of reach.
- Check for good breathability on all sides of the bassinette to reduce the risk of suffocation.
- Refer to the product guidelines to determine if a bassinette is right for your baby’s age and size. Bassinettes are not recommended for babies who are starting to roll, as there is a risk of tipping and injury.
Using a bassinette safely
- Manufacturers’ instructions are there to keep your baby safe, so make sure you always follow them when assembling a bassinette.
- Ensure good breathability and ventilation on all sides of the bassinette. Never use pillows, bumpers or folded quilts.
- Regularly check that screws and bolts are tight to avoid accidental collapse, keeping your baby safe from falls.
- If the product has folding legs, make sure it can’t accidentally fold during use.
Choosing a safe rocking cradle
- Check that the cradle comes with a permanent child-resistant lock to stop it from rocking when your baby is sleeping or unattended.
Using a rocking cradle safely
- Manufacturers' assembly instructions are there to keep your baby safe, so make sure you always follow them.
- Check the product guidelines to make sure the cradle is appropriate for the age and size of your baby.
- While it’s good to make your baby as comfortable as possible, never use pillows, bumpers or folded quilts in the cradle. Avoid using any decorative bows and ribbons on your cradle.
- Keep the cradle clear of curtains, blinds or heaters. Make sure decorative mobiles are out of reach.
- Never leave your baby to sleep on an incline. The Product Safety Australia website also has safety information on use of inclined products.
- Regularly check that screws and bolts are tight to avoid accidental collapse.