A baby stands up smiling in her cot, highlighting the importance of cot safety
Comfier Parenting by Alex Irving 4 minutes

Cot safety: getting your baby’s bed just right

Cot safety: getting your baby’s bed just right

Buying a cot is one of the most exciting things you can do as an expectant parent. And once you assemble it in the nursery, things start getting real.

As well as being practical, a good cot needs to be safe, which is why learning the basics of cot safety is an important part of parenting.

So, whether you’re a first-time mama or papa or just in need of a quick refresher, we can help you get started with the basics. Plus, we share a nursery safety checklist and tips from paediatrician Dr Sarah Arachchi that can bring you up to speed on all things baby.

What is the Australian safety standard for cots?

They say Australia is the lucky country, and we’d have to agree. Because one thing we downright love is our unwavering commitment to keeping our babies safe.

The Australian standard for cots (AS/NZS 2172 to be specific) covers impact, load, dimensions and strength. And in Australia, any cot sold, whether new or old, must satisfy these requirements. This small peace of mind can mean the world when caring for your little bouncing bundle.

A simple nursery safety checklist

Can a 4-day-old baby sleep with a pacifier? Am I holding my baby too much? And how often should I feed a newborn? The arrival of your bub will have you asking a whole lot of questions. But here at Koala, we’re all about making life easier, so we want to do our bit and answer some of them for you.

Tick off this simple nursery safety checklist to ensure your precious cargo is as safe as can be once they arrive.

🍼 Check the cot after assembly. This is to ensure its stability. Put the cot safety rail up and down. Ensure everything is securely attached. Plus, look for signs of damage like flecking paint and chipped wood if using a second-hand item.

🍼 Measure up the mattress. A cot mattress must fit the manufacturer’s recommendations for the cot itself. Any gaps bigger than 20mm will create a hazard for your baby.

🍼 Scout the surroundings. Look at potential fall hazards, unsecured furniture, doors and drawers, power points and anything else that might pose a threat in the nursery. Sure, they lay there like baked potatoes for the first few months of their lives, but it’s never too early to babyproof your home.

🍼Suss out rolling opportunities. Babies love to roll and will try to do so off beds, change tables and basically every other surface. Keep an eye on these miniature Evel Knievels at all times.

Babies become toddlers before you know it. And then they become kids. So it’s no surprise that, as they grow, their safety needs begin to change rapidly. Regular safety checks will help you keep them safe and sound and allow you to remain aware of current advice.

A close up shot of a light timber cot with best baby mattress inside , which is lightly patterned
There are no sharp edges of the Joey cot, which is made from solid, and sustainably sourced, timber

The experts’ cot safety tips

Babies spend a whole lot of time sleeping (the lucky buggers). So, as parents, it’s our job to ensure they remain safe in their rooms during their downtime (and maybe even to deck out the space with some cool kids’ furniture while we’re at it).

The following tips will help you set up a safe sleeping place for your bub, all while keeping the highest cot safety standards front of mind.

🍼 Sleeping bags for safety. Struggling with the swaddle? There are other options. “A safe sleeping bag with a fitted neck, separate armholes, and no hood is okay to use in the cot,” says Dr Sarah.

🍼 Be careful with blankets. Blankets can help when the temperature drops, but they require extra care to ensure the bub is safe. “Keep the blanket tucked into the sides of the cot,” advises Dr Sarah, “and never above baby’s chest height.”

🍼 Always opt for safety first. Choose a cot or baby bed that puts safety first. Sure, style, colour and materials might seem important when decorating a nursery. But nothing matters as much as your baby’s safety. Choose a cot that has appropriate certifications, such as Red Nose’s approval for safer sleep.*

🍼 The mattress matters. Rather than a cushy and soft mattress, choose one that is firm, clean, in good condition and made to fit the exact size of the cot. Likewise, cover it with a fitted sheet that’s snug and safe.

🍼 Free the cot. Keep anything out of the cot that isn’t your baby. “No soft toys, hanging mobiles, bumpers or pillows,” says Dr Sarah. “And no, babies don’t need to wear hats when they sleep.”

🍼 Baby’s first bed. Consider starting your baby in a bassinet if you feel they’re too small for their cot. As they grow, moving baby from bassinet to cot will be a major milestone for you all to celebrate. And moving from a cot to a toddler bed? Pass us the tissues.

Sleep Easy with Koala’s Joey range

Koala takes cot safety seriously, which is why we created our Joey range for young Koalas. Remember those safety standards? Koala’s Kookaburra Cot is AFRDI approved, which means it has been tested and certified by the nation’s leading body on safer furniture. It also meets Red Nose Australia Safer Sleeping criteria and is made from sustainably sourced solid timbers. While the Joey Cot Mattress boasts a number of certifications and features a removable machine-washable top layer and a water-resistant inner protective layer. 

Koala furniture is also made for tool-free and fuss-free assembly, so it’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about when the precious little tot finally arrives.

The Joey range also includes a chest of drawers and toddler bed with adjustable leg height, so when your child grows the bed grows too.  

Parenting can be stressful, which is why we make nursery shopping easy? You can try any of our products for 120 nights. Don’t love it? Get in touch and we’ll arrange for a return and refund. It’s that simple. If you and your baby are after some sweet, sweet slumber, check out our range today.

You Might Also Like...

Do you need a cot mattress protector? Let’s find out

read article

Choosing the right cot mattress for your baby

read article

Nursery essentials list: what you need, and what you don’t

read article