Cot Safety for Babies

Cot Safety for Babies

For every parent, baby safety remains the highest priority. Of course when you are choosing a cot, you also think about your baby’s comfort and the product’s beauty and quality. No doubt these are good things to consider, but it is of utmost importance that you keep cot safety standards in mind.

Depending upon personal preference and budget many people decide to buy second-hand cots, but it is better to buy a brand-new cot if your budget allows.

Used cots can be faulty, and may or may not be following current safety standards. If you think you can fix the faults and have evidence that the cot adheres to current safety standards, then you can definitely use it. Don’t forget to get it inspected by a professional before putting your baby to sleep for the first time.

Minimum safety requirements

Cot design

A baby’s cot should not have any hazardous gaps where the baby might get their hands or feet trapped and entangled. Gaps between 30 mm and 50 mm are dangerous to hands and feet, and gaps greater than 95 mm can entrap a child’s head or neck. The sides of the cot should be adjustable, allowing you to make it high enough that baby does not fall over.

There should not be any sharp edges or latches, as baby can get injured. Any locks or latches should not be within reach of the baby.

Mattress safety standards

Choosing the right baby mattress is equally important. The baby cot mattress size should not be more than 20 mm from the sides of the cot and it should be around 40 mm if kept on one side of the cot. Wide gaps between the cot frame and mattress can be hazardous for the baby. There is possibility that babies could get suffocated when wider gaps are present. However a little gap is necessary too to adjust the cot sheets and fit in properly. Make sure it does not come off.

Moreover, mattress should not be over-soft or over-hard for the baby. You can check it by gently pressing it. It should fit easily into the cot frame. The position of the mattress should be kept at its lowest level possible once your baby is able to stand.

Position the cot properly

Your baby’s cot should be placed a little distance away from any windows or from where the sunlight can directly hit your baby, as it can be unpleasantly bright and warm for the baby, and even damage their eyes or heat them up enough that it’s dangerous. Any blinds or curtain cords can also be dangerous for your baby.

Your baby will be safe from harsh sunlight and bad weather if you keep the baby cot as far as practical from windows or draughty doors. Try not to keep it near any sharp objects in the room either: don’t underestimate your baby’s ability to find and pick up dangerous items.

Don’t overcrowd the cot

Allow maximum room for the baby to relax and enjoy their space while lying down there. It is always better not to over-stuff the cot with baby pillows or toys etc. Moreover, baby can use such things as a support to climb over the cot side. In order to avoid any strangulation incidents, avoid keeping any ropes or cords in or near the cot. Furthermore, the cot should not be anywhere near any chemicals or medicines.

Avoid putting technology gadgets near baby

Try to keep away any screens such as mobile, laptop or iPad. These gadgets release a blue light which interferes with circadian rhythms and quality of sleep in both adults and children. It becomes a little difficult for babies to fall asleep after exposure to it. Screen addiction is the second major reason for keeping technology gadgets away from your baby.

Stay alert and ready for emergency

It is always good to make a list of important emergency numbers. Pin it near the telephone so that you do not need to search for vital numbers in emergency. Include your doctor’s number, the Poison Control number, the local hospital and the number to reach the ambulance. If you have other, older children in the house, try to make these notes clear for them in case they ever need to call on your behalf.

Some parents also get training in first aid and infant and/or child-specific CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). For your child’s safety, and especially if you’ll be looking after other children, these are valuable, life-saving, skills.

Buy or make your own first aid kit, and be sure that it is always well stocked with necessary items and in-date medications. There must be instructions included in it so that anyone can use it, in case a trained person is not available at that time. If you include medication in small bags etc. instead of their original box, it’s very important to include the name (e.g. ibuprofen), the strength (e.g. 200 mg), the recommended dose (e.g. one every eight hours max for children) and the expiry date (e.g. “replace me by March 20 2018”).


This article is considered for informational purpose only. There is no specific diagnostic or medical treatment for any specific occasion or situation.

One is advised to always consult your GP/ health practitioner for medical advice that is accurate for their personal situation.