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Safe use of Cot Bed

The correct use and maintenance of your cot/bed will ensure it has a long and trouble-free life. It is your responsibility to use your cot/bed correctly.
British and European safety standard for cot BS EN 716 has very specific requirement over instructions for safe use, which come with your cot. The standard has a detailed requirement of how it is worded and presented. MAKE SURE YOU READ IT CAREFULLY. Click here to see the Cot bed safe use instruction.

All parents should be aware of the safety advice below, in addition to the “instruction of safe use”.  

  • Never put baby down to sleep next to heat sources or in direct sunlight. Place your cot away from any heat sources and windows.
  • Never place your cot under wall-hanging items like frames or shelving.
  • When a child is in the cot, always make sure the drop side (if it has one) is in the up position and check that both sides are fully locked.
  • Keep well away from any kind of strings, cords or cable. There’s a risk of strangulation.
  • Keep well away from any choking hazard or any small object that baby may swallow, including small objects that could potentially fall off i.e. buttons
  • Don’t leave anything in the cot that can provide a foothold and allow baby to roll or climb out.
  • Don’t place the cot close to another piece of furniture that could provide a foothold to allow baby climb out.
  • Don’t place the cot close to something that baby can hold on to and pull themselves out of cot.
  • The ideal room temperature for babies sleep is between 16°C and 20°C (60°F and 68°F).
  • Ensure your baby’s bed and mattress conforms to the latest BSI safety standards.
  • Check our mattress guide for safe use.
  • Fitting should be checked regularly and tighten as necessary, do not over tighten and cause damage.
  • Regularly check for damage and malfunction, stop use and contact manufacturer.
  • Cot bumpers are not recommended, which is danger of suffocation and overheating. Cot bumpers provide foothold to climb out, and cot bumper ties pose a strangulation risk.
  • Make sure to lower the adjustable base position as baby grows so that they are not able to roll out or climb out of the cot.
  • Make sure your cot base is on the correct setting, and check regularly to avoid potential injury. The highest base setting is generally suitable for use until they are about three months old. The lowest position is the safest and should always be used as soon as baby can sit up unaided.
  • Many baby like chomping on the edge of a cot, so invest in a teething rail to avoid the risk of damage. Note: it won’t cover the whole side rail.
  • Teething babies require additional care, so set base on the lowest position, so they are not able to reach and chew on top of cot ends or top of cot legs. Refer to NHS guideline for care of a teething baby.
  • Inevitably at some point your baby will try to climb over the top of cot. When this happens, stop use the cot immediately and convert it to day bed. Remember to toddler proof your home at the same time.
  • Usually from 18- 30 months old, the baby will show signs that it is time to convert the cot to a bed: If baby can stand, and reach over the top rail then may be able to climb out the cot.
  • Some babies are natural-born climbers! Some as young as 8 and 9 months old, have been known to climb from their cots. Set the base to its lowest setting, and make sure to keep an eye out for when it is time to upgrade to a bed.

A clear cot is a safer cot

Unnecessary items in a baby’s cot can increase the risk of accidents. Luullabytrust therefore recommend babies sleep in cots that are kept as clear as possible and specifically advise

  • No pillows or duvets;
  • No cot bumpers;
  • No soft toys;
  • No loose bedding;
  • No products to keep a baby in one sleeping position such as wedges or straps.

Working with NHS, Lullaby Trust provides expert advice on safer sleep for baby. We work hard to raise awareness of SIDS and aim to make sure all parents receive up to date and scientifically proven advice on how they can keep their baby as safe as possible.

Make sure to read the Lullaby Trust’s lifesaving safer sleep advice.

Safer Sleep Advice

Video: Watch ‘Safer sleep for babies’

Article: Read Article

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