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10 Tips for cot safety

When it comes time to kiss your little one goodnight, there are a few things you need to keep in mind with regard to cots:

1.       The cot must be deep enough that your little one can’t climb out, and shouldn’t have any steps or cut-outs in the headboard or footboard which Baby’s limbs could get stuck in.

2.       The distance between each bar should be at least 2.5cm and no more than 5cm – if you can fit a cold drink can between the bars they’re too far apart and Baby’s head could slip between them

3.       A second hand cot should be stripped and repainted with lead-free paint just to be on the safe side, as Baby could get lead poisoning if she breathes in lead fumes.

4.       Baby’s mobile or any toys hanging over the cot should be removed when Baby can push up on her hands and knees, and her mattress should be put in its lowest position once Baby can pull herself up.

5.       The mattress should fit snugly, with no gaps which Baby can slip into.

6.        The cot should be positioned away from direct sunshine, windows, heater, lamps, wall decorations, furniture, curtains, and anything else which Baby can use to climb out of the cot.

7.       Baby should sleep on her back with her feet at the bottom of the crib to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

8.       There shouldn’t be a pillow in the cot, as a firm, flat surface is the safest.

9.       When the cot mattress is at its lowest height and the top rail reaches below Baby’s chest, it’s time to move her to a bed.

10.   The drop side of the cot should always be up and locked when you leave Baby alone in the cot.

Many of these considerations and risks are reduced if you practise co-sleeping – plus, the whole family will sleep better! To find out more about safe co-sleeping, see my other blogs .

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