Portable cots

Portable cots are helpful when travelling and for short-term arrangements, but should not be used on a permanent basis.

They must be used correctly to avoid injuries to your child. Think safety first with these helpful tips.

Choose a safe model

Only buy a portable cot that complies with the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 2195). By law, portable cots have to meet mandatory safety standards.

Look for the standards label and ask the retailer if you’re unsure.

Read more about folding cots safety.

Check second-hand portable cots

If you’re buying a second-hand portable cot, make sure that:

  • all parts are in good working order, especially the mesh sides and locking mechanism
  • it comes with full instructions for safe assembly and use.

Use the right mattress

Only use the mattress that came with the portable cot. If a mattress doesn’t fit snugly, your child could slip into a gap and suffocate.

Never put extra mattresses or add extra bedding or toys in the cot. This increases the risk of your child slipping between the mattress and flexible side and suffocating, or getting a foothold to climb out.

Lock it in place

The cot should have two locking mechanisms to prevent accidental collapse and closure. All locking devices should have a clearly distinct locked position and be designed so that a child inside the cot cannot open or activate the mechanism. Before putting your child into the cot:

  • lock the sides and ends into place
  • ensure the locks are fully engaged.

Check the mesh

Look for any rips in the side or bottom mesh before putting your child in the cot. Don’t use it if you find a rip.

Check the attachments

Change tables and bassinets should be fitted correctly. Straps should not be hanging inside the cot, because they can be a strangulation hazard.

Follow instructions

Always follow the maker’s instructions, including all safety warnings. Keep the instructions somewhere safe.