As well as buying a cot bed you know is safe - all our Best Buy cot beds have passed rigorous lab tests for safety and durability - the position of the cot bed in your bedroom or nursery is also important. So follow these tips to keep your baby safe at night.
The safest place for a baby to sleep for the first six months is in a crib or cot in a room with its parents.
Once your baby is old enough to sleep in their own room, there are other hazards to take into consideration.
Babies don’t need especially warm rooms and all-night heating is rarely needed. Babies should never sleep next to a radiator or in direct sunlight.
To keep an eye on the temperature, buy a simple room thermometer.
Don't leave anything in the cot or place the cot close to another piece of furniture which could provide a foothold and to allow the baby to climb out.
If you use cot bumpers (which are generally not recommended due to the danger of suffocation and overheating) remove them when your baby can get up on her hands and knees so she can’t use them to help her climb out.
Make sure there are no trailing strings or ties which will pose a strangulation hazard.
Strings and cords from curtains and blinds pose a strangulation hazard and can also give the baby something to hold on to and pull themselves out of the cot.
Many cots and cot beds have bases that can be adjusted lower as the baby grows so that the baby is not able roll or climb out of the cot.
The highest base position is only suitable for use until the baby is about three months old.
The lowest position is the safest and should always be used as soon as your baby is old enough to sit up unaided – usually about eight months old.
The lowest side of the cot shouldn’t be lower than the shoulder height of your baby. Once your baby is able to pull him or herself up to stand (approximately nine months old) and get their arms over the side rail they will be able to climb out.
If your child does start to climb out of the cot it is safer to convert it to a bed so they can't hurt themselves when escaping.
Drop sides have been banned in the United States after several children died after becoming trapped between the drop side and the base of the bed. In addition, the European standard has been changed to require a lock on cot bed drop sides when in the lowered position.
Our furniture safety experts believe that this type of accident is not possible with a cot bed that complies with the relevant British standards for cots, so make sure you look out for the BS EN 716: 2005 marking. Never leave your child unattended in the cot when the drop side is down.