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8/9/16

Red Nose

What is a safe portable cot?

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Posted a response on 8/9/16

Red Nose

All portable cots sold in Australian stores must meet the mandatory Australian Standard AS/NZS 2195 for portable cots (portacot). When assembling a portable cot it is important to read the instructions carefully, the instructions are there to help keep baby safe from sleeping accidents. Only use the firm, thin, well-fitting mattress that is supplied with the portable cot. Never add a second mattress or additional padding under or over the mattress, which has been specifically designed for the portacot, as baby may become trapped face down in gaps between the mattress and the sides.

Posted a response on 12/1/17

Simone

Is it safe to use the mattress sold by Clark Rubber in a portacot, as they say they are approved by Red Nose?

Posted a response on 15/3/17

Red Nose

The mandatory standard for these cots is very stringent. They must carry permanent, unremovable labels that say that the mattress used must be the one supplied with the cot, or one of specified dimensions. The mattresses supplied with these cots are very thin. Use of an additional mattress can create gaps which can trap the baby and lead to suffocation. This can occur if the baby rolls against the mesh sides of the cot, opening up a gap between the side of the cot and the side of the mattress. The cot mattresses sold by Clark Rubber specifically state they are not intended for use in a portable cot. Please note that Red Nose does not approve products as such; some products carry our name and logo in sponsorship arrangements only.

Posted a response on 1/6/17

Sarah

I am considering using a porta cot as a full time cot, as it will suit us better. The one I am looking at complies with AS/NZS 2195:2010. We would be using it as per all instructions, no extra mattress, toys etc etc. I am finding it hard on getting a definite ruling on if this is safe for long term use. Would love a response.

Posted a response on 6/6/17

Red Nose

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for contacting Red Nose with your question about folding cots.

As you are aware, portacots have mandatory standards. Product Safety Australia is the organisation that develops and applies these standards. Red Nose supports and promotes their standards development for cots and folding cots.

Product Safety recommends using them for a short period of time.

Folding cots should only be used as temporary sleeping facilities.

They are not suitable for long term sleeping arrangements (no more than a few days).

These cots are subject to more wear and tear due to folding and are generally less robust than permanent sleeping enclosures such as household cots.

See full information here: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/products/babies-kids/kids-furniture/folding-cots

Red Nose also recommends to stop using the portable cot when baby weighs 15kg (or the weight recommended by the manufacturer for your particular model).

See https://rednose.com.au/article/portable-cots

Posted a response on 11/12/17

Shirl

We are having our daughter and granddaughter [7 mths old]  to stay for a week at the weekend. Have bought the Aldi portacot - Huack sleep’n play Center H - 60053 - but have since been asked by my daughter if it complies with Australian Standards [AS/NZS 2195:2010 - I have searched the brochure that came with it, all the boxes and packaging, including all notices and warnings inside the cot and nowhere does it say it complies with this standard - it does say however,
“Aldi guarantee that our exclusive brand products are developed to our stringest quality specifications. If you are not entirely satisfied with this product, please return it within 60 days from the date of purchase, for a full refund or replacement. - IMPORTANT : Mattress is included and is designed specifically for this cot.” I need to know if this cot is safe to use -I am a very nervous 1st time Nanna who is very concerned about safety standards. would appreciate a response asap so I have time to go buy another if this is not suitable, thanks in advance.

Posted a response on 12/12/17

Red Nose

Red Nose supports Product Safety Australia’s decisions in relation to safety standards for cots. A helpful booklet, Keeping Baby Safe, is available for download from the Product Safety Australia website at https://www.productsafety.gov.au/publication/keeping-baby-safe-a-guide-to-infant-and-nursery-products.

All portable cots sold in Australian stores must meet the mandatory Australian Standard AS/NZS 2195 for portable cots (portacot). Normally, there would be labelling on the product to state that it meets the mandatory standard. If you are in doubt about whether this particular cot meets the standard, it would be worth checking with the company or retail outlet. We are unable to tell you if any specific brand of cots meets the mandatory standard, but you should be able to obtain that information from the retail outlet.

When assembling a portable cot it is important to read the instructions carefully; the instructions are there to help keep baby safe from sleeping accidents. See
https://rednose.com.au/article/portable-cots.

Also, remember that only the mattress that comes with the portable cot be used. Do not add any soft items or replace the mattress that comes with the portacot. See https://rednose.com.au/article/portable-cots for more information.

Posted a response on 22/1/18

Jemma

We are going on a 2.5 week road trip (not camping though) with a 4-month-old. I saw it is recommended to only use a portacot for a few days. What is recommended in this instance, or is this period ok if there are no other options?

Posted a response on 30/1/18

Red Nose

As per Product Safety Standards, a portable cot is a temporary sleep device, not permanent.
https://www.productsafety.gov.au/products/babies-kids/kids-furniture/folding-cots

Always use the mattress that comes with the cot and do not add any other mattress or soft base.

Check manufacturers’ guidelines, but most portable cots are not suitable for babies over 15kg (which I’m sure your 4 mth old would not be yet).

Portable cots are fine for use on a holiday, but if using those provided by hotels ensure they are in good condition.
https://rednose.com.au/article/portable-cots

Posted a response on 17/6/18

Emily

Just after some advice. My 5mth old son has outgrown his bassinet. His cot won’t fit in our room but our portacot does. He is currently sleeping in the portacot next to our bed. In terms of greater risk, are we better to keep him in the portacot (would be considered long term use) or move him to his own room. My preference would be to keep in our room but I’m concerned about the risks I have become aware of re. Portable cots.
Thanks,
Emily

Posted a response on 18/6/18

Red Nose

Red Nose does recommend Room Sharing for the first 6 (to 12) months. However, for many families this is difficult, and many families report that they move baby to their own room around 5/6 months of age.

I’m not sure that there are set guidelines as to what defines “short term use” of a portable cot. The most important guidelines to continue to practice are:

• Place baby on back to sleep
• Keep baby’s head and face uncovered
• Keep baby smoke free
• Sleep baby in a safe sleep environment

Red Nose has the following information about Room Sharing:

Parents are not expected to observe their baby constantly. If your baby is sleeping in a separate room check baby regularly to ensure that the baby remains on the back and the head and face remain uncovered (as baby grows beyond 5-6 months they will move around the cot and roll over; settle baby to sleep on their back but let them find the sleep position they feel most comfortable in.

A safe cot and safe sleep environment is still necessary for babies older than 5-6 months).

A portable cot which has been specifically designed as an infant sleeping environment and meets the Australian and NZ standard (AS/NZS 2195) for portable folding cots can be used for daytime sleeps and moved from room to room for adult supervision. If this is not possible, safety of the baby’s sleep environment should be viewed as a priority over sharing the same room as baby for daytime sleeps, i.e. place baby in their cot for day-time sleeps and check baby at regular intervals if baby is in a separate room.

See https://rednose.com.au/article/room-sharing-with-baby.

Posted a response on 9/8/18

Alice

We are looking at purchasing a portacot this week as we have some travelling coming up shortly.  I have read that all portacots need to meet the mandatory standard to be sold in Australia, however there is an additional safety regulation that isnt mandatory but safer (AS/NZS 8811.1:2013) .  Now I have seen this standard, i worry the others wont be quite as safe, and cant find any portacots yet that meet this standard. Can you help?

Posted a response on 10/8/18

Red Nose

Yes you are right that all portable cots sold in Australian stores must meet the mandatory Australian Standard AS/NZS 2195 for portable cots (portacot).

To help you assess the portable cot you have chosen and to use it safely. Red Nose recommends:

“When assembling a portable cot it is important to read the instructions carefully, the instructions are there to help keep baby safe from sleeping accidents.

Only use the firm, thin, well-fitting mattress that is supplied with the portable cot. Never add a second mattress or additional padding under or over the mattress, which has been specifically designed for the portacot, as baby may become trapped face down in gaps between the mattress and the sides.

If you are accepting a second hand portable cot, look for a label or sticker that says that it complies with the mandatory standard; never place baby in a cot or portable cot that does not definitely meet the current Australian safety standard.

Wear and tear can expose baby to hazards. Only use a portable cot that has the mesh intact and that has no broken parts. Ensure that the base is flat and regularly check the portacot for signs of damage.

Do not use bedding that has exposed elastic as this presents a strangulation hazard for baby.

Do not use a portable cot if your child weighs more than 15kg (or check instructions of your particular model).” - https://rednose.com.au/article/portable-cots

It’s also important to remember that wherever you are sleeping baby in a cot at home or a port-a-cot whilst travelling that research does tell us that the safest way to sleep baby is:

1) Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side

2) Sleep baby with head and face uncovered

3) Keep baby smoke free before birth and after

4) Provide a Safe Sleeping Environment night and day (Safe cot, Safe mattress, Safe bedding)

5) Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months

6) Breastfeed baby

https://rednose.com.au/article/are-there-specific-baby-care-products-that-reduce-the-risk-of-sudden-unexpected-death-in-infancy

You can also find out more information by visiting the Australian Government Product Safety website at http://www.productsafety.gov.au. And viewing their guide for consumers: Keeping baby safe : a guide to infant and nursery products - https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/keeping-baby-safe-a-guide-to-infant-and-nursery-products\

You can also look at our baby safe sleeping product information statement which has further questions to ask yourself before considering the use of a product - https://rednose.com.au/downloads/Baby_safe_sleeping_products-Information_Statement_Nov2017_WEB_1.pdf

Posted a response on 22/8/18

Paul

We are about to buy a portacot however choice.com.au states that only 2 models actually pass the ‘mandatory’ safety standards and they are about 15kg. Should we limit our choice to one of those models?
Apparently even these 2 models fail voluntary safety tests.

Posted a response on 28/8/18

Red Nose

All portable cots sold in Australian stores must meet the mandatory Australian Standard AS/NZS 2195 for portable cots (portacot), however, Red Nose is aware of the current report published by CHOICE and is continuing to monitor any updates by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding this.

To help you assess the portable cot you have chosen and to use it safely. Red Nose recommends: “When assembling a portable cot it is important to read the instructions carefully, the instructions are there to help keep baby safe from sleeping accidents. Only use the firm, thin, well-fitting mattress that is supplied with the portable cot. Never add a second mattress or additional padding under or over the mattress, which has been specifically designed for the portacot, as baby may become trapped face down in gaps between the mattress and the sides. If you are accepting a second hand portable cot, look for a label or sticker that says that it complies with the mandatory standard; never place baby in a cot or portable cot that does not definitely meet the current Australian safety standard. Wear and tear can expose baby to hazards. Only use a portable cot that has the mesh intact and that has no broken parts. Ensure that the base is flat and regularly check the portacot for signs of damage. Do not use bedding that has exposed elastic as this presents a strangulation hazard for baby. Do not use a portable cot if your child weighs more than 15kg (or check instructions of your particular model).” - https://rednose.com.au/article/portable-cots

It’s also important to remember that wherever you are sleeping baby in a cot at home or a port-a-cot whilst travelling that research does tell us that the safest way to sleep baby is:

1) Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
2) Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
3) Keep baby smoke free before birth and after
4) Provide a Safe Sleeping Environment night and day (Safe cot, Safe mattress, Safe bedding)
5) Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months
6) Breastfeed baby

You can also find out more information by visiting the Australian Government Product Safety website at http://www.productsafety.gov.au and viewing their guide for consumers: Keeping baby safe : a guide to infant and nursery products - https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/keeping-baby-safe-a-guide-to-infant-and-nursery-products
You can also look at our baby safe sleeping product information statement which has further questions to ask yourself before considering the use of a product - https://rednose.com.au/downloads/Baby_safe_sleeping_products-Information_Statement_Nov2017_WEB_1.pdf

Posted a response on 22/9/18

Sue

Hi, can you help me figure out if the aldi australia, sweet dreams mothers choice portacot meets the australian safety standard or is approved by Red Nose? There is nothing on the box about safety standards. It states only “complies with consumer product safety standard” but none is specified. Many thanks

Posted a response on 24/9/18

Red Nose

Red Nose does not promote or endorse any specific brand name product. However, all portable cots sold in Australia must comply with mandatory standards which are set by Product Safety Australia.. See https://rednose.com.au/article/portable-cots.

The information provided by Product Safety in relation to these standards can be found here:
https://www.productsafety.gov.au/standards/folding-cots

Posted a response on 29/9/18

Diana

Hi,

We’ve recently purchased the Baby Bjorn Travel Cot Light as we will be travelling overseas for a month.  You’ve mentioned that Product Safety recommends using them for a short period of time and that they are not suitable for long term sleeping arrangements (no more than a few days).  As we will be gone for a month would it be more ideal and safer if our 10 month old cosleeps with us rather than sleep in the portacot for the month?

Posted a response on 2/10/18

Red Nose

Red Nose supports the use of a porta -cot that meets Australian Standards.

One of the concerns about using a porta-cot “long term” is wear and tear and repeated use, as they are not as sturdy as standard cots.

How heavy is your baby? Most manufacturers recommend against using a porta-cot if baby weighs more than 15kg.

There is some debate about the term “short period of time” and many manufacturers would suggest that a few weeks is still short term. Others would refer to the term temporary.

It often does depend on the “wear and tear” and weight of the baby.

See https://rednose.com.au/article/portable-cots.

Posted a response on 4/10/18

Shirley

It is all very well for the authorities to come out and say what port a cots are not deemed safe by Au. standards.  Life is busy these days and people just want the immediate facts on what products are deemed safe, not to follow this up with your suggestions on reading more and contacting companies.  You say you do not give recommendations but just where do you find this info pertaining to what products are deemed safe in a short time rather than intensive research? Thanks.

Posted a response on 7/10/18

Wendy

With the Choice review of portacots I am now wondering if my portacot is safe. I always use as recommended and for short periods but now after the reviews I am a bit anxious.

Posted a response on 8/10/18

Red Nose

Hi Shirley,

Unfortunately, there are so many types of cots that are available for sale, it is difficult for anyone to promote specific brands, except by recommending that buyers ensure that the cot has documentation to say that it meets the Mandatory Standards.

Product Safety do set out the standards for each cot, and any recent recalls.

Standards for Portable Cots - https://www.productsafety.gov.au/standards/folding-cots

Recent recalls -  at bottom of above page.
BIG W - Dymples Portacot - 19 June 2018
C&F Commercial - Graco Pack N Play & Graco Travel Lite - 7 August 2017

The following information is also on the Red Nose website.
   
All portable cots sold in Australian stores must meet the mandatory Australian Standard AS/NZS 2195 for portable cots (portacot). When assembling a portable cot it is important to read the instructions carefully, the instructions are there to help keep baby safe from sleeping accidents.

https://rednose.com.au/article/portable-cots

Posted a response on 8/10/18

Red Nose

Hi Wendy,

Red Nose recommends to only use a portacot that meets Australian Standards from Product Safety. https://rednose.com.au/article/portable-cots

It is important that you follow guidelines from Product Safety and manufacturer when using a portacot.
https://www.productsafety.gov.au/products/babies-kids/kids-furniture/folding-cots

For a more comprehensive information see here: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/standards/folding-cots

When using portacots the following are important:

- Not recommended for regular use.
- Do not add extra mattress or padding to portacot.
- Do not use for baby over 15kg (or weight recommended by manufacturer)
- Do not use bedding that has exposed elastic as this presents a strangulation hazard for baby

Posted a response on 24/10/18

Lisa

I’m confused; choice.com have reviewed over 20 portacots, and only two have passed the mandatory standard (meaning many are deemed unsafe for use and are not compliant with the advice administered by you). Should I look to buy one of the two mentioned by choice?

Posted a response on 29/10/18

Red Nose

Hi Lisa,

Red Nose recommends to only use a portacot that meets Australian Standards from Product Safety. https://rednose.com.au/article/portable-cots

Red Nose does not develop the standards for cots. ACCC Product Safety is the nationally recognised body for developing standards for products and administering compliance to their regulations.

It is important that you follow guidelines from Product Safety and the manufacturer when using a portacot. https://www.productsafety.gov.au/products/babies-kids/kids-furniture/folding-cots

For a more specific information on standards see https://www.productsafety.gov.au/standards/folding-cots

The purpose of a mandatory standard is to make particular safety or information features on products compulsory for legal supply of the product into the Australian market. It is an offence to supply goods that do not comply with mandatory standards.
https://www.productsafety.gov.au/product-safety-laws/safety-standards-bans/mandatory-standards

Products that do not meet these Standards are generally recalled. There was a portacot recalled in June this year.

When using portacots the following are also important: Not recommended for regular use. Do not add extra mattress or padding to portacot. Do not use for baby over 15kg (or weight recommended by manufacturer) Do not use bedding that has exposed elastic as this presents a strangulation hazard for baby

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