Q&A Forum


Cathie Chapman

At what age can a child go from sleeping in a cot, to a bed on the floor, in a childcare center in NSW?

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Posted a response on 12/10/20

Red Nose Education

Red Nose recommends that the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a cot that meets the mandatory Australian Standards, on a mattress that is firm, clean, well-fitting & flat.

Red Nose supports the general safety recommendations from Organizations like Kids Safe & Raising Children Network,  that most babies sleep in a cot till at least 18mth of age.
There is always concern for safety when young babies are placed for sleep outside of the cot environment, where they might be at risk of accidents when “unconfined”

Supervision of sleeping babies, in line with ACECQA guidelines for “sleep & rest” would need to be monitored very closely for younger babies sleeping on a floor bed.

ACECQA provides the following.

Babies or young children should not be moved out of a cot into a bed too early; they should also not be kept in a cot for too long. When a young child is observed attempting to climb out of a cot, and looking like they might succeed, it is time to move them out of a cot. This usually occurs when a toddler is between 2 and 3 ½ years of age, but could be as early as 18 months

The information in Red Nose “cot to bed ” safety brochure may be helpful.

Ensure the mattress is firm, clean & flat.
Ensure mattress is placed away from walls, to reduce the risk for entrapment.
Keep area around mattress clear of pillows, soft toys, bean bags, plastic bags or similar objects to reduce risk of suffocation &/or other injury.
Sleeping bags should be used cautiously when babies/toddlers sleep on a mattress, particularly when they are mobile. These babies are at a high risk of falls if not in a cot.

Pay particular attention to other furniture in the room , especially if furniture may be able to be pulled over.
Avoid placing mattress near windows (partic low ones) , dangling cords & mobiles.
Keep heaters, electrical appliances & power points away from sleep environment.

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