Q&A Forum

23/8/19

Nicky

Hi I’m a family day care educator and I’m just enquiring about the use of sleep mats on the floor for under 12months of age. Am I able to use a sleep mat for this age? I do not have a space for a proper cot so the other option is a porta cot which I prefer not to use. Regards Nicky

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Posted a response on 3/9/19

Red Nose Australia

Hi Nicky,

Red Nose recommends that the safest place to sleep baby is in a cot or portable cot that meets the mandatory Australian standards.
Most babies do not transfer from a cot to a bed (including floor mattress) until 2 - 3 years of age
However, there are some situations where a younger baby may be placed on a floor mattress for sleep.

As discussed on phone today, this practice will entail greater level of supervision of sleeping baby due to the fact that baby is “not contained” within a cot.
When writing your policy, it is important to note this & to ensure the following safety is considered.

A child no longer sleeping in a cot has greater access to all living areas.
Before your child graduates to a bed, check your child’s room and throughout the house for possible hazards.
Ensure the environment is safe:
Pay special attention to potential hazards that may result in falls, drowning, strangulation, entrapment or poisoning.
Keep dangling cords, strings and mobiles out of reach as they could get caught around a child’s neck.
Keep heaters, electrical appliances and access to power points well away to avoid the risk of overheating, burns and electrocution
Ensure all furniture and TVs are attached with wall brackets, so they cannot be readily tipped over.
Ensure stairs and windows are not accessible.
https://rednose.org.au/article/making-your-home-safe-before-moving-a-child-from-a-cot-to-a-bed
Also ensure there is no risk to the baby from other children.
If baby is mobile it is preferable not to use a sleep bag for rest time, due to the risk of baby falling when standing up after wakening.
Red Nose also has the following information about using a floor mattress.
One option is to take the mattress from a cot or a full height single bed and use it made up on the floor.
Ensure the mattress is positioned away from the walls as young children can become trapped between the mattress and wall.
A child’s mattress needs to be firm to prevent sleep accidents.
Keep the area around the mattress clear of soft toys, bean bags, plastic bags or similar objects that a young child can roll onto.
Soft objects could mould around a young child’s face, resulting in suffocation.
https://rednose.org.au/article/where-to-sleep-a-child-who-has-moved-from-a-cot

Posted a response on 3/9/19

Red Nose Australia

Hi Nicky,

Red Nose recommends that the safest place to sleep baby is in a cot or portable cot that meets the mandatory Australian standards.
Most babies do not transfer from a cot to a bed (including floor mattress) until 2 - 3 years of age
However, there are some situations where a younger baby may be placed on a floor mattress for sleep.

As discussed on phone today, this practice will entail greater level of supervision of sleeping baby due to the fact that baby is “not contained” within a cot.
When writing your policy, it is important to note this & to ensure the following safety is considered.

A child no longer sleeping in a cot has greater access to all living areas.
Before your child graduates to a bed, check your child’s room and throughout the house for possible hazards.
Ensure the environment is safe:
Pay special attention to potential hazards that may result in falls, drowning, strangulation, entrapment or poisoning.
Keep dangling cords, strings and mobiles out of reach as they could get caught around a child’s neck.
Keep heaters, electrical appliances and access to power points well away to avoid the risk of overheating, burns and electrocution
Ensure all furniture and TVs are attached with wall brackets, so they cannot be readily tipped over.
Ensure stairs and windows are not accessible.
https://rednose.org.au/article/making-your-home-safe-before-moving-a-child-from-a-cot-to-a-bed
Also ensure there is no risk to the baby from other children.
If baby is mobile it is preferable not to use a sleep bag for rest time, due to the risk of baby falling when standing up after wakening.
Red Nose also has the following information about using a floor mattress.
One option is to take the mattress from a cot or a full height single bed and use it made up on the floor.
Ensure the mattress is positioned away from the walls as young children can become trapped between the mattress and wall.
A child’s mattress needs to be firm to prevent sleep accidents.
Keep the area around the mattress clear of soft toys, bean bags, plastic bags or similar objects that a young child can roll onto.
Soft objects could mould around a young child’s face, resulting in suffocation.
https://rednose.org.au/article/where-to-sleep-a-child-who-has-moved-from-a-cot

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