Is it safe to hire a cot (and mattress) when I travel interstate with my 7 month old baby? Are there SIDS risks associated with using a well worn mattress for overnight sleeps?
Red Nose Australia
Thank you for contacting Red Nose with your question.
Red Nose recommends that when traveling with baby that if you hire a cot or portable cot that you check to see if it features the Australian Safety Standards label AS/NZ 2172 for cots or AS/NZS 2195 for portable cots (portacot).
Second hand mattresses are safe to use if they are clean, well fitted within the cot frame, flat and firm. For more information on what a safe mattress should be including measurements, please see: https://rednose.org.au/article/what-is-a-safe-mattress
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. 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).
Red Nose education team