- All new and second-hand cots must meet these safety requirements:
- The cot must be more than 500mm deep. Measure from the top of the mattress to the top of the cot side.
- The mattress must fit the cot firmly. Any gaps at the ends and sides should be less than 20mm.
- Spaces between the bars of the cot must be between 50mm and 85mm.
- The four corner posts must not stick up more than 5mm.
- The dropside catches must lock securely.
- Screws and nails must not stick out.
- Cot ends must not have fancy cut outs.
- There must not be any bars, ledges or other footholds that an infant can use to climb out of the cot.
- The base of the cot must be firm, with no parts to collapse or bend when pushed down.
What you can do
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s assembly and use instructions. If in doubt, go back to the retailer for help.
Under the Fair Trading Act, your cot must comply with the safety requirements of the National Standard AS/NZS 2172. The standard can be found on the Ministry of Consumer Affairs' website. Make sure the cot you are buying meets this standard.
- If you are buying a portable cot, read the “Portable Cots and Play-yards PDF Factsheet” factsheet that Ministry of Consumer Affairs has published. This information is also available on the Ministry of Consumer Affairs' website.
(The Portable Cots and Play-yards factsheet is now available online in PDF format (81 KBs). Instructions for obtaining the Adobe Acrobat viewer.)
- Repair broken or wobbly bars.
- Make sure all bolts and screws are firmly in place. And that they are not sticking out of the cot, including both the inside and outside.
- Check that corner posts are not longer than 5mm. Cut off any excess and make sure the cut edges are smooth.
- Check old cots for poisonous lead-based paint. Ring your local Community/Public Health Service Provider (listed at the front of the White Pages) for advice.
- Do not use pillows in a cot. They might suffocate the baby.
- Remove plastic wrapping from new mattresses, as it might suffocate the baby.
- Do not leave toys in the cot. Large toys are climbing aids. Small toys with ribbons can be a choking risk.
- Do not place the cot within reach of curtains and window blind cords.
Check with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs or your local Plunket service if you have any safety concerns about your cot.
The Cots factsheet is now available online in PDF format (98 KBs). Instructions for obtaining the Adobe Acrobat viewer.