Portable cots (also known as folding cots, travel cot or portacots) are a collapsible sleeping enclosure designed for temporary sleep for infants and babies. The are made of four fabric or mesh sides, with a removable mattress, and fold up for transport.
Babies sleep a lot and it’s not always convenient for them to do it at a home in their own cot. Although Portable cots are not a must have item but are very handy when you are on the move at holiday homes or staying overnight with grandparents, you will need somewhere comfortable and safe for baby to sleep. Which is where portable cots works well.
Things you may consider before purchasing a Portable cot
- Do you need a portable cot?
- If so, when and where will you use it?
- Do you need it to have a bassinet and/or change table attachment? It’s handy if you are using it in a holiday home or at the grandparents’ house.
- Do u need it to be ultra-light? As you can buy ultra light portable cot as they are excellent for travelling and on trips.
Different Portable cot features
There are different types of Portable cots on the market; some additional features such as a bassinet insert which is great when the baby is little. It’s a little tough having to bend down to the bottom of the portable cot to put a sleeping baby down to rest. However once baby starts moving, you have to remove the bassinet insert. Please check manufactories manual.
Others may come with a change table attachment. Great when you are on holidays and it give you a clean and safe surface to change baby. Or if you have a double story house and the baby’s nursery is upstairs. This would save trips going up and down the stairs to change your baby.
Travel Portable cot- As mention before Lightweight travel portable cots make a great alternative if you are a constant traveller as they are a lot lighter than standard portable cots( which on an average 15kg) but they can be more expensive.
Children can suffer serious injuries if they fall when trying to climb out of the portable cot using footholds or objects left in the portable cot. So remember
No bumpers, pillows, doonas or toys should be used in portable cot. These can cause babies to suffocate. Babies may also use them as a foothold to climb out of the portable cot.
Portable cots have to meet mandatory Australian standards AS/NZS 2195 –either the 1999 OR 2010 version, if purchasing instore or online check that your purchases meet mandatory Australian safety standard and has no recalled in Australia or another country.
If you use a second-hand portable cot it is always essential to check that all parts are in good working order and it has full instructions for its safe assembly and use. Of course that it meets standards.
I can’t stress enough -Do not add an extra mattress, always use the mattress that comes with the portable cot from the manufacturer. If there are gaps in the portable cot it created by ill fitting or additional mattresses, infant can roll into the gaps and become trapped and suffocate.
Parents and carers -Always make sure you know how to assemble your portable cot and correctly locked into place. You wouldn’t want it to collapse while infant is in the portable cot. On the flip side know how to fold them, as they can be a bit tricky and frustrating!