What is a safe sleep environment for my baby?

What is a safe sleep environment for my baby?

With an overwhelming amount of information available today, it can be hard to determine the right choice when it comes to caring for your little one. For most expecting parents, one of the biggest concerns is safe sleeping.

It is essential to create a safe sleeping environment for your child and ensure that it’s maintained as they grow. As daunting as that may seem, there’s no need to worry, because we’re here to help with that responsibility.


What makes a safe mattress?

Regardless of whether you choose to use a cot, cradle or bassinet, there are a few key things to be aware of when selecting and installing a baby mattress.

Read Cot Mattress Buying Guide 


  • A suitable mattress should be firm, somewhat dense and resilient. If you press down on the surface, it should readily snap back into shape and not retain the impression of your hand.

  • Having a mattress that’s too soft increases the risk of sudden unexpected infant death if the baby rolls over onto their stomach. A pillow, cushion or sofa is not a safe sleeping surface for this reason. Soft bedding should also never be placed under the bottom sheet at the risk of compromising the firmness.

  • When buying a BabyRest mattress, you can rest assured knowing each product has been rigorously tested and passed safety standards (AS/NZS 8811.1:2013) in order to provide parents with the right tools in creating a safe sleep environment.


Cleanliness and condition

  • Whether buying brand new or using an existing mattress, it’s recommended that the mattress is free of dust, lint, moisture, and contains no spots or staining. If using an existing mattress, it’s advised that this be thoroughly cleaned prior to usage.

  • The mattress should also be fully intact with no tears, damage, sagging or impressions on the surface.



  • The size and depth of the mattress used must comply with recommendation provided by the manufacturer of the furniture which it will be used in.

  • A poor fitting mattress can result in gaps along the sides which creates the risk of a child getting their limbs caught in these openings. This is especially dangerous if their face is trapped and covered, or their neck is restricted in any way.

  • There should be no more than a 20mm gap between the mattress and the cot sides/ends. This can sometimes prove tricky if the furniture being used is not to standard sizing.

  • At BabyRest, we want every parent to have peace of mind that their child is sleeping safely, which is why we offer a made to order custom size option so you can ensure the perfect fit.



  • When placing the mattress into the bassinet/ cradle or cot, you must ensure that it is placed completely flat and is not tilted or elevated. Elevating the mattress increases the risk of the child slipping downward, which can cause their head to become trapped underneath bedding.

BabyRest Torquay cot exposed to showcase the DuoCore mattress

Sleeping surface

Once the mattress has been selected and installed correctly, it’s time to focus on the sleeping surface. Ideally, this should be free of:

  • Untucked or loose bedding
  • Doonas/ duvets
  • Pillows and cushions
  • Toys
  • Bumpers
  • Any other decorative items

It is essential the baby is placed on their back, ensuring their head and face remains uncovered. They are best positioned closer to the bottom of the cot, cradle or bassinet.

Read Sleeping 101: The new parents' guide to babies and bedtime 

Furniture and placement

It is recommended that any furniture used for a sleeping baby has clearance from hanging cords that may pose a strangulation risk, as well as heaters or electrical appliances to avoid overheating. Never use electric blankets, hot water bottles or wheat bags for babies.

For Australia, there are no official standards for bassinet and cradle requirements, however there are for cots. You must ensure the cot complies with (AS/NZS 2172:2003) and is assembled and fitted as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

The above safety requirements are in alignment with the latest Red Nose Australia guidelines. To find out more about safe sleeping visit: https://rednose.org.au/

Read  10 tips to make your nursery safer 


BabyRest Kaya cot and chest in White


BabyRest has a team of passionate expert representatives. Get in touch  with us today with any questions about your baby and toddler essentials.  


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