Your Mini Cart

Making Your Baby's Cot

Making Your Baby's Cot

Suffocation from the baby having its face covered by bedding is one of the main SIDS risk factors. So if you are using blankets and sheets rather than a baby sleeping bag, it's very important to make the cot up as safely as possible. As an alternative, using a fitted swaddle or sleeping bag means there is no need for any additional bedding. Countries where the majority of babies sleep in a sleeping bag have a far lower rate of SIDS, such as The Netherlands.

These recommendations are advised for babies up to one year


  • Make sure your baby's head remains uncovered during sleep

  • Tuck in your baby's bedclothes securely or use a sleeping bag.

  • Quilts, doonas, duvets, pillows, soft toys should not be used

  • Avoid any padded cot bumpers (breathable mesh bumpers are a good alternative)

  • Position your baby's feet at the bottom of the cot

  • Use a clean, firm, well-fitting mattress

  • Avoid any sleep positioners such as wedges as these can move or trap baby in an unsafe position

"A high proportion of infants who die as a result of SIDS are found with their head covered with bedding. Loose bedding which can cover a baby’s face or head can be dangerous and has been shown to increase the chance of SIDS. Soft or bulky bedding, such as quilts, pillows and duvets, is also associated with an increased risk of SIDS in the UK. Pillow use alone has been shown to increase the risk of SIDS by 2½ times, compared with non-pillow use. In addition, the use of soft sleep surfaces has been found to be associated with a higher risk of SIDS and second-hand mattresses may also increase the risk" - The Lullaby Trust.


We often hear from parents that they feel their baby's cot is uncomfortable or that a firm sleep surface is the reason for poor sleep. However a firm, unpadded sleep surface is the safest option for your baby.

We recommend avoiding any soft sleep surface, such as sheepskins, extra padding, toppers or soft mattresses.  

Travel Cots

Travel cots or portacots are also a safe sleep issue and we recommend parents pay close attention to safe sleep when they are away from home.

Travel cots must only be used with the mattress supplied with the cot. Under no circumstances should you add extra mattresses or padding 'to make it more comfortable' as you are making the cot no longer compliant with the safety standard and potentially unsafe.

Please note that the safety standard for travel cots is voluntary in New Zealand. We only sell compliant cots but this is not the case at all retailers. Be aware of the Standard and shop from NZ's safe sleep experts - The Sleep Store.


Pillow use alone has been shown to increase the chance of SIDS occurring by up to 2.5 times. (The Lullaby Trust).

It may be helpful to talk to your medical professional if you were thinking of using a pillow with your baby due to concerns for plagiocephaly (or ‘flat head syndrome’). There are techniques you can use that could help plagiocephaly which will not increase the risk of SIDS.

Watch our Facebook Live video about bassinet & cot bedding

In this video Louise discusses white noise plus which bedding choices are best and essential safe sleep tips & how-tos.


White noise, baby & toddler bedding_LIVE with Louise

What is white noise and how do you use it to help a baby to sleep? How to make up a baby bassinet and cot safely. All live with Louise at The Sleep Store answering your questions.



The Sleep Store

Recommended Articles

How to make your baby's cot

Nursery with Baby lying in Frank Cot dressed in the sleep store merino sleeping bag with Crane tower fan nearby