I got this off another web site, hope it helps:
When buying a cot for your baby it is important to consider
safety above all other factors. The following is a checklist of
cot safety factors you should consider:
1. Does the cot meet the Australian Standard (AS 2172)?
If you are buying a cot, look for the Australian
Standard logo, or ask the retailer if the cot meets the
2. Is the cot in good repair?
Broken cots can be dangerous. Make sure there are
no bent or broken parts which would allow the drop
side to move away from the cot, or the base to collapse.
3. Are the spaces between the vertical bars between
5cm and 8.5cm wide, and are the bars unbendable?
This is to prevent your baby’s head or neck becoming
stuck between bars (see over-top of page).
4. Is the distance from the top of the mattress to the
top of the cot frame at least 50cm?
This is to reduce the risk of your baby falling over
the top of the cot (use this ruler to measure).
5. Are the edges of the cot smooth and rounded?
This is to prevent injury from splinters of wood/metal
or from your baby hitting a sharp corner.
6. Is the cot free from knobs or things sticking out
eg. screws, wingnuts or bolts?
This is to prevent clothes becoming caught and your
baby being hung, or hitting a protrusion and being
7. Is the frame sturdy? (It should not collapse when
being moved and the bars must not bend)
This is to prevent your baby becoming trapped
between bars or in a collapsed cot.
8. Is the base strong? (It shouldn't sag or collapse)
This is to prevent your baby becoming trapped.
9. Is the inside free from small openings or holes?
This is to prevent your baby’s fingers becoming
10. Is the inside of the cot free from footholds
eg. cross bars, horizontal bars or decorative features?
This is to prevent your baby being able to climb up
and fall out of the cot.
11. Does the cot have brakes on the wheels or castors?
To prevent the cot from moving, if four legs are fitted
with wheels or castors, at least two must have brakes.
If not remove two of the wheels, or castors.
12. Are the catches on the dropside child-resistant?
This is to prevent your baby opening the catches and
13. Is the cot painted with lead free paint?
Lead paint can be toxic. When babies are teething
they may chew the cot bars and swallow the lead
paint. If you have a second hand cot and can’t be sure
if the paint contains lead, strip the cot and repaint it
with a lead free paint. For further information check
with your paint shop.
14. Is the mattress the right size for the cot?
To prevent your baby becoming trapped between
the mattress and the cot frame, make sure the mattress
fits snugly. There should be no more than a 2.5cm
space between the mattress and the cot frame.
15. Is the mattress firm and covered with a strong cover?
It is important to remove any loose-fitting plastic
coverings to prevent suffocation. Mattress protectors
need to be strong and fit the mattress firmly.
Also I recently heard that sometimes SIDS is related to 2nd hand matresses, not so much the cot. Because of methods of storage over long times, moulds, dust etc ect. So maybe consider getting a new matress for the cot.
Jo, Sydney mama of 2 boys