The safest cot is a clear cot - image of parent moving teddies out of baby's cot

The safest cot for a baby is a clear cot. That means removing anything that isn’t essential (see list below for more details). Babies need just two items in their cot: (1) a firm, flat, waterproof mattress; (2) lightweight bedding. 

Click here for more information on choosing a mattress and bedding for a baby

The safest cot is a clear cot

Parents now have a massive range of baby sleep products to choose from and it can be really confusing to know what is needed. Our advice is simple: the safest cot is a clear cot. 

So whether your baby is sleeping in a cot, crib, Moses basket, pram carrycot or bed-sharing with an adult, keep their sleep space clear. 

Keep the cot clear

The safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own clear, flat, separate sleep space, such as a cot or Moses basket in the same room as you. So when you prepare your baby’s sleep space, remember: 

  • No pillows or duvets  
  • No cot bumpers 
  • No soft toys or comforters 
  • No weighted or bulky bedding
  • No products (such as wedges or straps) designed to keep your baby in one sleeping position 
  • No pods or nests, rolled up towels or anything soft placed on top of the mattress 

There is evidence to suggest that babies are at a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) if they have their heads covered and some items added to a cot may increase the risk of head-covering. Unnecessary items in a baby’s cot, such as cot bumpers and toys, can also increase the risk of accidents. 

Therefore, the safest cot is a clear cot because, while evidence on individual items is not widely available, it makes sense to be cautious. 

Download our leaflet on how to choose baby sleeping products here

No product can reduce the risk of SIDS

We cannot comment on individual products but would advise parents to read the safety advice when making choices. Sadly, there is no product that can reduce the chance of SIDS and we advise parents to be cautious about any product that makes such a claim. 

Instead, follow our evidence-based safer sleep advice for every sleep, day and night: 

  1. Lie baby on their back at the foot of the cot
  2. Keep the cot clear
  3. Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress
  4. Keep baby smoke-free
  5. Avoid letting baby getting too hot
  6. Sleep baby in the same room as you for at least the first 6 months 

Check that any product you buy has passed the necessary safety checks and follow the manufacturer’s care instructions that come with the product.