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Cradles (rocking)

Rocking cradle

A rocking cradle is a small bed for younger babies that has a swinging motion. It is normally used temporarily for the first few months, before babies become active. After that time, it is safer to move a baby to a cot.

Most rocking cradles are safe if used appropriately. But serious injuries can occur if an infant's cradle tilts too far or if an infant has access to potential hazards such as curtains, heaters or power points.

To use rocking cradles in the safest way, parents and carers should be aware of the hazards that can come with using rocking cradles.

Babies can suffer serious injuries if they fall out of a rocking cradle that tilts too far, or if the bottom breaks. Babies can also suffer injuries including burns, strangulation and electrocution if they have access to potential hazards such as curtains, blinds, heaters or power points. Parents and carers should make sure the cradle cannot tilt too far and isn’t near any hazards. Also, infants can suffocate if pillows or folded quilts are used as mattresses.

Rocking cradles do not have to comply with a safety standard, unlike household cots.


Loose or looped cords near cots can accidentally strangle and kill small children. Babies have died from being strangled in blind, curtain and electrical cords they accessed in their cots. There are simple steps you can take when preparing baby's sleep area to make sure it's safe from these hazards.

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