There is no Australian standard for bassinets, so we use our own in-house method that is based on a typical home setting. We also adapt methods from other standards.
CHOICE only recommends babies' and kids' products that meet our strict safety criteria. Our tests often go above and beyond the minimum safety requirements set by standards and regulations. This does mean we're sometimes unable to fully recommend any models in our tests. Our results will tell you why, and if any are worth considering.
For bassinets and bedside sleepers we look at:
Choking hazards We check that the bassinets have no discrete or removable small parts accessible to the child.
Sharp corners, edges and points We conduct a visual and tactile examination of any corners, edges and points, including small components like hinges, brackets, latches and clamps.
Strangulation hazards We check to see if there are any projections, openings or cords that could be hazardous if snagged or caught onto the child's clothing, presenting a strangulation hazard.
Suffocation/breathable zone Materials used should be breathable and have openings in the weave, such as a mesh textile. The material should be continuous on all sides of the bassinet and should be unobstructed by any non-breathable material. International bassinet standards do not have breathability requirements. CHOICE believes this is an important feature to assess due to fatal incidents of suffocation recorded with folding cots.
Fall hazards We measure the distance between the top surface of the mattress and the upper edge of the bassinet enclosure. We believe the depth should be no less than 250mm. Not all bassinets meet our depth requirements.
Entrapment in openings We also measure gaps and holes to see if they present finger, limb and/or head entrapment hazards.
Entrapment between moving components We carefully inspect and examine any entrapment hazards caused when adjoining or adjacent components pivot, fold up, open up or close in.
Integrity of assembly We check that components of the bassinet are permanently fixed, and are designed so that the child cannot unfasten or dismantle them.
Strength We test the horizontal and vertical strength of the bassinet.
Stability We conduct a stability test on each bassinet to see if any leg, footing, castor or any part intended to be resting on the floor, lifts off the surface when the test weight is applied.
Mattress firmness We assess the mattress or sleeping surface as per the standard AS/NZS 8811.1:2013 Methods of testing infant products – Sleep surfaces – Test for firmness. This determines if the mattress is firm enough. A mattress that's too soft is a suffocation hazard if the child sleeps with their face against it.
Ease of use We evaluate each bassinet for ease of assembly.
Separation test For bedside sleepers that attach to the adult bed, we conduct an in-house separation test which is based on the US bedside sleeper standard and tailored to a typical Australian home environment. This is designed to test the strength of the attachment and replicates scenarios where an adult may roll on to the bedside sleeper or a sibling may tug on it.