Travel Cots and Safe Sleeping


I’ll get straight to the point here. You need to bring your own travel cot or mattress.  Even if you plan ahead with the hotels, the cots provided are not up to Western SIDS safety standards (even at international hotels). That’s just the way it is. So you’re prepared, here’s what went down for us.

In the lead up to our trip, I emailed all the hotels we were booked to stay in to request a cot, as my local maternal child health nurse suggested. But, knowing Indonesia well, I knew we needed to be prepared for the possibility that plans b) c) d) and e) may unfold.

We arrived in Bali around 11pm, tired. We were booked into the airport hotel, which was great. The staff had so dutifully set up a lovely cot for our daughter. The only problem was that the mattress was soft, and it had many pillows. Seems there is a conception across Indonesia that babies need pillows and soft mattresses as there is no education around SIDS and safe sleeping 😔 (Sindrom kematian bayi mendadak  – dalam bahasa Ingris  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome atau disingkat SIDS).

We loaned a Baby Bjorn travel cot before departing and set it up beside our bed (the Bjorn cot is super expensive, but this model is basically the same, but cheaper, and meets Australian safety standards). Our daughter was a bit out of sorts (and slightly jet lagged for a while, actually – will post more about that in a future post) the first night and woke hourly. I ended up sleeping beside her on the floor on the first night. But, she was safe in her travel cot.

At every hotel we went to in Indonesia the experience was the same. Cots were not safe. Sadly, I came to learn, SIDS can be common too.

Given our experience,  I suggest bringing your own lightweight travel cot as we did –  if you are a bedsharing family, well good luck to you, things are much easier – though sometimes the beds can be dangerously high and floors hard and tiled being tropical, so be prepared for that.

I wonder if there would be any scope for  SIDS foundations in the West to spend some time undertaking campaigns in developing countries like Indonesia? The breastfeeding campaigning has certainly been very successful.

What do you think? How would a SIDS campaign go down in Indonesia?


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