Can you please provide some clarification regarding licensing’s interpretation of “developmentally appropriate” sleeping equipment for children under 12 months and if there is an age recommendation for using mats/cots for children under 12 months? Thanks in advance for your response.
When the new crib law became mandatory on December 28, 2012, many child care providers attempted to remedy the need to purchase new cribs by transitioning the infants from cribs to cots, mats, and even play pens. In anticipation of this reaction, Child Care Licensing researched the question of appropriate age for an infant to be moved from a crib and we found the optimal answer is when the infant reaches two years of age.
We realize that children develop differently and by two years of age, many could have been moved to a cot or mat much sooner. However, the reason for transitioning a child from a crib to a cot or mat should never be based upon the economics of replacing the cribs. The general opinion of child care experts is that an infant should remain in a crib at least until they are one year old, and we have placed that in our policy manual as a guide to regulated facilities. It also ensures consistency in the enforcement of that regulation which requires developmentally appropriate cribs, cots and mats. So, never use a play pen, but facilities may transition an infant from a crib to a cot or mat at one year of age.