Most first-time mothers choose a bassinet as their child’s first bed because it is small, simple, and comfortable, just what a newborn needs before he is ready for a bigger and fancier bed. It’s not as simple as just buying a bassinet and expecting the baby to sleep in it. You might expect some fussiness or crying from your little one if you try to put him to sleep in a bassinet instead of your arms. However, a peaceful night’s sleep for your infant will require some bassinet training.
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What Is a Bassinet?
Babies from the time they are born up until they are about four months old sleep best in a bassinet. They are ideal for use in temporary nurseries or other areas where space is at a premium due to their compact size. For the first few months, a bassinet is ideal for keeping your child close without taking up too much room in your bedroom. Bassinets are similar to cradles in that they are both designed for the safe and comfortable sleep of infants. While bassinets remained in one place, cradles rocked gently to soothe a newborn. However, modern bassinets and cradles can either remain in one place or rock gently.
Cribs are bulkier and more cumbersome than bassinets, but they provide a safer, more stable environment for infants to sleep in for the foreseeable future. Most bassinets are also compact and lightweight, making them easy to transport or stow away after your infant outgrows them. Since the sides are significantly lower, it is much simpler to place and remove the baby from the bassinet. Most bassinets have a metal frame, however plastic and wood are also common. The hood of a conventional bassinet can be utilized to shield a sleeping infant from the elements.
Benefits of Choosing a Bassinet for Your Child
There are several advantages to using a bassinet, which is why they have been around for so long. They can be set up in a jiffy and stored away just as easily, and the greatest thing is that a newborn can sleep in the same room as Mom and Dad. However, a bassinet has more than enough advantages to warrant its selection. Come on, let’s find out what they are:
1. Bassinets are affordable.
When compared to the price of other baby items, bassinets typically offer better value. It’s a great option for expecting parents on a tight budget who need baby items. It’s an economical alternative to a crib and worth considering for the first several months.
2. Bassinets do not occupy much space.
Babies should share a room with their parents during the first six months of their lives, since this has been shown to lower the risk of SIDS (SIDS). Put a bassinet in your bedroom if the space is too tight for a crib. This manner, your child can be close by but not in bed with you.
3. Bassinets are portable.
Bassinets are convenient because they can be moved from one location to another, allowing you to keep your infant close at all times. Some designs even include wheels for easy portability from room to room.
Why Infants Don’t Sleep in a Bassinet
Putting a newborn to sleep is difficult enough for new parents without adding the challenge of putting him or her in a bassinet. Babies love to be held close to their mothers and fall asleep peacefully while swaddled. Bassinets can’t compare to the ease of use and coziness of a crib. Also, infants are restless sleepers; even after being swaddled for over an hour, they will wake up and start crying if their parents move them from the bassinet.
How to Get a Baby to Sleep in a Bassinet
Your infant can learn to sleep well in a bassinet if you take the right steps. Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing a bassinet for your baby:
1. Have a Steady Routine
You’ve probably heard this before, but it bears repeating: It works! An established bedtime routine can aid in getting your child to bed on time. A nightly routine of a warm bath, followed by a gentle massage or a breastfeeding session, is sure to put him to sleep promptly every night. Swaddle your baby up and sing to him when he starts to show signs of fatigue. Throw him in a bassinet and watch him sleep soundly to sleep.
2. Make Your Presence Felt in the Bassinet
Your baby’s ability to distinguish your aroma and the comfort it brings him is completely natural. Making your presence known in the bassinet will help your infant feel more at ease there. Although we know from experience that it’s not safe to sleep next to our babies, we can nonetheless make the bassinet sheet smell like us. For a few nights, sleep with the sheet tucked under your chin and your neck, or have them do the same. Though it will take a few days for the bedding to be ready and smell like you, this procedure is effective.
3. Place the Bassinet Close to Your Bed
Place the bassinet next to your bed as you begin teaching your baby to sleep there. This will help your infant adjust to sleeping in a new environment while still feeling close to you. That way, he’ll always have the reassurance of knowing his mother is nearby. Keep the bassinet next to your bed so that you may reach over and comfort him if he wakes up crying. This is preferable to co-sleeping because the latter can cause sleep disruptions for both you and the baby.
4. Swaddle Him
Snuggle your infant to sleep in your arms before placing him in a bassinet. Swaddling re-creates the safe and comforting environment of the womb for infants, making them feel at ease and at peace. Startle reflexes are triggered by changes in light, sound, or temperature, thus reducing them by swaddling also helps with sleep. Infants who are swaddled report feeling calmer and more secure.
5. Lay Him Down Awake
Putting a newborn to sleep in a bassinet while he or she is still awake is the key to a successful training process. Even though you, as a parent, may feel like giving in when your baby fusses and cries because he or she is being forced to sleep in a bassinet, you should not. Until you train him to do so, he will not feel secure sleeping in a bassinet. The goal is to have him drowsy but awake when you place him in the bassinet, which means you’ll need to get him settled in and comfortable well before his bedtime. To get it right, you need to place him in the bassinet when he is just drowsy enough not to protest but alert enough to know what’s going on.
6. Sing Lullaby or Read a Book
Put him in the bassinet and rock him or read to him until he falls asleep. Your baby will quickly fall asleep to the sound of your voice as you sing to him. You can help your young one relax and go off to sleep in the bassinet by reading to him. When baby finally does fall asleep, a white noise machine can help him stay asleep.
7. Get an Inclined Bassinet
Having trouble with acid reflux is only one reason why some infants may not be able to sleep soundly on their backs through the night. If you’d rather not use a wedge to prop up your mattress and create an incline, you can seek for versions that already have an incline or incline control built in. If you choose one of these models of inclined bassinet, you should be able to find the ideal angle that allows your baby to sleep soundly and comfortably.
8. Make the Sleeping Environment Comfortable
If your baby has a comfortable place to sleep, it will likely go to sleep quickly. If you put your baby down for the night in the same room as you, you should turn out the lights an hour before he goes into the bassinet. The sheets in a bassinet should be cozy and accommodating. Choose the sheets that are both soft and warm to the touch, such as those made of natural cotton or a blend of polyester. It’s important to keep the room at a temperature that’s just right for the sheets, so your baby doesn’t wake up. If you notice that your baby becomes fussy shortly after being placed in the bassinet, you may want to try warming the sheets so that he is not startled by the sudden shift in temperature.
9. Get a Bassinet That Rocks
Bassinets on skids or wheels that can be rocked are widely available. A bassinet with a rocking slide is available for purchase if you find that your infant relaxes more soundly when being rocked to sleep. For infants who have trouble sleeping because of reflux, variants of inclined bassinets are available with motorized rockers and a vibration component. The better for your child, in general, the more options the model provides.
The 7 Best Bassinets of 2022
Best Overall: HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper Premiere Series
- A solid foundation built on four pillars
- Rotates a full circle
- It’s a breeze for nursing mothers
- Tough to maneuver
Our top option is the HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper Premiere Series because it is packed with features that make life easier for both baby and caretakers. This bassinet provides a safe and comfortable sleeping space for your infant, as well as a nightlight, a floor light, a sound machine with adjustable volume, and two vibration settings. The bed can be rotated through a full circle, making it easy to get to your infant without waking them up.
Fitted sheet and two storage pockets provide convenience. Baby can use it right away and up to 20 pounds in weight. The lack of wheels on this bassinet can make it difficult to silently get your baby out of bed in the middle of the night.
Weighing in at 30 pounds, the product has a maximum load capacity of 20 pounds and is 36 by 45 by 45 inches.
Best Budget: Dream On Me Karley Bassinet
- Very portable and lightweight
- The double canopy, which can be adjusted for optimal protection from insects,
- When folded, the compact design makes it simple to store away in tight quarters.
- There is no way to alter the height
- The cover for the mattress is not included.
- Canopy zip may become jammed quickly.
This foldable bassinet comes in a variety of colors and features a double sleeping canopy with mesh panels that allow parents to keep an eye on their baby while providing some shade and protection from the elements. The bassinet’s comfortable mattress, sturdy metal frame, and weight limit of 25 pounds all work together to ensure that baby will have a restful night in a secure environment.
The maximum weight for this item is 25 pounds, and its dimensions are 33 by 19.5 by 37 inches.
Best Splurge: Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper Baby Bassinet
- App for smartphones and tablets that lets parents keep tabs and enforce rules from afar
- Your baby will be comforted by the adaptive technology that senses and responds to his or her needs.
- Elegant, minimalist, mid-century style
- The bassinet’s speed can be adjusted via smartphone app.
- There is no way to alter the height
- Sometimes the app has problems connecting.
The SNOO is the cutting edge of bassinet technology, and it comes in a sleek, modern form that will appeal to parents who like the era. This bassinet responds to the sounds of an infant, such as grunting or wailing. The bassinet will then play relaxing white noise and gently rock and swing the infant.
The SNOO’s motion, sound, and cry sensitivity may all be customized by the parent’s tablet or smartphone. The app monitors the infant’s sleep patterns and notifies guardians when their child requires special care. All of these high-tech additions do add up to a hefty price tag, but parents should take note that SNOO also has a renting option.
The maximum weight for this item is 25 pounds, and its dimensions are 30 inches by 16 inches by 32 inches.
Best Compact: Fisher-Price Soothing View Bassinet
- Slim-folding design
- Extremely lightweight construction
- Possesses the ability to be rocked or fixed in one position
- No convenient pockets
- To be rocked manually
- That’s right, there’s no background noise or musical accompaniment here.
This tiny bassinet from Fisher-Price is the best option for traveling with baby. The folded width of the Soothing View Bassinet is only four inches. It doesn’t take up much room even when it’s not folded up.
The baby can be comforted by gently pushing on the bassinet with the push of a button. The bassinet can be utilized in either a rocking or a motionless position, depending on the parent’s preference.
Weight of Item: 13 Pounds | Specifications: 22.44 x 33.07 x 24.41 inches Weight Restriction: 20 Pounds
Best for Soothing: 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet
- The height can be changed.
- Use a smartphone app to trigger and silence alarms from afar.
- Assembly requires no tools
Assembly requires no tools
- The assembly process is straightforward and doesn’t need any special equipment.
- Sometimes the app has problems connecting.
The 4moms mamaRoo is a portable crib that can grow with your child from birth to 25 pounds, providing a safe place for them to sleep and promoting restful nights. The bassinet can be rocked and swayed at five different speeds, and there’s also a lullaby machine. Additionally, it has a timer function that can be managed by parents from their smartphone, making it easier to establish a regular sleep routine for infants.
The maximum allowable weight for this item is 25 pounds, and its dimensions are 24 inches by 34 inches by 39 inches.
Best Stroller-Compatible: UPPAbaby Stroller Bassinet
- Shade canopies with a UPF of 50+ are available.
- Bug net included.
- Mattress and foundation with perforations and air vents for breathability.
- Toy bassinets without accompanying stands.
- All other strollers are incompatible.
- An expensive bassinet stand
This lightweight bassinet is a fantastic alternative for parents who want something they can use both at home and on the road, as it is compatible with the widely used Uppababy Cruz stroller (and is available with the Uppababy Vista stroller). This bassinet has a UPF 50+ sunshade and canopy that unzips to increase airflow, and it is suitable for infants up to 25 pounds in weight. The Uppababy bassinet has multiple placement options, including a flat, secure surface, an elevated stand (available separately), or the ability to clip onto the stroller for naps on the go.
Product Dimensions: 30.25 x 16.6 x 24.75 inches Maximum Weight Capacity: 25 lbs.
Best Play Yard: Graco Pack ‘n Play On the Go Playard
- Conveniently folds up and stores away
- The base has wheels, making it mobile.
- Visual stimulation with a removable toy bar
- There is no way to alter the height
- Not easy to put together for everyone.
- Lacks a handle for easy transport
The Graco Pack ‘n Play is a well-liked portable playpen due to its convenience in assembly, disassembly, and transport. This design is perfect for newborns because to the included bassinet insert, which may be used until the baby reaches 15 pounds. The detachable toy bar offers your infant additional visual stimulation.
Dimensions: 40 x 28.5 x 29 inches; Weight Capacity: 15 lbs.
What to Look for in a Baby Bassinet
Many infant bassinets are smaller than a regular crib, but you should still take that into account. Spend some time thinking about the room or rooms in which you’ll put the bassinet, whether you’re buying it before or after the baby arrives. It’s important to evaluate the available area before purchasing a bassinet to avoid having to send it back.
The Graco Pack’ n Play On the Go Playard is one example of a folding, portable bassinet (view on Amazon). It’s not ideal, but if you’re short on room, you can put the Pack ‘n Play or another bassinet wherever it’s needed for naps and overnight, and then store it away during the day. In general, it’s best to keep the bassinet a safe distance from the bed to prevent any accidents involving the baby.
Nowadays, many bassinets come with a variety of functions that make them useful for more than just putting a baby to bed. A canopies, play yard, stroller attachments, and music options are available as supplementary amenities. These extras aren’t required, but they come in useful while traveling or attempting to get baby to sleep at home, so think about if you can do without them or not.
The UPPAbaby Stroller Bassinet (see on Amazon) is a good example; it can be attached to a bassinet stand, has a sunshade, and keeps bugs out while you stroll. This bassinet has a mosquito barrier and a sunshade to keep baby comfortable and secure when mom and dad want to spend time outdoors. You can also use it at home for restful snoozes and quiet nights.
It may seem obvious that a bassinet is designed for a baby to sleep in, but many parents and caregivers don’t aware that thinking about the bassinet’s intended use will help them get the most out of their investment. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding bedsharing for newborns of any age, however some bassinets incorporate rocking elements or are meant to simulate co-sleeping in a safer fashion.
The bassinets designed to keep you close to your baby typically have one side that zips down for easy access during feedings, diaper changes, or even playtime. All sides should be up while the infant is napping. Bassinets with rocking or vibrating motions are also available to aid in calming a fussy infant.
In light of the importance of healthy sleep, you should also think about your lifestyle and whether or not the bassinet can be used for other purposes. Bassinets that fold up conveniently for transport should be considered if frequent travel is in your family’s future.
How long can my baby sleep in a bassinet?
There are several criteria, including your child’s age, weight, and developmental milestones, that will determine how long they can sleep in a bassinet. Many bassinets have limits on the age and weight of the child using it, so be sure to read the label carefully. If your child has reached a specific weight or age or has otherwise outgrown the guidelines set forth by the manufacturer, you run the risk of injury if you continue to use the product past the point at which it is safe to do so.
If you want to be sure you’re following all of the guidelines for caring for your bassinet, reading the handbook carefully is your best approach. Some newborns learn to roll over fairly soon after birth, prompting the recommendation that their bassinet no longer be used.
Can my baby just skip the bassinet and go straight to a crib?
Simply said, absolutely. Do not feel obligated to utilize a bassinet. The extra functions make them a necessity for some parents and caregivers, and they’re compact and easy to transport. On the other hand, infants can begin using a crib for sleep shortly after they are born. Consider your way of life and the needs of your family as you make your decision. A bassinet is a great alternative to a crib if you don’t yet have enough room for a crib.
When should my baby go from the bassinet to a crib?
You should check the recommended age and weight of babies who will fit in your bassinet, but keep in mind that your child may start rolling over or sitting up before then. Keep a close eye on them; you may need to move them to the crib earlier than the manufacturer of their bassinet recommends.
It is recommended that the bassinet not have any soft objects, such baby pillows or toys, placed inside of it. Your toddler could suffocate on these items. A pacifier and a blanket to swaddle him in are all your baby will need for a restful night’s sleep. Always tuck sleep positioners or wedges under the mattress to get the correct incline angle, which will help with the baby’s acid reflux.
Even though it may take some time, you will eventually succeed in putting your infant to sleep in a bassinet. You can’t go wrong if you follow the advice we’ve given above. Try out a variety of approaches to find what helps your infant the most. Soon, your infant will go to sleep in a bassinet without a peep.