How to Get a Baby to Sleep in a Bassinet? Comprehensive Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
21 min read

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. However, it takes more than just buying a bassinet to convince a baby to use it for sleep. Your little one can cry or throw a fuss if you try to put him in a bassinet if he prefers to sleep in your arms. However, a peaceful night’s sleep for your infant will require some bassinet training.

Benefits of Choosing a Bassinet for Your Child

There’s a reason bassinets have been around for so long. They are lightweight and compact, so new parents can easily have their child sleep in their own bed. However, a bassinet has sufficient and superior practical benefits to warrant its selection. Discover what they are:

1. Bassinets are affordable.

The initial investment in a bassinet is typically lower than that in other infant furniture. To put it another way, it’s the best option for new parents on a tight budget who need baby supplies. It’s an economical alternative to a crib and worth considering for the first several months.

How to Get Baby to Sleep In Their Bassinet (4 Simple Tips)

2. Bassinets do not occupy much space.

Babies should sleep in their parents’ room for the first six months because doing so has been shown to decrease the risk of SIDS (SIDS). A bassinet is a great solution for a small bedroom. That way, your child can be close by but not in bed with you.

3. Bassinets are portable.

Baby bassinets are convenient since they can be moved from one location to another, allowing you to have your child close at all times. Some designs even have mobile wheels for easy relocation from one space to another.

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 in a bassinet. Babies love to be held and swaddled by their mothers; it’s the best way for them to relax and go off to sleep. Bassinets can’t compare to cribs in terms of ease of use and comfort. Also, infants are restless sleepers; even after being swaddled for nearly an hour, a baby will cry the moment he or she is unwrapped and placed in a 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. Take into account the following while attempting to make your baby’s bassinet more accommodating:

1. Have a Steady Routine

You’ve probably heard this more than any other piece of advice, but it bears repeating because it’s sound. Maintaining a regular bedtime routine will aid in getting your child to sleep earlier. Get him into a regular bedtime pattern by giving him a warm bath and then massaging or breastfeeding him before bed. Swaddle your baby and sing to him when he starts to show signs of fatigue. Just place him in a bassinet and watch him sleep soundly when he finally does drop out.

2. Make Your Presence Felt in the Bassinet

Baby will feel safe and secure when he smells you. Making your presence known in the bassinet will help your baby feel more at ease there. You can make the bassinet sheet smell like you now that you know you shouldn’t co-sleep with your infant. One way to achieve this is to sleep for a few nights with the sheet tucked under one’s chin and under their neck. It may take a few days, but the linens will be ready and fragrant with your scent if you use this approach.

3. Place the Bassinet Close to Your Bed

It is recommended that you start the process of teaching your infant to sleep in a bassinet by positioning the bassinet near to your bed. This will reassure him that his mother is nearby and that there is nothing to worry about. If your baby wakes up wailing in the night, having the bassinet close by will allow you to comfort him without having to get out of bed. This is also preferable to co-sleeping, which can cause sleep disruptions for both you and your kid.

4. Swaddle Him

Make your baby sleep in your arms by swaddling him before putting him in a bassinet. Babies love being swaddled because it makes them feel safe and secure, just like they did in the womb. Because the startle reflex is triggered by any change in the baby’s environment, including light, sound, or temperature, swaddling can help reduce the reflex and promote better sleep. When babies are swaddled, they experience a significant reduction in anxiety.

5. Lay Him Down Awake

Laying down a newborn while he or she is still awake is the key to training them to sleep in a bassinet. When your baby is too fussy to sleep in a bassinet, you may be tempted to give in to his or her cries. Until you train him to do so, he won’t feel safe going asleep in a bassinet. The goal is to have him drowsy but alert when you put him in the bassinet, which is why it’s important to have him settled in and comfortable well before night. To get it right, you need to place him in the bassinet when he is just drowsy enough to not protest but alert enough to know what’s going on.

6. Sing Lullaby or Read a Book

Once you’ve tucked him into his cradle, you can soothe him to sleep with a lullaby or a story. Your baby will quickly fall asleep to the sound of your voice as you sing to him. Your baby will relax and drift off to sleep in the bassinet after you read to him from a book or a short story. Once baby is asleep, a white noise machine can help him stay asleep.

7. Get an Inclined Bassinet

Babies with health problems, such as acid reflux, may have trouble resting on their backs all night. Mattresses with an integrated incline or adjustable incline can be preferable to using a wedge to elevate the base of the bed. All of these variations on the inclined bassinet should allow you to discover the ideal position for your baby’s peaceful slumber.

8. Make the Sleeping Environment Comfortable

Your infant will have an easier time drifting off to sleep if you create a calm, soothing space for him or her to rest. In the event that your infant shares your bedroom, you should turn out the lights at least an hour before putting him to sleep in the bassinet. Fabrics used to line a bassinet should be gentle and accommodating. Go for the cozy, soft sheets made of 100% cotton or a cotton/polyester blend. Your kid will have a more restful night’s sleep if the room is at the right temperature (not too hot, not too cold). Warm the linens before putting your baby in the bassinet so he is not startled by the sudden temperature shift from your arms to the bassinet.

9. Get a Bassinet That Rocks

The market is flooded with bassinets that can rock on their skids or wheels. If you find that your infant sleeps better if rocked, a bassinet with a rocking slide is an option. Babies who have trouble falling asleep because of reflux may benefit from the motorized rockers and vibration feature found on some incline bassinet models. For your infant, more bells and whistles mean better performance.

How Long Can A Baby Sleep In A Bassinet

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
  • Ideal for nursing mothers


  • Heavy
  • Tough to maneuver
  • Bulky

Our top option is the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Premiere Series because it has so many great features that will make life easier for both baby and caretakers. This bassinet not only provides a comfortable place for your child to sleep, but also a nightlight, a floor light, a sound machine with adjustable volume, and two vibration settings to help calm your infant. The bassinet bed can be rotated through a full circle, allowing you to get to your infant without waking them up.

Besides the fitted sheet, there are two storage pockets for your convenience. Newborns up to 20 pounds can use it safely and comfortably from day one. 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.

The product has a maximum weight capacity of 20 pounds and is 36 inches by 45 inches by 36 inches.

Best Budget: Dream On Me Karley Bassinet


  • Very portable and lightweight
  • Adjustable double canopy offers protection against insects.
  • Simply fold it up and store it away in a closet or a closet.


  • The height cannot be changed.
  • The mattress protector is not included.
  • Canopy zip could potentially become stuck.

This bassinet comes in a number of different colors and is lightweight, collapsible, and features a double sleeping canopy with mesh panels that allow parents to keep an eye on their baby without disturbing him or her. The bassinet’s comfortable mattress, strong metal frame, and weight limit of 25 pounds all contribute to an environment where baby can sleep soundly and securely.

This item has a maximum weight capacity of 25 pounds and measures 33 inches in length, 19.5 inches in width, and 12.4 inches in height.

Best Splurge: Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper Baby Bassinet


  • Convenient tracking and monitoring software for parents on smartphones and tablets
  • Technology that adapts to your baby’s needs is now available.
  • Contemporary style with a nod to the past


  • The bassinet’s speed can only be adjusted using the accompanying mobile app.
  • The height cannot be changed.
  • Some connectivity issues may occur with the app.

The SNOO is the most cutting-edge technology available for bassinets at this time, and it comes in a sleek, mid-century modern design. This bassinet responds to the sounds of an infant, such as grunting or wailing. The bassinet will then swing and rock the infant gently, all while playing calming white noise.

The SNOO can have its motion, sound, and cry sensitivity adjusted by a parent from a distance using a mobile device app. Baby’s sleep patterns are monitored, and if the parent is needed, a notification is sent. All of these high-tech additions do add up to a hefty price tag, but parents will be pleased to know that SNOO also has a renting option.

There is a weight restriction of 25 pounds on this product, which has dimensions of 30 by 16 by 32 inches.

Best Compact: Fisher-Price Soothing View Bassinet


  • Slim-folding design
  • Super-light structure
  • Adjustable rocking and locking mechanisms


  • No convenient pockets
  • Needs to be Rocked By Hand
  • There is silence and no sound effects.

This bassinet from Fisher-Price is the best option if you’re looking for a little bassinet. The Soothing View Bassinet may be folded down to a mere four inches in width for convenient storage. 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 while pressing a button. You can put the bassinet in a stationary position when you’re not using the rocking feature.

Quantity: 1 | Weight: 13 lbs. Dimensions (inches): 22.44 x 33.07 x 24.41 Limit of 20 pounds in weight

Best for Soothing: 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet


  • It’s possible to alter the height
  • An app on a smartphone may activate and silence a home theater system.
  • The assembly process is straightforward and doesn’t need any special equipment.


  • Costly
  • Heavy
  • Some connectivity issues may occur with the app.

The 4moms mamaRoo is intended to provide a secure sleeping environment for your infant up to the weight of 25 pounds while also calming him or her for improved sleep. The bassinet can be rocked and swayed at five different speeds, and there’s also a lullaby machine. It has a timer function that parents can use from their smartphones to establish a regular sleep routine for their infant.

Dimensions (in inches): 24 x 34 x 39; Weight Capacity (in pounds): 25

Best Stroller-Compatible: UPPAbaby Stroller Bassinet


  • Universal Protection Factor (UPF) 50+ Extendable Sun Canopy
  • The mosquito net is included.
  • Mattress has perforations and a slatted frame that allows air to circulate.


  • Stand for bassinet not included.
  • You can only use it with a UPPAbaby stroller.
  • There is a high price tag associated with purchasing a bassinet stand.

This lightweight bassinet is a fantastic alternative for parents who need something they can take with them wherever they go, as it is compatible with the widely used Uppababy Cruz stroller (and is sold with the Uppababy Vista stroller). This bassinet can hold infants up to 25 pounds and has a ventilated base and mattress, as well as a sunshade and canopy with a UPF of 50+ that zips open for extra ventilation. You may put the Uppababy bassinet on a flat, solid surface, raise it with the Uppababy Bassinet Stand (available separately), or attach it to the stroller for a snooze on the go.

Dimensions: 30.25 x 16.6 x 24.75 inches; Weight Capacity: 25 lbs.

Best Play Yard: Graco Pack ‘n Play On the Go Playard


  • Conveniently folds up and stores away
  • Easy portability thanks to a wheeled base
  • Eye-tracking toys on a removable bar


  • The height cannot be changed.
  • The process of assembly may be challenging for certain people.
  • Doesn’t come with a handle for easy transport

The Graco Pack ‘n Play is a well-liked portable playpen due to its convenience in assembly and disassembly. This model is convenient and secure for use with a newborn through the time your child is 15 pounds old because of the included bassinet insert. The detachable toy bar offers your infant additional visual stimulation.

What to Look for in a Baby Bassinet


Although many bassinets are considerably smaller than a regular crib, you should nonetheless take this size into account. Think carefully about where you want to put the bassinet, either before or after the baby arrives. Make sure the bassinet will fit into the designated area before making a purchase.

Such as the Graco Pack n Play On the Go Playard, certain bassinets are collapsible, lightweight, and easy to transport (view on Amazon). In a pinch, you can put the Pack ‘n Play or similar bassinet wherever it will be used for naps and sleep and then store it away. In general, you shouldn’t put the bassinet under your bed because you never know when a pillow or blanket can fly off in the middle of the night.

Added Features

These days, many bassinets have more to offer than just a place to lay down and sleep for infants. Strollers with extra features including canopies, play yards, parent controls, and speakers are available. You should think about whether you can go without these extras or whether they are truly necessary, as they will come in useful whether you are traveling or just attempting to get baby to sleep at home.

The UPPAbaby Stroller Bassinet (see on Amazon) is one such product; it features a sunshade, can be attached to a stroller or bassinet stand, and even has a mosquito shield. This bassinet has a bug screen and a sunshade to make baby comfortable and secure when mom and dad want to spend time outdoors. You can also use it at home for sleeping and napping.

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Though it may seem obvious that a bassinet is designed for a baby to sleep in, many parents and caregivers don’t realize that thinking about the bassinet’s intended use will help them get the most use out of it. 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. 2

When it comes to bassinets designed to keep you close to your baby, one side may be zipped down for diaper changes, feedings, or even playing. When baby is napping, make sure the sides are up. To assist soothe a baby to sleep, manufacturers have created bassinets that rock or vibrate.

Though the safety of your baby’s sleep is paramount, you should also think about your own lifestyle and whether or not the bassinet will serve any further purposes outside the home. Consider bassinets that can be folded up for easy transport if your family enjoys taking trips.


How long can my baby sleep in a bassinet?

There are a number of criteria, including your child’s age, weight, and developmental progress, that will determine how long they can stay in a bassinet. There are often age and weight limits on the use of bassinets, and parents should be mindful of these constraints. If your child has reached a specific weight or age and has outgrown the manufacturer’s guidelines, he or she is at risk of damage.

Read the instructions for your bassinet carefully to make sure you know how to set it up correctly. Some newborns learn to roll over fairly soon after birth, prompting the recommendation that their parents and caregivers stop using the bassinet.

Can my baby just skip the bassinet and go straight to a crib?

Simply said, absolutely. The usage of a bassinet is not required. Some parents and caregivers find the extra functions indispensable, and the portability and compact design are obvious benefits. However, infants can begin using a crib for sleep shortly after birth. What is best for you and your family will depend on a number of factors, including your way of life. A bassinet is an excellent substitute for a crib if you lack the necessary floor space.

When should my baby go from the bassinet to a crib?

Your baby may start rolling over or sitting up before they reach the weight or age recommendations for your bassinet. Keep a tight eye on them, because you may need to move them to the crib earlier than the maker of their bassinet recommends.

Precautionary Tips

Do not put any soft items, such as pillows or toys, in the bassinet. Your infant could suffocate if he or she got inside these. Your newborn will sleep soundly with little more than the blanket you swaddle him in and a pacifier. Always tuck sleep positioners or wedges under the mattress to get the correct incline angle, which will help with the baby’s acid reflux.

We have faith in your ability to get your infant to sleep in a bassinet. The aforementioned advice is guaranteed to lead to success. Try out several approaches to find what helps your infant the most. Your newborn will soon be able to sleep through the night in a bassinet.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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