Ways To Get A Baby To Sleep In A Bassinet At Night

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
19 min read

No matter the time of day or night, there is nothing more peaceful than a sleeping infant. The cuddles, the cute noises, and, perhaps most importantly, the opportunity for parents to get some rest. The situation is ideal.

A baby who won’t go to sleep in their bassinet is every parent’s worst nightmare, even if a sleeping baby is everyone’s dream. What do you do if your baby won’t sleep in their bassinet, causing sleepless nights and a cranky baby for everyone in the house?

What is Bassinet?

It’s possible that many of you have no concept of what a bassinet is or does. A bassinet is a special type of crib made for infants younger than four months. A large bassinet, however, can be used for longer than 6–7 months.

All four sides of the basket-shaped container are finished. This ensures the utmost safety for your infant. The state-of-the-art bassinet has even more improvements than its predecessors. The child can rock happily and in complete safety thanks to the rocking frame.

Most bassinets have metal or wooden frames, but plastic is also an option. Since bassinets weigh less, you can easily relocate it from one room to another, which can come in handy as you go about your day at home with your baby.

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Advantages of Bassinet

There are many good arguments in favor of buying a bassinet when starting a family. There are a number of advantages to using a bassinet instead of a crib, including:

  1. Easily transportable – Having a baby in the house means you’ll need a sleeping arrangement that can go wherever you do, which is why it’s so helpful to have a crib that can be moved from room to room. They are also convenient for taking a baby on the go. When you go on trips away from home, a travel baby bassinet can serve as a comfortable and familiar sleeping space for your infant. Bassinets are portable because of their low weight and portability.
  2. Cost-Efficient-  A bassinet, being smaller, is less expensive and more accessible to most families. Bringing your baby some solace does not have to break the bank. There is a wide variety of brands and designs available to meet a variety of needs and price points.
  3. Many bassinets come with a hood that can be removed to shield the baby from light while they sleep. Your baby may sleep more soundly and for longer periods of time if you do this.
  4. The majority of bassinets come equipped with drawers or shelves to hold baby necessities like diapers, clothing, and toys. If you want to have everything you need for your baby within easy reach, a bassinet with drawers is a must-have.

Disadvantages of Bassinet

The benefits of bassinets are not without some drawbacks, however.

  • A bassinet won’t hold up as long as a crib would. This is due to the fact that the recommended age for using a bassinet is between four and six months. Once the maximum weight is reached, the bassinet can no longer be used.

Things to consider before you buy a bassinet:

Babies can rest easy in bassinets. Many parents prefer them because they are lightweight and simple to transport. Buying a bassinet for your baby requires some careful consideration.

  • Among the most important qualities to look for in a bassinet is one that is constructed from non-toxic materials and features safety features to protect your infant.
  • Simple to set up: With a new baby in the house, there is no time to fiddle around with the bassinet. So, get a bassinet that’s simple to set up and maintain.
  • Look for a bassinet that can be purchased partially assembled to save time and money, and make sure it is of high quality so that you can trust it to hold your child’s weight.

Ways To Get A Baby To Sleep In A Bassinet At Night


There could be a number of factors at play if your baby is having trouble sleeping in their bassinet:

  • The infant needs food. Little bellies get hungry fast and need to be fed again. During times of rapid development and cluster feeding, your baby may prefer to eat to sleep.
  • Your infant has a gas problem. When a baby or toddler has the urgent need to burp or pass gas, it’s difficult for them to remain asleep.
  • Your infant has a soiled diaper. Babies have a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep if they are in any kind of pain or discomfort, including with a gassy stomach.
  • A temperature extreme has been detected for your infant. Make sure your infant isn’t overheating or getting too cold. Ideal temperatures for their room are between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius (68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Your infant has no concept of day or night. Some newborns have trouble telling day from night. You can help train their internal clock by keeping lights on during the day, extending awake times a little bit during the day, and introducing bedtime sleep routines.
  • Your infant is awakening due to the startle reflex. Swaddling is a great choice for newborns, but you should stop doing it as soon as you notice your baby trying to roll over.


Not too many days, weeks, or months ago, your baby was snug and comfortable in your womb. You can’t expect them to sleep well in a bassinet after exposing them to that.

Creating a bassinet that looks and feels like the baby’s previous space can help them feel more at ease while they sleep. Make sure to think about the following details and approaches:

  • Temperature.  Make sure you take both their and the ambient temperature. If your child is overheated or underdressed, they may have trouble falling asleep.
  • Daylight.  Make the room as dark as possible by utilizing blackout curtains or another method. Lights can be overwhelming for a newborn who has only ever seen darkness. If you wake up in the middle of the night and need to see, but don’t want to wake up anyone else, a dim nightlight can help.
  • Sounds.  Look around for a baby sound machine that you both like. Water sounds, muffled heartbeats, and external voices can all help a bassinet feel more like the womb.
  • Swaddling.  Babies benefit from being swaddled until they are about two months old. They may be jolted awake by their reflexes or the sensation of being in a large open area. Swaddling can be done in a variety of ways. When accuracy is important, investing in a Velcro sleep sack can be a good idea.
  • Positioning.  Keeping your child upright for 20 to 30 minutes after feedings may help alleviate gas and reflux symptoms if extra burping during feedings isn’t helping. Do not use any type of sleep positioner or wedge to alter your baby’s sleeping position.
  • Massage.  If you want your baby to sleep more soundly and wake up feeling refreshed, try giving them a massage before bed. Some people also think that touch can help with digestion and the maturation of the nervous system.
  • In the early stages. Help your infant quickly become accustomed to sleeping in their bassinet. You can put them to sleep in the bassinet after you’ve fed or cuddled them and they’re still awake.

Safety note

Feeding and sleeping are not appropriate times to use sleep positioners or wedges. The Food and Drug AdministrationTrusted Source advises against using padded risers like these because they increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by keeping your baby’s head and body in one position.

Sleep basics

Newborns typically sleep for 16 hours a day. Even though this will only happen in one- to two-hour stretches, they will likely be exhausted enough to sleep during this time.

Your child’s sleep patterns will change as they get older; they will sleep for longer stretches and require less total time in bed. Your child may no longer need as many naps during the day and will instead require closer to 14 hours of sleep by the time they are 3 to 4 months old.

You can expect this trend to continue until your child is taking only two naps per day and sleeping through the night.

Setting up regular bedtime rituals from an early age is highly recommended. In addition to helping your child settle down for a long nap, these can also be comforting if and when sleep regressions occur.

There’s no need to go to extremes when planning a bedtime routine. A simple song or bath time story could be all that’s needed. What’s most important is the regularity and peace of the routine.

Keep in mind that your demeanor can have a significant impact on your child’s sleep habits. They are more likely to mirror your mood if you maintain your composure.

Safety considerations

There are a variety of measures you can take to protect your newborn from sudden infant death syndrome and other sleep-related harm.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping your baby in your room until at least 6 months of age, and ideally until 1 year of age.
  • Your baby should always sleep on his or her back, on his or her own sleep surface, and never in bed with you.
  • Take all loose items, including crib bumpers, toys, and blankets, out of the baby’s sleeping area.
  • The mattress in the bassinet or crib should be firm, and the sheet should fit snugly.
  • Introduce a pacifier at bedtime when your child is ready (around 4 weeks if you’re breastfeeding). If the pacifier falls out while your child is sleeping, there is no need to put it back in and you should keep it away from other objects with strings or cords.
  • Be sure that your baby’s sleeping area is at a temperate temperature. Overheating is a possible side effect of swaddling and wearing too many layers.
  • Don’t light up in the same room as the baby or anywhere else in the house.
  • Stop swaddling your baby at night once you notice they are attempting to roll over. This will allow them to roll over easily without having to sacrifice access to their hands.
  • Infant death syndrome (SIDS) risk can be mitigated by breastfeeding as well.

Bassinet vs Pack 'n Play: The Ultimate Guide to Help you Decide

The 7 Best Bassinets of 2022

Best Overall: HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper Premiere Series


  • Strong, stable, four-legged foundation
  • Rotates a full circle
  • Easy access for nursing mothers


  • Heavy
  • Tough to maneuver
  • Bulky

Because of its many convenient features for both baby and parents/caregivers, our top pick is the HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper Premiere Series. Aside from providing a safe and comfortable place for your baby to sleep, this bassinet also features a nightlight, a floor light, a sound machine (with an adjustable volume), and two vibration settings. The bassinet bed can be rotated in all directions so that you can get to your baby without waking them up.

Two handy pockets provide space for small items, and a fitted sheet is included. A newborn baby can use it right away, and the weight limit is 20 pounds. The lack of wheels on this bassinet can make it difficult to sneak out of bed in the middle of the night.

Weight: 30 pounds | Size: 36 by 45 by 45 inches | Maximum Capacity: 20 pounds

Best Budget: Dream On Me Karley Bassinet


  • Portable because it is lightweight
  • The double canopy, which can be adjusted, serves to shield guests from insects.
  • Folding design makes it convenient for stowing away in limited quarters.


  • You can’t change the height
  • Separately available mattress protectors
  • The canopy’s zipper often gets stuck.

This bassinet is lightweight, foldable, and features a double sleeping canopy with mesh panels that allow parents to keep an eye on their baby while also providing some shade and protection. Baby will be secure and comfortable in the bassinet, thanks to its sturdy metal frame and thick mattress.

It has a maximum load capacity of 25 pounds and measures 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 set limits
  • Your infant will be calmed by the adaptive technology that is available today.
  • Sleek, minimalist, and very 1950s


  • The app is the sole controller for the bassinet’s speed.
  • You can’t change the height
  • Occasionally, the app may have connection issues.

The SNOO is the cutting edge of bassinet technology (and it comes in a sleek mid-century modern design to boot!). This bassinet can detect your newborn’s sounds, such as grunting or crying. The bassinet will then play soothing white noise while gently rocking the infant.

The SNOO’s motion, sound, and cry sensitivity can all be adjusted from a parent’s tablet or smartphone 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 should take note that SNOO also has a rental option.

The product has a maximum weight capacity of 25 pounds and measures 30 inches by 16 inches by 32 inches.

Best Compact: Fisher-Price Soothing View Bassinet


  • Slim-folding design
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Adjustable rocking and locking mechanisms


  • No convenient pockets
  • Must be rocked by hand.
  • Aural silence

This bassinet from Fisher-Price is the best option for a small space. The folded width of the Soothing View Bassinet is only four inches, making it extremely portable. It doesn’t take up much room even when it’s not collapsed.

A gentle push of the bassinet, activated by the touch of a button, can help calm a fussy infant. The bassinet can be placed in a stationary position when the rocking option is not needed.

Total Item Weight: 13 lbs. The 22.44 x 33.07 x 24.41 inch (HWD) dimensions of the product. The upper limit is 20 pounds.

Best for Soothing: 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet


  • The height can be altered.
  • An app on a smartphone can trigger actions and play audio.
  • Tool-free assembly is possible.


  • Costly
  • Heavy
  • Sometimes the app has trouble connecting.

The 4moms mamaRoo is made to not only provide your baby with a secure place to sleep until they weigh 25 pounds, but also to help calm them down for a more restful night’s sleep. The bassinet sways and rocks at five different speeds, and there’s a lullaby machine built in, too. In addition, it has a timer function that parents can use to establish a bedtime routine for their infant and adjust from anywhere using their smartphone.

Weight: 30 pounds | Size: 24 by 34 by 39 inches | Maximum Capacity: 25 pounds

Best Stroller-Compatible: UPPAbaby Stroller Bassinet


  • Extendable sunshade with a UPF rating of 50
  • Bug cover integrated.
  • Mattress and foundation with perforations and air vents for breathability.


  • The bassinet frame is not included.
  • Compatible only with UPPAbaby strollers
  • Pricey bassinet support structure

This portable bassinet is a great option for parents who need something they can use at home and on the go, as it is compatible with the best-selling Uppababy Cruz stroller (and comes bundled with the Uppababy Vista stroller). This bassinet can accommodate infants weighing up to 25 pounds, and it has a sunshade and canopy with a UPF of 50 that can be unzipped to increase ventilation. The Uppababy bassinet has three different sleeping options: a flat, stable surface, the Uppababy Bassinet Stand (sold separately), or the stroller itself.

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 foldable and stowable design
  • The base has wheels, making it mobile.
  • Detachable visual stimulation toy bar


  • You can’t change the height
  • Confusing to put together for some
  • lacks a handle for easy transport

The Graco Pack ‘ Play is a well-liked portable playpen because it can be quickly and easily assembled, disassembled, and relocated. This design is suitable for use from birth with the included bassinet insert up to the time your child reaches 15 pounds. Baby can get some additional visual stimulation from the detachable toy bar.


How long can my baby sleep in a bassinet?

There are many variables that will determine how long your baby can sleep in a bassinet, including their age, weight, and developmental milestones. It is important to remember that many bassinets have weight and age limits. If your child has reached a certain weight or age or has progressed past a certain developmental stage, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid injury.

To make sure you know how to use your bassinet correctly, read the instructions carefully. Some babies learn to roll over very soon after birth, and the instructions on some bassinets advise against using them after that point.

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

Yes, in a nutshell. A bassinet is not necessary in any way. For some parents and caregivers, the extra features are as important as the portability and compact size. However, a crib can be used for infants from the moment they are born. Consider your way of life and the needs of your loved ones when making a decision. A bassinet is a great alternative to a crib if you need a place for your baby to sleep but don’t have the room for a crib just yet.

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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 close eye on them; you may need to move them to the crib earlier than the manufacturer of their bassinet recommends.


Your baby deserves the safest possible sleeping arrangements for the sake of everyone in your family. There’s no magic wand or sleeping dust that will make them nod off in their bassinet, but you can get them ready for a good night’s sleep.

Remember that it’s okay to take a few minutes for yourself if you find yourself becoming frustrated with your child. If you need more help figuring out how to get some shut-eye as a new parent, don’t be shy about contacting a local sleep support group for moms and dads.

This, too, shall pass; keep the faith. Disruptions to one’s sleep are quite common, but they never last. Don’t be too hard on yourself as you learn to parent your newborn. Both of you will be back to sleeping soon.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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