What Is Bassinet? Everything You Need To Know

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
18 min read

What Is a Bassinet?

When it comes to putting your infant to sleep, nothing beats the safety and comfort of a bed bassinet. A metal, plastic, or wooden framework is used. Mesh is used for the low side walls of the sleeping space. Whether you give birth naturally or via cesarean section, you’ll need one soon afterwards, and the extra height will come in handy. You can easily put your kid inside and take them out without bending down.

Bassinet mattresses are pre-cut to fit the frame. There is no way for your infant to become stuck in the crevice between the mattress and the side of one of these cribs. Babies can sleep soundly on firm mattresses. Invest in a sufficient number of mattress protectors to ensure that you never go more than a few days without a clean, fresh set.

Bed bassinets aren’t necessary for all infants. However, some parents opt to use a cradle or cot for their infant. Manufacturers will typically test their product on babies up to a certain weight (usually 10, 15, or 20 pounds) and then give it their stamp of approval for usage with babies of that weight and up. When your baby begins to roll over or pull themselves up to their hands and knees, you should stop using the bassinet immediately, regardless of their size.

Where Should You Place the Bassinet?

The bassinet needs to be in your bedroom. Having both you and your baby in the same room at the same time halves the chances of your baby dying of SIDS. A roommate should be found for the first six months, and ideally the first year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

What is a Bassinet? - Babylist - YouTube

A bassinet adjacent to the bed is a practical arrangement. If your infant wakes up and needs to be fed, you’ll be able to do so more quickly.

Remove the bassinet from near any windows or heating/cooling vents. Babyproof the area by cutting all loose cords, wires, and other potential strangulation hazards such as loose rugs and drapes.

Bassinet Safety

Because of their fragility, bassinets are often knocked over. Pick out a bassinet that has a stable footing. Before putting your infant inside, double check that the legs are secured into place if they fold.

Typically, bassinets are designed for infants weighing less than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms). Thus, you can put your baby to sleep in one of these for a couple of months before transitioning to a crib. For some bassinets, that weight limit is 20 pounds (9 kilograms). Never deviate from the manufacturer’s recommended rating.

At around five months, infants discover how to roll over. You should still transition your infant out of the bassinet at the four-month mark, even if it has a weight capacity of 20 pounds. If the side walls of the bassinet are too thin, a baby who has learned to roll over will be able to escape.

Never roll the bassinet or lift it with your baby inside. Move it where you need it, lock the wheels, and then place your baby inside.

Bassinet vs. Cradle

Cradles can be used as an alternative to bassinets for infants. They serve as a temporary bed for infants. A cradle is a type of crib in which the mattress is suspended at an angle. It can be swayed from side to side. The rocking action of a cradle can help put a fussy infant to sleep.

To put it simply, cradles are intended for newborn infants. Around the fourth month, your baby will be too big for it.

Cradle Safety

When caring for your infant in a cradle, remember to take the following precautions:

  • Movement to the side should be restricted in a cradle. If you rock your infant hard enough, you can turn them over. Putting a baby down on a mattress with a pad on top can be dangerous if the cloth on the sides is loose.
  • A newborn should never be left in a rocking cradle unsupervised.
  • Mattress and fitted sheet should be firm in the cradle.
  • There should be nothing in the cradle but your infant. When bringing a baby inside the house, make sure there are no loose objects, such as cushions or soft toys, that could cause injury.
  • It is important that the cradle’s foundation is secure and won’t tip over easily.
  • Never put your baby back in the cradle after they have learned to roll over or sit up.

A Crib for Your Baby

You may be forgiven for assuming that cribs are only appropriate for slightly more mature infants. To begin with, you may be thinking just of a bassinet or cradle for your infant. However, keep in mind that in just a few short months, your baby will be too big for these cribs. The usage of a crib, on the other hand, is acceptable until the time when your child masters the skill of climbing out of it. Convertible cribs are available.

Look for a crib that has a foundation that can be adjusted in height. After giving birth vaginally or via cesarean section, it may be difficult to bend over and place the baby inside. Raise the frame to a comfortable height for placing your infant on the bed. A newborn should never be dropped from any height.

The maximum space between crib slats is 2 3/8 inches (6 cm). Your infant’s head won’t be able to get caught in there. The mattress must snugly fit against the crib’s side rails. Use a fitted sheet at all times.

Sleep Safety for Babies

Most of the day, your infant sleeps soundly in his or her bassinet or cot. Establishing a secure environment here is of the utmost importance. Every year in the United States, 3,400 infants are killed while they sleep. Suffocation, strangling, and SIDS account for the vast majority of these deaths. Here are some guidelines to help you keep your kid safe:

  • Every time you put your baby to sleep, make sure they’re on their back.
  • Suffocation can occur easily under a blanket. A one-piece sleeper, wearable blanket, or sleep sack that fits snugly is ideal for your infant’s nighttime attire.
  • Before placing your infant in the bassinet, cradle, or crib, make sure that there are no loose objects in the sleeping area.
  • Your bed should be nice and firm, with a fitted sheet. The mattress and the side walls must be flush.
  • Do not let your infant share your bed at any time. It’s perilous to say the least. After you’ve finished feeding or comforting them in your bed, put them back in their own crib or other designated sleeping area.
  • Before placing your baby in their crib or cot, be sure that all corded accessories, such as bibs and pacifiers, have been removed. There is a danger of suffocation.
  • You should never put your infant to sleep on a waterbed, sofa, or couch. They pose a risk of asphyxia.

Babies often sleep 16-20 hours a day when they are brand new. They rely heavily on their bassinet, cradle, or crib at this time. An infant’s safe resting environment is of the utmost importance, so take your time making your selection. To ensure your baby’s safety when sleeping, it’s important that everyone in the house is familiar with the guidelines for safe sleep.

Best Overall: HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper Premiere Series


  • A solid foundation built on four pillars
  • Complete rotation in all directions
  • For nursing mothers, this is a great option.


  • Heavy
  • Constricted in movement
  • Bulky

The HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper Premiere Series is our favorite pick because this baby bassinet has many features both baby and parents and caregivers will love. This bassinet not only provides a comfortable place for your baby to sleep, but also a nightlight, a floor light, a sound machine (with adjustable volume), and two vibration settings to help calm your baby. You can get to your baby without waking them up thanks to the 360-degree rotatable bassinet.

Choosing a CPSC-Certified Bedside Bassinet for Baby

Included fitted sheet and two storage pockets accommodate all your sleeping essentials. Newborns up to 20 pounds can use it safely and comfortably from day one. This bassinet is not ideal because it does not have wheels, which can make getting out of bed without waking your baby a bit more difficult.

Weight: 30 pounds | Size: 36 x 45 x 45 inches | Capacity: 20 pounds

Best Budget: Dream On Me Karley Bassinet


  • Portable and lightweight
  • Adjustable double canopy offers protection against insects.
  • Folding into a little package, it’s simple to stow away.


  • Height is not adjustable
  • That can’t be adjusted for height
  • Canopy zippers seem to get stuck frequently.

This bassinet comes in a variety of color options, is easy to transport, and features a double sleeping canopy with mesh panels that allow parents to keep an eye on their baby while providing some much-needed shade and protection. The bassinet has a 25-pound weight capacity, a durable metal frame, and a plush sleeping mattress that will keep baby cozy and safe.

This bassinet comes in a variety of colors and is made from a lightweight, foldable material; it features a double sleeping canopy with mesh panels that allow parents to keep an eye on their baby without disturbing him or her; and the mesh panels allow air to circulate around the baby while he or she sleeps. The bassinet’s luxurious mattress, sturdy metal frame, and weight capacity of 25 pounds all work together to ensure that baby may sleep soundly and safely.

Best Splurge: Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper Baby Bassinet


  • App for smartphones and tablets that allows for monitoring and parental management.
  • Your baby will be soothed by the responsive technology that adapts to her needs.
  • The style is streamlined and mid-century modern.


  • It’s app-only when it comes to adjusting the bassinet’s speed.
  • The height cannot be changed.
  • 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 can recognize your newborn’s sounds, such as grunting or crying. The bassinet may play calming music or white noise to help calm the infant.

The SNOO may have its motion, sound, and cry sensitivity adjusted from a parent’s tablet or smartphone. Additionally, the app monitors baby’s sleep patterns and notifies parents when their child requires special care. All of these innovative features do add up to a hefty price tag, but parents should take note that SNOO also provides a rental option to help spread the cost.

Weighing in at 38 pounds, the product has a maximum load capacity of 25 pounds and measures 30 by 16 by 32 inches.

Best Compact: Fisher-Price Soothing View Bassinet


  • Slim-folding design
  • Compact and lightweight
  • It’s has a rock-and-lock feature, so you can set it and forget it.


  • There is not a single storage compartment.
  • Must be rocked by hand
  • It’s silent and there are no noises playing.

This bassinet from Fisher-Price is the best option if you’re looking for a little bassinet. In its collapsed state, the Soothing View Bassinet takes up only four inches of space. It doesn’t take up much room even when it’s not collapsed.

Pushing the bassinet softly with the touch of a button can help calm the infant. The bassinet can be utilized in a stationary position when the rocking option is not needed.

Weight of Item: 13 Pounds | Dimensions (inches): 22.44 x 33.07 x 24.41 Weight Restriction: 20 lbs.

Best for Soothing: 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet


  • Changeable in height
  • Mobile phone apps can trigger and silence events remotely.
  • Tool-free assembly is a feature.


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

Your baby will have a secure place to sleep in the 4moms mamaRoo until they reach 25 pounds, and it will also help to calm them down for a better night’s rest. The bassinet can be rocked or swayed at one of five speeds, and there’s also a lullaby machine to help the baby go off to sleep. It has a timer function that can be managed by parents from their smartphones, which can be used to establish a regular sleep routine for the infant.

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


  • Wide-Span Sun Canopy with 50+ UPF Protection
  • Protection from insects is built in.
  • Mattress has air holes and a slatted foundation to improve ventilation


  • Stand for bassinet not included.
  • All other strollers are incompatible.
  • Investing in a bassinet stand is not cheap.

This portable bassinet is sold together with the Uppababy Vista stroller and is compatible with the popular Uppababy Cruz 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 three different sleeping options: a flat, solid surface, a raised stand (available separately), or the stroller itself.

Weight: 8.8 pounds | Size: 30.25 x 16.6 x 24.75 inches | Max Capacity: 25 pounds

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


  • Conveniently folds up and stores away
  • The base has wheels, making it mobile.
  • An easily-removed visual stimulation toy bar


  • The height cannot be changed.
  • For some, assembly may prove challenging.
  • Cannot be carried because there is no handle.

The Graco Pack ‘n Play is a well-liked portable playpen due to its convenience in assembly and disassembly. For newborns up to 15 pounds, the bassinet insert makes this design ideal. Your infant will get some additional visual stimulation from the detachable toy bar.

Weight: 22.9 ounces | Size: 40 x 28.5 x 29 inches | Capacity: 15 lbs.

What to Look for in a Baby Bassinet


Despite the fact that many bassinets are considerably smaller than a regular crib, size should still be taken into consideration. Whether you’re buying before or after your little one arrives, spend time considering where you plan to use the bassinet. Carefully measure the area to avoid buying a bassinet that won’t fit and then having to send it back.

Despite the fact that many bassinets are considerably smaller than a regular crib, size should still be taken into consideration. Whether you’re buying before or after your little one arrives, spend time considering where you plan to use the bassinet. Carefully measure the area to avoid buying a bassinet that won’t fit and then having to send it back.

Added Features

Baby bassinets are typically smaller than a regular crib, but you should still take it into account. Whether you’re buying before or after your little one arrives, spend time thinking where you plan to utilize the bassinet. Be sure the bassinet will fit into the intended area before making a purchase.

Bassinets are often smaller than cribs, but you should still take that into account when shopping. Think carefully about where you want to put the bassinet, whether you’re buying it in anticipation of the baby’s arrival or after the fact. If you want to avoid returning a bassinet because it doesn’t fit in the place you bought it for, make sure you measure the area first.

Bassinet vs Crib vs Cradle: Which One to Buy for Your Baby?


Although 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 make the most of their investment. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding bedsharing for newborns of any age, however some bassinets have rocking capabilities or are meant to simulate co-sleeping in a safer way than sharing a bed.

The bassinets designed to keep you near to your baby have a removable side that zips down for diaper changes, feedings, and even playing. While baby is napping, make sure the sides are raised. Rocking bassinets and vibrating bassinets are available to assist soothe a baby to sleep.

While the safety of your baby’s sleep is obviously the most important factor, you should also think about your own habits and whether or not the bassinet will serve any other reasons besides at home. Take into consideration bassinets that are foldable for transport if your family enjoys going on trips.


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. There are often weight and age limits on the use of bassinets, so be sure to read the label carefully. If your child has reached a specific weight or age or has passed a certain developmental stage, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to prevent injury.

You should read the instructions for your bassinet carefully to make sure you know how to use it properly. 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?

To put it briefly, yeah. Do not feel obligated to utilize a bassinet. For some parents and caregivers, the extra functions are essential, and their portability and compact size make them a must-have. However, infants can begin sleeping in a crib soon after birth. Consider your way of life and the needs of your family as you make your decision. For infants who are too small for a crib, a bassinet is an excellent alternative.

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

Check the recommended age and weight for your bassinet, but keep in mind that your baby may start rolling over or sitting up before they reach those milestones. Keep a close eye on them; you may need to move them to the crib earlier than the manufacturer of their bassinet recommends.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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