The usual top item new parents think about is getting a crib or a bassinet. Where your baby sleeps should be not only comfortable but also safe. A crib is great, but a bassinet also deserves the spotlight. Both a crib and a bassinet are great sleeping options for your newborn. Either has traits that the other one doesn’t. Some unique traits of a safe newborn bassinet may be more appropriate for your circumstances, making it a better option.
Size and Strength Matter
The clear difference between the two is size. Cribs are bigger. If you live in a small apartment, a bassinet may be a more practical option for you. Even if you have a spacious house, a bassinet is also practical when you move room to room but still want your baby near you. The smaller size of a bassinet also makes it more portable or mobile. You will have to disassemble and reassemble a crib if you want to move it. The compact size of a bassinet not only allows you to carry it whole, but it can also fit through a typical doorway. Some bassinets even have wheels for better mobility and locks to keep them secure.
The smaller size of a bassinet doesn’t mean it is less sturdy, but it has more limits than a crib. Most bassinets can hold between 15 and 20 lbs. A baby tends to weigh around 20 lbs after seven months. Within that time, a bassinet is a good alternative until you get a more robust and bigger sleeping space for your baby. You may opt for a bassinet if you are tight on your budget, especially since a bassinet is usually less expensive than a crib.
Another perk of the smaller size of a bassinet is it allows for easy co-sleeping. You can have it beside you anytime so you can keep a better eye on your baby. This idea is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for newborns to sleep in the same room as their parents but in separate sleeping spaces.
Ease of Use
The barriers of a crib keep the baby safe as they sleep or move around. These same barriers can also make it hard for you to reach your baby, especially if height and arm lengths are not on your side. Reaching down a crib can also be difficult if you are recovering from grueling childbirth like a caesarian delivery. Usually, a safe newborn bassinet has shorter sides. These not only provide enough security for your baby, but they also allow easy access.
During pregnancy, your baby only knew the snugged feeling of your womb. They continue to associate that snugged feeling with comfort and safety after birth. Thus, babies commonly enjoy snuggles and swaddling. The smaller size of a bassinet can provide a similar closed environment for your baby. A newborn, in particular, may be able to sleep better in a bassinet because it may remind them of being in the womb. A bassinet can also come with hoods and shades, making daytime naps more convenient.
Just as there are different types of cribs, so are there for bassinets. Below are just some of the common ones.
- You have classic stationery or freestanding bassinet that can stand on its own, like a mini-crib.
- The co-sleeper bassinet goes directly at the bedside. Some co-sleepers have adjustable heights and sidewalls for better access – great for breastfeeding moms. You can even tuck a co-sleeper bassinet under your bed when not in use.
- Rocking bassinets can have sturdy but flexible frames or suspension systems. These let you or even your baby’s movements to rock the bassinet gently. Some also have gentle vibrations. Such features can be soothing for your baby.
- Travel bassinets are perfect for parents on the go. They are more portable than a classic freestanding or stationary bassinet. If you have to bring your baby to work, a travel bassinet is a good option.
Whatever bassinet you may get, always put your baby’s needs first, followed by your circumstances. Consider your baby’s size and weight. A bassinet is a great option for the first 6 to 7 months of your baby. Afterward, you will have to transition to bigger and sturdier sleeping spaces. Don’t forget the mattress as well. It should provide the same comfort and support as the bassinet does.