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How to Choose a Bassinet

by Andrea Sparks

Green and white baby bassinet

Many parents choose to have their baby sleep in a bassinet for the first few months of life. Bassinets are smaller than cribs, and allow parents to keep their baby in the bedroom with them while they sleep. This is especially helpful for nighttime feedings and to help prevent SIDS, as parents are closer and can easily hear when their baby is in distress. There are many styles of baby bassinets available, making it hard sometimes to choose the right bassinet for you and your infant. The following tips can help you become informed about buying bassinets.

Choosing a Bassinet:

  1. Rocking or stationary: One of the first decisions you should make when purchasing a bassinet is whether you want a rocking bassinet or a stationary one. Rocking bassinets and cradles allow you to rock your baby to sleep, and some even have an automated rocking mechanism. Other parents may prefer a stationary bassinet as they generally take up less room and are just as comfortable for the baby.

  2. Portability: While some parents prefer to keep the bassinet stationary in their bedroom or baby nursery, many parents prefer being able to move the bassinet around the house so they can keep their sleeping baby close by, no matter where in the house they are. A rolling bassinet with locking wheels or a folding bassinet can easily be moved from one room to another.

  3. Height: When you purchase your nursery furniture, you'll want to make sure the bassinet sits at a comfortable height for you. You don't want to have to stoop to lift your baby out of bed, nor do you want to have to reach higher than you are comfortable to lay your baby down for a nap. In general, you want the top edge of the bassinet basket to be about waist-high on you.

  4. Safety: When it comes to baby furniture, safety should be your first concern. Make sure the bassinet you purchase is safe for your baby. A sturdy base will help prevent the bassinet from tipping over. Furthermore, make sure there is no padding inside the bassinet other than the bassinet mattress, which should be firm. Any decorative bows, sashes and skirts should be well out of your baby's reach. Bassinets are designed for babies three months old and younger. Once your baby starts kicking and wiggling, you'll want to move her to a crib to keep her from tipping her bassinet over.

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