Most people are aware of cribs and their importance for the baby’s sleep. However, did you know that the best bassinets are just as important for newborns? It’s true. These amazing, small, and portable objects allow you to keep your baby comfortable and safe while you sleep. Many models are even able to be used for travel.
Bassinets are no longer a huge cumbersome piece of furniture. Instead, today they can be both costs effective and high end. They are perfect for a newborn and for a growing baby. Read the rest of this article to find out more about bassinets and how to choose one for yourself.
What is a Bassinet?
Initially, we should define the bassinet. A bassinet is a bed that is specifically designed for young babies. Young in this instance means birth through about four months. Bassinets are much smaller than cribs. And, some modern ones are even a co sleeper. The top bassinets will keep your baby safe and comfortable while they are infants.
Historically, bassinets have been used interchangeably with cribs. There are even replicas of early bassinets from the 15th century. In the last twenty years, bassinets have become much more popular in the United States. They come in many types. We will discuss each of the types of bassinets in more detail in the Tips/Tricks section at the end of this article.
Do I need a bassinet?
The biggest question you probably have about bassinets is whether or not you need one. Bassinets can be extremely handy devices to have around. However, the biggest reason to consider using a bassinet is that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep in their parents' bedroom to lower the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Even though the AAP recommends that infants sleep in your room with you, they do not recommend a do sleeping arrangement. Co-sleeping without a co sleeper bassinet can be dangerous and cause death in newborns. Instead, purchase a bedside bassinet that allows you to be close to your baby but keeps them in a safer position than co-sleeping.
If you decide that sharing a room with your infant is not the right option for your family, you could still use a bassinet. Bassinets can be found in products for the living room, and they are typically quite portable. So, if you travel or go camping, a portable bassinet may be the exact item you need for baby.
How to choose a bassinet?
The next most important question you may have about bassinets is how to choose the right one for your family. There are a number of different types of bassinets to choose from. And, modern bassinets range from affordable to high end. And, all come with a wide range of features to choose from.
When you are ready to begin researching bassinets, keep the following features in mind. They will help you narrow down your choices and find the right bassinet for your situation and family.
One of the first things you will need to consider when looking for a bassinet is the mattress. Mattresses for bassinets should be both thin and firm. Never ever put extra blankets, pillows, or cushioning in the bassinet. These items can cause harm or even death to your infant. A hard and thin mattress keeps your baby safe as they sleep and reduces the risk of suffocation.
Size is a huge consideration when it comes to bassinets because there are so many varieties and sizes to choose from. Size matters both in the dimensions of the bassinet and the height of the bed in the bedside models. Not all bassinets are bedside products. However, in those instances, you will need to purchase a bedside bassinet that fits your bed. These types of bassinets typically hook on to the parent’s bed and should fit the mattress for baby evenly and snuggly with the parent’s mattress. You don’t want a gap of any kind, which can be a big problem for high beds.
Whether you purchase a bedside bassinet or a stand-alone model, you still need to consider the size of the product itself. If you want a bassinet that is ideal for a growing baby or for twins, it will need to be much larger than a compact model for infants. Each manufacturer should tell you the age and size range recommended for the model of bassinet you choose.
Finally, if you live in an apartment or small house, you may want a product designed for small spaces. These are more compact than the large models. They may not have as much luxury, but they will fit better in small homes.
Breathability is another feature that is unique to bassinets. Even though you will not be adding blankets or pillows to the bassinet, you still want the entire structure to remain cool. Your baby should not sweat during the night as they sleep.
Breathability is determined by the sidewalls of the bassinet. Most modern products use mesh sides to increase their breathability rating. However, not all mesh is created equal. Some are tight and some are loose. Therefore some products will still be more breathable than others.
Portability, or the ability to move the bassinet around easily, will also be an important consideration. If you only plan on using the bassinet in your bedroom, then any product will work. If, however, you want to use it in the bedroom, for the living room, for breastfeeding, or even for travel, then you need a lightweight bassinet that can be stored and moved easily.
And that brings us to the next factor you need to consider when purchasing a bassinet: storage. A compact bassinet may not need to be stored. However, you may not want the larger models out all the time.
Your growing baby will only use the bassinet when they are sleeping, and likely only when they are sleeping in your bedroom with you. For small spaces, you may decide to store the bassinet during the day to get some floor space back. In that case, you will want to find a product that is foldable and easily stored in a closet.
Obviously, the price will be a huge factor for most of the people reading this article. Whether we like it or not, we all are on a budget of some kind. This does not mean that you can’t get a luxury bassinet. But, you will definitely want to find a product that is affordable for you.
Remember that your baby will probably only use the bassinet for a couple of months. So, if this is your last baby or if you aren’t sure you are having any more, there is no reason to get the highest-end model. A more functional and affordable bassinet may be just the ticket. And, it will allow you to spend a little more on your baby’s crib, which they will use much longer than the bassinet.
Because of the recent surge in popularity of bassinets, you will now find a huge variety in the products. Some high-end models have a lot of features and extras while the more affordable products may be a little bit more bare-bones. If you want a lot of extras in your bassinet, then look for some of the following features.
You may find bassinets that are also gliders. These are great because they allow you to rock your infant as they are going to sleep. Additionally, some bassinets may just be straight rockers.
Other bassinets come with canopies to shield your baby from extra light or other unwanted attention. You can even find products that have a toy bar or wheels for more portability.
When deciding what extra features you want, think of how you will be using the bassinet. If all you need is a bedside model, then a freestanding product with a lot of bells and whistles may not be the correct choice. However, if you want a product that you can move from room to room and use often, then a more luxury bassinet may be the one for you.
We’ve included both bare-bones and luxury bassinets in our ten product reviews below. So, keep reading.
Best Bassinet on the Market Reviews
1 Delta Children Sweet Beginnings Bassinet
The Delta Children Sweet Beginnings Bassinet is affordable and perfect for both naps and bedtime. It is a standalone bassinet. It also includes soothing music, a nightlight, and a tray underneath. Essentially, everything you need to get your baby off to a good start you receive with the Delta Children Sweet Beginnings Bassinet.
Delta Children’s freestanding bassinet is certified by the CPSC and ASTM. So, you know that it will safely hold your babies from birth to five months. You should not continue using the Sweet Beginnings Bassinet once your baby begins to push themselves up on their hands and knees. This could create an unsafe situation. Transition them to a crib at that point.
Delta Children was founded with the idea of making affordable, safe, and beautiful baby products. They have definitely met that goal with the Sweet Beginnings Bassinet. We have a number of favorite features on this product by Delta Children. Initially, there is the fact that the sheet, mattress pad, and canopy are all machine washable. Even though the cloth parts are functional, they are also soft material. And, the design of the bassinet as a whole will fit right in with any bedroom.
2 Dream on Me Karley Bassinet
Dream on Me is a great brand, and their Karley Bassinet is definitely worth a look. It comes in many different color combinations, so you can find the one that best matches your décor. In fact, there are ten different colors of bassinet made by the brand. All are freestanding and lightweight.
The Dream on Me Karley Bassinet also has a double canopy. The double canopy provides a dark environment for your infant as they sleep, and keeps bugs and other animals out of their space. You should not use this product for infants over twenty-five pounds. However, up to that weight limit, the Karley Bassinet is ASTM/CPSC certified safe.
Although the Dream on Me Karley Bassinet is not a foldable model, it is extremely portable. The product only weighs fourteen pounds. Parents who need to move their bassinet around with them will love this bassinet. We think that if you want a great lightweight bassinet, this is the product for you.
3 Delta Children Deluxe Sweet Beginnings Bassinet
Delta Children creates some of the best bassinets and children’s products around. The brand truly fulfills its goal of creating affordable and high-quality baby products. Their Deluxe Sweet Beginnings Bassinet is no different. Like the other two products on our list so far, it is a freestanding bassinet. This makes it very portable. It even comes with locking wheels for easy moving.
Like the Delta Children Sweet Beginnings bassinet, the Deluxe Sweet Beginnings bassinet has a divided shelf underneath the bassinet. This space is great for storing feeding items, toys, and extra diapers. You will also want to check out the soothing lights and sounds of this product.
The design of the Delta Children Deluxe Sweet Beginnings Bassinet is gender-neutral and quite large. So, any infant can enjoy this product until they begin to push up on their hands and knees. We believe you should try this bassinet by Delta Children, it will make nighttime much easier for you.
4 Fisher-Price Soothing Motions Bassinet
If you want to soothe your infant as they sleep, try the Fisher-Price Soothing Motions Bassinet. Although this bassinet is a freestanding model, it is a more streamlined and modern design than the other products mentioned so far. It will fit easily in small spaces. Still, it provides all of the options you want in a high-quality bassinet.
As far as soothing options, you have many with the Fisher-Price Soothing Motions Bassinet. product has two types of projection light features, overhead lighting, an overhead mobile, and vibration that keeps your baby secure and comfortable. If your baby does not take to the rocking motion, you do have the ability to lock it. Then just use the Soothing Motions Bassinet as a traditional, flat bed.
Fisher-Price has designed the Soothing Motions Bassinet to be safe for all infants who cannot sit up unassisted. They have also added mesh sides for breathability. There really isn’t much not to like about the Fisher-Price Soothing Motions Bassinet.
5 Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper
The Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper is an ideal bedside bassinet. It is super versatile with a four-point base that fits under most beds. The base will adjust from 24-34-inches tall. You can seriously use this bassinet with virtually every bed. What’s also great is that no matter where you need this bassinet, you can put it, as it swivels 360-degrees.
Halo has your comfort in mind as well. They have put a storage pock on the end of the bassinet so that all your infant’s essentials are in constant reach. The bassinet itself only needs 32-inch clearance from a wall. Even if you live in a small space you can use this product.
Because of its convenience and ability to attach to your bed, we highly recommend the Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper. This product is ideal for breastfeeding mothers and for C section, and anyone who wants their baby to sleep safely near them.
6 Baby Delight Beside Me Dreamer Bassinet and Bedside Sleeper
Baby Delight is a great brand, which is why their Beside Me Dreamer Bassinet and Bedside Sleeper is such a wonderful large bedside bassinet. The design of the Bassinet allows your baby to stay safe and comfortable as you both sleep. Plus, it comes with a six-position height adjustment. It can be attached to almost any bed available.
Although there are no wheels on the Baby Delight Beside Me Dreamer Bassinet and Bedside Sleeper, it is still quite portable. It is very lightweight. If you need to move your baby to a different bed, this product is the ideal one to purchase. It also has machine washable fitted sheets that fit perfectly on the flat, fiber-filled mattress. And, if your infant has a bad night, the Beside Me Dreamer can be glided from side to side to lull them back to sleep. For a great bassinet without all the bells and whistles, try the Beside Me Dreamer by Baby Delight.
7 Dream on Me Lacy Portable 2-in-1 Bassinet
Dream on Me has another great product on our top ten with the Lacy Portable 2-in-1 Bassinet. Like the first Dream on Me product, this is a stand-alone model. It also has a full canopy. The canopy can be easily opened and used as a mosquito or insect cover. All you have to do is remove the cover and you have a traditional cradle. The cradle will even rock. The versatility of the Dream on Me Lacy Portable 2-in-1 Bassinet cannot be beaten.
The design of the Dream on Me Lacy Portable 2-in-1 Bassinet is quite traditional. As the name claims, it has a very lacy look. Yet, the included storage basket underneath the mattress is large and functional. And the lockable wheels allow you to port the bassinet quickly from room to room. The product only weighs about fifteen pounds, so most people will be able to move it very easily.
8 Delta Children Deluxe Gliding Bassinet
Delta Children is another great baby product company. Its Deluxe Gliding Bassinet allows you to rock your baby as they sleep. Like the Lacy Bassinet by Dream on Me, the Deluxe Gliding Bassinet has a very traditional design. However, it does come in gender-neutral colors.
The removable single canopy blocks light to keep your infant sleeping soundly. If your infant decides to wake up upset during the night, never fear. The Delta Children Deluxe Gliding Bassinet comes with lights, sounds, and mobile to keep them occupied.
Plus, the wheels lock fully for safety. The product is also JPMA, CPSC, and ASTM certified. You can use this bassinet without any fear of danger to your baby. For usability, for infants with reflux, and for breastfeeding mothers this Delta Children product is ideal. It has everything you need to allow your infant—and you too—to get a good night’s rest.
9 Ingenuity Foldaway Rocking Wood Bassinet
If you want a good rocking bassinet, then the Ingenuity Foldaway Rocking Wood Bassinet is the one for you. It is a foldable and portable product. In fact, it is the first fully foldable bassinet on our list. You pay a little extra for the convenience, but we think that the foldable feature makes this bassinet completely worth it. The folding feature is lockable, so you don’t have to worry about the bassinet folding up with your baby inside.
The Ingenuity Foldaway Rocking Wood Bassinet has a modern, wooden design. But, don’t worry. The bassinet itself and its cover are made of cloth. You won’t have to worry about splinters or injuries. The wood legs just provide a lot of support and are a great design element.
The Foldaway Rocking Wood Bassinet isn’t just a stationary product. It has two modes—rocking and stationary—that you can choose for your baby. The mesh panels keep your baby cool and comfortable as they sleep.
10 Dream on Me Traveler Portable Bassinet
Finally, we have the Dream on Me Traveler Portable Bassinet. This product is perfect for camping and any other travel situation. It is another foldable bassinet for baby. However, it is a much more stripped-down model. That is why we recommend it for camping or travel.
Because of its affordability and ease of use, you can find the Dream on Me Traveler Portable Bassinet in any store. You may even be able to get it at Pottery Barn. There are four great colors to choose from, which will match almost all decors.
Although the Traveler Portable Bassinet is designed for a night at grandma’s house or in a tent, it still has all of the safety features you need in a bassinet. The mattress and pad are thin, firm, and cleanable. The mesh side panels provide excellent ventilation. And, the product itself is super easy to operate and ideal for children up to twenty-five pounds.
Now that you have a sense of the types of bassinets available in 2019, you may still have a few questions. In this tips and tricks section, we answer the most pressing questions about bassinets and how to use them.
Telling the difference between bassinets, mini cribs, and playards
It can be very confusing for a new parent. There are all these products and advice out there, even when it comes to your infant’s sleep. If you are researching bassinets, you may have also come across mini cribs and playards. But, knowing which one or ones to choose—or even telling them apart—can be an issue.
Bassinets are what we have been discussing this entire article. They are essentially a small cradle that is portable, lightweight, and great for newborns. On the other hand, mini cribs are just smaller, narrower cribs. They can also be portable and will fold up. Or, you can just store them in a nursery or master bedroom for nighttime. The biggest issue with mini cribs is that your baby will likely outgrow it quickly, especially if they are a fast grower.
Finally, the playard is something different entirely. In fact, playards used to be called playpens. But, today they are all foldable, portable, and lightweight. They may come with a number of features like a bassinet attachment, changing station, nightlight. Essentially everything you need in a safe confined space for your newborn can be found in a playard. It can be used for sleeping, eating, playing, and more.
What are the different types of bassinets?
What makes infant sleeping arrangement even more confusing is also the number of different types of bassinets available on the market. We discuss each in detail so that you can choose the variety that will work best for you and your baby.
First, there is the bedside bassinet. These attach to the parent’s beds. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, you want to ensure that you purchase a bedside bassinet that fits your specific bed. If you have a higher bed than normal, you want a bedside bassinet that is good for high ends. There should be no gap between your bed and the bassinet.
Co sleeper bassinet is perfect for breastfeeding mothers. They keep your infant next to you during the night. But, the slight separation between you and your baby ensures their safety as you sleep. Yet, the co sleeper bassinet keeps the baby within arm’s reach, for easy comforting and feeding.
A vibrating bassinet like the SNOO smart sleeper will actually vibrate if it hears your baby fussing. It will then vibrate and use white noise to put your baby back to sleep. However, vibrating bassinets like the SNOO tend to be extremely high end in terms of price.
Freestanding bassinets have been mentioned throughout this article. These bassinets stand on their own and are typically quite bulky. Some freestanding bassinets have wheels for greater ease of movement. These are essentially cradled with wheels.
When to start using a bassinet?
The time frame when a bassinet makes the most sense is not very long. You can use it from birth to about three to four-month. Most infants prefer a closed environment, as it stimulates the womb. However, they will quickly outgrow most bassinets. You will need to transition your baby to the crib, so don’t wait until they have completely outgrown the bassinet to move them to their crib.
What features are essential for a bassinet?
Although many of the features of a bassinet are optional and up to you, there are a few that you definitely need to look for in the top products. These include
A firm and flat mattress. This protects your infant from the risk of suffocation and SIDS.
A four-sided wall on the mattress. This wall should be made of breathable mesh and should not be wood planks or too thick or padded. With wood planks, the baby could slip through or get an arm or leg caught. And with a plush siding, the risk of suffocation returns.
A lock for rocking bassinets. Rocking and vibrating like the SNOO are great, but they need a lock to ensure your baby does not get hurt.
How to use a bassinet?
The AAP says it is important to use a bassinet to keep your infant safe. So, now it’s time to use the product you’ve chosen. It should fit all of the guidelines described in the buyer’s guide and features tip above. Also, remember to not put in any plush blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals. Although it may not look comfortable, a thin mattress and no blanket is essential for keeping your baby safe.
Then to use the bassinet when you are ready for bed, make sure that it is locked if it is a rocking model. The bassinet should never move while you are not available to monitor it. Then place your infant in on their backs. And, there you go, now you are using your bassinet.
How to clean a bassinet?
Babies make messes. This is why it is so important to clean your bassinet regularly. Cleaning your bassinet does not have to be hard work. In fact, your bassinet was likely designed for easy cleaning.
To clean your bassinet follow these steps.
Finding the best bassinet and using it correctly does not have to be hard. Try one of the products we review above and follow out buyer’s guide. And, you will not struggle to find the bassinet that fits your lifestyle and family.