It would be rational to assume that we don’t need bassinets as a crib can perform the function right from day one. In my case there are several reasons why we decided to purchase two baby bassinets even though we had the cribs in place in their nursery. I am sure some of these will resonate with you as well.
- It is advisable to have the baby in the same room for the first few months and cribs can be too bulky to fit in your master bedroom along with other pieces of furniture that might already exist
- Its portable and so can be moved to the living room when needed. We did not need to do this because we bought swings for them to sleep while they were in the living room. But this expense can be avoided.
- Bassinets are smaller and give the baby a feeling of comfort and coziness which they appreciate over the openness of the crib. This will enable them to sleep better and longer. In addition, most bassinets allow a rocking motion that is beneficial on occasions. In the case of my kids, they were not comfortable lying on the crib and so bassinet was the only option. So if your kids are not getting adjusted to the crib, it might be time to consider a bassinet.
- Bassinets are more accessible for recuperating mothers whereas a crib requires you to bend more and place the baby delicately while bending at extreme angles. After a C-section this is the last thing you would want to do.
- Last but not least many bassinets come with hoods and covers which allow you to shield the baby from light during day times. As you will see every bit helps.
That said the babies usually transition out of bassinets in 2-3 months. In the case of my kids I kept them in the bassinet upto the 4 month mark but eventually reached a point where they could not stand it for even a few seconds. Also it is not advisable to keep them in the bassinet once they show some sign of movement.
If you have decided to go for it, here are some basic considerations that you should keep in mind.
- If you are buying something for 2-3 months there is no justification to buying an expensive item, unless you think you can reuse it for future kids or relatives.
- As always, the first thing you should be concerned about is safety. Don’t assume that all bassinets are created equal! Some safety issues you’ll want to look out for are:
- Wide base — It’s important that bassinet has a wide base, which will ensure that there’s no possibility of it tipping over at any time.
- Sturdy — A sturdy bassinet will ensure that your baby can’t move it around when they’re inside. The best and simplest way to accomplish this is with a locking mechanism for the wheels on a moving bassinet.
- Appropriate for child’s & weight — Some bassinets have different size and weight limits, and obviously you should purchase one that will be suitable for your child.
- Safety certification — Bassinet manufacturers can comply with ASTM safety standards, which will be indicated by a JPMA seal. While this doesn’t guarantee that the bassinet is safe, it does mean that there is a certain standard it meets.
- Buy new, not used — Old and used bassinets could suffer from any number of problems. Baby products are recalled all the time because of safety defects, and you can never know for sure if a bassinet is worn out or has missing parts. Old bassinets are probably not up to modern safety standards and could pose a serious risk to your baby.
- I have a separate section for cradles which is a word used interchangeably with bassinets.
So here are my top Recommendations:
$50 Range – Delta Children Sweet Beginnings Bassinet, Falling Leaves Great value if you only want to spend 50 bucks for a bassinet to last you through the first few months. This will not be my top choice but if your budget is only 50 bucks – look no further. What is more, I think you can resell it for at least $15, which means you are spending just $35 for some relief during the first three months.
- Nice height and Good night light
- Fairly sturdy and there is a decent storage area for some emergencies
- Music is annoying and loud so would not use it
- Noisy canopy
- Mattress is thin but should be sufficient for the first few months
- Kolcraft Cuddle ‘N Care 2-in-1 Bassinet and Incline Sleeper, Emerson– Best bassinet in the 100 dollar range and this is the one I bought for both my kiddos. I wasn’t willing to spend more than a 100 bucks and I am glad I did. I also managed to sell it for $25 to a thrift store.
- Inclined surface allows babies sleep on an incline which facilitates better sleep and prevents reflux etc. So great option for kids with reflux, colic etc.
- Fairly sturdy and there is a decent storage area for some emergencies.
- Includes vibration feature and can be rocked.
- Setup is cumbersome
- Vibration turns off after 10 mins
- Incline seat can be a pain to take off
- Chicco Lullago Travel Crib– If you want a bassinet that serves many purposes – and can be used at home, while on holiday or visiting grandparents then this is the one. The soft fabric and comfortable mattresses make it pleasant for the baby.
- Setup takes only minutes and all fabric can be removed and washed
- Works great for travel as well – although might be too heavy for air travel.
- The mattress is not standard size and you have to buy sheets like this one
- Externally a little flimsy looking
- A little too heavy to be advertised as portable
- If you want a wooden bassinet my top recommendation is the Summer Infant Classic Comfort Wood Bassinet, Fox and Friends, Espresso Stain. It is better looking but assembly is a bit difficult.
One of the most widely recommended bassinets is the Halo Bassinet Swivel Premiere Sleeper, which for me frankly seemed too expensive since I needed two of them. But this is a god send for women who have gone through c-sections are recovering slowly.
- 360 degree swivel makes getting in and out of bed easier.
- Makes it easier to stay in bed while tending to the baby.
- Ideal for small spaces
- Too expensive
- Front bar is too difficult to push down
- Music and vibration equipment not that useful and costs 50 bucks more so you could opt for the Essentia series for $200.
Final word: Some parents think that it is better to get the child used to the crib immediately after birth and hope that the baby will eventually accept it after the initial trepidation. This may be a reasonable line of thought, but personally I thought that if I could make it slightly easier for the child to transition into this new world, it is well worth the expense for me.