Choosing the perfect baby bassinet is an important decision that involves careful consideration. The right bassinet doesn’t just promise a comfortable sleep for your baby but also ensures their safety. This guide aims to provide you with valuable insights to simplify your baby bassinet selection process.
“How to Choose the Perfect Baby Bassinet”
Looking at your precious newborn sleep restfully is an unparalleled experience! If you’ve chosen a bassinet as their resting place for the initial months, you must be aware of the necessary features that ensure their comfort and safety. The Newton Baby specialists are at your service to guide you in picking the perfect bassinet. This guide will distinguish between bassinets and cribs primarily. Following that, we will provide a list of 11 factors to consider while purchasing a bassinet. To conclude, we will review sleep safety protocols and offer advice on selecting the suitable crib — after all, babies exhibit rapid growth!
What’s The Difference Between A Bassinet And A Crib?
Understanding the distinctions between a bassinet and a crib is beneficial, regardless of whether you’ve already decided to use a bassinet or are still pondering your options.
A bassinet is essentially a compact bed for your baby. Its design allows for mobility and it is perfect for tight spaces, making it an ideal choice for placement next to your bed. Features of a bassinet often include wheels for easy movement, a hood or canopy for protection, and a storage shelf underneath for convenience.
Moreover, modern bassinets come with additional features such as built-in music players or rocking mechanisms to soothe your baby. These factors make a bassinet an appealing choice for many new parents. However, it’s crucial to know when to transition your baby to a crib, which we will discuss further in this guide.
Undoubtedly, one of the most significant contrasts between bassinets and cribs is their respective sizes. Bassinets are considerably more compact than cribs, which makes them a suitable fit for your bedroom, placed conveniently next to your bed. This positioning allows for easy and quick access to your newborn throughout the night. The bassinet’s petite stature is particularly beneficial in managing spatial constraints. However, this convenience also implies that your baby will outgrow the bassinet sooner than you might anticipate, setting the stage for an impending transition to a crib. Let’s delve into this in the following section.
Bassinets, while compact and convenient, have a comparatively shorter lifespan due to their size. By the time your little one reaches four months of age, or even earlier, they might have already outgrown their bassinet. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends transitioning your baby to a crib around the end of their first month or once they weigh about 10 pounds.
Regardless of your baby’s weight, it’s crucial to move them to a crib as soon as they develop the ability to roll over. While bassinets serve their purpose for a brief period, a crib offers long-term utility, accompanying your child from their birth through their toddler years.
Some parents prefer to bypass the bassinet stage altogether, instead opting for a crib from the onset. Standard-sized cribs not only accommodate your baby for the initial two to three years but their mattresses can also be used in toddler beds, post the crib phase. Convertible cribs offer even greater longevity, as they adapt to your child’s growth stages.
A noteworthy difference between bassinets and cribs is their degree of portability. Bassinets, with their compact size and often lightweight design, are specifically manufactured for ease of movement. Many even incorporate wheels for seamless relocation throughout your home.
On the contrary, cribs are usually stationary with a more solid and heavier construction. Although certain models might include wheels, they are significantly less mobile due to their larger size.
An additional feature that sets bassinets apart is their adaptability for travel. Certain models can be folded up, offering a significant convenience for mobility. This feature not only enhances their portability but also saves space when the bassinet is not in use, a convenience that cribs generally lack.
If the ability to move the baby’s sleeping space around easily or the need for travel-friendliness ranks high on your priority list, a bassinet might be an ideal choice for your newborn’s initial months. This aspect could notably influence your baby bassinet selection.
Ease Of Use
Bassinets, being smaller and shallower than cribs, offer a distinct advantage – they provide ease of use. You can easily lay your baby down to sleep and lift them up when needed. This might appear trivial, but for mothers recovering from a c-section, this ease can be a significant relief, reducing strain on sore areas.
The convenience of a bassinet extends to breastfeeding mothers as well. Having your baby close-by during the night simplifies feeding routines. The design of a bassinet requires you to lean over less when getting your baby in and out of bed, leading to less overall movement especially if the bassinet is in your room.
Safe sleep guidelines advise that for at least the first six months, your baby should sleep in your room but not share your bed. However, the ultimate choice between a bassinet and a crib is a personal one and entirely up to you.
Types Of Bassinets
The world of bassinets is as diverse and varied as the needs of the babies they serve. Traditional bassinets, characterized by their standalone design, can easily fit into any corner of your room or snuggle up next to your bed. The highlight of these bassinets is their classic look and freestanding nature.
For those parents seeking an even closer bond with their child, bedside bassinets provide an excellent option. These bassinets are designed to sit adjacent to your bed, or sometimes even rest on your bed, while ensuring your baby has a separate sleeping space.
For families often on the move, travel bassinets are a perfect match. Designed with easy portability in mind, these bassinets make travelling with a newborn less daunting.
In an era of technological advancement, smart bassinets have emerged. These bassinets are equipped with automated features such as rocking, vibration, and soothing sounds to enhance your baby’s comfort.
The array of choices does not end there. Bassinets are available with drop-sides for easy access, ample storage space for baby essentials, and hoods for added protection. There are also swivel bassinets that provide easy turning, foldable ones for compact storage, and rolling bassinets that make moving around a breeze.
The abundance of choices might seem overwhelming, but the key is to find a bassinet that aligns with your baby’s safety, fits your space, and complements your family’s lifestyle.
What To Consider When Buying A Bassinet
Bassinets come in a multitude of styles to cater to your individual preferences and requirements! Regardless of the specific type you’re seeking, it’s crucial to adhere to certain fundamental safety guidelines to ensure your baby’s safe and sound sleep. Here’s a set of considerations to bear in mind as you navigate the process of selecting the ideal bassinet for your bundle of joy.
While second-hand baby items can indeed be a boon, certain items like the car seat and your baby’s sleeping place should always be purchased new. If offered a pre-loved bassinet, graciously decline. It’s best to invest in a brand-new bassinet that complies with up-to-date safety standards and comes complete with all its components.
2) Your Space
Bassinets are available in a wide range of dimensions and designs. It’s essential to verify the measurements of the bassinet of your choice to ensure it comfortably accommodates within your available space. If you intend to frequently reposition the bassinet, the weight of the unit is another factor that you should consider.
One of the paramount considerations when choosing a bassinet is breathability. It’s not just important for the sleeping surface, but also for the bassinet’s sidewalls. Opt for ones with mesh sides or wooden slats akin to a crib for maximum breathability.
When your baby moves on to a regular or mini crib, the need for breathability remains crucial. A breathable mattress, like the Newton Baby’s Crib Mattress, is an excellent choice. It features a unique Wovenaire® Core comprising 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer. The standout feature is your baby’s ability to breathe straight through the mattress, enhancing their safety.
The mattress has also earned a GREENGUARD Gold Certification. This means it surpasses the strictest industry safety standards, having been independently tested and certified for minimal chemical emissions. This helps to enhance the quality of indoor air, contributing to a safer environment for your child.
Another distinguishing aspect of the Newton Baby’s Crib Mattress is its completely washable nature – both the cover and core. To clean it, simply remove the cover, then rinse the core with a hose or wash it in the shower using soap and cool water. After standing it up to dry, you have a thoroughly cleaned mattress. The cover itself is machine-friendly; it can be washed and tumble-dried, ensuring your baby’s sleep environment remains hygienic and fresh.
4) Mattress Fit
The mattress positioning and fit within the bassinet is another crucial consideration in your baby bassinet selection process. Ideally, the mattress should fit snugly inside the bassinet, leaving no significant gaps between the edges of the mattress and the bassinet. Using the original mattress that comes with the bassinet is usually the safest bet to ensure a proper fit.
The same principle applies to cribs and crib mattresses. An improperly fitted mattress can present safety risks such as your baby potentially getting an arm or leg stuck in any available gaps. But how can you tell if the gap is too large?
A simple yet effective rule of thumb is the two-finger test. With the mattress properly placed in the crib or bassinet, you should not be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the frame. If you can, the gap is too wide and poses a safety risk.
Despite their petite size, bassinets should be equipped with structural solidity. The bassinet you select must feature a robust base to prevent any inadvertent tipping, even during accidental collisions.
Avoiding Night-Time Mishaps
It’s not uncommon to stumble upon the bassinet during those middle-of-the-night baby care routines. Hence, it becomes crucial to ensure that your bassinet maintains its stability even when lightly bumped into, safeguarding your little one from unnecessary disturbances.
Ensuring a Safe Environment
A robust and sturdy bassinet plays a pivotal role in creating a secure environment for your child. Stability should never be compromised, as it directly impacts the safety of your baby’s sleeping space.
When it comes to selecting a bassinet with a robust base, it’s equally imperative to consider the safety of the legs. Specifically, if you’re inclined towards a foldable model, it’s paramount to confirm that the legs securely lock into place upon set up. Furthermore, it should be readily apparent when the legs are in their locked or unlocked state for utmost safety.
7) Wheel Safety
In the case of portable bassinets, wheel security cannot be overstated. It is essential that the wheels feature a reliable lock mechanism, and this should remain engaged unless the bassinet is being actively moved. This ensures the bassinet stays stable and eliminates any risk of unintended movement.
8) Small, Sharp Parts
When choosing your baby’s bassinet, it’s crucial to steer clear of models with diminutive components that could possibly be ingested by your infant. This includes dangling toys, excessive ruffles, and superfluous fabric within the sleeping area. An equally important safety measure is to thoroughly inspect for any sharp or protruding elements, particularly along the interior walls of the bassinet.
9) Cleaning Ease
Maintaining cleanliness is a vital aspect of baby bassinet selection, given the potential for messes in the baby’s environment. Opt for a bassinet that is simple to clean, offering easy wipe-down capabilities, and if possible, one that is washable. This not only ensures your baby’s health but also saves your sanity!
The same criteria apply to choosing a crib and crib mattress. We previously touched on the Newton Baby’s mattress and mattress cover, which are entirely washable. This feature distinguishes this product as it is a rarity among crib mattresses, ensuring an environment free from harmful mold, bacteria, and allergens.
So, when considering baby bassinet selection, prioritize easy-to-clean and washable products. Not only will this contribute to a healthier environment for your baby, but it also significantly simplifies the cleaning process for parents. Say goodbye to sleepless nights worrying about allergens, bacteria, and mold!
While we adults may prefer our plush quilts and soft pillows, it’s crucial to remember that for infants, a safer sleep environment involves a firm mattress, a fitted sheet, and little else. This rule is applicable not only to their cribs but also to their bassinets.
With four adorable patterns to choose from, you can easily find one that complements your nursery decor. Crafted from soft, certified organic cotton muslin, these sheets not only ensure superior airflow but also meet the stringent Global Organic Textile Standards.
In essence, these sheets offer a perfect blend of safety, comfort, and style, ensuring your baby sleeps well and you have peace of mind.
11) Sleep Safety
Your paramount concern as a parent is invariably the safety of your little one, round the clock! Regardless of where your baby is catching those precious Z’s, it’s essential to adhere to safe sleep guidelines. Let’s delve into the fundamentals of these guidelines to ensure your baby’s wellbeing.
Choose A Firm Mattress
In most cases, purchasing a bassinet includes a mattress, eliminating the need for a separate purchase. If an instance arises where you need to shop for a baby mattress, your primary focus should be on its firmness alongside comfort. The significance of firm mattresses lies in their role in promoting safe breathing conditions for your baby by eliminating potential obstructions.
When choosing a mattress, look for those that swiftly regain their shape upon pressure application. This bounce-back feature is a clear indication of an adequately firm mattress. This principle of firmness isn’t exclusive to mattresses — remember to refrain from introducing soft, fluffy bedding into your baby’s sleeping area, as it could also pose a risk to their breathing.
In essence, the key to selecting a safe and suitable mattress is finding a balance between comfort and firmness. And always remember, your baby’s sleeping area should be devoid of any soft, fluffy items, irrespective of the mattress they are sleeping on.
Keep Bumpers And Toys Out Of The Crib
Safety comes first when setting up your baby’s sleeping space. Soft, fluffy items including blankets and baby pillows should be avoided in the crib or bassinet. Such items not only pose a threat to the baby’s breathability, but are also potential choking hazards.
Clear the Crib of Toys
Despite their charm, toys don’t belong in the crib. This rule also applies to crib bumpers and any other non-vital items. The overarching guideline is to embrace minimalism — the crib should only house a mattress, a snugly fitted sheet, and your darling little newborn.
Swaddles and Sleep Sacks
Pondering how to ensure your baby’s comfort without resorting to blankets? Look no further than swaddles and sleep sacks. Swaddles are ideal for newborns, providing them with the snugness they crave. On the other hand, sleep sacks, also known as wearable blankets, are more appropriate for older infants. Both of these alternatives deliver the necessary warmth and snugness without the danger of your baby becoming entangled in a traditional blanket.
Don’t Share Your Bed
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that for a minimum of the initial six months, your infant should share your room for sleeping. Nevertheless, it is not deemed safe under any circumstances for your little one to share the bed with you.
Lay Your Baby On Their Back
Over the years, different theories have emerged about the best position for a baby to sleep – on their back, stomach, or side. While tummy time is essential for your baby’s development during awake hours, it is always recommended to put your baby to sleep on their back. Even when your baby acquires the ability to roll over, it’s best to continue placing them on their back at bedtime. However, if your baby manages to roll over during the night, there’s no need to reposition them back onto their back.
Offer A Pacifier
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends offering your baby a pacifier during nap time and at night, which can contribute to safer sleep. However, for those who are breastfeeding, it’s advised to introduce the pacifier after the baby has become proficient at nursing. When selecting a pacifier, ensure it is of appropriate size and devoid of straps or extraneous parts. Understandably, not every infant may take to the pacifier, and it’s crucial not to enforce its usage. If your little one shows disinterest, let it be. Thus far, the discussion has been largely centered on the choice of a safe and suitable bassinet, bearing in mind it will be a temporary arrangement given the rapid growth of infants. To conclude, there will be mention of cribs, as eventually, your baby will outgrow the bassinet.
Choosing A Crib
While the immediate focus might be on selecting the perfect bassinet, the time to consider a crib is not too far off. As per the guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should transition to a crib when they reach one month old or weigh 10 pounds. It’s surprising how quickly your baby will reach this stage! Therefore, it’s wise to consider a crib while preparing your baby registry. Taking this into consideration, there are essentially four distinct styles and sizes of cribs available to complement your needs and preferences.
If you’re considering a unique nursery design, a uniquely shaped crib could be the standout piece you’re searching for. Round or oval cribs are popular choices and come with matching mattresses. However, remember that these options may not offer as much space as standard-sized cribs. That being said, a well-designed rectangular crib can be equally captivating in a nursery setup, challenging the charm of a round or oval crib.
For those seeking an option larger than a bassinet but more compact than a conventional crib, the mini crib proves to be an excellent choice. With dimensions spanning 24 inches in width and 38 inches in length, it’s particularly advantageous if you plan on room-sharing with your baby or if your children will occupy the same room. However, it’s important to note that your baby may outgrow the mini crib by the age of two, or perhaps even earlier.
With dimensions of 28 by 52 inches, the standard crib is noticeably more spacious than its mini counterpart, making it a preferred choice for many parents for long-term use. This crib size not only promises several years of utility but also seamlessly accommodates a standard crib mattress that can later be repurposed for a toddler bed frame.
Convertible cribs bring adaptability and longevity to your nursery needs. These cribs evolve along with your child’s growth trajectory, being capable of transforming into various bed styles at different stages. The market offers 2-in-1, 3-in-1, and 4-in-1 convertible cribs, each aptly suited to cater to your fast-growing toddler.
At Newton Baby, we offer the 3-in-1 convertible crib, which is designed with versatility at its heart. This model features three distinct mattress height settings. As your baby develops, you can safely adjust the bed height to match their growth pace and mobility.
Before your child reaches an age where they can climb, our convertible crib can be transformed into a toddler bed, or alternatively, a day bed. We also provide the option of attaching a toddler rail for additional safety. This choice depends on the comfort and safety needs of your precious bundle of joy.
In conclusion, making the right ‘Baby Bassinet Selection’ and crib choice is a crucial aspect of preparing for your newborn’s arrival. Safety, comfort, and growth accommodation are key considerations to bear in mind. Remember, the perfect bassinet or crib is one that ensures your baby’s well-being while also fitting seamlessly into your lifestyle and home setup.