Newborns need to sleep a lot, but they can often fight that need. Sometimes, the best way to get them to sleep and help them to stay asleep longer is by providing them with an irresistibly comfortable sleeping space. (To be fair, that works for most of us!)
Bassinets are a great choice because they’re designed with the baby’s comfort and safety in mind. They’re smaller than cribs and allow you to put them right up next to your bed for added peace of mind and convenience for you and your baby. We’ve rounded up our favorites to help your baby (and you) get some much-needed rest.
Why buy a baby bassinet?
A bassinet is a type of bed made for babies from birth to about 4 to 6 months of age. It’s often positioned next to your bed to allow easy access to your baby during the night. One of the most important advantages of using a bassinet is that it will enable your newborn to sleep in your room with you, but not in your bed, which may be safer for your baby, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Another benefit is that it’s often easier to reach in and out of a bassinet than a crib.
What should you look for in a baby bassinet?
- Safety: Some key safety features you should look for include a sturdy frame, breathable mesh sides, a solid base that an adult or the baby can’t easily overturn, a strong locking mechanism on the wheels, and folding mechanisms that securely lock in place.
- Sleeping Arrangement: Many parents like their little one close for the first months for peace of mind and feeding ease. If that’s the case, opt for a bassinet that attaches to your bed for extra safety and comfort. If you want your little one to have a place to rest during the day or to promote sleeping independence, choose a bassinet that stands on its own.
- Portability: Some bassinets come with wheels attached to the bottom for easy moving. (Again, make sure they come with a locking mechanism for safety.) It might also be a good idea to find a bedside bassinet (or an extra one) that is easy to travel with.
- Additional Features: Do you want soft music to lull your baby to sleep? How about a rocking or vibrating motion to help put them to sleep and keep them asleep? These can be helpful features that may make your parenting journey just a little easier.
What’s the difference between a bassinet and a crib?
A bassinet is typically used for infants during the first few months of their life. On the other hand, cribs are made for more long-term use, possibly from birth until the baby is ready for a bed. Bassinets are more lightweight and portable than cribs, so they can often move from room to room or travel with you if needed, unlike cribs. Bassinets also usually have a lower profile than cribs, meaning that they take up less space in your home and are easier for parents to reach into to pick up their baby.
Dream On Me Karley Bassinet
This spacious and airy bassinet has a protective cover and comes in several colors to match any color scheme.
Pros: This bassinet comes with a double-sided adjustable canopy to add an extra layer of peace of mind for parents. With it arching 10 inches higher than the mattress, your baby won’t be able to pull it down. Bring both sides up to provide cozy naps for your baby, or lower one side so you can sing and talk to them while they stretch and wiggle. Both sides of the canopy feature alternating pieces of lightweight fabric and mesh for airy comfort. It includes a dual-sided 1-inch thick mattress pad, which follows the recommendations of the ASTM and CPSC. Keep diaper changing needs or extra blankets and toys nearby in the convenient sling underneath the mattress. The bassinet is made from lightweight yet durable aluminum and can fold easily for transport. The bassinet has 12 color options to make it blend into your home or nursery color scheme and style.
Cons: While the mattress complies with the recommendations of the ASTM and CPSC, many parents felt the mattress needed at least a little extra cushion and opted to replace it with one that was still firm but didn’t feel as stiff. Just remember that the AAP recommends using a firm surface for babies to sleep on.
Bottom Line: Safety, convenience, style, comfort, portability, budget…it’s hard to find a baby product that fits all these needs, but this one does. Parents love how easy this bassinet is to take between rooms or on vacation. Even though it’s easy to fold and take with you, the bassinet is sturdy and well-made. The colors can fit any style, and the materials are easy to clean. Adding to more peace of mind is the adjustable canopy that can shield the baby from sun, furry friends, or curious siblings.
Mika Micky Baby Bassinet Bedside Sleeper
Keep your little one close and safe with this convertible and portable bedside sleeper.
Pros: This portable bassinet makes it easy to have a safe space for your baby to sleep in any room. It can also convert to be a safe option for a baby who wants to stay close to mom or dad. Two sides have mesh material to let air flow freely, which helps keep it cool but also helps visibility. When using it as a bedside sleeper, one side can come down so that the bassinet wheels right up to the side of the parent’s bed for safe sleeping and easy nighttime changing and feeding. Two pockets on the outside of the bassinet can hold items that are frequently used for changing or other needs. To keep the bassinet secure, straps hook to mom’s bed frame so the sleeper can never move away from the bed accidentally. Wheels lock in place for extra security. The bassinet can adjust to seven different heights too. The fabrics used are certified and meet the requirements of ASTM, CPSC, and CPSIA.
Cons: Some users wanted the instructions to have greater detail for the assembly, but there are some videos on the listing that can help. The wheels aren’t as user-friendly as the rest of the bassinet.
Bottom Line: In the first three months of a newborn’s life, sleep can be tricky but so important for both baby and mom. This convertible bassinet and bedside sleeper can help make naptime and nighttime easier on everyone. If you want to use it as a bedside sleeper, one side can zip down, and straps secure it safely to the bed. You can adjust the height to fit your needs, and switching between bassinet and bedside sleeper is quick, easy, and doesn’t require tools.
Fisher-Price Soothing Motions Bassinet Windmill
This bassinet is so much more for your baby than a place to sleep.
Pros: While this bassinet is a safe, comfortable, and secure place for your little one to nap, it can also be a place where they explore their senses while you tend to your needs nearby. This bassinet has options for soothing vibrations, music, lights, a starry projection, and a whimsical windmill. There is also the option to allow for a gentle swaying motion which can be generated by you or your baby’s movement. This feature can be turned off with a simple lock if desired. The sides are made of mesh material for adequate airflow and visibility, and a mesh shelf is underneath the bassinet for keeping necessities close. The mattress cover is machine washable, and the mattress can be wiped clean.
Cons: While the sounds and light automatically shut off after 30 minutes to save battery life, many parents found that their baby woke up after it shut off.
Bottom Line: From keeping your little one entertained to creating a soothing ambiance for a nap, this bassinet can help you care for your baby throughout the day. This bassinet is fully equipped with a variety of sensory stimulators that are designed to attract your baby’s attention and relax them as well. In addition to these features, the bassinet is also made to keep them safe, so you don’t have to worry.
4moms mamaRoo Bluetooth Baby Bassinets
This bassinet is a high-tech find that is quiet, easy to assemble, and doesn't take up too much space.
Pros: Soothe your baby to sleep in this Bluetooth-controlled bassinet that features natural bouncing motions that mimic how you would rock your little one. Use the 4moms app on a compatible smart device to easily control all functions. It has five different rocking movements and five speed settings to help you discover the setting that works best for your baby. Additionally, this baby bassinet is equipped to play one of four white noise settings (rain, ocean, fan, and shh) to help your baby relax. Even with smart technology, this bedside bassinet runs quietly and is easy to assemble.
Cons: With Bluetooth technology, this bassinet is on the pricier side for something that is for just a few months of use. Also, the motion shuts off after four hours. Although parents can restart it via the app, some babies are easily awakened when the rocking stops.
Bottom Line: This Bluetooth-enabled bedside bassinet has advanced smart features meant to provide your baby with a secure and serene night’s sleep.
Ingenuity Dream & Grow Bedside Baby Bassinet 2-Mode Crib
When you (and your baby) love a bassinet, it's even better when it lasts longer than a few months.
Pros: This bassinet is full of features that any parent can appreciate. The bassinet can grow with your baby until they reach 12 months old, double or longer than double the length of other options. Adjust the height of the bassinet to reach a comfortable height when your baby is small and not sitting up. When your baby begins to make developmental milestones, it’s easy to lower the bassinet base, creating tall sides to keep your baby safe when sitting up and standing. The mesh sides allow for adequate airflow so that your little one can stay comfortable. Other features include soothing sounds for your baby and a soft light that can help during nighttime changes and feedings. You can easily move the bassinet to other places for your convenience, thanks to four wheels that can also lock in place for security. The bassinet is available in two neutral patterns and features pockets to store essentials like diapers, wipes, or extra onesies.
Cons: The wheels are not as easy to maneuver or lock as they should be.
Bottom Line: When it’s time to retire a bassinet that’s been your baby’s comfy and safe space, it can be a hard transition. Thankfully, this bassinet prolongs the time your baby can use and love it. The mattress lowers as your baby grows to keep her safe as she begins to sit and even stand. The mesh sides allow for comfortable airflow, and useful features like pockets for essentials, a sound feature, and a soft night-light make this bassinet even more convenient.
Parents have quite a bit to consider when it comes to safe and comfortable sleeping for their infants. Because the AAP recommends that babies share a room but not a bed with their parents for the first six months, investing in one of these baby bassinets is a good choice. With the many available variations of features, mobility, and price, one of these bassinets is sure to be a great fit for you and your baby.