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When a newborn comes, parents have to choose carefully where the baby is going to sleep. This is an important decision, there are many options and most of them are good, but the decision must be taken depending on needs. We offer a detailed overview of all the best baby bassinets we have chosen as the best ones based on their features.
Let us explain you why it is important to have a bassinett and, if you finally decide to buy one, take in consideration our advices to choose the one that fits better with your needs.
Why you should use a bassinet
A bassinet may be a not an indispensable product for a baby, it is not as necessary as other needed products but there are some good reasons to consider having one.
One of the best reasons to buy a bassinet is to use it as a co-sleeper. It is recommended to sleep in the same room with parents, but it’s not recommended to sleep in the same bed because sharing bed can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Using a bassinet makes easier to sleep next to your child while providing him his own space. Besides, keeping babies close to parents bed make it easer to feed them at night.
Bassinets don't take as much space as a crib so they fit a lot better in rooms because they are smaller. Moreover, most of them are light weight so parents can be move them easily.
Another good reason is that most babies feel more comfortable in a reduced and cozier space, thats why babies usually sleep better in a bassinet than in a crib.
Most bassinets are portable, and most of them have wheels so you can easily move between rooms. Some are even easy to pack up and take it outside the house if you need to travel with your newborn.
Another good reason to begin with a bassinet is because it’s easier to put a baby in a bassinet rather than in a crib and that’s very important while mother is recuperating. Bassinets are usually lower than cribs so it is easier to access your baby to feed or change him.
In conclusion, it's not indispensable to use a bassinet but it is a good option if you want to make your life easier during the first months of your baby.
However, if you still think that it is a waste of money because bassinets only last five or six months you can look for a product with a conversion kit that allows to have a bassinet and when baby grows convert it into a crib. The Stokke Sleepi System is the best we have found, this is a very durable product with an spectacular design.
Things to think about before buying a bassinet
There are a few important details and features you may consider when you decide to buy a bassinet. Here you can find the most important which will let you choose the best bassinet for your baby:
The most important feature to assure that a baby bassinet is safe are mesh walls. Mesh sides allow baby breathing even if he is against the wall. Be sure that all sides are made of mesh fabric. There are bassinets that only have one side, and that is risky.
Besides having mesh walls, you have to use a thin and firm mattress. This mattress has to fit perfect, don't let spaces with walls.
Don't use too much clothing or bedding. Do not use pillows and don't let stuffed animals with the baby while sleeping. Stop automatic rocking while the baby is sleeping and also if you can't stay there.
It's important to consider wether you need to move the bassinet around the house or you just want to keep it always in the same room.
Usually they are small so they are easy to move. Besides, there are bassinets with wheels that make it easier to move the bassinet from room to room. Wheels are not so important if your home has stairs.
Apart from having wheels, you have to take in consideration size and weight as important factors.
The easy of cleaning a product is always important to consider in anything you buy, specially if you use it to take care of a newborn.
It is better to have a bassinet with removable and machine washable fabrics to easy clean them.
A lot of bassinets offers movement, vibration and calming sounds.
Music modules can have different kind of sounds like nature sounds or classical music.
Mobiles or canopies with toys are also included in a lot of bassinets.
It is recommended to share the room with your newborn but no the same bed. Sharing bed increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome so if you want to co-sleep with your baby do it safely. That's why companies have designed new ways to sleep closely but safely next to your new born. Co-sleepers are designed to be attached to the side of your bed with a space just for baby.
Some bassinets and playards can also be used as co sleepers, if they are fitted to bed parents height. This is also a good way to co sleeping safely with your newborn.
How to choose the best bassinet for your baby
When buying a bassinet there are some features to be taken into consideration to find the best bassinet for your baby. You may analyze features depending on your needs.
The most important feature of a bassinet is its safety, and to consider a bassinet as a safety place for your baby, all its walls must be breathable.
It is important to look for a bassinet with mesh walls all-around in order to avoid suffocation risks, and provide ventilation for your baby.
Babybjorn Cradle with all four mesh walls is the safest solution, if baby comes to the side, the mesh wall ensures air flow.
Best mattress for babies are firm ones, because a soft mattress is associated with suffocation risk. Mattress must be firm and also thin, it is recommended to be less than an inch thick.
To determine if a mattress is firm enough you can press the center and edge of the mattress with your hand, if mattress doesn't return to the original shape then it's too soft for the baby.
Besides a thin and firm mattress, it is important to use a fitted sheet, there are different types of sheets:
- Pure cotton sheet: it is breathable fabric and allows airflow. It is also hypoallergenic to avoid skin irritation or allergies.
- Polyester sheet: it is less breathable but more durable than cotton. It is also cheaper than cotton sheets.
- Flannel sheets: are perfect for cold weather but not for warm weather.
- Alternate natural fiber sheets: it is natural and usually hypoallergenic but not very durable.
Most sheets fit and contain elastic to make easy to secure the corners of the mattress.
Rocking and wheels
When choosing a rocking bassinet, be sure that the rocking motion is not very pronounced because the baby can roll against the side and cause suffocation. Look for a bassinet with a locking hardware to stop the rocking motion.
Always be with the baby while the bassinet is in the rocking mode and lock it if you leave the room.
If bassinet has wheels, lock them as soon as you finish moving the bassinet from one place to another, and avoid moving it with the baby in.
BabyHome Air Bassinet is the best option to have all in one. It has a system with three different positions: wheels, rocker and stationary.
A canopy is very useful to block out the light and let the baby sleep without the annoying sun. Canopy is usually retractable or removable so it doesn't disturb if you want to change your baby inside the bassinet.
Avoid fabric canopies that fall over the bassinet, because although they can look nice, they can be a risk for your baby if he reaches the fabric.
A useful thing of bassinets is a storage basket. A lot of bassinets have a storage basket underneath. Others have pockets on sides. There are different sizes of storage baskets and some of them has separate compartments.
All kind of storage is very useful to store inside diapers, clothes and all baby care needs.
Be able to move easily the bassinet is very important because newborns have to spend most of the time near their parents, so you have to be able to move the bassinet without too much effort.
To move a bassinet around the house it is important to have a light weight one. Some bassinets have wheels to make it easy to move it from one place to another. It is also important to have a basket not too heavy.
Wheels are useful but in some cases, for example if you have stairs at your home, it is more important to have a lightweight bassinet.
One of the main reasons to buy a bassinet is its size. Bassinets are smaller than cribs and for this reason it is easy to put in parent's room, especially if the room is not very big. A small size also makes easier to move the baby from room to room.
A really light and small bassinet perfect to move around the house is the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Portable Bassinet. It is also perfect to take it when travelling.
Most of the bassinets we recommend are easily machine washable. When having a baby, one of the first things that parents are going to care about is the easy of cleaning. Newborn needs to have clean materials in contact with his skin, and parents don't have a lot of time to spend cleaning up.
Besides, materials must not have chemicals or flame retardants in their products.
Some bassinets offers a rocking motion or vibration, and that's useful as vibration calms the baby.
Some bassinets offers vibration in response to babies movement, and others comes with a module that offers a vibration that can be controlled with variable speeds. This modules requires batteries.
BabyHome Air Bassinet, and Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Portable Bassinet with feet adjustable to stationary, wheels and rocking position offers a vibration when baby moves. BabyBjorn Cradle also offers vibration in response to baby's movements due its innovative engineering. HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper and Summer Infant Bentwood Bassinet with Motion comes with a module to get the movement when needed.
Sound, light and toys
Besides rocking motions, some bassinets also offers others features like:
- Music: many bassinets includes a keypad or a switch to turn on calming music or nature sounds.
- Nightlight: soft nightlight can help you to watch your baby without disturbing him at night.
- Toys: you might find also bassinets with mobiles or canopies with toys attached.
There are two types of bedside sleepers. One is designed to attach to parent's bed and has legs, they are like a small crib. Another kind of co sleeper don't have legs and are designed to put it between parents. The last one is not a safe option because sharing bed is the greatest risk factor for sleep related infant deaths.
If you want to co-sleep with your baby you must do it safely, and bed sharing is never a safe option. You must better look for a co-sleeper attached to the side of your bed.
We found best options to co-sleep in:
Arm's Reach Concepts Cambria Co-Sleeper Bassinet enables to have your baby close and reach him easily. It has wheels so parents can move it easily from room to room.
HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. It is the safest option for babies and the easiest for parents. Its sides walls lowers and returns automatically. We consider this bassinet one of the safest alternatives to bedsharing.