A bassinet can seem like one of those one-off purchases that’s not really necessary. After all, your baby will most likely outgrow it in a few months and you’re already bought a crib, right? While it may seem like the first thing to cut from an overly large baby registry, bassinets actually serve several needs in helping establish early sleeping patterns that can be beneficial to both you and your little one…and really makes the cost worthwhile.
When your baby is born, the outside world is a scary place. They have spent the last nine months curled up warm and safe inside your womb and suddenly they are thrust into this huge new world full of bright lights and loud sounds. Just like swaddling, utilizing a bassinet for baby’s first bed can help reduce some of that overstimulation and keep things nice and cozy which will help your little one sleep.
Bassinets are also very useful space-saving tools. If you have a small living space to work with, then a full-size crib or pack-and-play may not be practical. This also can be beneficial for keeping your little one in the same room with you during the first, critical few months. The CDC actually recommends that infants sleep in the same room as their parents. Co-sleeping is not recommended for safety and suffocation concerns so a bassinet can be a portable option that will keep them close without taking up a lot of room.
Bassinets also provide a low profile height compared to a crib and when you consider how many times you will pick your baby up and put them down, you may opt to purchase one just to save yourself from the back pain! This can be especially useful if you are a shorter parent who has trouble reaching over high crib sides.
We have gathered the Top 10 Best Bassinets from across the internet. These cradles provide a variety of sizes, shapes, and material options to give your baby the best sleep possible. Whatever your need, we hope that one of these bassinets will become your little one’s very first bed.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go
- Removable Bassinet
- Dream On Me Karley Bassinet
- Up to 25 Pounds
- Delta Children Sweet Beginnings
- Removable Canopy
Our Picks For The Top Bassinets for Infants
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Bassinets
When choosing the top bassinets, our first priority was safety. Newborns need a sturdy, secure place to sleep so we first narrowed our list down using safety criteria. This was accomplished by identifying the safety-compliant certifications for baby products. The certifications are only awarded to products that are not only built to a specific standard, but are also tested.
We know that when parents shop for bassinets, they will gravitate toward certain manufacturers. This is not only due to a brand’s awareness but the reputation they have established. The lesser-known brands we included in this list had exceptional features and safety standards.
Another way that we selected products for this list was ease of use. We know that parents need gear that makes their lives easier. That means checking to make sure each bassinet is portable, quickly assembled, and easily stored. When you read through the customer reviews, you’ll notice that ease of use is one of the top three priorities among parents; we agree.
Choosing a Safe Bassinet
Here are some great ways to ensure a bassinet is safe:
- It has safety certifications from ASTM and/or JPMA
- The base is wide and stable
- The mattress is smooth and firm
- Breathable side panels made of mesh
- Folding mechanisms lock into place
As always, we suggest only using with approved accessories. Another important consideration is that though each item has a weight limit, a bassinet’s ability to be used safely relies more on the stage of development than weight. Bassinet use should ALWAYS be discontinued once baby can push himself/herself up.
Bassinets are a great item to make that first couple of months easier. Select a safe one, use it as directed, and allow our list of top 10 bassinets to be your guide.
What Determined the Top Bassinets Included on Our List
In choosing the top bassinets for infants, safety is a major concern. Because babies’ bodies are still very fragile, the sturdy construction and the overall integrity of how the different parts were built are very important. We tasked our research team to be thorough in its investigation so that only products that have been tested and certified safe and compliant with global safety standards will be shortlisted. It is therefore imperative that we establish the bassinet-maker’s reputation in the industry as well as its trustworthiness in the eyes of its clients and customers.
The ease of use of the bassinet is another major consideration. We had to make sure that the specialty baby beds we have included on our list are not only durable and fully functional but are also easy to set up store, and transport. If there are one-touch mechanisms that can facilitate the performance of these things, then we definitely had to take these into consideration. Our evaluation then took us to the consumer reviews of the different products we had shortlisted.
In the end, we were able to put all these pieces together to give you our list of the top 10 bassinets for infants you might want to consider getting soon.
Should You Buy a Bassinet or Invest in a Crib Instead?
Bassinets are deemed important for babies, especially those under 4 months of age or those who have not yet begun pushing themselves up using their arms and legs. Unfortunately, this severely limits its usefulness as your baby will only get to use it for a few months. And if the price is a major consideration, it may not be a wise investment at all. The question now is should you go for a bassinet even though your baby will only be using it for about three to four months? Or would it be a wiser decision to buy an infant crib that can have a bassinet attachment and which can be converted into a toddler bed instead?
Again, the bottom line is in the price. Many parents, we included, would definitely want something that their children will be able to use for a significantly long period of time. This is especially true if the product in question is rather pricey. We can still buy a bassinet for our babies but perhaps the price will be a major consideration knowing full well the limitations of its usage.
Another issue about bassinets is their safety. Cribs are required to undergo mandatory testing and certification using ASTM’s standards. On the other hand, bassinets are tested and certified only on a voluntary basis. It is possible that there are some manufacturers who do not want to have their products tested and certified to the detriment of the public. Additionally, a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission showed that 43 infants died in bassinets from 2005 to 2007. While the report showed that the cause of death is suffocation because of excessive bedding, it nevertheless provided the impetus for a more responsive design and manufacture of these types of baby furniture.
Should you decide to buy a bassinet, make sure to observe the following tips.
- Always look for a trusted seal such as the ASTM as well as the JPMA.
- Always choose a bassinet with a wide and stable base as well as a sturdy bottom.
- Check the sleeping pad or mattress; this should be extra-firm yet smooth.
- Always choose one with mesh side panels to prevent suffocation.
- Make sure you understand your baby’s developmental needs. As soon as he or she starts pushing himself or herself up, then it’s time to say goodbye to the bassinet.
- Always check the security of the unit’s folding mechanisms. Make sure these locks into place.
The Bottom Line
Bassinets can be adorable to look at and can be very valuable for your child. However, as there are certain safety issues that you have to understand, it is crucial that you think very well before buying one. Should you decide to go for it, let our list of the top 10 bassinets for infants be your guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I add a pad to make the mattress more comfortable?
A: No. Unfortunately, bassinets are certified safe for babies only when used with the included mattress.
Q: How do I know which sheets will fit my bassinet?
A: The best way to know is by comparing the dimensions of the bassinet mattress with the sheets you’re interested in. Some manufacturers include a sheet with the bassinet.
Q: Could I use the travel bassinets in a bed as a co-sleeper?
A: Yes! If you plan to use them in bed, keep the dimensions in mind. Some beds may not be wide enough to fit a travel bassinet comfortably.
Q: Do I need tools to assemble the Graco Dream Suite Bassinet?
A: No. The bassinet was designed for easy, tool-free assembly.
Q: Will the Halo fit in small spaces next to a bed?
A: It may. The Halo was designed to be versatile even in small spaces. Since the feet can slide under a bed, it may be perfect for your room. View the dimensions to be sure.
Q: Why does the SwaddleMe have compressional mesh sides?
A: The manufacturer knew that parents would be reaching in to comfort the baby throughout the night. The sides are designed to make that movement comfortable so that everyone can get more sleep.
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