Bassinet Buyer's Guide: What To Look For When Buying Your Baby's Bassinet

baby lying in a bassinet

There’s nothing quite like watching your sweet newborn sleeping peacefully! If you’ve decided to let them snooze in a bassinet for the first few months, you’ll need to know what to look for to keep your baby safe and cozy during every sleep.

The Newton Baby experts are here to help you choose the perfect bassinet. We’ll explain the main differences between bassinets and cribs and then tell you 12 things to look for when shopping for a bassinet! 

What’s The Difference Between A Bassinet And A Crib?

Even if you’ve already made up your mind to use a bassinet, it’s still worth learning the differences between bassinets and cribs so you know when to transition your baby into a crib. 

And if you’re still undecided about where to put your baby to sleep, understanding the differences will help you make the decision.

A bassinet is simply a small baby bed, designed to be easily moved and fit into smaller spaces, such as next to your bed. 

Bassinets often have wheels, a hood or canopy, and a little storage shelf underneath. Some are even equipped with technology that plays music or makes the bassinet rock. 

happy baby in a portable bassinet

Now that you know what a bassinet is, let’s take a look at exactly how they differ from cribs. 

Size

One of the biggest differences between the two is size. Bassinets are significantly smaller than cribs. That makes it easy for them to fit in your bedroom next to your bed, giving you easy access to your baby during the night

The size of a bassinet can be convenient, especially if you’re dealing with a small space, but it also means you’ll be moving your baby from their bassinet to their crib before you know it! 

That brings us to our next point. 

Longevity

The small size of a bassinet allows for great convenience, but your baby will outgrow it in no time! Babies typically become too big for a bassinet by the time they are four months old, if not earlier. 

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics says, “In general, your baby should move to a crib around the end of the first month of life or by the time he weighs 10 pounds.”

Bassinets have a weight limit, but regardless of how much your little one weighs, it’s important to move them into a crib as soon as they are able to roll over.

While a bassinet will serve you well for a couple of months, a crib can be used from birth well into your child’s toddler years. This is why some parents choose to skip the bassinet altogether and only use a crib.

Your baby can sleep in a standard-sized crib for the first two or three years of their life. Plus, after that, a standard-sized crib mattress can typically be used on a toddler bed once your little one transitions out of their crib. 

toddler looking at books in a crib

Portability

Another difference between bassinets and cribs is how easily the former can be moved.

Bassinets are made to be portable, whereas cribs are not. Many bassinets come with wheels so that they can be easily moved from one room to another, and some can be folded up for easy transport

Ease Of Use

Because bassinets are smaller and shallower than cribs, it’s easier to put your baby in bed and pick them up. This might seem like a silly advantage, but it can make a big difference for c-section moms who are still sore! 

Also, if you’re breastfeeding, it’s nice for your baby to be nearby during the night. 

With a bassinet, you’ll lean over less to get your baby in and out of bed, and you’ll move around less if the bassinet is in your bedroom. 

mother placing her baby in a bassinet

While safe sleep guidelines recommend that your baby sleep in your room (but not in your bed) for at least the first six months, the choice between a crib and bassinet is up to you! 

If you’re opting for a bassinet, let’s talk about what to look for.

What To Consider When Buying A Bassinet

There are all sorts of bassinets to suit your style and needs! Regardless of what type you’re looking for, there are basic guidelines to follow to keep your baby safe while they sleep. 

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the perfect bassinet for your little one. 

1) Condition

Used or hand-me-down baby items can be great! But there are a few things you should always buy new, including the car seat and your baby’s bed. 

Say “thanks, but no thanks” to a second-hand bassinet. Instead, opt for a brand-new bassinet that meets current safety standards and has all of its parts intact.

2) Your Space

Bassinets come in various shapes and sizes. Check the measurements of the one you’re considering to make sure it will fit well in the space you have. 

If you plan to move the bassinet around a lot, you’ll also want to take into account how much it weighs. 

3) Breathability

When it comes to safe sleep for little ones, breathability is important. This applies to mattresses as well as the sides of a bassinet. 

For the most breathability, choose a bassinet with mesh sides or wooden slats (like a crib).

Breathability is still important when your baby graduates to a regular crib. Go with a breathable mattress, like Newton Baby’s Crib Mattress. Our Wovenaire® Core is 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer, so your little one can breathe straight through the mattress! 

Newton Baby Crib Mattress

4) Mattress Fit

Speaking of the mattress, it should fit snugly inside the bassinet with no large gaps between the two. This is why it’s important to use the mattress that comes with the bassinet.

The same goes for cribs and crib mattresses as well. If there is too much of a gap, your little one could get an arm or leg stuck.

5) Sturdiness

Bassinets are small, but they should be mighty! Make sure your bassinet has a sturdy base so it doesn’t tip over easily, even if you bump into it in the middle of the night. 

6) Legs

Speaking of a sturdy base, you’ll also need to make sure the legs of the bassinet are safe. 

If you’ve opted for a foldable bassinet, check that the legs lock when the bassinet is set up — and that it’s easy to know when the legs are locked and unlocked. 

7) Wheel Safety

Another thing that needs to lock on a portable bassinet? The wheels. Ensure that the wheels lock securely, and keep them locked at all times unless you’re moving the bassinet.

bassinet with wheels

8) Small, Sharp Parts

Stay away from bassinets that have small parts that your baby could put in their mouth. This also means avoiding hanging toys, frills, and extra fabric in the bed. 

You should also check for sharp or pointy parts, especially on the inside walls of the bassinet. 

9) Cleaning Ease

Babies can be messy. Any baby items you buy should be easy to clean — for your baby’s health as well as your sanity!

Choose a bassinet that’s easy to wipe down and, if possible, washable. Stick to easy-to-clean, washable products when choosing your baby’s crib and crib mattress as well. 

Newton Baby’s mattress and mattress cover are both 100% washable. In fact, ours is the only crib mattress that’s washable from cover to core! Bye-bye mold, bacteria, and allergens!

man taking the cover off a Newton Baby crib mattress

10) Bedding 

As much as you might like fluffy blankets to sleep with, the safest way for your baby to sleep is on a firm mattress with a fitted sheet and nothing else. This applies to their bassinet as well as their crib. 

Our Breathable, Organic Cotton Sheets are soft and perfect to use for your baby’s crib mattress. We’ve got you covered with sheets for mini mattresses as well as standard mattresses and four cute patterns to suit your nursery decor!

11) Sleep Safety

As a parent, keeping your little one safe all day and all night is one of your top concerns! 

No matter where your little one is sleeping, follow the safe sleep guidelines, like putting them to sleep on their back and keeping pillows and crib bumpers out of their bed. 

For more information on safe sleep, check out our article here

Rockabye Baby 

mother laying her baby in a crib

With so many bassinets on the market, deciding on the right one can be overwhelming! But don’t let it get to you. Follow our tips to easily choose a good bassinet for your baby and your family. 

Then get ready for your little one’s next step by preparing their nursery with a crib, a Newton Baby Crib Mattress, and Breathable, Organic Cotton Sheets. With the right bassinet and crib, you can rest easy knowing your baby is sleeping safe and sound. Sweet dreams! 

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