Bassinet Mattress Buyer's Guide: 4 Tips For Choosing The Right Mattress

baby sleeping on bassinet mattress

What your baby sleeps on matters just as much as what they sleep in. If your baby sleeps in a bassinet, it’s important to choose a bassinet mattress that benefits and supports them. But knowing what to look for can be challenging.

That’s why we’ve created this buyer’s guide for purchasing a bassinet mattress. In this article, we offer four tips for choosing the right mattress to keep your baby safe and comfortable while they’re sleeping!

But before we get to that, let’s talk about why you may put your baby in a bassinet in the first place.

Benefits Of Using A Bassinet

baby asleep on bassinet mattress

Bringing your little one home from the hospital is a memory that you’ll never forget! But once you get home, they’ll need somewhere safe to sleep. You have two options: a bassinet or a crib.

Hint: take a look at our Bassinet Vs. Crib: What’s The Difference And Which One Is Best For Your Baby? article for an in-depth comparison and breakdown of the two.

Saving Space

The main reason most parents choose a bassinet over a crib for the first few months of their baby’s life is to save space.

The American Academy Of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends sharing a room with your baby, but not the same sleeping surface. They suggest following this rule until your baby is at least six months old.

With this recommendation in place, a bassinet is a good space-saving option when you don’t have a lot of extra space in your bedroom for a full-sized crib.

But before you make any decisions on which bassinet to buy, check out our article Bassinet Buyer’s Guide: What To Look For When Buying Your Baby’s Bassinet.

When To Purchase A Bassinet Mattress

Mom rocking baby to sleep

Most bassinets come with a mattress already. If your bassinet doesn’t come with a mattress or you aren’t pleased with the one included, you’ll need to consider purchasing one separately.

Also, if your bassinet mattress is worn out, find a replacement right away. One quick way to know if the mattress needs to be replaced is by checking how dirty it is, especially if the surface can’t be easily cleaned.

During the newborn stage, your baby may spit up quite a bit even while lying down. That and other messes will happen on their mattress and, if left untreated, can create an unhealthy sleep environment for your baby.

Tips For Choosing The Right Bassinet Mattress 

baby crawling on bassinet mattress

When searching for a replacement mattress for your baby’s bassinet, there are a few things to keep in mind. We want to make sure your baby is safe while they’re sleeping, so take a look!

1) Put Safety First

baby feeling bassinet mattress

Firmness

As a parent, one of your top concerns is your baby’s safety, especially when it comes to their sleep. One way to keep your baby safe while sleeping is to make sure their mattress is firm.

According to the AAP, your baby’s mattress should be firm and comfortable. The firm surface reduces the risk of suffocation. If your baby’s bassinet mattress is too soft, it could be dangerous.

Tip: To check the firmness of your baby’s bassinet mattress and know whether it’s unsafe or not, see if your baby’s head makes an indention in it. If you notice an indention after your little one lies on the mattress, it may be too soft.

The mattress doesn’t have to be so hard that it’s uncomfortable and difficult for your baby to fall asleep and stay asleep; it just needs to be firm.

Thickness

If your baby’s bassinet mattress is too thick, it could pose another risk for suffocation. But if it’s too thin, it won’t be comfortable for your little one. The right amount of thickness is important for both safety and comfort.

The mattress in your little one’s bassinet should be no more than one and a half inches thick. Anything thicker could be a hazard.

Fit

Traditional oval- or rectangular-shaped bassinets measure about 30 to 33 inches long by 15 to 18 inches wide. On the other hand, some bassinets have their own dimensions.

Before choosing which bassinet mattress is best, pay attention to the shape and size of your baby’s bassinet. In order to provide the safest sleep environment, the mattress will need to fit snugly inside the bassinet.

If you don’t have the correct dimensions, this won’t be possible. So before you begin your search, make sure to measure your little one’s bassinet.

2) Consider Your Baby’s Comfort

Baby asleep on Newton Baby Bassinet Mattress

Material

Look for a bassinet mattress covered in material that’s comfortable for your baby.

Some mattresses can cause your baby’s skin to itch, making your little one extremely uncomfortable. And when that happens, your baby won’t sleep well during naps or at night time.

Additionally, if you notice your baby suddenly isn’t sleeping as well after days or weeks of sound sleep, give their mattress a thorough inspection to see if there’s anything on it that might be causing them discomfort.

Support

Your sweet baby’s head and body are growing and developing constantly, so choose a mattress that supports that growth and gives your baby the quality sleep they need to achieve all of their developmental milestones.

Noisiness

The Moro Reflex is a natural reflex that develops in your baby between 28 to 32 weeks of gestation and disappears between three to six months of age.

It is your baby’s response to a sudden loss of support and involves three distinct components: spreading out the arms, pulling the arms in, and crying.

Because your baby will continue this reflex throughout the first few months of life, they’ll move a lot in their sleep. And when they move, it can make loud noises if their bassinet mattress is covered in certain materials.

(We’ve found that mattresses made with a plastic covering cause the most disruptions in your baby’s sleep in regard to noise.)

Because of this, the Moro Reflex can hinder your baby from getting a good night’s sleep if they’re not swaddled properly. Your little one needs to be tight and cozy while sleeping. If not, the Moro Reflex — or the noise their mattress makes as a result of it — can wake them up.

Newton Baby’s Organic Cotton Swaddles are the perfect solution to help your baby stay safe and cozy (and quiet!) while they’re sleeping!

3) Choose A Bassinet Mattress That’s Built To Last

Family playing wit baby in crib

Durability

A durable bassinet mattress should last months before showing any signs of deterioration. Mattresses that deteriorate after only a few uses can keep your baby from getting a good night’s sleep.

How can you tell if the mattress you’re considering is durable? Pay attention to its quality.

For example, a poor-quality bassinet mattress will come apart easily and may have bumps or lumps in it. This surface would not only be uncomfortable for your baby but also unsafe.

Waterproof, Washable Cover

For your baby’s bassinet mattress to last as long as possible, it needs to be waterproof. Why? Because your infant will spit up and have accidents. It’s unavoidable.

But you can avoid an unsafe sleeping environment! To create an environment where mold and mildew can’t grow, choose a waterproof, washable mattress cover to protect your little one’s bassinet mattress.

4) Check The Labels

Parent zipping up Newton Baby Mattress

Chemicals

Many products — even some designed for babies — end up off-gassing after you purchase them.

This process involves releasing chemicals into the air once a product is opened, which may or may not have a strong scent. The chemicals are released because the air has been trapped due to packaging.

To avoid off-gassing, check the labels on your baby’s bassinet mattress for plastic and other harmful substances. And always research the materials labeled on the bassinet mattress if you’re not sure what something is.

If you notice a substance that could harm your baby, keep looking for another bassinet mattress!

Fire Resistance

As of 2007, all mattresses are required to contain enough Fire Retardant Chemicals to withstand a two-foot-wide blowtorch open flame for 70 seconds.

Nearly 92 percent of the market (or most major sleep-product brands) use highly controversial fire retardants due to their cost-efficiency. Look for a stamp of certification from the GREENGUARD Gold program to know if the fire retardants used in your baby’s mattress are safe.

The GREENGUARD Gold program is the strictest certification offered by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and recognizes products that are safe for children to use.

Helping Your Baby Sleep Well

uplcose of baby's hands on bassinet mattress

In your search for a bassinet mattress, remember to put your baby’s safety first, which is what we do here at Newton Baby. But also consider your little one’s comfort level so they can get a good night’s sleep!

Choose a bassinet mattress that’s built to last. Making sure the mattress you choose is waterproof and durable is key. And don’t forget to check the labels!

And finally, once your baby outgrows their bassinet and they’re ready to sleep in a crib, check out Newton Baby’s breathable crib mattress. You can trust us to provide your baby’s safe sleep necessities!

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