Smart Bassinet Buying Guide: What to Know Before You Shop

baby sleeping on back

You want your newborn to be safe and comfortable at night. And let’s be honest: You’re also craving a little extra sleep. That’s why you’re considering a smart bassinet for your baby.

This innovative bed promises more than just a cozy place for your baby to rest. Its features are also designed to keep them asleep for longer. And for an exhausted parent, any product offering a few extra minutes of shut-eye is worth investigating.

But what exactly is a smart bassinet? And what features does it offer that a regular bassinet does not? We’re going to walk you through everything you need to know before you shop so you can make the best decision possible for your precious bundle of joy.

Table Of Contents

What is a smart bassinet?

baby sleeping in smart bassinet

A smart bassinet is a small baby bed with built-in technology. It offers various features, like soothing lullabies and gentle movements to help your baby relax and, hopefully, stay asleep longer.

Some of these beds also include night lights and sensors, making it possible to monitor your baby’s sleep from the comfort of your own bed. Those features can give you peace of mind as a new parent.

Like most bassinets, these small beds are meant for younger babies. They can be used from birth until your baby starts sitting up and rolling over. At that point, you’ll need to transition them to a different bed, such as a play yard or a traditional crib.

Benefits and drawbacks to consider

smart bassinet

Smart bassinets have been a game changer for many parents, but they may not make sense for everyone. Let's look at pros and cons to help you decide if they’re right for you.

Smart bassinet benefits

The biggest benefit of a smart bassinet is the built-in technology. Many parents appreciate the extra help these beds give them when it comes to soothing cranky babies.

Knowing that they’ll still be rocked if you set them down allows you to take the break you need to recharge. This can be huge for your mental health.

The tracking feature is also beneficial. You’ll see how long your baby sleeps each night and notice anything interfering with their rest. This knowledge is valuable as you work to improve your baby’s sleep habits.

Portability is another plus. Depending on the model you purchase, you may be able to fold it up and bring it along on your travels. Some also come with wheels, making moving from room to room simple.

In addition, smart bassinets are usually smaller than a crib. If you plan to room share during the early months, this space-saving design may be just what you need.

The small design is also comforting for your little one. After nine months in the womb, the outside world can seem big and overwhelming. A tiny bed can help them feel more secure as they adjust.

Smart bassinet drawbacks

baby laying in smart bassinet

The main downside of a smart bassinet is the cost. You might get sticker shock just looking at the price tag, especially if you want a top-of-the-line model. It can set you back a couple thousand dollars.

In addition, you’ll need to think about technology compatibility. Not all bassinets work with all smartphones or tablets, so verify that the one you want will work with your devices. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use all the features.

Also, technology doesn’t always interpret data correctly. For instance, if your little one is happily cooing in the bassinet, their bed might kick into comfort mode since it hears the noise and assumes the baby is fussy.

As you’re pondering this decision, consider your personality as well. While data about your baby’s sleeping patterns can be helpful, it could also make you feel anxious. If that’s the case, this type of bassinet might not be a good fit.

Finally, keep in mind that when misused, this type of bed can negatively impact the bond between a parent and a child. You see, this bed listens for your baby’s cries. And then, it jumps into action, rocking and playing music to offer comfort.

Historically, a loving adult handled these tasks, strengthening their bond. If you overuse the bed and ignore your baby’s cries, they may learn to rely on technology instead of you.

To avoid that, provide hands-on care during the day and be mindful at night. Your baby may have a need that the bed can’t handle, like a poopy diaper or an empty tummy.

Smart bassinet features

baby sleeping with pacifier

Now that you know more about smart bassinets, let’s dive into some of the features these beds offer. Then, you can decide which ones are must-haves when comparing models.

Cry-detecting technology

Some smart bassinets incorporate microphones into their design. When your baby starts to fuss, the bed responds with some of the below features, trying to soothe them back to sleep.

Sound

Let your smart bassinet lull your baby to sleep with soothing sounds. Many of these beds come preloaded with classical music, lullabies, nature recordings, and white noise to help your little one relax.

Plus, with some models, you can connect it to your own playlists for a customized sleep experience.

Movement

Babies like to rock. The rhythmic back-and-forth motion has been used for centuries to calm and help them sleep. Now, with some smart bassinet models, you can rock your baby all night long without staying awake yourself.

The quiet motors rock the bed gently, simulating the feeling of being in your arms. And since your baby is still lying flat on their back, they won’t slump down and block their airway like they could in a swing or car seat.

When deciding between bassinets, see if the movement is auto-response or manual. As we mentioned, some will automatically start moving when your baby fusses, while you must manually activate others. Some have a button on the bed, while others require an app.

Lights

At night, turning on the bright overhead light can disturb you and your baby. But it’s hard to check on them when the room is pitch black.

Thus, many smart bassinets come with night lights. They emit soft light that’s reassuring and not blinding.

Analytics

When you connect your smart bassinet to an app, you can track how long your little one sleeps each night. This can be helpful when reporting to the doctor. It’s also useful for identifying patterns.

For example, you might notice that every time the bassinet plays a particular song, it helps your baby fall asleep quickly. You can use knowledge like this to help make the bed even more comforting in the future.

Design

Smart bassinets come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some have a sleek, futuristic design, while others look more cutesy.

Look at the bassinet's legs and see if they stick out so much that they’d be awkward to get around based on where you place the bed. When you’re exhausted in the middle of the night, you don’t want to think about where to place your leg so you don’t trip.

Storage

Some smart bassinets have baskets or a shelf underneath for storing diapers and wipes. Others don’t. This extra storage can be convenient if you’re room-sharing and don’t have a good spot for your baby’s things.

Portability

transporting a smart bassinet

Some smart bassinets are more portable than others. If this feature is important to you, check if the specific model you’re looking at folds or comes apart for easier transport.

In addition, check the weight of the bed itself. You want a model that’s light enough to move on your own.

Questions to consider before you shop

If you’re ready to introduce a smart bassinet into your nursery, here are a few questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge.

What’s your budget?

Unfortunately, bells and whistles come with a price tag. Expect to spend between $250-$2000 on one of these beds.

Of course, the more features you want, the more you’ll have to pay. Starter models won’t have as much integrated tech.

Since it is a significant investment, you’ll want to consider your budget. While you can’t put a price tag on a good night's sleep, you don’t want to make a large purchase you’ll regret.

Are there other purchase options?

While buying a brand-new smart bassinet can be prohibitive, you may have other options, such as buying a used one from an online or local marketplace.

Here are a few other options to consider:

  • Rent the bassinet for a few months (just read the small print to be sure you understand any fees and return shipping costs you’ll have to pay)
  • Find another family due 5-6 months after you and split the cost
  • Wait for Black Friday sales or other promotions
  • See if the company offers certified used models for sale

Getting creative and thinking outside the box might help you purchase a smart bassinet for less.

How long can you use it?

As we mentioned earlier, babies outgrow bassinets fairly quickly. You’ll only get about six months of use out of them.

If you haven’t given birth yet or are planning on having more kids, buying a more expensive bed might be worthwhile.

But this purchase might not make sense if your sweet babe is already close to sitting up. They’d need to transition to a different bed before they could use this one much.

What accessories do you need to purchase?

baby holding parents finger while falling asleep

Your bassinet needs a mattress and sheets that fit snugly. And you’ll want to use a mattress pad to make middle-of-the-night blowouts easier to clean.

Other accessories include:

  • Compatible sleep sacks
  • Mosquito netting
  • Water-resistant covers

While some bassinets include these accessories, others don’t. You may need to buy them separately. In that case, ensure everything is compatible and fits well without leaving a dangerous gap.

Is it compatible with my devices?

Smart home devices are growing in popularity. If you already have one that you use (like Amazon Alexa or Google Home), see if the bassinet is compatible with it.

Then, when you need an extra hand, you can ask your smart home device to turn on the baby’s light or start rocking the bed.

Similarly, verify that the app works on your smartphone before you buy it. Otherwise, you may only be able to use some of the features.

Is there a trial period?

There’s nothing worse than shelling out a good bit of money for a fancy bassinet only to discover that your little one hates it. To avoid this problem, see if there’s a trial period offered.

If there is, make sure you know when it officially begins and how long it lasts. Then, if the bassinet isn’t a good fit, just remember to return it before the trial period ends.

Sleep safety in a smart bassinet

No matter what type of bed you select for your newborn, keep these important sleep safety guidelines in mind.

  • Place your baby on their back for sleeping
  • Ensure their mattress is firm and flat
  • Remove any blankets, pillows, or toys from the bed
  • If temperatures require it, swaddle baby with a breathable blanket or use a sleep sack
  • Check around the bed to make sure there’s nothing your little one could grab

This short video shows a safe sleep environment for a baby:

How to transition your baby out of a smart bassinet

If your baby sleeps comfortably in a smart bassinet, you may dread the day when you have to move them into a stationary bed. However, it’s an inevitable step in your baby’s development, so here are some ways to make the transition smoother for you both.

Make a transition plan.

Having a plan makes the transition easier. That way, you’re not trying to make last-minute decisions on the day your baby first pushes up on their hands and knees.

Start thinking about this move at least a month in advance. This gives you the opportunity for a slow, gradual transition and ensures your baby’s new bed arrives on time.

Implement a bedtime routine.

If you don’t have a relaxing bedtime routine for your little one, now is the time to start. A consistent routine each evening teaches your baby that it’s time for bed.

Keep your bedtime routine short and sweet. Include items such as:

  • Bathing your baby
  • Reading a bedtime story
  • Dimming the lights
  • Singing a lullaby
  • Snuggling for a few moments

Implementing this routine before transitioning your baby from the smart bassinet will help them feel more comfortable when the big day comes.

Start slowly.

Your baby is now used to their bassinet's movement, sounds, lights, and other features. Suddenly stopping all of that can shock them and make it harder for them to adjust.

Instead of going cold turkey, spend a few weeks gradually decreasing the use of the features. For example, you can start by reducing the amount of movement or putting the lights or sounds on a timer.

Continue weaning your baby from these elements to help them get used to sleeping without them.

Note: Some smart bassinets have a weaning mode to help with this process. If yours does, read the manufacturers’ directions to learn more about how it works.

Create a sleep-friendly environment.

a bassinet inside a nursery

The smart bassinet likely had everything your baby needed to sleep well. It’s important to create a similar environment in their nursery.

Do that by:

  • Using a white noise machine
  • Keeping the temperature between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Installing dimmable switches or lamps in the nursery to prevent blinding overhead lights
  • Buying a comfortable, breathable mattress (like the Newton Baby Crib Mattress)
  • Keeping the room clean and free of dust

These steps will make sure your baby’s room promotes good sleep habits.

Try a sleep sack.

If your little one’s smart bassinet uses a swaddle, a sleep sack can help you recreate that feeling. Sleep sacks are wearable blankets that can help keep your baby cozy throughout the night.

When purchasing a sleep sack, look for one that’s:

  • Made from natural, breathable fabric like cotton or bamboo
  • Sized correctly for your little one — they should have room to move their legs
  • Easy to use so you don’t have to struggle with snaps after a diaper change

Help your child gradually transition from a swaddle to a sleep sack by following a simple process.

First, leave one arm free when you swaddle them. Do this for a few nights. Then, leave the other arm out so they get used to being able to move both of their arms around.

Time it right.

Your baby can stay in their bassinet for about six months. You want to move them to a different bed once they start sitting up or can get onto their hands and knees.

However, moving your baby too soon can backfire. The dreaded four-month sleep regression can wreak havoc on their sleep schedule, especially if they’re not used to their new bed.

Plus, you need all of the help you can get during this time — a self-rocking bed can be your greatest ally during a sleepless night.

If you wait and start the transition at about five months, your little one should be through the regression and back into a better sleep pattern.

Play in the new bed.

baby playing in play pen

Give your baby time to explore their new bed while awake. Place them in it for a few minutes throughout the day to help them adjust to the environment's sights, sounds, and smells.

Try to make some happy memories in the new space. Sing to your baby while they're lying there. Smile and make goofy faces. Play peek-a-boo or try to juggle some silk scarves.

These simple activities can help make the bed feel more familiar and inviting.

Consider a smaller transition.

Just because your baby outgrows their bassinet doesn’t mean they must immediately start sleeping in a crib in their own room.

That’s a whole lot of change at once, which can be jarring to your little one.

If you have space in your room, consider putting a play yard or mini crib where the bassinet used to be. This allows your baby to switch to a larger sleep area without adjusting to a new room.

Think positively about the move.

Your baby relies on you for emotional cues. If you dread this move, they’ll sense something is wrong and start to feel scared.

It’s best to stay positive, though you may need to reframe your thoughts. For example, instead of focusing on the negative aspects of moving your baby, consider things like:

  • Your baby will have more space to kick their legs and rollover
  • They’re getting closer to reaching those exciting milestones like sitting up and crawling
  • You’re developing sleep habits that’ll last for years to come
  • This move is a natural progression that shows they’re growing and developing

Words like these can help you both create a positive association with the new bed.

A smart upgrade for your baby’s bed

baby sleeping in smart bassinet

A smart bassinet can revolutionize your baby’s sleep experience. With features like soothing sounds, gentle movement, and dim lights, your little one can get the rest they need in a comfortable, safe environment.

But smart bassinets aren’t for everyone. If you prefer a regular bassinet, try our Bassinet & Bedside Sleeper. Its mattress is 100% breathable, so your little one will be safe and cozy while they sleep.

No matter what bed you choose, check out the Newton Baby Blog for more tips on helping your baby sleep through the night. And consider our products to help promote Safer, Healthier, Better Sleep™ and Play.

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