Travel Bassinet Buying Guide: What To Know Before You Shop

baby sleeping in travel bassinet

You want your precious baby to have a safe, comfortable bed wherever life takes you. That’s why you’ve been thinking about buying a travel bassinet. But you still have a few questions about this type of bed, and you’re not sure if it’s a good fit for your little one.

To help you decide, we’ve put together this travel bassinet buying guide. We’ll walk you through different portable bed options, talk about key features to look for and provide tips to help keep your baby safe all night long.

Table Of Contents

What’s A Travel Bassinet?

woman putting baby in travel bassinet

A travel bassinet is a small bed for your baby that folds up compactly, making it easy to transport. These beds are typically quick to set up and provide a safe place for your baby to sleep for the first six months of their life.

Some travel bassinets double as bedside sleepers. This design lets you keep your little one close by while still giving them their own sleep space, as the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends.

Other Portable Beds For Baby

Of course, a travel bassinet isn’t the only option for a portable travel bed. You can also consider:

  • Travel cribs: These are typically larger than a travel bassinet, which means you can use it for longer. However, they’re also heavier, which can be difficult when traveling.
  • Pack and Play: Some play yards have a bassinet insert that you can use to make a safe place for your baby. However, they might take up more space than a stand-alone travel bassinet.
  • Co-sleepers: This type of bed is similar to a bassinet but goes right next to your bed. There’s a large opening on the side, so you can easily reach your little one. However, some models can’t be used as a stand-alone bed, which can limit your options.

Do You Need A Travel Bassinet?

Now that you know more about travel bassinets, let’s address the big question. Do you need one?

While you’ll have to make the final decision on your own, here are a few situations where this type of bed would come in handy:

  • You want a spare bed to leave at Grandma’s house, and she doesn’t want it to take up a lot of room when her grandbaby isn’t there.
  • You plan on traveling often and want your baby to have a familiar space to sleep, even when you aren’t home.
  • Your bedroom is small, and you don’t have room for a larger baby bed.
  • You want a bed you can easily move from room to room.

Of course, travel bassinets aren’t necessary for your baby. Here are a few reasons why you might want to pass on this purchase:

  • It’s not in the budget.
  • You don’t plan on having more children, and your little one is already close to rolling over.
  • You don’t think you’ll travel much and don’t need a secondary bed to set up anywhere.
  • You already have a different type of portable bed that your baby enjoys.

travel bassinet near bedside

Key Specs To Look For When Shopping

If you decide to purchase a portable bassinet, you’ll want to compare key features first. That way, you can get the best (and safest) bed for your little one.

Portability

Your travel bassinet should be portable and simple to use. If it’s a pain to set up or take down, you’ll be less likely to use it.

Look for one that can easily collapse or fold down so you can store it when it’s not in use. You’ll also want to check the dimensions to know how much space it’ll take up, both opened and closed.

Available Accessories

Some travel bassinets come with additional accessories, such as fitted sheets or a travel bag. Since the mattress on this bed isn’t usually a standard size, you can’t just buy any old sheet and expect it to fit. Make sure you only get one designed for your particular bed so it fits snugly.

A travel bag helps keep your little one’s bed clean while you’re on the go. And since these bags often have a handle, carrying the bassinet from point A to point B is easier.

Washability

Babies are messy. Between the spit-up and the blowouts, their bed will get dirty. Unfortunately, many portable baby beds aren’t easy to clean.

That’s one of the ways the Newton Baby Bassinet & Bedside Sleeper is different. It’s 100% washable so you can eliminate unsightly stains and harmful germs.

Watch this quick video to see how clean you can keep your baby’s bed. You’ll see a blowout stain on the mattress getting washed away in the shower.

Comfort

Do you sleep well if you’re not comfortable? Neither will your baby. Look for a bassinet with a cozy but firm mattress.

You’ll also want to pay attention to the size of the sleep surface. If it’s too small, your baby won’t have as much room as they grow. With larger interior dimensions, they won’t feel squished while they sleep.

Sturdiness

You don’t want your travel bassinet to get damaged while traveling, so find one that can travel unscathed across the country (or the world!)

Select one with a strong, durable base made from wood or metal. It should also be stable to prevent the bed from tipping or wobbling.

Safety Features

The most important factor when choosing a portable bed is safety. Make sure the bassinet meets all relevant federal safety standards.

You’ll also want to look for a breathable mattress. When your baby can breathe through the material, they’re less likely to suffocate, even if their face presses against the mattress.

In an independent test, an accredited lab found that of three top-selling bassinets, only the Newton Baby Bassinet & Bedside Sleeper didn’t pose a significant suffocation risk. The patented Wovenaire® technology of the core is breathable, which makes it safer.

How To Promote Safe Sleep In A Travel Bassinet

baby sleeping travel bassinet

No matter which travel bassinet you decide to buy, it’s essential to follow safe sleep practices. Here are a few safety guidelines to remember as you put your baby to sleep.

Place Baby On Their Back

“Back to sleep” is a key rule when it comes to keeping your baby safe. Placing them on their back can help reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.) It also helps prevent them from overheating or rebreathing their own air.

Don’t Add Blankets Or Pillows

Your baby’s sleep surface should be flat, firm, and free of extra items. Don’t add blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or anything else to their bed.

Swaddle them in a lightweight blanket or use a sleep sack to keep them warm. This way, they can’t pull loose bedding over their face and interfere with their breathing.

Keep Baby Nearby

The safest spot for your baby is close to you. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their parents for at least six months and, ideally, up to a year.

To meet this guideline, set the travel bassinet up near your bed. Here, you’ll be able to respond to your baby’s needs quickly.

Inspect For Damage Regularly

When setting up your baby’s portable bed, inspect it for damage. If there are mesh sides, look for holes through which your baby could poke a finger or toe. Check the frame for signs of wear, and make sure all the pieces are securely attached.

If your travel bassinet is damaged or parts are missing, don’t use it. It’s not worth the risk.

Always Set It Up Properly

Before setting up the bed for the first time, read through the directions and make sure you understand how to set it up properly. If the process doesn’t make sense, look online for a video about how to assemble that particular model.

Then, practice setting it up and taking it down until you can do it without referring to the directions. You want to be a pro at this process before you take your first trip. Then, you’ll have one less thing to worry about when traveling with your baby.

Sweet Dreams With A Newton Baby Travel Bassinet

Mom carrying a travel bassinet

If you’re looking for a travel bassinet that checks all the boxes, look no further than the Newton Baby Bassinet & Bedside Sleeper.

It’s:

  • Easy to assemble
  • 100% washable
  • 100% breathable
  • Comfortable for your baby
  • Got a roomy interior to give your growing babe more space
  • Made with a sturdy and solid birch frame
  • Designed to be used as a bedside sleeper or a stand-alone bassinet

In addition, it comes with a 100-Night Free Trial. If you or your baby aren’t happy with the bed, you can return it for a full refund.

With a guarantee like that, what do you have to lose? Sweet dreams!

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