You've got a baby on the way. Congrats!
Your new bundle of joy will need a safe and clean place to sleep. Many parents want to keep their baby close by at all times which is why purchasing a bassinet for them to sleep in the first few months might just be a good investment.
But there are so many products out there, it's hard to know which one will be best for your baby. We've done the legwork and narrowed down the top bassinet's of 2018 so you can make the right choice.
Bassinet vs. Crib
If you're a new parent and just starting your research, it might appear as though a bassinet and a crib are virtually the same things.
In some ways they are; they're both secure places where your baby will sleep. However, a crib typically goes in the babies room whereas a bassinet is portable. Many mothers prefer it because they can keep it in their own bedroom so the baby can sleep next to them.
It's usually lower than a crib, so getting the baby in and out is easier. It's also typically made out of a softer material, making it lightweight and easier to move from room to room if needed.
Lastly, a bassinet will almost always be less expensive than a full-size crib. Having a new baby is expensive so for some families, it makes sense to purchase a one for the first few months of their babies life and save up for a more substantial crib that will live in the nursery when the baby is ready to be in there during the night.
Why a Bassinet?
There are so many parenting styles and no one way of raising your baby is better than another. However, many moms prefer to have their baby close by during the first few months.
Pregnancy and childbirth take their toll on the body and whether you had a C Section or a natural delivery, you'll need to take it easy after the baby comes and you return home. Having a bassinet next to the bed allows you to easily reach the baby in the night during feedings without straining your body.
When it's the middle of the night and the baby is crying, the last thing you'll likely want to do is get out of the bed, go into the nursery and reach over a tall crib in order to get your baby.
It's a convenient option. It's also perfect for mothers who don't feel comfortable without their baby right in front of them while they're sleeping.
Having one in the room allows new mothers to see that their baby is sleeping, growing and remaining healthy right before the very eyes. It cuts back on the worry and prevents new moms from compulsively going to check on their baby in the night.
It can also be a lifesaver during the day since it's portable. If the baby is napping, you can place it in a home office, kitchen or living room so you can continue about your day while keeping a watchful eye on your child.
It is also a more highly recommended option than co-sleeping. It can be taken when traveling or transported to another space if you're taking your baby out of town or to an overnight at grandma and grandpas.
Keep in mind that a bassinet is not a long-term solution for your child's sleep as they will outgrow this space in a few months and be able to pull themselves up before you even know it.
The box or manual will usually come with a weight limit so be sure to keep track of when your baby has outgrown the item. But for the first 3 months, it is a terrific, convenient solution for new parents.
Now that you understand the functional purposes of a bassinet and how it differs from a crib, let's explore which one is right for you and your new baby.
What to Look For
Each bassinet is different so it's important to decide on the key features you'll definitely want available when you make your choice.
Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping.
Because they are smaller than cribs, there is a larger likelihood that your baby will bump into the edges when they begin moving around in their sleep. Mesh walls are a safe bet and an ideal feature because it is a breathable material should your baby press his or her face up against the wall.
If the item has cloth walls and the baby presses her face, nose or mouth against it because they've moved during sleep, it could impair their breathing. A mesh wall also allows for air to flow in and out with ease, keeping your baby cool while sleeping.
A Firm Mattress
You'll want to see what kind of mattress comes with the bassinet. A firmer mattress is ideal and reduces the risk of SIDS so be sure the mattress that comes with it is not soft and cushiony. Your baby won't be uncomfortable on a firmer mattress and this option is better for their health.
While a bassinet is going to be smaller than most cribs, you still need to decide on a size that feels right for your space and consider whether or not you'll want to be frequently moving it. Some come equipped with wheels so you could easily roll it into another room when necessary.
Yes, they've thought of everything. They now make these with a built-in rocker to lul your fussy baby to sleep.
This feature has been a lifesaver for exhausted parents. Including this feature will likely up the price of the item, so that's important to consider.
You'll also have to ween the baby off the rocker when they move to a crib since they'll have become accustomed to the gentle movement each time they sleep.
Many parents are now interested in eliminating any toxic materials from their babies life whenever possible. This is no different when it comes to the place the baby sleeps and the materials those items are made from.
There are plenty of non-toxic options on the market that promise your baby will not be exposed to any harmful materials. If this is important to you when selecting a bed, you'll have to seek out the environmentally friendly, non-toxic manufacturers.
You've found the perfect bassinet only to find out the sheets that go around its mattress are hard to find and expensive. Keep in mind when making your choice that you'll need a couple sets of sheets for those inevitable spit ups.
Some with oddly shaped mattresses have sheets that are hard to find and when you do they're more expensive than regularly shaped sheets. Be sure what you're getting has affordable and available sheet options so you can be prepared with at least 2-3 sets once the baby comes.
BabyBjorn is a long-time trusted, high-quality brand that makes a variety of items for baby. This one is oval shaped with mesh sides and has virtually everything you could want. It's lightweight and easy to assemble, slide next to your bed and move into another room when needed.
Because of its easy assembly, it's a great option for travel as it can be collapsed within minutes with no tools. It also excels in the safety department. It's one of the most stable options on the market because of its wide base so there is no fear of it rocking or tipping over when the baby shifts around.
The BabyBjorn Cradle is also free of toxic chemicals or materials in the mattress that might be harmful to the baby. The one thing to be aware of is that the wood uses an MDF board which is a type of plywood that is known to release formaldehyde.
The company assures its customers that they use the highest quality plywood which releases the least amount of this chemical, making it nontoxic or harmful to babies.
The BabyBjorn currently receives 4.5 stars out of 5 stars from 121 customers on Amazon, and sells for $279.96.
This is a terrific option for those who want to keep their baby right next to their bedside, as it actually attaches to your own mattress via a handy strap that links the two mattresses together.
The walls are mesh, making it breathable and allowing your baby to sleep cool. The wall comes down if you'd like to co-sleep without a barrier between yourself and your baby. The base is sturdy and the bottom has wheels, allowing you to easily move it from one room to the next.
The wheels can be locked so there is no risk of movement once the bassinet has reached its resting place. The base also has a nifty storage space for diapers, wipes, and swaddles which is a convenient feature should there be an accident in the middle of the night.
This one is easy to assemble and good for travel and overnights. It also takes up a little less space than other options, making it perfect for smaller living spaces.
The Cambria currently receives 4.5 stars out of 5 stars from 106 customers on Amazon, and sells for $182.99.
This is the Rolls Royce of bassinet's so be prepared to spend quite a bit more. In exchange, you're getting an item that truly does it all.
It has mesh sides and a sturdy base. The most important part of the Snoo is what it offers in terms of technology. You can strap your baby in by placing them in special Snoo sleeper bag that attaches to the inside, press a button and it will gently rock your baby to sleep.
It also comes with a white noise sound machine that plays in conjunction with the rocking motion, making it a lifesaver for parents with fussy babies. This is a very well reviewed product and if it's in your price range, likely worth the investment to avoid sleepless nights.
The Snoo helps babies fall asleep on their own, without having a parent hold them which helps with sleep training down the road and will allow them to fall asleep more easily once they're in a regular crib.
The Snoo currently receives 4.5 stars out of 5 stars from 18 customers on Amazon, and sells for $870.00.
If the Snoo is out of your price range but you'd still like something that rocks, this one could be for you. You can manually rock it to calm your baby down and help them fall back to sleep in the middle of the night.
It has breathable mesh sides and is smaller its competitors, holding your baby in a similarly snug position as they may experience in a car seat. Its legs can easily be slid under your bed, allowing you to pull your baby close when you sleep and reach for them with ease should they begin to cry.
It comes with a handheld technology feature which can be attached to the bed allowing for white noise, a nightlight, and vibrations to transmit to the baby in an effort to calm them down.
The SwaddleMe currently receives 4 stars out of 5 stars from 1,300 customers on Amazon, and sells for $88.83.
This bassinet does a full 360-degree rotation around its base so you can bring your baby as close to the bed as needed, and find a position that is most comfortable for you. You can even swivel it to hover over the top of your bed so you don't have to reach over to comfort your baby.
The sides are mesh and one wall can be easily removed for co-sleeping so you can reach directly to your baby. It can be put back up if you want the security or need to move the baby into another room during the day. The material contains no flame retardant chemicals.
The base has four points, making it sturdy and safe for baby. The mattress pad is waterproof, so you won't have to wash it every time there's an accident.
The Halo currently receives 4 stars out of 5 stars from 656 customers on Amazon, and sells for $249.99.
Truly the best option for environmentally conscious families who are concerned with the chemicals and materials their baby is exposed to. It's made of New Zealand pine wood and is free of any harmful dyes or finishes.
This one is slightly larger than many others so be sure to double check that there is space in your bedroom before purchasing.
The Babyletto currently receives 4 stars out of 5 stars from 96 customers on Amazon, and sells for $115.43.
Take Your Pick
With the guide above, you have all the information needed to pick the best bassinet for your new baby. Be sure to assess the space you have and determine a budget along with any other important features you want to include and go from there.
The Traveling Parent also can guide you through finding the perfect pregnancy pillow and crib.
Have questions? We'd love to hear from you! And be sure to check out our blog for more tips and assistance with your everyday parenting needs.