Do I Need a Bassinet? (What New Parents Need To Know)

“Do I need a bassinet” is a common question among new moms and dads. 

It can be confusing for new parents as some people might tell them yes, you need one. Especially the first few months, as the AAP recommends that your newborn should sleep in your room.

While some veteran parents will say it’s a waste. It’s another added expense. Plus think about the tons of new-ish or second-hand bassinets being sold in Facebook Marketplace, etc. That means a lot of parents didn’t need them!

So in this article, we will deep dive to see if you really need a bassinet and what kind of family (or baby) would need a bassinet one.

You will also find out here the pros and cons of owning a bassinet, is it better than a crib, and more. But first, let’s start with the bassinet basics.

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Key Takeaway: Do I Need a Bassinet?

While they offer numerous benefits, you don’t need a bassinet, especially if you have limited room space.

However, bassinets can be helpful and might turn out to be a necessity if you just had a c-section and/or you’re breastfeeding, your baby is struggling to sleep, and you want a portable sleeping option for your baby.

What Is a Bassinet?

A bassinet is a snug and compact sleeping space designed for newborns and infants up to around 5 to 6 months old. 

It’s a perfect solution for keeping your little bundle close to you during those precious early months.

Why Use a Baby Bassinet?

Baby bassinets offer several advantages such as:

  • Keeps Baby Close

Cosleepers and bedside bassinets allow you to have your baby right beside your bed, making nighttime feedings and comforting a breeze.

  • Convenient

Their lightweight and portable design makes them easy to move around the house, keeping your baby nearby during naps.

  • Reduced Risk of SIDS

When used correctly, bassinets have been associated with a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

  • Take Up Less Space

If you have limited living space or prefer co-sleeping arrangements, there are bassinets for small spaces that can fit snugly in your bedroom.

  • More Portable

Going on a trip? No worries! Many bassinets are travel-friendly, ensuring your baby has a familiar sleep environment wherever you go.

  • Baby May Sleep Better

The cozy and enclosed space of a bassinet can soothe your little one, promoting better sleep.

  • Can Be Cost-Effective

Some bassinets are more budget-friendly than full-sized cribs, making them an economical choice.

How Long Can a Baby Sleep in a Bassinet?

Most bassinets are suitable for babies up to approximately 5 to 6 months old or until they start showing signs of rolling over or reaching the weight limit specified by the manufacturer.

Is a Bassinet Better Than a Crib?

A bassinet can be better than a crib if you want your baby close and/or you don’t space for a crib. The best bedside bassinets are excellent for the early months when you want your baby close. But cribs offer more extended use and can be a better long-term investment.

So whether a bassinet is better than a crib depends on your specific needs and preferences. 

Are Bassinets Safe?

Yes, bassinets are safe. Bassinets are absolutely a safe choice for baby sleep. 

When used correctly and following safety guidelines, bassinets provide a secure and cozy sleep environment for your baby.

Bassinet Pros and Cons

Pros of Bassinet

  • Keep Baby Close: Enhances bonding and makes nighttime care more accessible.
  • Convenient: Easy to move around the house, perfect for daytime naps too.
  • Reduced Risk of SIDS: When used appropriately, bassinets can contribute to safer sleep practices.
  • Take up Less Space: Ideal for small living spaces and shared bedrooms.
  • More Portable: Travel-friendly for families on the go.
  • Baby May Sleep Better: The snug space can comfort your baby and can help them sleep longer at night.
  • Can Be Cost-Effective: There are a lot of affordable bassinets in the market – some can be as cheap as $50!

Cons of Bassinet

  • Shorter Life Span: Babies outgrow bassinets quickly, needing a crib after a few months.
  • Extra Expense: Purchasing both a bassinet and a crib may increase costs.
  • Baby Might Hate It: Not all babies enjoy sleeping in a bassinet and may prefer a crib.

So Do I Really Need a Bassinet?

No, you do not need a bassinet if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle or preferences.

But you might need a bassinet or a bassinet is more suitable for the following situations:

If you want to share the room with your baby but you can’t fit a crib in it, then you might need a bassinet.

If you want a temporary sleeping solution for your baby (you might be moving houses, living in a rental, etc.), then a bassinet is a better option.

If you’re breastfeeding and/ or you had a c-section and you don’t want to keep getting up to attend to your baby, especially at night, then go for a bassinet.

If you want to be able to move your baby anywhere in the house, so you can work, do chores, etc. then a portable bassinet is a better option.

If you like a safe co-sleeping arrangement and you want your baby close to your bed or even on your bed, but you still want them to have their space, then a bassinet is perfect!

A bassinet can also be helpful if your baby is struggling to sleep and needs you close most of the time to be able to sleep better at night.

Skip The Bassinet If:

If you’re looking to save money, get a crib instead. It’s a better option, instead of getting a bassinet then another bed for your baby when they get older. You can use a crib until your kid wants to start climbing out of it.

If you already have a crib or plan to buy one, you may opt to skip the bassinet altogether.

Some bassinets have weight restrictions as well, and if your baby exceeds the limit, it’s time to consider other options.

As your baby becomes more active and mobile on their own, a bassinet is no longer a safe sleeping option.

You can also skip the bassinet if room sharing isn’t for you.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Bassinet

If you’ve made up your mind and you want to get a bassinet, consider these following when choosing the best bassinet:

  • Budget

Determine how much you’re willing to spend on a bassinet, keeping in mind your baby’s short usage period.

  • Safety

Ensure the bassinet meets all safety standards and guidelines to provide a secure sleeping environment. Like a non toxic bassinet or a JPMA-certified bassinet.

  • Age and Weight of Baby

Check the bassinet’s weight limit and age range to ensure it’s suitable for your little one.

  • Bedroom Space

If you have limited space, opt for a compact and portable bassinet that fits well in your room.

  • Convenience and Functionality

There are bassinets for tall beds, bassinets with wheels, the best bassinets for heavy babies, etc. So look for particular features that can prioritize your baby’s and your needs.

  • Longevity

If you’re looking for more extended use, consider a bassinet that you can use for other purposes. Like a travel crib/ bassinet.

Best Bassinet Recommendations

Here are some of the best bassinets for newborns that a lot of parents and baby experts highly recommend:

Bassinet Alternatives

Consider these alternatives if a bassinet doesn’t feel right for you:

  • Bassinet vs Mini Crib: A mini crib is a space-saving version of a full-sized crib, perfect for smaller rooms.
  • Bassinet vs Pack N Play: A pack-n-play or playard can double as a bassinet and playpen, ideal for travel and versatile use.
  • Bassinet vs Cradle: A cradle is a gentle rocking or swinging bed for soothing your baby to sleep.
  • Floor Bed: A Montessori floor bed or mattress placed directly on the floor for a safe and minimalist sleep space.
  • Stroller Bassinet: Some strollers come with bassinet attachments for napping on the go.
  • Crib: The classic option that provides long-term use for your growing baby.

FAQ: Do You Need A Bassinet

  • Are bassinets necessary for newborns?

No, bassinets are not necessary for newborns. Newborns can sleep on any safe, federally approved-sleeping bed, such as a crib, pack-n-play, etc. It depends on your family’s preferences and needs.

  • Is it OK to not use a bassinet?

Yes, it’s OK to not use a bassinet. You can explore other safe sleep options that work best for your family.

  • Do you need a bassinet or just a crib?

Needing a bassinet or just a crib will depend on what suits your lifestyle and your baby’s sleep preferences.

  • Do I need both a baby bassinet and a crib?

No, You don’t need both a baby bassinet and a crib. But if you want a permanent sleeping space for your baby in the bedroom and another napping space for any room, then having both a bassinet and a crib might be necessary.

  • Is it worth it to buy a bassinet?

Yes, it can be worth it to buy a bassinet. For many parents, the convenience and benefits of a bassinet make it worth considering.

  • What is the disadvantage of a bassinet baby?

The disadvantage of a bassinet is that babies can quickly outgrow a bassinet, necessitating a crib later on.

  • Why do newborns not want to sleep in a bassinet?

Some newborns don’t want to sleep in a bassinet because they might prefer to sleep beside you, they don’t find bassinets comfortable, etc. You can help your newborn to sleep in a bassinet though.

Do I Need A Bassinet: Final Thoughts

Whether or not you need a bassinet depends on your family’s unique situation. 

Bassinets can be a wonderful addition to your baby’s early sleep routine, keeping them close and comfortable. 

However, they are not a strict necessity, and you can explore other sleep options that suit your lifestyle and preferences. 

Always prioritize your baby’s safety and comfort, and trust your instincts as a parent.

Remember, some bassinets have weight restrictions as well, so be sure to choose one that is appropriate for your baby’s size and age. 

I hope this article has thoroughly answered your “Do I need a bassinet” question. And may your baby’s sleep be peaceful and restful, no matter where they rest their head!