While the classic heirloom bassinet may not be up to modern safety standards,* there’s something incredibly charming about the picture of a baby sleeping in her own infant-sized nest. Whether you’re going with the traditional wicker look or going sleek and modern (our preference), bassinets are just gorgeous. But are they necessary?
The number one reason in our view to get a bassinet is because the AAP recommends that your newborn should sleep in your room but not in your bed: it’s associated with a lower risk of SIDS. You can read about some theories of the protective effect of roomsharing here at The Science of Mom – it’s fascinating stuff! As they note, roomsharing isn’t for everyone, because it can interfere with mom’s sleep, but it’s worth giving it a try. (If you absolutely can’t sleep with your baby right there, though, it’s not the end of the world, because your baby is going to be less safe if you’re hopelessly sleep deprived. You need to take care of yourself too!)
So if you’re going to keep your baby in your room while you sleep, a bassinet is best: it has a small footprint and can easily be moved around, and many can be scooted right up next to your bed so you can scoop the baby up and nurse her without getting out of bed yourself. The Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper is specially designed to enable this: it’s made to settle the baby right on the mattress next to you, protected by flexible walls that you can push down to tend to the baby. It gives you the closeness of bedsharing without the risk, and is especially great for C-section recovery!
Another advantage of bassinets is that it’s easier to put your baby in and take them out: not all of them are as handy as the Bassinest, but they’re all easier than reaching over the higher side of a crib. Again, this is a benefit that everyone will enjoy, but especially moms who are healing after a C-section.
Also, picture your itty-bitty newborn baby in a giant crib: they look so tiny and isolated, right? Jess Miller at Parent.Guide compares the transition from the womb to a crib to “going from a single bed to a king size.” They look uncomfortable in that giant crib, and many babies are. The more enclosed feel of a smaller bassinet may help them to feel safer and fall asleep faster.
Many of our favorite strollers either come with a bassinet, or enable you to purchase a separate one. The UPPAbaby Vista Stroller, for example, comes with a gorgeous sleep-safe bassinet, and the Bugaboo Cameleon, Bugaboo Buffalo, and Bugaboo Donkey all have seat frames that convert to sleep-safe bassinets with fabric sets included with the stroller. Both of these stroller brands give you the option of purchasing a bassinet stand, so instead of buying a separate bed for baby’s earliest months, you can just stand your stroller bassinet at your bedside! Numerous other strollers we sell give you sleep-safe bassinet options too; for instance, the new Nuna Jett Collection Mixx Stroller comes with a really beautiful one.
Finally, if you’re looking to economize, another option may be to use a folding travel crib as your bedside bassinet. For instance, the Nuna Sena Travel Crib is as cozy and plush as a bassinet could possibly be, and has a high mattress height for infants and a low mattress height for toddlers. This travel crib will stay useful for longer than the average bassinet, which is only meant to be used for the earliest months of your baby’s life – you can use it as baby’s earliest bed at home, and then use it for trips to Grandma’s when your child is older!
One way or another, every family has different needs when it comes to baby sleep, and we’re here to help you evaluate your needs to choose the right bassinet (and/or crib) for you. If you’re not sure whether to get a bassinet, or which one to buy, ask us! We’ve got plenty of gorgeous options for you, and we’ll find you the perfect fit for your baby, your home, and your lifestyle.
*Seriously, looking at heirloom bassinets like this one just about gave me a heart attack, not so much because of the bassinet itself, but because of all of those sweet little newborns sleeping on their tummies and covered in tons of blankets. That is NOT! SAFE! Babies need to sleep on their back, on a firm surface, with no loose bedding.