The best bassinet
There's no disputing that every baby needs a crib, but for the first few months, both you and your bundle of joy are likely to feel more comfortable using a bassinet. For babies, the cozy interior of a bassinet can feel a little more like "home." For parents, a bassinet offers peace of mind, convenience, and flexibility. Whether you need a safe co-sleeping solution or simply want to keep your baby within arm's reach, a bassinet is just the ticket.
Take a look at our shopping guide to learn more about different bassinet types and feature sets. We've also added a handful of product recommendations, including our favorite, the HALO Bassinet Swivel Sleeper, which boasts an adjustable design for co-sleeping convenience as well as vibration, sound, and nightlight features.
Considerations when choosing bassinets
Bassinets come in a variety of styles to suit just about every need:
Free-standing: Traditional free-standing bassinets generally have a simple design with fixed sides, and they can be found with or without wheels. Some newer models feature drop-sides to accommodate co-sleeping.
Co-sleeper: Specially designed for a safer and more comfortable co-sleeping experience, these bassinets come in two basic styles: bedside bassinets and "in-bed" models. Bedside bassinets typically either pivot over the bed or attach to the side, while in-bed models are placed directly in the bed.
Travel: Travel bassinets tend to be lightweight and easy to set up and take down. Some feature a collapsible frame and a removable bassinet while others have an instant pop-up design.
Bassinets are more compact than cribs, but sizes can vary dramatically from model to model. Before you buy, give some thought to where and how you'll use it. Will you be traveling with your bassinet or using it primarily in your bedroom? Or maybe you're looking for something that you can cart from room to room? To avoid frustration, it's wise to measure your available space first -- and don't forget to check your doorway dimensions if you plan to move your bassinet around the house.
The average bassinet has a maximum-weight capacity between 15 and 20 pounds. While most are made to accommodate babies from the ages of three to six months, it's worth noting that a handful of models have a far lower weight limit of only 10 pounds.
Most bassinets are reasonably lightweight and easy to move. However, some take portability to the next level with wheels or a detachable frame that allows parents to lift the bassinet out and carry it from place to place. If you're planning to take your bassinet on a trip, a sturdy travel bag will make life a little easier.
Bassinets that come with lights, sounds, music, toys, or a vibrating feature can help keep little ones happy for a short while longer. Such entertainment features buy flustered parents a few extra minutes of peace and quiet.
Rocking is another nifty feature that any sleep-deprived parents are sure to appreciate. However, it's vital that the bassinet can be locked into place in between uses to prevent tilting should your baby roll over.
Some bassinets come with storage baskets or pouches for items like diapers, wipes, rash creams, and other everyday must-haves. Onboard storage, however compact, can help streamline the diaper-changing process.
If you're pressed for space, a bassinet that converts to a changing table will take care of two infant essentials without requiring any additional room.
Exactly how much you end up paying for a bassinet depends on a number of factors, including its size, weight capacity, and feature set. Basic bassinets typically start out at about $50, while those with sought-after features or co-sleeping capabilities can cost as much as $250.
Q. When should my baby stop using a bassinet?
A. This depends on your bassinet's size, weight limit, and your baby's physical development. As a rule of thumb, you should retire the bassinet once your baby is showing signs of becoming mobile and rolling over or pushing/pulling herself up.
Q. Do co-sleeping bassinets fit beds of all heights?
A. Most co-sleeping bassinets come with adjustable frames or extendable legs to fit beds of varying heights. However, this isn't always the case, so it's a good idea to check before you buy.
Bassinets we recommend
Our take: This feature-packed bassinet has plenty to offer both parents and babies. The highly adjustable design is especially helpful for bedside use.
What we like: Boasts a 360º swiveling feature, adjustable height, and drop-sides for quick and easy access. Soothing sounds, vibration, and nightlight help keep babies happy for longer. Sleek and modern aesthetics.
What we dislike: Storage pockets could be bigger. Pricey.
Best bang for your buck: Delta Children Sweet Beginnings
Our take: Simple but sweet, this option delivers just about all the most sought-after features for a fraction of the cost. A smart choice for budget-conscious parents.
What we like: Lightweight yet sturdy. Comes with a canopy, onboard storage, and wheels. Nightlight and sound features are a nice touch. Classic look holds a special appeal for some. Reasonably priced.
What we dislike: The mattress isn't especially thick and feels somewhat flimsy.
Our take: A fantastic blend of style and functionality, this attractive option works as either a standalone or bedside bassinet. Perfect for parents who want the best of both worlds.
What we like: Well-made and sturdy. Can be attached to a parent mattress for co-sleeping. Mesh sides deliver a clear view and superior breathability. Generous storage space allows parents to keep essentials within easy reach.
What we dislike: Attaching the bassinet to heavier mattresses can be a bit of a chore.
Erica van Blommestein is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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