One of the first decisions you have to make as a parent is whether you want a bassinet or a crib. Some parents opt for both. However, you may not have the money for both right away. So, you have to weigh the pros and cons of each. Not all parents want their child to sleep in a bassinet. However, there are some benefits to consider; it may be worth your time and money!
Luckily, no matter what you pick, it is a safe choice. Bassinets and cribs are safe sleeping locations for newborns. There are just some major differences that you want to consider before purchasing.
The Reasons You May Want to Have a Bassinet
Laying your baby down in a beautiful bassinet right beside your bed is so quaint. It resembles the picture perfect future you dreamt of for the 40 weeks your baby grew in your womb.
Besides the picture perfect idea, there are some other real reasons why you might want to select a bassinet over a crib.
- Co-sleeping is easier. Many parents prefer to co-sleep with their baby. This term often gets confused with bed-sharing, which is an entirely different thing. Bed-sharing is not recommended, but co-sleeping has been proven to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by 50%. In October 2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their recommendation. Now, they suggest room sharing for the first six months of your child’s life, at a minimum.Bassinets allow your child to sleep closer to you. Most parents keep it directly beside the bed so that they can hear their child immediately. During the night, it is easier to reach your baby when they are crying for milk. Remember, sleeping in a bassinet BESIDE your bed is safe. Placing your child in your bed with you is not recommended by pediatricians and the AAP.
- Bassinets are closed in and cozy for your baby. The womb is a pretty comfortable place to spend time, especially in those final few weeks. Children love the close feeling. It seems uncomfortable to us, but newborns love it. Cribs are comfortable, but they are far from cozy and snug. The vast open space can be scary for a newborn. A bassinet is a smaller, enclosed area.
- Placing baby in a bassinet is easier. Pregnancy and delivery are hard on a woman’s body. If you are one of the 21.9% of women that deliver their babies via cesarean delivery, placing your child in a crib can be a lot harder. Typically, the mattress is further down, requiring you to bend over the railing.
- Bassinets are portable. Many parents prefer a mobile sleeping location for their child. If your home is large, a bassinet can also be moved around the house during the day. When you are lounging in the living room, it can come with you, giving you a convenient place for you to put your baby while they sleep. Certain ones fold easily so that you can take it places outside of your home.
- They have a cover or hood. One of the nicest features of a bassinet is the cover. It is convenient, especially when the sun is out. Your baby won’t be woken up by the blinding sun during their afternoon nap.
- Bassinets are smaller. Some of us live in small houses. If your bedroom isn’t huge, a crib may take up way too much space. A bassinet is a great choice for a compact room; cribs are bigger than bassinets. So, if you have a small room, opt for the bassinet until you transfer your child to their bedroom.
- They are more affordable. If you are short on money, for the time being, a bassinet is a cheaper option. You are unlikely to find a crib that is less than $100. Some bassinets cost around $40 to $50. A crib is a huge investment. Purchasing a bassinet may be the best solution for right now.
The Reasons Why You Might Want a Crib
You spent months designing the perfect nursery. It took months to find the right furniture, glider, rug, and crib. You agonized over the paint color and carpet selection. A crib is needed to complete the dream of the ideal room for your bundle of love.
Here is why you might want to purchase a crib instead of a bassinet.
- A crib lasts for years to come. When you buy a crib, it is an investment. Most babies don’t transition to a toddler bed until they are two years old or older. If you buy the right crib, you can remove the front railing to convert to a toddler bed. Some cribs also change to a headboard for a larger bed, typically a twin or double sized bed.
Unlike a bassinet, there is no concern about when your child will outgrow a crib. Most suggestions state that you should move your child from the bassinet around six months old. However, some babies will outgrow it even sooner than that. If you are looking to save money, a crib is a more viable choice.
- A lot of babies don’t like a bassinet. Some kids just don’t like a bassinet or a co-sleeper. A crib is an all-around excellent If they want the closeness, you can swaddle them for the same effect.
- There is no weight limit. When you use just a crib, you don’t have to worry about purchasing another sleeping location. There is no weight limit, unlike bassinets.
How to Make Your Decision
- Where do you want your baby to sleep? The first thing that you need to consider is where you want your child to sleep in the house. Newborns tend to sleep just about anywhere. Remember, the AAP, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that newborns sleep in your room with you.Room sharing is a great thing, but it can be hard if you are only using a crib. Unless you have a huge master bedroom, a bassinet is smaller and will fit better in your room. Some parents opt for a bassinet because it is portable. You can use it around your home from room to room. It gives you a place to put your baby when they are sleeping during the day.
- Price is a major factor. We all don’t have tons of money to spend on a crib or a bassinet. Most bassinets cost a lot less than a crib. However, they only last a few months, and you will have to purchase a crib later. You could buy a bassinet and save up for a crib during the months your child is using it. You can spend the cost out even longer rather than purchasing before your baby is born.
- Ease of use is something to consider. There are a lot of convenient features to both a bassinet and a crib. If you end up having a cesarean delivery, a bassinet is the easiest choice. You won’t have to lean down over rails to put your baby down in bed.However, a crib has some convenient features as well. As your baby ages, you don’t have to worry about having to get something different! You can move the mattress down once your baby learns how to stand up. It also can be a place for you to put your baby when you want to take a shower or just need a break. While you can do that with a bassinet for the first few months, you can’t once your child gets older!
Bassinets are portable, a convenient feature. For parents that come and go a lot, there are quite a few bassinets on the market that let you break them down for transportation. Many parents like the convenience of a portable bassinet. You can also bring it around the house as well.
- Aesthetic reasons matter as well. You probably spent time designing a nursery. Even if you didn’t, you want somewhere adorable and comfortable for your child to sleep. Cribs are safe, but they often don’t look very cute. It isn’t suggested for you to put quilts or blankets in there, even if it looks nice.Bassinets, on the other hand, are smaller and cozy. They come in some of the cutest designs. Some have ruffles and things that make for an aesthetically pleasing place to sleep. However, you can pick a crib that matches your nursery design.
Safe Sleep Recommendations to Follow
No matter what option you pick, you have to select a safe choice for your baby. There are safety standards that should be met at all times.
- Mesh Walls: If you decide to purchase a bassinet, the safest choices have mesh walls, guaranteeing that your child gets air flow. If your baby rolls over, their face will meet a mesh barrier. They wouldn’t be able to suffocate like they would be able to if they had solid walls. The best bassinet has mesh walls all-around it.
- Firm Mattress: No matter if you select a crib or a bassinet, your infant needs a firm mattress. When you purchase a bassinet, the mattress should be less than an inch thick and firm. It may not sound like a comfortable place to sleep, but it is the safest. The ASTM standards say that this is the safest sleeping surface for a bassinet.Your crib mattress can be thicker than an inch, but it needs to be firm as well. Most infant mattresses on the market are the right firmness. Make sure it meets standards set by JMPA and ASTM. There are some that are firmer than others. When your kid gets bigger, you can switch to a softer mattress when the risk of SIDS as decreased.
- Materials Used: Your baby spends a lot of time sleeping, so you want it to be in a safe environment. You want to look at the materials that they come in contact with, especially their skin and mouth. Harmful chemicals and flame retardants are placed into a variety of products, but they could be hazardous to your child’s delicate system.If you purchase a crib, look at the wood that is used. Is it painted or stained? For mattresses, you want one that has low chemical emissions. Look for the GreensGuard Gold Standard Certification to let you know that the bed you picked is the safest available. Some bassinets fit into the cleanest categories as well. Some of them do cost more, but it is important for your child to be safe in their sleeping location.
- Keeping It Clean: Let’s be honest; babies are notorious for creating messes. Whatever option you pick, you need to consider how you will maintain the area clean. Spit up that is left to sit can lead to mold or mildew, which is highly unsafe for your child to be near.
Which is the Ultimate Winner?
While the bassinet is a great choice, a crib is an ultimate winner out of the two. Why? Because no matter how much the bassinet is fantastic, you are eventually going to have to purchase a baby crib. You can skip the bassinet, but a crib will make its way into your home sooner or later.
Your child will outgrow the bassinet. One day, you will realize that your baby is too big for the bassinet. Once a day, he will roll over.
While a bassinet is great and you may want to purchase one, it isn’t an essential. Cribs are an important purchase.
No matter your decision, think about the safety of your child! Look at the materials used to create the crib or bassinet. Also, consider the walls. Cribs have slats. Bassinets need to have mesh walls. Breathability is a crucial factor for safety. Remember, firmness is also paramount. You want your child always to sleep on a safe surface.
Even if the winner is a crib, both the bassinet and crib are safe choices.