The third part of this Bassinet Buying Guide explains how to choose a baby bassinet that is safe for your baby and convenient for you.
→ PART 3 ←
Baby Bassinet Buying Guide
How to buy a baby bassinet?
Baby bassinet brings the baby next to the mother without having to use the parent’s bed or make space for a crib. It spares you from running back and forth to the nursery and helps you do the daily chores like breastfeeding, diaper changing, or soothing much easier. And most of all, it gives you peace of mind by having your baby nearby! But how to choose the right baby bassinet for your needs?
Finding a suitable baby bassinet can be a pretty challenging task, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a bassinet. Moreover, the bassinets’ versatility and lack of federal standards certainly don’t make your job easier.
So, I will explain all the bassinet’s basics, its types, what to look for, and more. Basically, I want to teach you how to buy a baby bassinet that keeps your baby safe and cozy during every sleep.
How to choose a baby bassinet?
When choosing a baby bassinet, its safety should be the priority! However, there is much more to consider when selecting a bassinet than safety.
Choosing the proper baby bassinet depends on many factors, wherein the one that many moms forget is that they should select the bassinet that eases their life!
When buying a baby bassinet, do not forget to think about yourself!
What to consider when buying a bassinet:
- First, you must decide which type of bassinet suits you best and how much you are willing to spend on it.
- Next, you have to think about whether to buy a new or a hand-me-down baby bassinet.
- When choosing a bassinet, you shouldn’t forget to consider its structure, stability, and breathability! You shouldn’t forget about safety! I will discuss this vast and crucial topic in more detail in Part 6 of the Baby Bassinet Buying Guide.
- Bassinets usually come with a fitted mattress. However, you must know what to expect from the mattress and check if yours meets all the requirements.
- Lastly, consider the additional features and bassinet accessories (rocking, wheels, canopy, lights, vibration, height adjustment, etc.) that can help you make the first months with your baby easier.
Now let’s look at each of them more closely.
Buying a Baby Bassinet
Think about what kind of bassinet suits your family the most.
1. Decide on a Bassinet Type
When looking for a baby bassinet, think about the type you need. Do you like traditional bassinets, or are you interested in the new type of smart bassinet? Will your bassinet stand in one place, or do you want to move it easily from one room to another? Do you intend to travel with your newborn?
You can choose between the following types of bassinets:
- Traditional bedside bassinet
- Bedside sleeper
- Smart bassinet
- Travel bassinet
→ All bassinets of one type have the same primary purpose but can be of various sizes and shapes. They can be basic bare models or full of added features and accessories. That makes each type very versatile, so everyone can find a bassinet that best suits their lifestyle.
Brief description of individual types of bassinets:
→ Find more about different bassinet types in the 5th part of this Bassinet Buying Guide
2. Choose the Best Bassinet for Your Budget:
Most of the best-selling bassinets cost between $50 and $250. But there are also well-established modern smart bassinets, such as the SNOO, which cost over a thousand dollars.
Bassinets’ price varies depending on the style, model, and additional features. But it is true that the bassinets of some well-established baby brands are more expensive just because of the brand, not because they offer more.
Traditional stationary models and basic travel bassinets tend to be the most affordable. You will have to spend a little more on added features like rocking, storage, canopy, toys, etc. And even more for bedside sleepers that are usually larger and last longer.
The priciest are modern smart bassinets with high-end features like cry- or move-responsiveness, vibration, sounds, motion, lights, App-operation, etc.
3. Can you opt for an Old Bassinet: Second Hand vs. New
I agree that deciding on a used or heirloom bassinet can be tempting due to the lower price or emotional factor. However, a few baby things are better to buy new, including a baby bassinet.
If it is possible, buy a new baby bassinet! You have many affordable new and certified options that meet current safety standards and have all their parts intact. It adds a layer of protection, although it is not a complete safety guarantee.
4. Check the Size of a Bassinet:
Bassinets are well-priced due to their lightweight and smaller footprint. However, not all bassinets take up the same amount of space in your room.
Baby bassinets come in various shapes and sizes. So, always check the dimensions of the bassinet you are considering buying. Ensure it will fit well in your space.
5. Choose a Sturdy and Stable Bassinet:
Look for a bassinet with a wide stable base and a sturdy bottom so it won’t tip over easily, even if you bump into it in the middle of the night.
Bassinets have various stand designs, including a four-point, X-frame, and rocking base. The x-frame bottom is usually collapsible and takes up less space, but it is considered less sturdy than the four-point and rocking base.
However, all three are acceptable, wherein their stability and sturdiness depend very much on the quality of the bassinet you’ve purchased!
Remember to test the bassinet’s stability before use!
6. Reliable Folding Mechanism:
Those who decide on a foldable baby bassinet should also check its folding mechanism. It must have a reliable locking mechanism that holds the bassinet up!
Ensure the legs and frame snap into place when the bassinet is in place, and look for a folding mechanism where it’s easy to see when the legs are locked or unlocked.
7. Opt for Mesh Sides:
Good breathability reduces the risk of suffocation, and the baby’s overheating. In bassinets, breathability mostly depends on their sides and the mattress.
Choose a bassinet with mesh sides that are vital in providing excellent breathability and airflow! Also, avoid bassinets that come with too much padding on the inside!
A bassinet with breathable sides and a perfectly fitted flat and firm sleeping surface is all you need to provide the highest safety for your baby.
8. Buy a Bassinet with Tight-Fitting Mattress:
Most baby bassinets come with a mattress pad made specifically for them.
The right bassinet mattress is extra firm, smooth, and fits snugly into the bassinet.
Many parents think the mattress sold with the bassinet is too thin or hard, but that is how it should be! A firm sleeping surface reduces the risk of suffocation and promotes proper bone and muscle development.
The bassinet mattress shouldn’t be more than 1½ inches thick!
You can read more in our Bassinet Mattress Guide.
9. Decide on the Added Features and Bassinet Accessories:
Now it is time to decide what additional features and bassinet accessories you want.
Additional Bassinet Features & Accessories to Consider
Baby bassinets are available with various, more or less practical extras. Those deciding on a traditional “bare” baby bassinet can skip this part. Others should ask themself the following questions:
- Do I need a bassinet with multiple height adjustments?
- Do I want a rocking mechanism?
- Are wheels vital to me?
- Does my bassinet need a canopy?
- Does my baby need soothing options, such as vibrations, sound effects, and lights?
- Would I benefit from the extra storage space under the bassinet?
- Do I need a smart bassinet with voice-activated movements and other soothing options?
- Are attached toys or mobile important to me?
- Do I need the bassinet’s multifunction?
As you can see, there are multiple tempting features you can choose from. Think carefully about what you really need! And don’t forget that every added feature increases the price of the bassinet!
If you can not decide, read the next part of the Bassinet Buying Guide, where you can find detailed descriptions of all features.
What else to look for when buying a baby bassinet?
Once you’ve covered all the basics, it’s time to think about style, ease of assembly, ease of cleaning, as well as bassinet pads and sheets.
Baby bassinets are available in many different styles, from sleek and modern to classic and frilly.
You can find pink, blue, or gender-natural bassinets. Some are available in vivid and others in soft colors. You can opt for patterns, baby-oriented, nature themes, etc.
Everyone can find a baby bassinet that fits the decor of their home.
Ease of Assembly:
You have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when assembling a bassinet! If a part of the bassinet is missing, do not replace it with a third-party piece! Always contact the manufacturer or the shop where you have purchased your baby bassinet! And never use a bassinet with loose, broken, or missing parts!
Some bassinets can be assembled faster than others. Some come partially or even fully assembled. Anyway, take your time, follow the instructions, and check the bassinet’s stability before use.
Any baby item you buy should be easy to clean, and a bassinet is no exception.
Babies throw up, split, drool, or may experience a diaper leak that may stain the bassinet’s mattress. Maintaining a clean, dry sleeping area prevents mold, bacteria, or fungi formation in your bassinet. Thus, choosing an easy-to-wipe-down and, if possible, a washable bassinet is a significant benefit.
An easy-to-clean bassinet has a removable, washable mattress and sheet! Do not forget about the bassinet’s frame, either. It should be easy to clean too.
Fitted bassinet sheets are the only bedding you will ever need in your bassinet.
Some bassinets come with a sheet, but for ease of use, you will need at least two, preferably three, bassinet sheets.
RELATED: The Best Bassinet Sheets In 2023
While you do NOT need bumper pads, quilts, or pillows in the bassinet, I recommend you opt for a waterproof mattress pad.
Some bassinet mattresses are waterproof, and many come with a waterproof cover. But if yours doesn’t come with one, there is no need to give up on your bassinet. Instead, check for the bassinet mattress pad by yourself.
RELATED: The Best Bassinet Mattress Pads
Know when to move on:
Bassinets have a short life span. Stop using any bassinet when your baby reaches limitations set by the manufacturer, or she can roll over, begin to push up on her hands and knees, or sit up by herself – whichever comes first!
The bassinet’s usability is limited by the baby’s weight or/and age. Most baby bassinets hold the baby’s weight up to 15 to 18 pounds, but some may be able to hold a heavier baby up to 25 pounds. And the age limit is typically set at 4 to 6 months.