Should the bassinet mattress be more comfortable?

Many parents are looking for solutions to make the bassinet mattress more comfortable.

Baby Bassinet

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Bassinet Mattress Guide

Bassinet Mattress and its Comfort: How can I make the bassinet mattress more comfortable?

Do you feel your baby’s bassinet mattress is too thin or firm? You probably think how uncomfortable it must be to sleep. For sure, you are not alone; many parents feel the same. But there is a reason for the bassinet mattress’s firmness and thin design.

A thin bassinet mattress with firm support reduces the risk of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)! If you have a bassinet with an original, undamaged mattress, do not try to make it more comfortable. Not only is it not safe, but it is also unneeded. Your baby is perfectly comfortable on the mattress you got with the bassinet!

Let’s look at the topic in more detail.

A firm & thin bassinet mattress is perfectly OK!

…. that is why you shouldn’t try to make it more comfortable!

I have already written about the thickness and firmness of bassinet mattresses. Therefore, I will only summarize the most important facts here. 

If you are interested, you can read more at the following links:

A firm bassinet mattress is not uncomfortable for the baby!

First, what seems firm and uncomfortable to adults it’s not necessarily uncomfortable for the baby. People generally sleep on surfaces that are too soft. They do not understand many soft mattresses don’t offer proper back support. They feel cozy, so they want the same for their baby.

You have to remember: babies who haven’t gotten to know softer sleeping mats don’t miss them!

Nevertheless, the mattress doesn’t have to be so hard that it’s uncomfortable for your baby; it just needs to be firm.

Many other reasons speak in favor of a firm bassinet mattress …

The already mentioned prevention of SIDS is undoubtedly one of the most important ones.

  1. Firm support stops the baby’s head from sinking into the padding and thus reduces the risk of suffocation.
  2. A firm mattress enhances a baby’s bone and muscle development by offering proper support.
  3. It also provides sufficient resistance when a baby gets older, so she can turn, push up, and eventually stand. (This primarily applies to crib and Pack ‘N Play mattresses because the baby will no longer sleep in the bassinet at this milestone.)

The bassinet mattress is thick enough

A bassinet mattress must be thin for the same reason it must be firm. For your baby’s safety!

A thin bassinet mattress reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)! If the newborn rolls over onto the front, his head can not sink into thin padding, preventing suffocation.

But bassinet mattress is thin due to other reasons too:

  1. A thin mattress prevents injuries caused by the baby’s entrapment between the mattress and the bassinet’s wall.
  2. A thicker mattress in a rigid-sided bassinet would place the baby higher in the bassinet, increasing the risk of the baby falling out if she rolls over to one side and the product tilts.

How can I make the bassinet mattress more comfortable?

You don’t have to make it more comfortable.

The bassinet mattress is comfortable enough as it is. Not to mention that changing the bassinet’s sleeping surface would compromise your baby’s safety! A mattress protector and tight-fitting sheet are everything you need! 

Those with an original bassinet mattress that is not damaged or saged shouldn’t worry about it. Everything is as it should be!

Buy the original replacement for a second-hand bassinet where the mattress is no longer in the proper state. If your bassinet manufacturer doesn’t sell it separately, choose a replacement of the exact dimensions. It is best to contact your bassinet’s manufacturer for advice.

The bassinet mattress is comfortable enough for your baby, so don’t try to make it more comfortable. Do not place mattress toppers, pads, quilts, blankets, pillows, additional mattresses, sleep positioners, or other soft objects in your baby bassinet. 

Many parents use them to offset the firmness of their baby’s bassinet. Any additional padding is not safe and elevates the risk of SIDS!

Putting anything in the bassinet besides a firm mattress, mattress protector, and a tightly fitted sheet is a SIDS risk. Most doctors and pediatricians strongly caution against doing it!

2 thoughts on “Should the bassinet mattress be more comfortable?”

  1. While I agree with a safe sleeping space for baby, my newborn wouldn’t sleep in her bassinet because it was terribly uncomfortable. I mean, how would you like it if you were surrounded by the squishiness of a womb then you get thrown in a flat, hard as a rock bed. I hate bassinets, the crib mattress was better and she finally slept.

    1. Hello Erica!

      Generally speaking, babies like sleeping in a bassinet, but every baby is unique, and their sleep preferences may vary. Some babies may prefer a crib, while others prefer sleeping in a bassinet or Pack ‘N Play.

      Any of the listed beds is a proper choice, assuming you choose the one that meets the required safety standards!

      So, if you have a proper crib mattress and your newborn likes it and sleeps well, be happy, as you have done a great job. You have noticed your baby’s cues and preferences and found the perfect sleeping environment for her. Many parents struggle with sleepless nights and cannot determine why their baby is not sleeping!

      And if I relate to your claims about the environment in the womb …

      Yes, the womb might offer a squishiness, but it also provides a snug environment. While a crib mattress might offer more cozy* sleeping space, the bassinet imitates a womb’s tight and enclosed space better than a crib.

      So I could ask you … how would you like it if you were surrounded by the tightness and snug environment of a womb, then you get thrown in a big, bare crib? Remember, if you follow safe sleep guidelines, you should not put anything other than the mattress and a tight-fitting sheet in the crib. So the bare crib probably seems quite big and wide to a newborn, right? However, not all newborns feel that way, just like not all newborns consider bassinet mattresses too hard. Some babies prefer one, others the other.

      Last but not least, the environment in the womb is also curved, but we do not try to mimic it and put our babies on a curved sleeping surface.

      At the end of the road, our children constantly learn and adapt to new things, and the sleeping area is just one of them. Some newborns may need some time to adjust to sleeping on a firm surface, but they will adapt to it with time.

      So, my advice for all parents. Don’t get your baby used to a soft sleeping surface too soon, whether it’s a crib or a bassinet. It is scientifically proven that a firm surface is much better for proper development.

      After all, we should still sleep on a firm surface when we grow up. But too many people have grown accustomed to softer mattresses during their lives.

      * Still, you must choose a flat and firm crib mattress!

      Regards, Ines

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