Best Baby Bassinets for a Safe Night’s Sleep
When a baby comes home from the hospital for the first time, parents are excited, exhausted, and, of course, more than a bit terrified. A newborn is snoozing away happily, but needs to be set up in something other than a car seat.
Enter: the bassinet, the first stop for all newborns in their first few months catching ZZZs outside the womb.
The question for many new parents is how to find the best baby bassinets when there are so many on the market, each offering a laundry list of benefits. Here’s a closer look at what new parents actually need from a bassinet and our picks for the best bassinets currently available on the market.
Features of the Best Baby Bassinets
The key to finding the best baby bassinets is knowing which features to look for and compare. Hint: these features are not the same as those that make the best crib, and are certainly not the same as an adult bed.
Here are a few things to look at when considering bassinet options.
At the most basic level, a bassinet is a place for a baby to sleep (newborns sleep quite a lot because they grow exponentially in their first few months). A bassinet’s height should come up roughly to the waistline of an average-height adult. Most modern bassinets are height adjustable to fit every new parent’s height needs.
Trust us, that sounds basic, but in the wee hours of the morning exhausted parents will be thrilled for a bassinet adjusted to the right height in the weeks immediately following birth. Mothers that have had a C-section may experience a very limited range of motion where bending over isn’t really an option. For those that have given birth naturally, muscles and organs will be readjusting in those initial months, so height is even more key to reduce strain.
One of the benefits of a bassinet over a crib is that bassinets tend to be more portable. They’re much lighter and easier to drag around a room. Cribs, by contrast, are designed to stay put.
When parents are looking for a bassinet, portability is a feature to seriously consider. For example, should the family plan on traveling with it? Does one parent work in bedroom and want to move the baby to other parts of the home so they can sleep undisturbed while typing or jumping on a call?
Portability doesn’t just mean lightweight, but also its ability to fold down and be taken to other places, such as on next vacation.
On a related note, some bassinets rock, while others stay still. That sounds like a basic feature of the legs, but it’s actually worth additional consideration.
Rocking is a lovely feature to help soothe an upset baby back to sleep, sometimes without even needing to roll your sleep-addled self upright and out of bed. Babies love it, and while a rocking chair is soothing for all involved parties, it’s tiresome to get in and out of a rocking chair in the dead of night.
Rocking bassinets, on the other hand, have automatic and optimized motions but an age cutoff. Since they move of their own volition, they’re typically unsafe for babies who are old enough to roll over, pull themselves upright, or sit up on their own. Once babies reach this stage, a rocking bassinet means that weight shifts could leave a baby trapped on one side, creating a suffocation hazard, or could topple over if the baby is able to right themself.
Pay careful attention to age and weight limits on bassinets, especially rocking bassinets. And if the baby is too big or can move on their own, they’ve officially outgrown it and it’s time to upgrade them to a more firmly placed crib.
Bedding and Mattress Support
Infant mattresses tend to be on the firm side of the spectrum, and sheets/blankets are advised against. It might seem like bassinet-makers want the baby to sleep on a rock. By adult standards, a mattress like that would likely cause knots in the back or shoulders constantly. But for a baby, it abides by the basic rule of sleep safety: bare is best.
A firm sleep mattress is a non-negotiable feature of a bassinet and crib. A cushy mattress like the ones used by adults can quickly turn into suffocation hazards for babies. Any loose material can have the same effect.
Like a crib mattress, a bassinet mattress should fit snugly inside the bassinet, with no room for movement. There shouldn’t be any extra frills inside the bassinet itself to keep the bundle of joy sleeping safe and sound.
Lux.Baby’s Hand-Picked Best Baby Bassinets
Our favorite bassinets on the market are the ones that offer just what parents need: a no-frills yet still stylish sleeping setup for newborns.
For parents looking for a rocking bassinet, we recommend the Rockwell. It offers a sleek modern design with a machine-washable cover and a simple, snugly fitted mattress that will keep the baby safe.
For parents that prefer a standing bassinet, we love the Snoo, which comes with two specially-fitted sheets, six sleep sacks in three sizes, and leg extenders for reflux babies. The Snoo imitates the calming environment of the womb, offering calming rhythms to help the baby sleep easy. It also senses upset and offers gradually more movement to help babies settle.
Looking for the Best Baby Bassinets?
Those first nights home from the hospital are a landmark moment in parents’ lives. Make sure to pass the first nights the right way: with both baby and parents resting easy.
To explore more bassinet options check out the Lux.Baby shop to find a full array of bassinet options, including bundles with other essential short-term baby furnishing items to cover all the home-from-the-hospital needs for your little bundle.