Picture the scene. You’ve just brought your baby home and you want to spend as much time around them as possible. Then, bedtime comes.
You take your baby to the cutest room in the house and pop them in the crib. Only, you can’t quite settle down. You’re in and out of the room constantly, keeping tabs on how your baby is sleeping.
It’s a problem that I had. I felt much more comfortable when my baby slept in the same room as me, especially during the first few months. Unfortunately, cribs don’t offer the portability for that. Plus, your bedroom may not be big enough to accommodate a crib anyway.
Sleeping with your baby in your bed isn’t the answer. The dangers of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) can’t be ignored. Instead, a bassinet may be just what you’re looking for.
Keeping Your Baby Safe and Comfortable – The Best Bassinets
I’ve decided to combine my own experiences with bassinets and various tips I got from other parents over the years. Below, I’m going to give you my take on 10 different bassinets. Each also has a slightly different purpose, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Table of Contents
- The Best Bedside Bassinet
- The Best Bassinet for Small Places
- The Best Portable Bassinet
- The Best Newborn Bassinet
- The Best Cost-Effective Bassinet
- The Best Co-Sleeper Bassinet
- The Best Large Bassinet for Giving Your Baby Space
- The Best Twin Bassinet
- The Best Bassinet Made Using Non-Toxic Materials
- The Best Travel Bassinet for Camping
- Selecting the Best Bassinet for You
The Best Bedside Bassinet
A bassinet for the bedside must be narrow enough to fit into the space, while offering instant access to your baby. A little bit of storage room always helps, as well.
As the name implies, the Arm’s Reach’s bassinet puts your baby in arm’s reach whenever you go to bed. This is particularly useful after a Caesarean Section (C-Section), which can make it difficult to lift your baby out of a crib.
It attaches to the side of your bed using a strap that you secure under your mattress. You can adjust the strap to different lengths. The key here is that the bassinet is always by your side. As a result, you can get to your baby as soon as he or she starts crying. You can attend to your baby’s needs instantly, instead of dragging yourself out of bed while their cries wake everybody up.
The sides are particularly impressive. You can lower them during the night, so you can use the bassinet as a co-sleeper without bringing your baby into bed with you. However, you can also use the bassinet in other rooms during the day. Just pop the walls back up and your child can sleep safely in the room with you while you handle your chores.
I’m a fan of the little shelf at the bottom as well. It’s big enough to store spare diapers, clothes, and warm wet wipes. With it, you have everything you need to clean your baby and get the sweetie back to sleep in case of a little nighttime bathroom emergency.
Despite this being a great choice as a bedside bassinet, Arm’s Reach haven’t neglected portability. This bassinet comes with wheels, so you can move it from one room to another with ease. The brake will also ensure that nobody sends it on the move while your baby sleeps.
The only real negative is the strange size. You might find it a little difficult to find suitable sheets.
What’s Great About It: As well as being a good bedside bassinet, Arm’s Reach’s product is safe and offers versatility. The little shelf is ideal for storing the things your baby needs.
The Best Bassinet for Small Places
Space isn’t always a luxury that you can afford. If you have a small apartment, or your bedroom can’t fit a standard crib, you need a bassinet that fits into small spaces. Stability is key with a smaller bassinet. You want to keep your child safe, so there can be no compromises in this area.
Halo’s Swivel Sleeper bassinet is one of the best choices for the job. Halo’s bassinet feels sturdy, with the four-pronged base ensuring there are no night time wobbles, no matter how much your baby moves during sleep.
You can adjust the bassinet’s height, which allows you to keep your baby at arm’s reach no matter where you are. At the lower settings, it’s ideal for moms who can’t keep getting up and down because of a C-section.
The base has another plus point – the legs are small enough to slot under most beds and sofas. That’s where it truly comes into its own as a space saver. You can slide two of the legs under your bed, meaning you only need to accommodate the legs that stick out. Better yet, you don’t lose any of the stability that makes this bassinet so impressive in the first place.
There’s also the swivel. You can easily rotate the bassinet through 360 degrees. This means you don’t have to move the whole thing when you get out of bed in the morning. Instead, just give the top a turn and you have the space you need.
I am a little less certain about the mattress, though. It feels quite thin, so you may want to look elsewhere if you feel like this might affect your baby’s sleep.
What’s Great About It: The base slots easily into small gaps, making this bassinet a good choice for small spaces. The mesh keeps air flowing through the bassinet, plus the adjustable height option makes it versatile.
The Best Portable Bassinet
Sometimes, you’ll need to take your bassinet out and about. For example, you may need to take your baby on vacation, or drop them off with a family member for a weekend. Portability is key in such situations.
If you’re looking for portability, the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play may be your best option. It folds up easily, so you can pop it in the car whenever you need to head out. This makes it ideal for moms who are always on the go. Plus, it means you can give it to family members whenever they babysit for you.
The bassinet also rocks your baby to sleep for you, as long as you give it a slight push. This makes it ideal for keeping restless babies comfortable, without having to keep picking them up to rock them back to sleep. When your baby settles down, just lock the feet to stop the rocking.
Despite its portability, this is one of the sturdier bassinets around. In fact, it can hold a maximum weight of 25 pounds, so you can use it for most of the baby’s first year.
Of course, there’s the “play” portion of the bassinet to consider too. Fisher-Price have struck a good balance here. There’s a little mirror for your baby, and a small rattle. The only problem is that the rattle may become a bit of a nightmare late at night if your baby wakes up and starts playing with it. Thankfully, it’s not attached to the bassinet, so you can remove it.
The pad is machine washable, and safe for dryers. This will be a relief to any mom who doesn’t enjoy handwashing a mattress after an unfortunate late night incident. However, you do need to watch out for shrinkage.
What’s Great About It: While the portability is obviously a plus, I really like the play options. This bassinet isn’t just for sleeping babies. The rattle and mirror will keep your baby entertained for hours.
The Best Newborn Bassinet
With newborns, you want to keep things simple. Too much stimulation could keep your baby awake at night, which is a terror for all involved. Your baby doesn’t get the rest they need, and you could end up feeling like a zombie after a couple of days.
The Harmony Cradle keeps things simple, but it offers more than you may realize just from looking at it. For example, the mesh fabric has a slight springiness to it. This may not seem all that important, until you think about how much time you spend trying to gently rock your baby to sleep. This bassinet does the job for you, while staying at a gentle enough level that it doesn’t wake your baby.
The mesh is also translucent. This helps minimize overstimulation. You can quickly check in on your baby without having to hover over the bassinet. There’s something very reassuring about being able to glance to the side and see your baby’s shape as the child sleeps.
The legs are the only thing that I’m a little uncertain about. They slot nicely into small spaces, which is a great space saver. And the wooden beams are very sturdy, too. But the base looks flimsier than it really is. I haven’t heard of any toppling, or other such accidents. However, you may prefer another bassinet if you’re not sure about the base.
What’s Great About It: This bassinet offers everything that people love about Scandinavian minimalism. Your newborn can concentrate on sleeping, rather than playing with distracting little bells and whistles.
The Best Cost-Effective Bassinet
However wonderful, the appearance of a baby in your life will put a squeeze on your finances. Unfortunately, that might place some of the bassinets on my list outside of your desired price range.
Happily, Lamont’s Baby Bassinet offers a cost-effective solution. I adore the classic look that this bassinet has. The white skirting offers elegance, even if it makes the bassinet a touch bulkier than some of its equivalents. I will note that the fabric doesn’t seem as breathable as mesh. This won’t usually present a problem, but may become an issue on hot and stuffy days.
It’s not just the look that makes this bassinet a good choice. Stability is covered too. The bassinet has a four-point system that keeps it locked in place. The wide base only adds to the package. If you’ve ever been wary of bassinets that seem to tip over easily, this may be an excellent choice for you.
The bassinet is also quite light, which means you shouldn’t have too much trouble carrying it from room to room. However, moms who’ve had C-Sections may prefer something with wheels. The lifting motion could cause some damage, especially if your baby is still inside.
The biggest downside is the fact that you have to assemble the bassinet. Lamont offers detailed instructions, plus the website features a handy video. However, you may not want to deal with the hassle when there are pre-assembled bassinets out there.
What’s Great About It: Elegance is the go-to word when I think of this bassinet. The beautiful lace design is gorgeous, plus the bassinet offers plenty of space for your baby. It also feels secure, despite its light weight.
The Best Co-Sleeper Bassinet
Many parents enjoy co-sleeping. It soothes both you and your baby. However, you need the right bassinet for the job. Ideally, your choice will have a wall-lowering mechanism that allows you instant access to your baby.
I’ve already touched upon some great co-sleeping bassinets, but I think the Next2Me stands out. You can tell that the manufacturers had co-sleeping in mind with every design feature.
Its light weight makes it easy to move from room to room. You also won’t end up spending hours struggling with it to get it attached to your bed. The height adjustment feature puts paid to that issue. A simple slide is all you need to set the bassinet at the perfect height for your bedside.
The bassinet attaches directly to your bed, and you can drop the wall down so your baby is always in sight when you sleep. This also makes your baby easier to access. You only need to reach in and you can have your baby in your arms without ever having to get up.
I also like how you can elevate one end of the bassinet. If your baby struggles with colic or wind, this will keep them more comfortable at night. Once your baby is asleep, you can gently lower the head end again to flatten the bassinet out.
The mesh panels are also a plus point. They allow you to see your baby while the bassinet is in use. What’s more, your baby can look through the mesh to see the world around.
There are a couple of drawbacks, though. This is a large bassinet, so you may find some of the other products on this list more suitable if you have limited space. You also have to buy special bedding for the bassinet. Unfortunately, this means that it doesn’t come with a waterproof mattress.
What’s Great About It: The Next2Me allows you to quickly and securely attach the bassinet to your bed. One of the walls drops down, so you can co-sleep. Also, the ability to elevate one end means you don’t have to prop the bassinet up on less stable supports.
The Best Large Bassinet for Giving Your Baby Space
You may have a lot of space in your home for a bassinet. Why not make the most out of it? Size matters when it comes to growing room as well. Your baby can stretch out during nap times if you have a larger bassinet.
Graco’s Pack ‘n Play is one of the larger bassinets out there. Longevity is the key advantage here. This bassinet should last for about a year before your baby starts to outgrow it.
The Playard also has a small arch that hangs over the top of the baby’s head. A few soft toys dangle from the arch, which will keep your baby entertained when they’re not sleeping. Thankfully, you can also remove the bassinet portion of the Playard, which I suggest you do at night. Unless you want your baby awake and laughing all night, that is.
Despite its size, Graco’s Playard is remarkably portable. Folding it up isn’t a problem. A handy little button handles that for you. This is great for moms who don’t want to lose too much time with a bassinet. It also comes with a travel bag, so you can pop it in the car and take it wherever you need to go.
Graco have also added wheels to the base, so you can quickly move it from room to room. While it’s a nice idea, there is a slight problem. The wheels don’t lock. This won’t be a big issue if there’s only you and the baby in the room. However, it does present a risk if you have other children running around, or pets. I should also say that my Playard had a slightly strange smell. It wasn’t too bad, but it was noticeable.
What’s Great About It: If you think that size matters, then this may be the bassinet for you. Your baby will have plenty of room to stretch and roll around. The hanging toys will also keep the baby occupied. It’s also surprisingly portable.
The Best Twin Bassinet
Twins share a strong bond from birth. Twin bassinets allow you to put them to bed side-by-side. This also means you can keep an eye on both of them in one place. There’ll be no going from one bassinet to the other. What’s more, it helps when playtime comes. Once your twins can sit up, they’ll love being able to see one another as they play with their toys.
Graco’s Pack ‘n Play Playards come in a twin variety as well. It’s pretty fun.
The pack ‘n play offers plenty of space for toys. You can also remove the bassinets from the base at any time. As a result, this may be a good option if you want somewhere safe for your twins to both sleep and play.
The twin canopies block out the light, so you can put your baby to sleep during the day. They also offer some protection from the sun’s rays, though I still wouldn’t recommend taking the bassinet outside with you. The mesh panels also keep air circulating through the bassinet.
Like Graco’s large bassinet, this features wheels and a handy latch. You can roll the bassinet from room to room, or fold it up using the simple latch when you need to take it somewhere.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks. The internal wall between the twin bassinets isn’t see-through, so your twins can’t interact with each other when they’re lying down.
Furthermore, it doesn’t hold as much weight as you might expect it to. Each bassinet can only carry a maximum of 15 pounds. In other words, you may have to look for other options once your baby passes the six-month mark.
What’s Great About It: It’s a twin bassinet, which sets it apart and allows you to save money on buying two separate bassinets. The pack ‘n play offers plenty of space. You can also remove the bassinets when you want to take your twins away from any stimulus.
The Best Bassinet Made Using Non-Toxic Materials
You have enough on your plate as a parent, without having to worry about toxic materials. Some bassinets prioritize getting rid of toxicity above all else.
At first glance, the Babyletto looks more like a conventional crib than a bassinet. However, it’s fully convertible. You can turn it into a bedside bassinet, then rebuild it as a crib once your child gets a little older. The bassinet comes with a handy conversion kit, so you could use it for several years before upgrading to a bed.
However, it’s not the bassinet’s usability that caught my eye. Instead, it’s the array of safety certifications that comes with it. It has a gold certification from GREENGUARD. This means that it has been tested for more than 10,000 chemicals that may prove harmful to your baby. Furthermore, it’s certified as being free of more than 360 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
There’s just a slight problem. The bassinet has an oval shape, which means getting replacement mattresses and sheets isn’t the easiest task in the world. You also have to buy the mattresses separately. That adds a little extra cost that you could avoid with most of the other bassinets on this list. Of course, none of them match the Babyletto when it comes to non-toxic materials.
What’s Great About It: Obviously, the various certifications will make any parent feel more than comfortable. And then of course it also converts between bassinet, crib, and toddler bed. This may make it a great choice for parents who want a “one and done” solution.
The Best Travel Bassinet for Camping
Charming as it is, nature presents a bunch of new risk factors for bassinets. You have to deal with uneven ground, the elements, and the effect of ultraviolet light on your baby. There’s also the issue of bugs.
The Big Oshi Travel Bassinet may be your go-to choice for when you want to take your baby out camping with you. The dual canopies offer the protection that your baby needs from whatever bugs are out there. It also protects your baby from wasps, bees, and any other creepy-crawlies that would otherwise make their way somehow into a regular bassinet.
Importantly, the bassinet features a mesh design. This means you can keep your eye on your baby from a distance. It also allows cool air to circulate through the bassinet, allowing for a good air flow.
I also like the small storage pouch underneath the bassinet. It doesn’t hold a lot, but it’s big enough for the essentials. You can pack away a few diapers, some cleaning supplies, and a change of clothes without any trouble.
Portability is obviously a factor with travel bassinets, and this one won’t let you down. The Big Oshi folds almost completely flat, so you should be able to slide it easily into the trunk of your car. It’s sturdy too, with the curved supports able to handle uneven ground.
The zippers are the only drawback. They’re difficult to get to once you’ve closed the canopy, which means it may take longer than you’d like to get to your baby. It’s also difficult to zip the canopy up if you’re on your own.
What’s Great About It: This travel bassinet has a pair of canopies that provide sturdy protection against the elements and bugs. The mesh on the sides keeps your baby cool, while the handy storage area is a useful extra feature. I also like the little curve in the supports.
Selecting the Best Bassinet for You
My suggestions highlight some of the best bassinets available today. However, here are some more things that you should know before making your purchase.
Bassinets vs. Cribs – What’s the Difference?
A lot of people see very little difference between a bassinet and a crib. However, there are plenty of moms out there who only feel comfortable when they can see their baby while they sleep. I know because I’m one of them.
Bassinets differ from cribs in two key areas: size and portability. You should be able to move a bassinet between rooms without much hassle. They’re usually light, plus many models come with wheels. This also means you can give a bassinet to a babysitter, or use it when you want to take your baby on vacation with you. Cribs, on the other hand, are permanent bedroom fixtures. You can’t take them with you anywhere.
As for size, try setting up a crib in a small bedroom. A lot of adult rooms aren’t large enough to contain both a crib and your bed. If you want to co-sleep, a bassinet is the best way to do it without bringing your baby into the bed with you.
A lot of moms who’ve had C-Sections prefer bassinets, too. These tend to be lower than cribs, or at least have adjustable height settings. Some allow you to lower one side of the wall that surrounds the baby. This makes lifting the child much easier when you’re dealing with the after-effects of a C-Section.
With that in mind, I’ve come up with a few things for you to think about before you buy a bassinet.
What Do You Need It For?
You’ll have noticed how I’ve split this list so that each bassinet has a key feature. Some are great for co-sleeping, whereas others may be better for traveling. You must also consider size, portability, and the future when making your choice.
Think about what you need the bassinet for. Are you looking for a comfortable solution to a limited space problem? Will you be taking your child on a lot of trips? How often do mom and dad babysit for you? Will it help if the bassinet has storage space?
Create a checklist of the key features you need from the product, then examine my list. You should be able to find something that suits your needs.
The Bassinet Must-Haves
As you can see, each bassinet has strengths in different areas. However, I think there are a few must-haves that you have to look out for:
- A breathable material: Most modern bassinets use mesh for this. The material needs to allow air to circulate, else your baby may get uncomfortable.
- A good weight limit: A bassinet that can only carry ten pounds will only last for the first three months of your baby’s life. Ideally, the bassinet should carry at least 15 pounds.
- Portability: If you can’t move the bassinet easily, there’s little point in having it.
- The sheets and mattress: Bassinets can be tricky in this respect. Most come with standard, crib-sized mattresses and sheets. However, some use special designs. With the latter, you’ll typically have to spend more.
- Comfort: This is a tricky one. You want the bassinet to be comfortable, but you also have to consider the mattress. A really soft mattress raises the risk of SIDS.
- The materials: Modern research has shown that several chemicals and materials present a high risk to newborns. Try to ensure your bassinet doesn’t contain any of them.
- Any extras: A few bassinets come with cuddly toys and mobiles. These are great for keeping your child entertained during the day, but may overstimulate your baby at night. If there are extras, make sure you can detach them.
The Final Word
Do you find the idea of leaving your baby to sleep alone uncomfortable? Or do you travel a lot and want to ensure your baby gets a comfortable night’s sleep, no matter where you are? If so, you may need a bassinet.
A great bassinet offers portability and comfort. With my list, I’ve tried to highlight some of the bassinets that I believe provide good value for their features.
Figure out what you want to prioritize before making your purchase. Each of these bassinets has different strengths and weaknesses. However, they all have the key features that make for a good bassinet.