A bassinet is the first thing most newborn babies sleep in before moving to a firm mattress in a full-size crib. But how long can you use a bassinet to sleep safely? Is it a waste of money? In short, bassinets can be used for up to 6 months and the cost can certainly be justified. Below you'll discover the current AAP safe sleep recommendations, the best bassinets for safe sleep, and how to transition out of a bassinet when the time comes.
- How long can you use a bassinet?
- When should a baby move out of a bassinet?
- Can baby sleep in bassinet if rolling over?
Bassinets are a comfortable place with a firm, flat surface that can bring peace of mind and convenience to many parents. They are also a great option for master bedrooms with less space to ensure you're still providing a safe environment in those early weeks and beyond.
How long can you use a bassinet?
The American Academy of Pediatrics current safety standards recommend using a bassinet up to 6 months old at most, and likely sooner for most babies.
With that said, new parents should know there is no magical “move baby out of bassinet at X months of age.”
Instead it's best to defer to the manufacturer's recommendation on baby's weight and height limits and stop use once baby rolls as bassinet sides are shallower than a mini crib or standard crib.
Typically most baby have reached either a weight or motor milestone around 4 or 5 months old that would age them out of a bassinet.
When should a baby move out of a bassinet?
In most cases, a baby should move out of a bassinet into their own crib once they can roll as the sides of a bassinet are shallower than a traditional crib.
Ultimately every bassinet is different, so the best way to know when to move baby out of a bassinet is following the AAP's and your pediatricians safe sleep guidelines to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and checking the recommendations for your individual bassinet.
Additionally, always check the consumer product safety commission (CPSC) for product recalls. If your bassinet has been flagged for any safety concerns, move them out immediately to a safe place.
Can baby sleep in bassinet if rolling over?
No, generally it is not considered safe for a baby to sleep in a bassinet once they can roll over.
If your baby is too young to move into their own room, and you do not have space for a traditional crib, you may opt for a mini crib which has about the same footprint as a bassinet in a room, but higher sides for added safety as baby becomes more mobile with rolling or pulling up to stand.
Bassinet weight limit:
Typically, bassinets suggest stopping use once baby's weight reaches 15 lbs.
However, if baby begins to roll over in sleep or push up to hands and knees before reaching that weight milestone, they suggest stopping use immediately.
How long can you use a bassinet stroller?
Just like a traditional bassinet, a bassinet stroller can last up to 6 months of age.
However if baby begins to push up to hands and knees, roll, or reaches the manufacturer's maximum weight recommendation, you should stop using the bassinet stroller.
Do you need a bassinet?
While you do not need a bassinet for a newborn baby, many new parents find it's the most convenient and safest place for their new baby.
Bassinets tend to be smaller than cribs, making it easier to keep in the parents bedroom.
Additionally, if you are first time parents, rest assured you can use a bassinet for future kids so the cost of baby's bassinet is not as short lived.
How long should a baby sleep in your room?
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping your baby's bassinet, crib, or playard (like a pack n play) in your room for the first six to 12 months before moving baby into their own room.
Additionally, having a bassinet in the same room as parents can make middle of the night feeds much easier. All of which can reduce the risk of SIDS.
How to handle the bassinet to crib transition:
While the bassinet to crib transition may seem like a big change, it is fairly easy. Before moving to different rooms, understanding newborn sleep patterns in those early months of life is a great way to make the transition easier on everyone as you won't be there to the same close eye on baby to determine if they are up or just connecting a sleep cycle.
Parents should follow the same bedtime routine and safety precautions to reduce suffocation hazards in their new sleep space. Safety is always the most important thing whether in a parent's room or their own.
If you haven't done a bedtime routine yet, the transition can be a great time to start one. Consider a dark room, white noise (this is my favorite incase power goes out, it keeps going), sleep sack, and an infant massage to make the transition soothing.
Additionally parents should know that when choosing a crib mattress, firm matters. Select a firm surface, with a fitted sheet with no loose bedding, loose blankets, bumper pads, or soft objects which can all be suffocation hazards.
Some parents like to start baby sleeping in their own bed for nap time, while staying in the bassinet for overnight sleep at first.
Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper bassinets are a great option for a safe bedside sleeper. They come in a few different sizes and styles to fit parent's and new baby needs.
Their Clear-Vue™ CO-SLEEPER® Bassinet is the best option in my opinion. It features four breathable mesh sides sides of the bassinet, leg extenders, and two modes: freestanding bassinet or Co-Sleeper mode. Additionally there are wheels for easy movability, a basket for storage underneath, and it provides visibility of baby to parents in bed (which is fantastic because many new parents hear phantom cries!).
Similarly, they have the Mini Ezee™ 2 in 1 CO-SLEEPER® Bassinet that's a smaller size for smaller spaces.
For parents who want a bassinet that's even closer than a bedside sleeper, their Versatile™ CO-SLEEPER® Bassinet actually allows you to adjust the height, while the feet extend all the way under the bed so the bassinet sits on top of your mattress; providing the full experience of a safe bassinet with the co-sleeping experience so many parents desire.
NOTE: If you are looking for an even more affordable option, this bassinet is extremely similar, though the footprint is larger and it's not as sturdy/tilts so some babies roll into the mesh side.
Bassinets: Are They Worth It?
Yes! We have found that bassinets are well worth the cost, even if they are short lived, especially for first time parents.
Bassinets provide the perfect foundation for safe sleep practices as guided by the AAP, while also providing ease and convenience to encourage breastfeeding and bonding in the early weeks. It's a great way to cosleep without the risk of SIDS too.
While you may only use a bassinet for up to 6 months, you can save it for future children or sell them second hand unlike other baby items, as long as there's no CPSC recalls.
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