do i need a bassinet

Do You Need a Bassinet? Quick Guide for New Parents!

Written by: Gabriela Alvarado



Time to read 11 min

Welcoming a newborn is an exciting journey filled with countless decisions, one of which is where your baby will sleep. Many new parents have had good experiences when using a bassinet for their newborn, but is it the right choice for you?

Continue reading to get all the information you need to make an informed decision when you’re thinking about whether you should buy a bassinet.

Explore The Nursery

Do I Need a Bassinet?

Bassinets have a lot of benefits in the first months after giving birth, especially because the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the newborn baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, without bed-sharing, to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Since bassinets are smaller than cribs, they fit perfectly in any room, even in smaller spaces. They provide a portable sleeping space designed specifically for newborns and young infants.

Unlike a crib, which is larger and more permanent, a bassinet is compact and often features a cozy, enclosed design. It typically has a sturdy base and soft sides, and many models come with additional features like rocking capabilities, storage space, or even wheels for easy mobility.

For the initial months, a bedside bassinet can be a wonderful addition to your bedroom, especially if you’re a first-time mom (FTM) or if you’ve had a C-section. It helps you keep an eye on their little one at all times, so you don’t have to move too much to be able to feed them or check up on them. Perfect for recovery!

Bassinet is not a long-term solution

While a bassinet offers many advantages for your baby’s sleep, it’s not a long-term solution. Babies typically outgrow their bassinets between three to six months of age, at which point they will need to transition to a crib.

If you're choosing between a bassinet and a convertible crib, the latter is often the better choice. A convertible crib, like The Milan Crib, grows with your child, transforming from a mini crib to a full crib and eventually to a toddler bed. Made from sustainably harvested wood and non-toxic materials, it’s JPMA and safe-sleep certified, ensuring a safe and stylish solution for your baby's early years.

Mini crib size

5 Benefits of Having a Bassinet

As new parents, finding the right sleeping arrangements for your newborn is crucial for your peace of mind and your baby’s comfort. The bassinet is one of the most versatile and convenient options in the market. Here are five key benefits of getting a bassinet for your little one:

1. Closeness to Parents

A bedside bassinet allows you to keep your baby close throughout the night, making nighttime feedings and check-ins much easier. You won’t have to walk across the room or to another part of the house to tend to your baby’s needs, which means less disruption to you and your baby’s sleep.

This proximity also means you’ll be able to respond quickly to any signs of discomfort and it can foster a stronger bond between parents and baby. New parents will sleep more peacefully, knowing their little one is sleeping safely nearby.

2. Convenience

Bassinets are designed with convenience in mind. They’re typically lightweight and many models come equipped with wheels, similar to a stroller, making it simple to move the bassinet from room to room.

This portability allows you to keep a watchful eye on your baby while you go about your daily activities. Whether you’re cooking in the kitchen, working in your home office, or relaxing in the living room, the ease of movement ensures that your baby is always within reach, making caregiving more manageable.

3. Makes Traveling Easier

For parents who love to travel, a bassinet can be a game-changer. Many bassinets are designed to fold easily and come with a travel bag, making them perfect for trips. Whether you’re visiting family, staying in a hotel, or even going on a camping adventure, a travel-friendly bassinet ensures your baby has a familiar and safe place to sleep. This allows you to maintain your plans and lifestyle without compromising your baby’s comfort and safety.

4. Safety

Safety is a top priority for any parent, and a bassinet provides a secure sleeping environment for your baby. Most bassinets feature a flat, firm mattress and breathable mesh walls, which are ideal for reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), The enclosed design keeps your baby snug and prevents them from rolling out or getting stuck, decreasing the risk of suffocation during sleep.

5. Bassinet Stroller

Some bassinets are designed to double as strollers, offering even greater versatility. These hybrid models are perfect for parents who need to transition smoothly from indoor to outdoor settings.

You can take your baby for a walk, visit friends, or run errands without needing to transfer them to a separate stroller while they nap. This feature is particularly useful for maintaining your baby’s sleep schedule, as they can continue napping uninterrupted while you’re on the go.

5 Cons of Bassinets

While bassinets offer numerous benefits for new parents, there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are five cons you can encounter when using a bassinet:

1. Short Lifespan

One of the main disadvantages of bassinets is their short lifespan. Babies typically outgrow them pretty quickly, so you’ll only get a few months of use out of it. This limited time frame can make a bassinet feel like a less cost-effective option when compared to a crib, which can be used for several years.

Cribs are designed to accommodate growing children and can often be converted into toddler beds, making them a great long-term investment. However, you can always save your bassinet for your next baby. If you’re looking for a stylish and durable crib, made from non-toxic, natural materials, the Nurture& Crib is the best choice.

Crib Nursery

2. Limited Weight Capacity

Bassinets have a lower weight limit than cribs, usually supporting a maximum of 15 to 20 pounds . As babies grow quickly, they may reach this weight limit sooner than expected, prompting an early transition to a crib.

baby sleeping in a bassinet

3. Limited Features

Compared to cribs, bassinets often have fewer features. Bassinets usually lack adjustable mattress heights or convertible designs, which means they won’t be able to grow with your baby. Cribs typically offer multiple mattress height settings and can transform to toddler beds or even daybeds, providing greater versatility and longevity.

4. Portability Issues

While some bassinets are designed to be portable, not all models are easy to move around. Certain bassinets can be bulky or lack wheels, making it cumbersome to transport them from one room to another. On the other hand, cribs are generally stationary pieces of nursery furniture, and while not portable, they offer a sleeping setup for your baby beyond their first year of life.

5. Stability Issues

Stability can be a concern with some bassinet models, especially those with wheels or rocking features. There’s a risk of tipping over if the bassinet is not used carefully, particularly in homes with older siblings or pets who might accidentally bump into it.

Are Bassinets Safe?

As long as bassinets are assembled and used properly, they are a safe sleeping option for baby use. Following these guidelines set by the AAP can significantly reduce the risk of SIDS and ensure a safe sleeping environment:

  • Always place your baby on their back: To minimize the risk of SIDS, it’s crucial to place your baby on their back for all  sleep times, including naps. This position helps keep their airways open and reduces the chances of suffocation.

  • Use a firm and flat sleep surface: The bassinet should have a  firm and flat mattress  that fits snugly within the full size of the frame. Avoid any soft bedding, as a firm surface is essential for maintaining a safe sleep area.

  • Keep your baby close, but not in your bed: The AAP recommends room-sharing with your baby for at least the first six months to the first year of life. However, bed-sharing should be avoided. A bassinet allows you to keep your baby close without the dangers associated with co-sleeping.

  • Avoid soft objects in the sleep area: Keep pillows, toys, blankets, and other soft items out of the bassinet. These objects can pose suffocation or strangulation hazards. The sleep area should be kept clean and free of anything that could obstruct your baby’s breathing. 

  • Use brand new items: It’s recommended to use a brand new bassinet rather than second-hand items. This helps avoid potential issues related to wear and tear or outdated safety standards.

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How Long Can a Newborn Use a Bassinet?

The lifespan of a bassinet depends on several factors, including the baby’s weight, length, and mobility. Here’s what you need to know to ensure your baby’s safety and comfort:

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for weight and age limits specific to your bassinet model. Most bassinets are designed to support babies weighing up to 15 to 20 pounds. Exceeding these limits can compromise the safety and stability of the bassinet.

Size Considerations

Babies typically outgrow their bassinets between three to six months of age. As they grow longer and heavier, the bassinet becomes too cramped, making it uncomfortable for your baby. Transitioning to a crib ensures they have enough space to stretch and move comfortably.

Mobility Milestones

A critical factor in determining how long your baby can use a bassinet is their mobility. If your baby can push up on their hands and knees or roll over, it’s a sign they may be ready to transition out of the bassinet, regardless of their weight. Increased mobility can also pose a risk of falling or suffocation.

How to Choose a Bassinet

Selecting the right bassinet for your newborn is an important decision, and there are several factors to consider to ensure both safety and functionality. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed choice:

Safety Standards

First and foremost, ensure that the bassinet meets safety standards. Look for a stable and solid frame that can support your baby securely. Check for labels from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) or the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM). These certifications indicate that the product meets rigorous safety standards.

Size and Portability

Since the bassinet will be in the same room as the parents, it’s crucial to verify the size and the space it’ll occupy. Measure the area where you plan to place the bassinet to ensure it fits comfortably. If you plan to move the bassinet between different rooms, look for models that are lightweight and equipped with wheels for easy portability.


Bassinets come in a wide range of models and prices. Choose one that fits your budget and meets your needs. Consider the lifespan of the bassinet, typically around three to six months, when deciding how much to spend. Remember, bassinets are not a necessity; many newborns can sleep directly in a crib, which can end up being a more cost-effective option for parents on a tight budget.


Consider the features that will make your life easier. Some bassinets come with compartments for storing baby essentials, adjustable heights to match your bed level, and options to rock or remain stationary. Think about which functionalities will be most useful for you and your baby.


Lastly, choose a bassinet that complements the aesthetic of your home. With so many designs available, you can find one that matches your decor.

Other Alternatives to a Bassinet!

If you don't think that a bassinet is a good choice for your newborn baby to sleep in, several other options may suit your needs better. Here are some alternatives to consider:

Mini Crib

Mini cribs are smaller than standard cribs but larger than bassinets, making them a good option for smaller spaces. They can often be used for a longer period than a bassinet and many models are foldable and portable. However, mini cribs still take up more space than a bassinet and may have a shorter lifespan compared to a full-sized crib.

The Nurture& Milan Crib is a 3-in-1 crib that transforms from a mini crib to a full crib and then to a toddler bed. It’s the best companion for your baby’s sleep during their early years.


Cribs are larger and can be used from birth until your baby transitions to a toddler bed, typically around two to three years old. They’re stable and often come with adjustable mattress heights, allowing you to lower the mattress as your baby grows and becomes more mobile.

The Nurture& Crib is a convertible crib that grows with your baby, and will accompany them for the years to come—until they’re ready for a big kid bed!


Co-sleepers are designed to attach to the side of an adult bed, allowing for easy access to the baby during the night. This makes nighttime feedings more convenient and helps parents keep a close eye on their newborn. However, co-sleepers often have limited weight and size capacity and are typically used for a shorter period.

Pack-N-Play / Playard

Pack-N-Plays or playards are versatile and portable, serving both as a sleeping area and a playpen. Many models come with a bassinet insert for newborns, which can be removed as the baby grows, allowing for extended use.


What is a Bassinet ?

A bassinet is a small, portable sleeping space designed for newborns and young infants. It typically features a cozy, enclosed design and is intended to be used for the first few months of a baby's life, providing a safe and comfortable sleep environment close to the parents.

When to Stop Using a Bassinet ?

You should stop using a bassinet when the baby outgrows it, surpasses the weight limit (usually between 15-20 lbs), or starts gaining mobility, such as rolling over or sitting up. At this point, transitioning to a crib is safer and more appropriate.

How to Get a Newborn to Sleep in a Bassinet ?

Creating a bedtime routine can help your newborn feel comfortable and safe in their bassinet. Techniquest to encourage sleep include:

  • Swaddling your baby for warmth and security.

  • Using white noise to mimic the sounds inside the womb.

  • Ensuring a calm environment.

  • Gentle rocking or soothing motions to help lull the baby to sleep.

What Safety Features Should I Look for in a Bassinet ?

When choosing a bassinet, look for the following safety features:

  • A sturdy frame to prevent tipping.

  • A firm mattress to reduce the risk of suffocation.

  • Breathable mesh sides for proper airflow and to allow you to see the baby easily.

  • Certifications from safety organizations such as the JPMA or the ASTM.

  • Ensure there are no loose parts, sharp edges, or small components that could pose a suffocation hazard.

Explore Nurture& to find the best baby products for your nursery room and check out our Journal for more pregnancy and nursery tips!

L. Elizabeth Forry

Medically reviewed: Gabriela Alvarado

Medical surgeon with certifications from Imperial College London and Johns Hopkins University. Committed to medical excellence, she has conducted several academic research projects that have contributed to the advancement of the field.

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