Bassinet Reviews and Buying Guide:
Parents have a lot of things to get ready in their house when they are expecting a new baby. Perhaps the biggest thing to take care of is where the baby will actually be sleeping during the first few months after they are born. Some parents choose to put their newborns into a crib right away, but many go with a smaller bassinet that sits next to their beds. Newborns are tiny and studies show they like a "nest" type of place to sleep where it's cozy. A bassinet is perfect, although they are not an essential piece of baby furniture. Other baby beds similar to bassinets are cradles, co-sleepers, and moses baskets. Each is slightly different in design, but most perform the same function. We put our first child into a crib that was in our master bedroom, but when our 2nd child came along we decided to go with a bassinet. My wife had just had a cessarian section birth and lifting the baby into a crib didn't make as much sense as having a lower bassinet right next to our bed. For $100 it was one of the best buys we could have made at the time for our newborn.
Bassinets and cradles are the most common types of infant beds and they are really meant to be temporary until the baby is big enough to be in a larger crib. A bassinet is more stationary, while a cradle might have a rocking feature to it. However, you may find a baby bassinet that has a gentle vibrate mode which helps sooth the baby to sleep. Both are for infants from birth to 4 to 6 months of age. Look for a bassinet with solid construction and a sturdy base. Bassinets often include things like a half-canopy that is removable, musical mobiles, and wheels so you can move it from room to room if you wish. Cradles are small like bassinets but usually have the ability to rock back and forth since the base has curved wood. They tend to be heavier than bassinets and thus harder to move around. A bedside sleeper is perhaps the most convenient baby bed for a mother who is nursing her newborn. The cosleeper, as they are called, attach to the main bed so the parents have quick access to the child in the night. All these options make for some confusion, but we advise you to go to your local Babys R Us or similar kids furniture store and check out the designs and varieties. As for safety with infant beds and bedding, there are lots of things to consider. When it comes to bassinet mattresses, make sure you fit no more than 2 fingers between the side of the cradle and the mattress. If there are wooden slats on the bassinet or cradle, they should not be more than 2 3/8 inches apart or else there is a chance that your baby may get their head caught. You want smooth edges on cradles or bassinets and locking wheels if it's the portable type that rolls. Consumer Reports has an excellent article online about baby beds and safety guidelines which you should read before buying anything, you can find it HERE
. Some of the major brands are Kolcraft, Eddie Bauer, Badger Basket, Amby Baby, The First Years, and Simplicity. The Graco 3 in 1 Bassinet
, The First Years 5 in 1 Carry Me Near Sleep System
and Kolcraft Contours Classique 3-in-1 Bassinet in Moda
are popular bassinets sold on Amazon.com. If you are looking for reviews on bassinets, you can find some informative consumer feedback at Amazon.com, Target.com, Epinions, or Walmart.com. You can browse the top selling baby bassinets here
One of the most popular bassinets on several websites was the Eddie Bauer Newport Collection Wood Bassinet
which sells for around $150. This wooden bassinet has it all with a storage area below the bassinet for bottles, diapers, etc. It will play 5 songs, 5 sounds, vibrate, and it even includes a nice nightlight. The canopy covers about half way over the bassinet to keep out excess light. The wheels make it easy to move around rooms and they are able to be locked in position for safety. Some parents say the vibration mode is a touch noisy and the sounds are a little morphed. For anyone wanting a more traditional wicker bassinet, we found a very basic one online at Ababy.com and it sells for $60. Features include locking casters, storage tray down below, and it even converts to a rocking position. RECOMMENDED
- See all the most popular bassinets as listed online here
Cradles for babies have always represented such an old fashioned idea for me. If you go to Ababy.com they have a great selection of rocking cradles from Jenny Lind and Futura. The DaVinci Futura Baby Cradle
is pretty expensive at $135 and comes in 4 color choices. Owners give it 4 out of 5 stars but they prefer the Jenny Lind Baby Cradle
which is cheaper at $88 and it too is offered in 4 colors (natural, oak, maple, and white). There is some assembly required and it does include the mattress. RECOMMENDED
- The #1 selling bassinet on Amazon is the new Fisher- Price Zen Collection Gliding Bassinet
- you get the gliding motion that puts babies to sleep in this unit. The reviews are a bit mixed on the Fisher Price bassinet, but it still remains a top seller.
Best Moses Basket:
Some parents are aware that a bassinet is only used for about 4 months and prefer not to waste money on an expensive model when they can just buy a reasonable "moses basket" as they are called. The top seller of moses baskets is probably a company called Badger Basket which has their products available in stores like Walmart. All the baby baskets are priced between $59 and $69 on the website. The baskets are easy to travel with and very portable. Just carry them by the handles that are woven into the sides. Amazon carries a nice selection - view the top rated moses baskets as ranked by owners here
Graco 3 in 1 Bassinet:
This is the product that we bought after my wife had the c-section and we needed a cosleeper/bassinet combo. It was actually a bedside sleeper, bassinet and changing table all in one. I don't think the product exists anymore, but you can find something comparable on the Graco website at Gracobaby.com
. I did find some of the Graco bassinets on Craigslist that were selling at a huge discount compared to the brand new products. One of the closest products I could find that are similar to the 3 in 1 bassinet was on Amazon.com -
Graco Pack 'n Play Playard with Bassinet
. There are over 100 reviews online for this Graco bassinet and playard combination.
Top Rated Cosleeper:
Cosleeping isn't for everyone and some families would never thing of it, but you can't deny the incredible convenience you get from having your newborn inches away. Nursing mothers can't say enough about bedside sleepers since no one likes to have to get out of bed late at night to breastfeed. The Arm's Reach Mini Co-Sleeper Bassinet - Natural
($150) sells at Toys R Us (Babies R Us) and receives high praise from new parents. The CoSleeper fits beds that are 22" to 24" high and it converts into a changing table or play yard. For safety purposes, the Arm's Reach cosleeper is meant for infants up to 23 lbs only or until the baby can pull themselves up into a kneeling position. The pros for this product are that it's convenient and easy to use. Some owners do mention that it has too many parts and pieces and putting it together is "cumbersome". We would say that if you are handy with assembling things, then this bedside sleeper is for you. Some parents also brought up a good point and said that it's hard to justify spending so much on a product that you only use for 4 months.