Do You Need a Bassinet? Pros and Cons to Consider

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If you’re a new parent, you may be wondering if you really need a bassinet for your newborn. While bassinets provide a smaller, safe sleep space for babies, they are quickly outgrown and babies usually transition out of them before they are 6 months old. In fact, you do not need a bassinet at all for your newborn.

Instead of a bassinet, babies can sleep in a traditional crib, Pack ‘N Plays, or playard from birth. These options even have bassinet features that elevate the mattress, making them perfect for those newborn days. Skipping a bassinet can save you money, especially given its short lifespan, and can be a practical solution for those with limited living space.

Key Takeaways

  • Bassinets are not a necessity for newborns.
  • Traditional cribs, Pack ‘N Plays, and playards are suitable alternatives to bassinets.
  • Skipping a bassinet can save you money and space.

What is a Bassinet?

A bassinet is a small and convenient sleep space specifically designed for newborns. It is favored by many parents as it can easily fit in the parents’ room for room sharing, aligning with the recommendation by the AAP for the first 6 months of a baby’s life. Bassinets are also highly portable, making it easier to move around the house as needed. However, it’s important to note that most babies outgrow their bassinets before reaching 6 months of age. Once your baby starts pushing up, rolling, or nears the weight limit of the bassinet, it’s time to transition to a different sleep space.

Do You Need a Bassinet?

If you are wondering whether you need a bassinet for your newborn, the answer is no. However, a bassinet can be a convenient option to have your baby in the same room with you during the first few months. Here are some pros and cons of using a bassinet:

Pros of Bassinet

  • Safe sleep space: Bassinets are designed to meet safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for safe sleep. They offer a cozy and comfortable sleeping option for your newborn.

  • Portable: Bassinets are smaller in size and more portable than cribs. This makes it easy to move them from room to room, or even take them on the go.

  • Convenient for having baby in room: Bassinets provide easy access to your baby for nighttime feedings or checking on them during naps. This can help you get more sleep and peace of mind.

Cons of Bassinets

  • Short use lifespan: Bassinets have a short lifespan and are only suitable for the first few months of your baby’s life. Once your baby starts to roll over or sit up, they will need to transition to a crib.

  • Extra cost: Bassinets can be an additional expense, and you may need to purchase additional items like bassinet sheets.

  • More baby gear in your house: If you have limited space in your home, a bassinet may take up valuable space.

Overall, whether or not you need a bassinet depends on your personal preference and situation. However, if you do decide to purchase a bassinet, look for one that meets safety standards set by the JPMA or ASTM, is easy to store, and machine-washable.

Bassinet Alternatives

If you are looking for a bassinet alternative, there are a few options to consider. A traditional crib is one option, but it can be expensive and take up a lot of space. A playard or travel crib is a great alternative because it is elevated for easy baby-access, long-lasting, portable, and safe for sleep. Here are some of the best bassinet alternatives to consider.

Best Affordable Bassinet Alternative: Pack-N-Play with Bassinet

The Pack-N-Play with Bassinet is a great affordable option for a bassinet alternative. It is a standard pack ‘n play with the bassinet feature to elevate the mattress, which is definitely worth the extra cost. Graco’s model is more basic than brands like BabyBjorn Travel Crib or Guava Lotus Travel Crib, but it is durable and long-lasting.

The Pack-N-Play with Bassinet is a great option for parents who are planning to have multiple babies because it is easy to store between babies. It is also portable and lightweight, making it perfect for travel. The only issue that some parents may have with it is that the mattress may start bunching up on the side. However, Graco customer service is excellent and will send a free replacement if needed.

It is not necessary to purchase the deluxe versions with added features like a changing station. The extras likely aren’t worth the cost, and you’ll be regularly taking off the accessories before putting your baby to sleep on the full mattress. It is worth it to buy a few extra mini-crib sheets to protect the mattress, especially for the newborn days.

Upgrade Pick Crib Alternative: Guava Lotus

The Guava Lotus Travel Crib is a great upgrade pick for a crib alternative. It is more expensive than the Pack-N-Play with Bassinet, but it has smart features that add a lot of convenience. The side zipper door is the huge selling point for the Lotus Travel Crib. It is a feature that adds a lot of value once babies are able to crawl in independently.

The Lotus is also lighter-weight than the Pack-N-Play with Bassinet, making it easier to move around. It has no maximum weight limit because the mattress is on the ground. The only downside is that the Lotus does have extra costs if you want to add on a bassinet attachment for the littlest babies. You’ll also need two sets of Lotus-specific sheets – sheets for the bassinet mattress and sheets for the regular mattress (though you can find 2-packs of sheets for added value).

Option for Small Spaces: Mini Graco Pack-n-Play

If you have limited space, the Mini Graco Pack-N-Play is a great option for a bassinet alternative. It has a smaller footprint than Graco’s regular Pack ‘N Play with the same great features. It is also lighter for portability. The Mini Graco Pack-N-Play is a great option for parents who want a bassinet alternative but have limited space or who want a portable option.

In conclusion, a playard or travel crib like the Pack-N-Play with Bassinet is the best bassinet alternative because it is elevated for easy baby-access, long-lasting, portable, and safe for sleep. The Pack-N-Play with Bassinet is a great affordable option, while the Guava Lotus Travel Crib is a great upgrade pick. The Mini Graco Pack-N-Play is a great option for parents who have limited space or who want a portable option.

Bassinet or Pack ‘N Play?

When it comes to choosing between a bassinet and a travel crib (Pack ‘N Play), personal preference and lifestyle play a big role. While bassinets are great for short-term use and small spaces, travel cribs can be used into toddlerhood and are likely to be needed anyway. They also serve double duty as a bassinet, saving both money and space.

Co-sleeping is a popular choice for many parents, but bed-sharing can be dangerous for babies. A co-sleeper bassinet, which attaches to the side of the bed, is a safe alternative. However, if you prefer to have your baby in a separate sleeping area, a bassinet or travel crib can be a good option.

If you plan to travel frequently or need a portable sleeping option, a travel crib is the way to go. They are designed to be travel-ready and can be easily transported. On the other hand, a bassinet is not designed for travel and may not be as convenient.

In summary, when deciding between a bassinet and a Pack ‘N Play, consider your lifestyle, personal preference, and sleeping arrangements. While a bassinet may be great for short-term use and small spaces, a travel crib can be used into toddlerhood and serves double duty as a bassinet.

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