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The 10 Best Bassinets for Baby, Tested Through the Night

Get ready to find the baby bassinet of your dreams, including this year’s Best of The Bump winner.
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By Lynsey Eidell, Contributing Writer
Updated January 11, 2024
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In a nutshell:

Based on feedback from a pediatric sleep expert, a survey of 300 members of The Bump community and our team of independent product testers, we chose the Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper as the overall best bassinet, due to its sleek design, innovative technology and impressive effectiveness.

When it comes to new baby essentials, a safe place to sleep is at the top of the list. Enter: bassinets. Many parents opt for a baby bassinet in those initial weeks and months. Why? Not only do they provide a designated space for your infant to sleep, but are also incredibly convenient by keeping baby close by for those middle-of-the-night feedings and comforting cuddles. A bassinet’s smaller size is also particularly useful for those early days, since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies and parents sleep in the same room (but never the same bed) for at least the first six months. With all three of my sons, I preferred a bassinet during those first few weeks for both peace-of-mind and convenience (particularly during those middle-of-the-night feeds).

But, let’s face it, navigating the dozens of options on the market can be overwhelming (especially when you’re running short on sleep). Here, we break down everything you need to know about bassinets—including the best bassinets on the market, tested by real parents with real sleep exhaustion. Keep reading to discover all this, plus this year’s Best of The Bump winner.

How We Chose and Tested the Best Bassinets

For more than a decade, The Bump has acknowledged the best baby and pregnancy products on the market through our awards series. To help you find the best bassinets on the market today, The Bump editors did extensive research to identify the best-selling, most innovative and all-around top-notch products out there—and then we put those bassinets to the test. Here’s how we did it:

  • We chatted with a pediatric sleep expert to understand what safety considerations and essential features you should keep in mind when shopping for and using a bassinet.
  • We followed the recommendations from the AAP regarding safe sleep guidelines.
  • We enlisted the help of 14 independent product testers to thoroughly test the leading options on the market. These mothers of infants—with babies ranging in age from 1 to 3 months—used these bassinets in their own homes, for naps and nighttime sleep. They then reviewed the products for ease of assembly, features, effectiveness, smart functionality, portability, style and design and value for money.
  • We surveyed over 300 members of The Bump community for additional insight into the pros and cons of these bassinets.
  • We leveraged our familiarity with leading baby brands and trusted online retailers and combed through dozens of product options.
  • We considered several factors when sourcing bassinets, including product weight, weight capacity, age range, size and cost, to name a few.
  • We read user reviews to see how these bassinets have worked for real families, and didn’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating.

Editorial integrity is at the heart of everything we publish. Read about how The Bump develops and reviews all articles, including product reviews.

Image: Caitlin T., Sarah S., Brooke B.

Best Bassinets to Shop

Overall best bassinet for baby

SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet
Image: Happiest Baby
What We Love
  • Innovative, intuitive technology
  • Connects to an app that helps you understand baby’s sleep patterns
  • Weaning feature for when you’re ready to transfer to the crib
Things To Consider
  • High price point
  • Heavy; not very portable

A bassinet that promises a better night's sleep sounds like it's too good to be true—but it’s a reality with the Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper, which is why it earned our Best of The Bump award for best bassinet. (Head here to see all of this year’s Best of The Bump winners.) Favored by a whopping 25 percent of our survey respondents, the SNOO was designed by renowned pediatrician and infant sleep expert Harvey Karp. Thanks to a combination of soothing features—including being able to detect when baby is fussing and respond automatically with a rocking motion and increased white noise—the SNOO claims to help both parents and baby an extra one to two hours of sleep per night. It certainly worked for our product tester, who told us, “The gentle rocking motion is very effective in putting our baby back to sleep, which allows us to get more sleep.”

But the SNOO doesn’t just help babies (and parents) get more sleep; it also ensures your little one is sleeping safely. The SNOO is the first and only bassinet to be approved by the FDA as a medical device for its ability to keep babies sleeping safely on their backs, which helps to reduce the risk of SIDS and SUID. Not only does the SNOO swaddle keep babies securely on their backs for up to six months, but the breathable mesh walls of the bassinet also promote healthy airflow. Our product tester, who rated the SNOO a 5 out of 5 for its features, was particularly impressed by these safety considerations. “The bassinet had so many desirable features!” she reported. “It lays flat and has a swaddle that you can attach to the sides, so you can be confident baby is lying on their back and is safe.”

While quality of sleep and peace of mind are two priceless qualities, the SNOO does come with a hefty price tag. However, parents have the option of purchasing a certified pre-owned SNOO for a lower price or renting the SNOO at a monthly rate. If your budget allows for any of these options, our product tester says it’s worth the splurge. “There's no price you can put on getting a good night’s sleep,” she raved—and we can’t help but agree. Even better, And if you use the code BUMP3 at checkout, you can add three complimentary SNOO sacks to your order—a $104.85 value.

Dimensions: 35.8" (L) x 19" (W) x 31" (H) | Weight: 38 lbs. | Weight capacity: 33 lbs. | Age rating: Up to 6 months

Our product tester says:
“Getting sleep as a new parent is so important! The bassinet helps me have peace of mind, and the app functions help me analyze when my baby is waking and when they need extra soothing.”

Our community says:

"This SNOO is worth every penny being that the technology has helped my baby sleep. The swaddle inserts are amazing design and quality and comfortable. It’s got a very easy-to-use app with great tips as well." – Leah, The Bump survey respondent

"I like that it has the safety straps to keep baby for rolling over too early, the ease of the SNOO sack and the cry detection feature." – Claire*, The Bump survey respondent

"It's extremely easy to set up and take down for trips, has an understated look and baby slept great." – Chloe*, The Bump survey respondent

Buy Now

Best bedside bassinet for baby

What We Love
  • Comes equipped with the mattress, sheet and nylon attachment strap for co-sleeping mode
  • Large storage basket underneath
  • Built-in leg extensions to adjust the height
Things To Consider
  • If you have a platform bed, the bassinet may not be tall enough

Looking to keep baby close by for those middle-of-the-night feedings? Look no further than the Arm’s Reach Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper Bassinet. Not only is it a great bedside bassinet option, but it’s an all-around solid pick: Our product tester, who has a 1-month-old baby, gave it 5 out of 5 scores for its features, style and design and, maybe most importantly, effectiveness: “My baby had no issues falling asleep in this bassinet,” she shared. “My baby also doesn’t mind lying in the bassinet during the day while I get things done around the house.” If that’s not all, 7 percent of our survey respondents also raved about this option.

The Arm’s Reach Clear-Vue bassinet can be used in two modes: As a co-sleeper (it securely attaches to your bedside with a patented attachment strap and plate) or as a freestanding bassinet (with four wheels for easy portability). Our product tester found both versions to be equally impressive. When used as a co-sleeper bassinet, she reported that it was “not hard at all to lift my baby out for feedings at night”. And in freestanding mode, she raved about the bassinet being “very light and portable throughout the house.” That’s what we call a baby gear win-win.

Besides being a versatile bedside bassinet, one of the standout features of the Arm’s Reach Clear-Vue is its storage. The bassinet boasts a large basket underneath, which is ideal for storing all of your little one’s necessities, like diapers, wipes, swaddles and more. Our product tester called this her “favorite feature” on the bassinet, and it’s easy to see why. “This was very convenient so I didn’t need to walk from his nursery to our room in the middle of the night,” she said. From its storage to its multiple modes, this bedside bassinet is top-notch.

Dimensions: 34" (L) x 20" (W) x 34.5" (H) | Weight: 26 lbs. | Weight capacity: 45 lbs. | Age rating: Up to 5 months

Our product tester says:
“With how easy it is to put together and all of its features, I feel this is a great product—especially for first time parents! It makes having a newborn a little bit easier at night!”

Our community says:

"Extremely sturdy, baby seemed comfortable in it, easy to set up and compact." – Laura, The Bump survey respondent

"I appreciated the safety, mobility, ease of setting up, quality, multiple ways to use and storage space." Ramona*, The Bump survey respondent

Buy Now

Best portable bassinet for baby

Dream On Me Poppy Traveler Portable Bassinet, Dark Grey
Image: Walmart
What We Love
  • Removable legs
  • Folds down simply and quickly
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with carry bag for easy transport
Things To Consider
  • Lower age and weight limit than some options

When it comes to portability, few bassinets do it better than the Dream on Me Traveler Portable Bassinet. Not only is this portable bassinet incredibly lightweight (at just under 16 pounds), but it also breaks down and sets up in seconds thanks to its quick-fold mechanism and snap-on legs. And for the times when you're taking it on the go, the Dream on Me comes with its own carry bag, making transport a breeze. “This bassinet is very convenient when it comes to travel,” our product tester reported. “I love that it's easy to put together.”

The Dream on Me bassinet also boasts mesh side panels for optimal ventilation, a washable padded mattress and a roomy interior, giving baby plenty of room to stretch out. “This bassinet is a lot deeper and longer than most bassinets I’ve seen before, which is a really great feature,” our product tester shared. Another feature to love? The price: At less than $80, the Dream on Me bassinet is one of the most affordable options on the market, without skimping on quality. Whether you need a bassinet that easily moves around your home, one to take on your next big travel adventure or one that simply doesn’t break the bank, this portable bassinet from Dream on Me is a top pick (and also a favorite of Dumaplin’s!).

Dimensions: 37" (L) x 22" (W) x 27" (H) | Weight: 15.5 lbs. | Weight capacity: 25 lbs. | Age rating: Up to 3 months.

Our product tester says:
“I love the portability of this product. It’s so easy to put together and take apart. It also comes with a really nice travel case, which makes transport even better.”

Buy Now

Best rocking bassinet for baby

Baby Cradle
Image: Nordstrom
What We Love
  • Anti-slip feet guarantee a safe, sturdy base
  • OEKO-TEX certified fabrics
  • Mesh fabric, mattress and mattress cover are removable and machine-washable
Things To Consider
  • Low weight limit

A swaying motion is known to be soothing for a baby, which means a rocking bassinet can be a great option for those first few months. Our favorite is the BabyBjörn Baby Cradle, which earned 5 out of 5 scores across multiple categories—including ease of assembly, features, effectiveness, portability, style and value. “I will forever recommend this product to any expecting mothers,” our product tester gushed. “It’s a lifesaver.”

So what makes this rocking bassinet from BabyBjörn so special? Well, for starters, its gentle swaying motion—which can be done manually or induced naturally by baby’s own movements—helps to comfort fussiness and promotes restful sleep. “The rocking motion was perfect to soothe my baby,” our product tester shared. “It only takes five minutes for her to fall asleep. It makes no sound while rocking, which is a huge plus!” This bassinet also features airy, mesh sides, a comfortable mattress and a sturdy base with non-slip feet—all of which are made out of OEKO-TEX-certified materials, which ensures nothing harmful or hazardous comes close to your little one. “The quality of the bassinet itself is amazing,” she gushed.

The BabyBjörn baby cradle also boasts a sleek, lightweight design that fits in almost every size and style room. At just 13 pounds, our product tester reported that it was “very light to move around” and also easy to travel with. But despite being light in weight, the BabyBjörn cradle features solid construction—so you can rest assured your little one is getting a safe and soothing slumber.

Dimensions: 31" (L) x 23" (W) x 26" (H) | Weight: 13 lbs. | Weight capacity: 17 lbs. | Age rating: Up to 6 months

Our product tester says:
“If anyone were to ask me what kind of bassinet to get, it would be this one! It’s just saved my life so much for how fast my baby falls asleep in it and how easy and fast it is to put together.”

Buy Now

Best travel bassinet for baby

Chicco LullaGo Anywhere
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Fabrics are easily removed and machine-washable
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with carry bag for easy transport
Things To Consider
  • Carry bag doesn’t zip shut
  • Small size may not work for larger babies

When you’re ready to hit the road with baby, be sure to pack the Chicco LullaGo Anywhere Bassinet. In terms of a travel bassinet, this one checks all the boxes: It's extremely lightweight (just 12 pounds!), it folds down flat, it comes with its own carry bag and its metal legs snap on in seconds for easy set-up. It’s no wonder our product tester scored it a 5 out of 5 for portability, describing it as “easy to throw in a car or on a plane for travel.” The LullaGo Anywhere didn't just impress her; it was also recommended by Dumaplin as one of her favorite bassinets.

When you reach your destination, this travel bassinet comes together quickly—our tester gave it 5 out of 5 for ease of assembly—and won’t need tons of space, thanks to its compact footprint. “It was sturdy but still lightweight,” our product tester shared. “I really liked that the legs were vertical and not slanted, so it didn’t take up unnecessary room.” The Chicco LullaGo Anywhere Bassinet also comes equipped with its own waterproof mattress and fitted sheet (two fewer items you need to think about packing) and features four mesh sides for optimal viewing and ventilation. As an added bonus, one of the sides has a storage pocket to help keep baby’s essentials nearby.

The Chicco LullaGo Anywhere Bassinet is also GREENGUARD Gold-certified, which means it is tested for low chemical emissions and promotes healthier air quality around your little one, no matter where your travels take you.

Dimensions: 30" (L) x 18" (W) x 28" (H) | Weight: 12 lbs. | Weight capacity: 20 lbs. | Age rating: N/A

Our product tester says:

“This bassinet is perfect for travel. I packed this up easily in three minutes and stored it in the travel bag.”

Editor's note: While this baby is of course having a wonderful time—and a downright 'grammable moment—awake and under supervision, babies should never sleep in a bassinet with a blanket.

Our community says:

"It's easy to put together, well-made, eco-friendly and worth the price." – Annemarie, The Bump survey respondent

Buy Now

Best twin bassinet for baby

What We Love
  • Includes polyester sheets, cotton sheets and waterproof mattress pads
  • Rotates 360 degrees for easy access to your bedside
  • Two storage pockets
Things To Consider
  • Large footprint
  • Requires batteries to operate

Having newborn twins is a daunting endeavor, but the right gear can help. One item that can be worth investing in is a twin bassinet, and our top pick in the category is the Halo BassiNest Twin Sleeper. “This was the best option for my twins and for our family,” said our product tester, who used this product with both of her children from birth to 4 months. The Halo BassiNest allows your children to each have their own sleeping spaces (which is recommended by the AAP for safe sleep), while still having the comfort of being near each other, thanks to a mesh divider that runs down the middle of the bassinet. “It was a great size for both babies,” our tester told us, “and the mesh wall in between the two sections was really nice for the little ones to still sense each other. We saw them pressing their hands against each other multiple times.”

The Halo BassiNest Twin Sleeper has a variety of soothing features, including two levels of vibrations, three lullabies and three nature and womb sounds. And this twin bassinet isn’t just designed with babies in mind; it also considers parents and their needs. A nightlight helps caregivers see during middle-of-the-night feedings, and a back-to-bed reminder chimes in case you doze off during any feedings. But the feature that really helped our product tester was the swivel option—the Halo BassiNest rotates over the bed and has sides that lower to make lifting twins out easier. “I was easily able to tend to either baby, depending on who needed me,” she said.

With its built-in soothing features and its thoughtful design, the Halo BassiNest can help make twin parents’ lives a little bit easier—and what more can you ask for from a twin bassinet? As our product tester told us, “It helped us so much the first four months, and it was great having both babies close to each other and in our room.” No wonder 32 percent of our survey respondents were big fans of this brand’s bassinets!

Dimensions: 45" (L) x 45" (W) x 36" (H) | Weight: 25 lbs. | Weight capacity: 20 lbs. each, 55 lbs. total | Age rating: N/A

Our product tester says:

“Now that they’ve moved to cribs, I miss how well they slept in this bassinet!”

Buy Now

Best pack and play with bassinet for baby

What We Love
  • Infant bassinet is on the smaller side, which might not work for larger babies
Things To Consider
  • Infant bassinet is on the smaller side, which might not work for larger babies

Investing in baby gear that you can only use for a limited amount of time can be a tough pill to swallow—but the Graco Pack ‘n Play Close2Baby Bassinet Playard is designed to grow with your child from the newborn days through toddlerhood, thanks to its five different modes of use. It comes with a newborn bassinet that can either be placed in the pack and play or easily moved around your home, a feature that our product tester loved. “The function I adored is being able to move the bassinet in and out of the playard,” she reported. “It worked well and my child slept peacefully.”

In addition to the newborn bassinet, the Graco Pack ‘n Play Close2Baby also comes with a full-size bassinet (for when your child outgrows the infant attachment) and a diaper changer, complete with wipe-down fabrics for the inevitable messes. Not only does it function as a bassinet and a changing table, but it also serves as a pack and play: All of the attachments can be removed and the playard can be used through toddlerhood. The Graco Pack ‘n Play Close2Baby is also a great travel option, as it folds quickly with the push of a button, comes with its own carry bag and has wheels for easy portability once it’s set up. This bassinet-playard combo is a baby gear workhorse that you’ll continue to use for years to come—and that’s the best feature of all, in our books.

Dimensions: 33" (L) x 27" (W) x 29" (H) | Weight: 29 lbs. | Weight capacity: 15 lbs. (infant bassinet); 20 lbs. (portable bassinet); 25 lbs. (changer) | Age rating: N/A

Our product tester says:

“I would recommend this for anyone to purchase because of the additional features. It can be used for multiple ages. This product is safe and functional … It can be trusted!”

Buy Now

Best smart bassinet for baby

What We Love
  • Adjustable leg extenders
  • Multiple motions, speeds and white noise options
  • Bluetooth-enabled and can be controlled via app
Things To Consider
  • Storage basket and extra sheets are additional purchases
  • High price point

The best smart features on a bassinet are the ones that help baby sleep better and longer—and the 4Moms Mamaroo Sleep Bassinet has those in spades. This smart bassinet boasts five parent-inspired motions, five different speeds and four white noise options, all of which are easily controlled through the 4Moms app. But where this bassinet takes its tech to the next level is with its FindYourRoo feature. Caregivers simply hold the phone while rocking their baby, and the 4Moms app will tell you which motion and speed combination is most similar to your own motions. It was a favorite feature of our product tester, and it’s easy to see why. “If you have a baby who has a hard time going to sleep without being rocked, or needs movement to soothe themselves to sleep, then this would be invaluable,” she said.

The 4Moms Mamaroo Sleep Bassinet isn’t just high-tech, though: It also earned 5 out of 5 scores in ease of assembly (“it can absolutely be done by one person,” according to our product tester) and effectiveness. She reported that her baby fell asleep more easily in the 4Moms bassinet than others, and also slept more soundly while in it—which is exactly what you want out of a baby bassinet.

Dimensions: 34" (L) x 24" (W) x 39" (H) | Weight: 30 lbs. | Weight capacity: 25 lbs. | Age rating: N/A

Our product tester says:

“I would feel confident in recommending this bassinet to parents whose babies have a hard time getting to sleep…this bassinet works well, and it can help soothe babies to sleep.”

Buy Now

Best affordable bassinet for baby

Fisher-Price Soothing View Bassinet Portable Baby Crib with Mesh Sides
Image: Walmart
What We Love
  • Folds down to near flat for easy storage and transport
  • Can be used in rocking or stationary mode
  • Mesh sides for optimal ventilation
  • Lightweight
Things To Consider
  • Rocking must be done manually
  • No sound or vibration features

Infant bassinets can be a hefty investment, with some costing several hundreds of dollars (if not over a thousand!). But the Fisher-Price Soothing View Bassinet balances an affordable price tag (just under $100) and an effective design, making it a favorite of parents—our product tester included. She rated it 5 out of 5 when it came to ease of assembly, portability, style and design and value for money.

Some of the standout features, according to our product tester, included its ability to fold flat when not in use (it collapses to just 4 inches) and its manual locking mechanism. “My favorite feature is that you can fold the bassinet for easy storage when you’re not using it, as well as the rocking feature,” she shared. “Rocking the bassinet is clutch to keep baby asleep without picking him up!”

The Fisher-Price Soothing View Bassinet also has twist-and-lock feet, which allow you to switch from rocking to stationary mode, and tilt-prevention, a safety feature that helps prevent the bassinet from knocking over. “That single-handedly became one of our favorite things,” our product tester shared about the tilt prevention. “We have [multiple] kids, so we were nervous about another child pushing too far … [but] that wasn’t an issue, as the bassinet doesn’t allow it to pass a certain point when being pushed.”

Though it may not come with any smart functions or additional bells and whistles, the Fisher-Price Soothing View Bassinet nails the basics—and does it at a price that won’t break the bank. What’s not to love about that?

Dimensions: 35" (L) x 23.6" (W) x 26.8" (H) | Weight: 13 lbs. | Weight capacity: 25 lbs. | Age rating: N/A

Our product tester says:

“The ability to be portable, easy to use, easy to build and [with] safety in mind makes this one of the best bassinets we have for our child!”

Our community says:

Buy Now

Best bassinet for small spaces

Iora Bedside Bassinet
Image: Target
What We Love
  • Multiple height positions and slide function for added convenience
  • Large built-in storage basket
  • Folds flat for easy storage
Things To Consider
  • No motion or sound features

Working with a small space? Luckily, babies don’t take up much room—and neither does the Maxi-Cosi Iora Bedside Bassinet. This bassinet is designed to maximize its usage of space by featuring a massive storage basket directly underneath the bassinet. The built-in storage—which doesn’t add to the footprint of the bassinet and is one of the largest we’ve seen—wowed our product tester. “The storage that this bassinet has is amazing. It’s very big and has so much space,” she gushed.

Besides its storage, the Maxi-Cosi Iora also has four different height positions and a slide function that allows you to easily glide baby towards you in the middle of the night. When it’s not in use, it folds down flat, allowing you to tuck it away where you please. It also comes with its own travel bag (that zips shut—an added bonus!) for when you want to take it on the go.

Our product tester was also impressed by the quality of this bassinet, rating it a 5 out of 5 for value for money. “It’s very durable and very good quality,” she said. “It’s something that can last you for a while or for another baby.” Whether you’re tight on space or not, this bassinet from Maxi-Cosi is a winning pick.

Dimensions: 38.5" (L) x 26" (W) x 36" (H) | Weight: 24 lbs. | Weight capacity: 20 lbs. | Age rating: Up to 5 months

Our product tester says:

“I would recommend it to any new parent for their little one. I love it so much! It’s great quality and something that will last for a long time.”

Buy Now

*Note: Some names have been changed due to privacy requests.

Bassinet Comparison Chart

Overall best bassinet for babyBest bedside bassinet for babyBest portable bassinet for babyBest rocking bassinet for babyBest travel bassinet for babyBest twin bassinet for babyBest pack and play with bassinet for babyBest smart bassinet for babyBest affordable bassinet for babyBest bassinet for small spaces
Overall Best
Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper
Arm's Reach Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper Bassinet
Dream on Me Traveler Portable Bassinet
BabyBjörn Baby Cradle
Chicco LullaGo Anywhere Bassinet
Halo BassiNest Twin Sleeper
Graco Pack 'n Play Close2Baby Bassinet Playard
4Moms Mamaroo Sleep Bassinet
Fisher-Price Soothing View Bassinet
Maxi-Cosi Iora Bedside Bassinet
Price$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Dimensions35.8" (L) x 19" (W) x 31" (H)34" (L) x 20" (W) x 34.5" (H)37" (L) x 22" (W) x 27" (H)‎31" (L) x 23" (W) x 26" (H)‎30" (L) x 18" (W) x 28" (H)‎‎45" (L) x 45" (W) x 36" (H)‎‎‎33" (L) x 27" (W) x 29" (H)‎‎‎34" (L) x 24" (W) x 39" (H)‎‎‎35" (L) x 23.6" (W) x 26.8" (H)‎‎‎38.5" (L) x 26" (W) x 36" (H)
Weight38 lbs.26 lbs.15.5 lbs.13 lbs.12 lbs.25 lbs.29 lbs.30 lbs.13 lbs.24 lbs.
Bedside
Smart features
Type of motionBack-and-forth rotationN/AN/ARockingN/AN/AN/AArched bounceRockingN/A
Storage
Buy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full Review

Bassinet vs. Crib

Let’s tackle the basics, like what is a bassinet, and how does it differ from a regular crib?

While cribs can be used from day one through toddlerhood, a bassinet is designed specifically (and exclusively) as a sleep space for newborns and very young babies, typically less than 6 months old. Bassinets are often smaller than cribs and usually oval-shaped (whereas cribs are larger and rectangular).

Moreover, bassinets tend to be more portable than cribs. This way, parents can move them throughout the house to provide a safe sleep space that’s close by and easily accessed for feedings. Many also come with added features, including rocking or motion, sound and storage—which can not only help baby sleep, but also be an added convenience to parents and caregivers as well.

What to Look for in a Baby Bassinet

When shopping for a baby bassinet, the primary feature to look for is safety. Cara Dumaplin, a neonatal nurse, pediatric sleep consultant and the founder of the popular baby and toddler sleep program Taking Cara Babies, recommends paying attention to labels to find bassinets that are designated for safe sleep.

“The most important thing to look for when shopping for any sleeping place for baby is to be sure that it’s labeled as a ‘crib,’ ‘portable crib,’ ‘bassinet,’ or ‘play yard,’” Dumaplin explains. “These labels have specific safety requirements, so you know that they’re appropriate for safe sleep.”

On the flip side, there are certain product labels to avoid when seeking out a sleep space for your infant. “Products labeled as nappers, sleepers, loungers, bouncers, swings, nests or pillows are not safe options for sleep,” Dumaplin emphasizes. She also stresses that parents don’t use “any products that include loose bedding, anything in the bassinet that holds baby at an angle or any added features like pillows or bumpers.” This is in keeping with the AAP’s guidelines, which state that all babies should be placed to sleep “on their backs on flat, non-inclined surfaces without soft bedding.”

When it comes to any bassinet bells and whistles, those boil down more to a parent’s (and baby’s) personal needs and preferences. “Some families love bassinets that rock, glide or include a built-in sound machine to help soothe a fussy baby. These types of bassinets are often more expensive, but those features can be helpful for many families,” Dumaplin explains. “Other families find that bassinets that are easy to move from room to room can be incredibly convenient for their lifestyle. For some, bassinets that have adjustable height or swivel can help, especially during postpartum recovery.”

How to Get Baby to Sleep in a Bassinet

Found your perfect bassinet, but still struggling to clock quality zzz’s at night? “There’s this belief out there that when babies are tired, they’ll simply sleep easily in a crib or bassinet. Sometimes, this isn’t the case,” Dumaplin says. To help, here are some tips and tricks for getting baby to sleep in a bassinet:

  • Create a womb-like sleep environment. “Anything we can do to recreate the feeling of being back in the womb will provide comfort and help with sleep,” Dumaplin says. She suggests keeping the room dark, using a “shower-volume” sound machine and using a swaddle, which helps to mimic the “snug feeling of the womb,” Dumaplin explains.
  • Find baby’s “sweet spot” for sleep. “One of the most valuable things you can do to promote restful sleep is to lay baby down in their ‘sweet spot’ where they’re tired enough to fall asleep easily but not at all overtired,” Dumaplin says. Pay attention to age-appropriate wake windows (which are about 60 to 90 minutes in those first few months, according to Dumpalin) and keep an eye out for sleepy cues (which include flushed brows and looking away).
  • Follow safe sleep practices. When you’re exhausted, it can be tempting to turn to pillows, swings and the like to try and get baby to sleep—but babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs on a firm, non-inclined surface, per the AAP’s recommendations. Dumaplin also stresses to avoid the use of any after-market products in a bassinet, and instead only use “the firm, flat mattress sold with the bassinet.” The bassinet should also “be free of anything other than a tightly fitted sheet,” she says.

How Long Can Baby Sleep in a Bassinet?

Unsure when to make the transition from bassinet to crib? “It’s time to transition to a crib when baby can sit up independently or they outgrow the manufacturer’s height/weight recommendations on your bassinet—whichever comes first,” Dumaplin explains. “There’s no particular age that a baby needs to transition to the crib, but those safety guidelines mean that most babies are ready to transition to a crib between 4 to 6 months.”

Many bassinets also have a guideline in place that states parents should discontinue use and transition to the crib once their baby can push up onto their hands and knees. Be sure to understand your bassinet’s height and weight limitations, as well as safety guidelines, before using.

When you and your little one are ready to bid farewell to the bassinet, don’t be nervous about the transition. “The truth is that if the environment is the same—a firm, flat mattress in a cool, dark room with the humming of a sound machine—most babies transition easily between a bassinet and a crib,” Dumaplin says. She suggests starting with one to two naps per day in the crib to help your little one practice sleeping in a crib and help ease your anxiety over the switch.

About the writer:

Lynsey Eidell has researched and written dozens of product reviews for The Bump, from the best pregnancy belly bands to the best baby bassinets and beyond. She’s also written about entertainment, pop culture, weddings and motherhood for digital publications including PEOPLE, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Allure and more. She is a graduate of Villanova University and a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, where she currently lives with her family. When she’s not busy writing, she is kept equally busy by her three young boys, who are 7, 4 and 3.

Interested in becoming a product tester for The Bump? Head here to apply.

Sources

Cara Dumaplin, RN, is a mother of four, a neonatal nurse and a pediatric sleep expert. She is the founder of Taking Cara Babies, which provides online sleep courses and resources for newborns and toddlers through age four. Her popular Instagram account, @TakingCaraBabies, boasts 2.5 million followers.

American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics Updates Safe Sleep Recommendations: Back is Best, June 2022

American Academy of Pediatrics, Safe Sleep, August 2023

The Bump May 2023 Survey. Editors conducted a survey of 300 new and expectant parents from among The Bump community, and asked whether they used a bassinet and what type and brand they used.

Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial process.

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