How to Buy a Bassinet

Starting baby off in a bassinet before moving on to the crib? We’ve got buying advice every new parent needs to know.
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Updated September 15, 2020
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Many parents start out by using a bassinet in their bedroom for baby. For an exhausted new parent, running back and forth to the nursery to feed and check on baby may simply be more stressful than it’s worth. You’ll also feel safer at first with baby nearby. If you’re worried about baby adjusting to the crib later, have her take naps in it to start getting acclimated.

Because there are currently no federal standards in place for bassinets, cradles or bedside sleepers, it can be tough to know what to look for. Here’s the criteria on our list.

Easy to move
A bassinet can be transported from room to room so you can keep baby with you wherever you are. Consider a model with wheels so you can move it as baby sleeps. It’s generally usable for the first four or five months, or until baby outgrows it.

Nice and sturdy
Just like with your crib, make sure the bassinet is well put together with a wide and supportive base. If yours has foldable legs and/or wheels, make sure both lock securely.

Mattress safety
As with a crib, if you can fit two fingers between the mattress and the sides of the bassinet, the mattress is too small.

Use the same precautions for Moses baskets, which are similar to bassinets but lighter and more portable. Be especially sure to check the sidewalls of these. Anything remotely flimsy just won’t do.

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