mom putting baby in bassinet

With a newborn baby, it’s natural for parents to want to keep their little one close. Not only does it provide a sense of comfort and peace of mind, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room sharing with your newborn for at least the first six months and up to one year to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.

For many parents, a bedside bassinet is the perfect way to keep their newborn comfortably in the room. A crib can be bulky and difficult to move, but a bassinet is smaller and more portable. But just like with cribs, parents need to make sure they are informed of bassinet safety standards and how to use them safely.

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With a newborn baby, it’s natural for parents to want to keep their little one close. Not only does it provide a sense of comfort and peace of mind, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room sharing with your newborn for at least the first six months and up to one year to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.

For many parents, a bedside bassinet is the perfect way to keep their newborn comfortably in the room. A crib can be bulky and difficult to move, but a bassinet is smaller and more portable. But just like with cribs, parents need to make sure they are informed of bassinet safety standards and how to use them safely.

Shop Bassinets >

Bassinet Safety Standards

It’s important to note that federal bassinet safety standards did not go into effect until 2014. Bassinets manufactured before then were not mandated to any specific bassinet safety standards, so if you decide to buy used, you’ll want to do your research.

Especially for older models, look for labels such as JPMA or ASTM. These are two groups where members voluntarily participated in safety standards before bassinet safety guidelines were mandated.

As you choose your bassinet, look for:

• Too soft a mattress

• Overly puffy sides

• Areas that could catch on baby’s clothing

• Overall stability

Bassinet vs Crib Safety for Newborn

For parents, safety is always a top concern, especially during sleep. According to the AAP, bassinets and cribs are both acceptable safe sleep options for newborns. With this in mind, it makes it easier to determine which is the best choice for your family. 

When it comes to deciding between a bassinet and a crib for your newborn, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:

• Bassinets offer a smaller sleeping space which can be an easier transition for newborns who are used to a sleeping tightly in the womb

• Bassinets are more easily moved around the house or even outside the house

• Bassinets are typically less expensive than cribs

• Some bassinets comes with unique features such as rocking, vibration, and motion like the BassiNest® Premiere Series

• Depending on the bassinet weight limit, you’ll most likely only be able to use it for a few months. 

For this reason, many parents choose both! They start using a bedside bassinet and once they outgrow it according to bassinet safety standards, parents then transition their little one to a crib.

Different Types of Bassinets

Keeping safety in mind, parents still have several options on different types of bassinets to choose from. Here’s a brief overview of the different designs available to  parents.

Stand alone bassinet

This is the most traditional style and what comes to mind for most people when they hear the word “bassinet.” It is essentially a basket secured on a stand. Although nowadays, you can find a stand alone bassinet in a variety of shapes and sizes, including in a twin size

Co-sleeper bassinet

These differ slightly from stand alone bassinets because one side of it attaches to your bed. Typically, that side that attaches opens halfway down, so you can more easily see and reach your baby from your baby. To be considered safety, manufacturers must follow specific regulations from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, so you’ll want to double check this before using.

The HALO BassiNest® Essentia Series uses a patented lowering bedside wall to easily turn a stand alone bassinet into a bedside sleeper. This is an especially good option for moms who are breastfeeding or who have undergone a C-section. 

Portable bassinet

This is a great option for families who travel. While they act as a sturdy stand-alone bassinet at home, a portable bassinet can easily be folded up to move to a different room or put in the car to take on the road! Most of these, like the HALO BassiNest® Flex™ Portable Bassinet are lightweight, making it easier and more convenient to transport. 

Newborn Bassinet Safety Tips

Once you’ve decided on a bassinet for your little one, you’ll want to keep in mind the following bassinet safety guidelines to make your baby (and you!) sleep safely and peacefully. 

Look at weight and age limits

As mentioned, bassinets are not meant for long term use. Due to their design and high center of gravity, they post a tripping hazard the older, heavier, and more mobile a child gets. The majority have a weight limit of 15 to 20, but to be sure, you’ll want to check the specific weight and age limits of your bassinet. Some manufacturers add a maximum age to their safety guidelines as well, ranging anywhere from 4 to 6 months. 

Even if your baby has not yet reached the age or weight limit of the bassinet, you need to be on the lookout for signs of rolling over. Once a little one starts to roll over or sitting, you need to immediately stop using the bassinet and transition to a crib. You can learn more about that process on our blog “How to Transition from Bassinet to Crib?” 

Choose mesh walls

Typically bassinets come with either mesh or cloth walls that enclose your baby. Sleep experts recommend choosing mesh. Not only do mesh-walled bassinets offer a clear visual of your little one, it can also be life-saving. If a little baby manages to roll in the bassinet and ends up with their face pressed against the side, a mesh wall will allow for airflow where a cloth wall would not. 

Fortunately, after the bassinet safety standards were mandated, most modern ones feature mesh walls. 

Lock wheels

Parents love bassients because they’re portable! It’s a major selling point and for good reason. However, this does require parents to take an extra step to ensure their little one’s safety.

Whenever the bassinet is stationary or when your baby is inside, make sure the wheels are securely locked. We recommend parents pay extra special care whenever the baby and bassinet are near stairs, pets, or other small children. After laying your baby down and before walking away, be sure to check the wheels are locked to help prevent a roll-away disaster. 

Don’t move bassinet with baby inside

Unless the bassinet is specifically designed to be a carrier as well, you should not attempt to move the bassinet if your little one is in it. 

Follow all other safe sleep recommendations

No matter if your baby is sleeping in a bassinet or crib, you still need to make sure you are educated on the safe sleep recommendations determined by the AAP in order to reduce the risk of SIDS. 

In order to ensure your little one’s safety during sleep, including naptime, you should: 

• Place your baby to sleep on their back.

• Use a firm mattress with tight-fitting sheets.

• Consider room sharing for the first 6-12 months

• Never bed-share or share a sleeping surface with your little one

• Dress your baby appropriately, whether it’s keeping baby warm on cold nights or keeping baby cool on hot nights to prevent overheating

• Maintain the ideal temperature for a baby's room (between 68 degrees to 72 degrees fahrenheit or 20 degrees to 22.2 degrees celsius) 

Once you’ve decided on a bassinet and familiarize yourself with bassinet safety standards, you are ready to safely lay your baby down to get some sleep. 

Bassinet Safety Standards

It’s important to note that federal bassinet safety standards did not go into effect until 2014. Bassinets manufactured before then were not mandated to any specific bassinet safety standards, so if you decide to buy used, you’ll want to do your research.

Especially for older models, look for labels such as JPMA or ASTM. These are two groups where members voluntarily participated in safety standards before bassinet safety guidelines were mandated.

As you choose your bassinet, look for:

• Too soft a mattress

• Overly puffy sides

• Areas that could catch on baby’s clothing

• Overall stability

Bassinet vs Crib Safety for Newborn

For parents, safety is always a top concern, especially during sleep. According to the AAP, bassinets and cribs are both acceptable safe sleep options for newborns. With this in mind, it makes it easier to determine which is the best choice for your family. 

When it comes to deciding between a bassinet and a crib for your newborn, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:

• Bassinets offer a smaller sleeping space which can be an easier transition for newborns who are used to a sleeping tightly in the womb

• Bassinets are more easily moved around the house or even outside the house

• Bassinets are typically less expensive than cribs

• Some bassinets comes with unique features such as rocking, vibration, and motion like the BassiNest® Premiere Series

• Depending on the bassinet weight limit, you’ll most likely only be able to use it for a few months. 

For this reason, many parents choose both! They start using a bedside bassinet and once they outgrow it according to bassinet safety standards, parents then transition their little one to a crib.

Different Types of Bassinets

Keeping safety in mind, parents still have several options on different types of bassinets to choose from. Here’s a brief overview of the different designs available to  parents.

Stand alone bassinet

This is the most traditional style and what comes to mind for most people when they hear the word “bassinet.” It is essentially a basket secured on a stand. Although nowadays, you can find a stand alone bassinet in a variety of shapes and sizes, including in a twin size

Co-sleeper bassinet

These differ slightly from stand alone bassinets because one side of it attaches to your bed. Typically, that side that attaches opens halfway down, so you can more easily see and reach your baby from your baby. To be considered safety, manufacturers must follow specific regulations from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, so you’ll want to double check this before using.

The HALO BassiNest® Essentia Series uses a patented lowering bedside wall to easily turn a stand alone bassinet into a bedside sleeper. This is an especially good option for moms who are breastfeeding or who have undergone a C-section. 

Portable bassinet

This is a great option for families who travel. While they act as a sturdy stand-alone bassinet at home, a portable bassinet can easily be folded up to move to a different room or put in the car to take on the road! Most of these, like the HALO BassiNest® Flex™ Portable Bassinet are lightweight, making it easier and more convenient to transport. 

Newborn Bassinet Safety Tips

Once you’ve decided on a bassinet for your little one, you’ll want to keep in mind the following bassinet safety guidelines to make your baby (and you!) sleep safely and peacefully. 

Look at weight and age limits

As mentioned, bassinets are not meant for long term use. Due to their design and high center of gravity, they post a tripping hazard the older, heavier, and more mobile a child gets. The majority have a weight limit of 15 to 20, but to be sure, you’ll want to check the specific weight and age limits of your bassinet. Some manufacturers add a maximum age to their safety guidelines as well, ranging anywhere from 4 to 6 months. 

Even if your baby has not yet reached the age or weight limit of the bassinet, you need to be on the lookout for signs of rolling over. Once a little one starts to roll over or sitting, you need to immediately stop using the bassinet and transition to a crib. You can learn more about that process on our blog “How to Transition from Bassinet to Crib?” 

Choose mesh walls

Typically bassinets come with either mesh or cloth walls that enclose your baby. Sleep experts recommend choosing mesh. Not only do mesh-walled bassinets offer a clear visual of your little one, it can also be life-saving. If a little baby manages to roll in the bassinet and ends up with their face pressed against the side, a mesh wall will allow for airflow where a cloth wall would not. 

Fortunately, after the bassinet safety standards were mandated, most modern ones feature mesh walls. 

Lock wheels

Parents love bassients because they’re portable! It’s a major selling point and for good reason. However, this does require parents to take an extra step to ensure their little one’s safety.

Whenever the bassinet is stationary or when your baby is inside, make sure the wheels are securely locked. We recommend parents pay extra special care whenever the baby and bassinet are near stairs, pets, or other small children. After laying your baby down and before walking away, be sure to check the wheels are locked to help prevent a roll-away disaster. 

Don’t move bassinet with baby inside

Unless the bassinet is specifically designed to be a carrier as well, you should not attempt to move the bassinet if your little one is in it. 

Follow all other safe sleep recommendations

No matter if your baby is sleeping in a bassinet or crib, you still need to make sure you are educated on the safe sleep recommendations determined by the AAP in order to reduce the risk of SIDS. 

In order to ensure your little one’s safety during sleep, including naptime, you should: 

• Place your baby to sleep on their back.

• Use a firm mattress with tight-fitting sheets.

• Consider room sharing for the first 6-12 months

• Never bed-share or share a sleeping surface with your little one

• Dress your baby appropriately, whether it’s keeping baby warm on cold nights or keeping baby cool on hot nights to prevent overheating

• Maintain the ideal temperature for a baby's room (between 68 degrees to 72 degrees fahrenheit or 20 degrees to 22.2 degrees celsius) 

Once you’ve decided on a bassinet and familiarize yourself with bassinet safety standards, you are ready to safely lay your baby down to get some sleep.