For a lot of mamas-to-be, no sooner have they started the baby bed search, than they run up against the question of bassinet vs crib. So what’s the difference? Is one better than the other? And do you really need to buy both?
Let’s get to the bottom of the debate.
The basics: the difference between bassinet and crib
The most important thing to remember is that, whatever you choose, bassinets and cribs are both wonderful, safe places for your newborn to sleep.
As long as the mattress fits properly and the bed isn’t filled with toys, bumpers, pillows, or loose blankets, your baby will (hopefully) love it and sleep safe and sound.
What is a bassinet?
A baby bassinet is smaller than a standard crib or even some mini cribs.
Bassinets are generally oval-shaped with a hood that folds over so that the sun stays off your baby during their daytime naps.
What is a crib?
Cribs are larger than bassinets and have a more rigid, fixed structure.
They are usually rectangular and have height-adjustable bases, so you can make the sides higher as your child gets mischievous and learns to sit up and pull themselves up to standing. Some even let you remove the sides so that the crib can become a toddler bed later.
When working out the bassinet vs crib dilemma, mamas-to-be generally think about the cost and the size of the bed.
Because bassinets are little, you’ll probably only use one for the first four to five months of your little one’s life.
For some families, the extra purchase doesn’t make sense.
On the other hand, if you plan to move soon after your baby arrives, or if you know that they’ll be moving to their own nursery once they start sleeping better, it might be easier to save space with a baby bassinet at first and then upgrade to a crib when they’re in their own room.
What’s the point of a bassinet?
Can a newborn go straight into a crib? Yes. Absolutely. But there are still some practical reasons why new mamas prefer to use a bassinet in the beginning.
- They have lower sides. It’s a lot easier to put your sleeping baby into a bassinet than it is to lower them over a crib rail. This makes things more comfortable for you as you recover from giving birth, especially if you’ve had a c-section.
- They’re portable. This means that your baby can take their daytime naps in the same room as you. The official advice is that babies should sleep in the same room as their parents for at least the first six months. Being able to bring them to different rooms of the house is often really convenient, especially in the early weeks when they might seem to sleep for most of the day.
- They’re more enclosed. This might help some babies to sleep better. There’s no guarantee here, though. Some babies hate the bassinet in the same way that some hate hats and socks, and there’s just no way of knowing until after you bring them home.
- They look cute. This is furniture for your home, so it’s also okay to consider the aesthetics too. Cribs are big, new babies are really small. Lots of parents think their little ones look cozier when they spend their first few weeks in a smaller bed.
The bottom line: do you need a bassinet?
So does a baby really need a bassinet?
Honest answer? No.
They don’t grow with your little one, and they have weight limits, and if you have a long baby then you might only use them for a few weeks.
A newborn can absolutely sleep in a crib straight away.
But if you want a baby bassinet, if you think it’s going to look great in your home, and if it’s going to make you feel more ready for your baby’s arrival, it’s a purchase you might really enjoy the benefit of, especially during the first few months.
Still unsure? Dilemmas are way easier to deal with when shared! See what other mamas in the Peanut community have to say about their experiences with the bassinet vs crib debate.
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