Confused about where to put your newborn to sleep – crib or bassinet? This extensive guide will take you through the pros and cons of choosing a bassinet vs crib to help you make the right decision for your baby.

Puzzled About Choosing Between a Bassinet vs Crib?

Choosing between the ideal newborn sleep option is very difficult for any parent. With their advantages over the myriad of other options, baby cribs and bassinets are the top two contenders for the ever-existing argument about where a newborn should sleep. If you are also overwhelmed by the plenty of options available out there and cannot figure out what’s better between a bassinet vs crib, you are in the right place.

The reason most parents find it difficult to make a clear-cut decision about a crib vs bassinet is that they miss out on a lot of crucial information and are misled by the varying opinions of people around them. This little guide is full of some experiential insights from sleep experts to help you make the right decision.

What is a Bassinet?

A bassinet resembles a small basket secured by breathable mesh walls, usually fixed on legs with wheels. Available in various shapes and sizes, you can usually find a small, oval, or rectangular-shaped basket. Most of the models come with a canopy for extra protection from bugs.
While most of the bassinets feature wheels to easily move them around, some bassinets also come with a handle to carry the baby conveniently. You can also find co-sleeping bassinets that can be attached next to your bed to keep your newborn closer to you without compromising on their safety.

Pros & Cons of Using a Bassinet

Now that you know what is a bassinet, here are the major pros and cons of choosing it for your baby:

Pros of Using a Bassinet Cons of Using a Bassinet
Very compact and light in weight, a bassinet is usually foldable and portable You can only use a bassinet with babies weighing up to 25 lbs
It is quite inexpensive as compared to other sleep options A bassinet has smaller walls and is not very sturdy, thus not a great choice when babies start rolling or making movements
You can use it for your newborn straight away
It is generally made out of baby-safe materials
You don’t need to purchase additional bedding with a bassinet as it comes along with a supportive and breathable mattress
A bassinet is highly versatile in terms of build quality, designs, shapes, etc.
A bassinet doesn’t require complicated assembly and can be easily opened up for use

How to Choose a Bassinet for Your Baby?

If you are considering buying a bassinet for your newborn, here are a few major things you must keep in mind to purchase the best one for your baby:

  • The padding in a bassinet should be medium-firm and not more than 1.5 inches thick.
  • You should neither opt for a soft nor a firm bassinet padding – or else it can hinder your newborn’s proper back support.
  • Some people think that a thick mattress is more supportive but it is not. Instead, it exposes your baby to suffocation hazards.
  • While picking up a bassinet, always ensure that the mesh walls are quite thick and sturdy.
  • The height of the side walls should be at least 8.5 inches and the bassinet should be around 10 inches deep to keep the baby safe when he or she begins to move.
  • Always choose a bassinet that has sturdy and stable legs and wheels.
  • Most importantly, ensure that the bassinet you have shortlisted is certified either by JPMA or ASTM to be assured of its durability and stability as per the latest safety standards.

Dream On Me Skylar Bassinet and Bedside Sleeper

Dream On Me Skylar Bassinet and Bedside Sleeper

What is a Crib?

A crib is a highly stable and durable baby bed that you can use for years. Although available in a myriad of styles, designs, shapes, and colors, a crib is usually made up of high wooden slats or bars keeping your baby secure and safe at all times. A standard crib resembles a baby cage with railings on two sides and a solid board on the other two sides, many cribs today are even convertible and feature side doors, rocking mechanisms, and much more.

Cribs may usually be very large for babies but they are a great investment to transition toddlers into them once they start growing and weighing more. You can use a crib for your baby for years without having to worry about sharing your bed with them or shifting them to a large bed. However, they acquire a lot of space and are quite heavy.

Pros & Cons of Using a Crib

Here are the major pros and cons of using a crib for your little bub:

Pros of Using a Crib Cons of Using a Crib
Very sturdy and safe, a crib keeps your toddler completely safe A crib acquires more space than a bassinet and is not very lightweight, portable or travel-friendly
It has no weight limitations and can be used with kids for years You cannot start using a crib for your child straightaway
Since they are made up of sturdy wooden material, cribs are highly durable and long-lasting Cribs are generally more expensive than any other baby sleep options
You don’t need to worry about your baby growing out of the crib size as you can easily expand it to make a bed when your child is big enough You need to purchase additional bedding as a crib doesn’t come with a mattress
Cribs have high walls making sure your baby doesn’t get out of it without your help and also ensuring your toddler is very safe despite making a lot of movements Cribs are usually very basic and not very versatile in key features – and in case you find them, they are usually very pricey
Crib mattresses are very easy to find Assembling a crib is time-consuming and complicated
Even with wheels and slight gliding or rocking mechanisms, cribs are very stable
Depending upon your baby’s age, you can also adjust the height of a crib
Many cribs offer teething bars to soothe your baby’s gums without risking them with any injuries from wooden slats or splinters

How to Choose a Crib for Your Baby?

If you are interested in purchasing a crib for your baby, here are a few important things you must keep in mind:

  • Understand the types and sizes of cribs available in the market thoroughly to pick your ideal one as per the space availability, budget and functionality required
  • If you don’t have financial restrictions, it is a smart idea to opt for a convertible crib that can provide long term value
  • It is better not to opt for drop-side cribs as they hinder your baby’s safety
  • Try considering a crib that allows you to adjust the height of the wooden bars so that you can decrease or increase it as per your baby’s physical development
  • While purchasing a mattress with wheels, always ensure that they feature a locking mechanism
  • The slats or bars of the crib should not be spaced more than 6 centimeters apart
  • It is better to opt for a crib with a solid headboard and footboard for extra safety and stability
  • Always ensure the crib you are purchasing is certified to meet all the latest safety guidelines suggested by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Hence, look for either the JPMA seal or the Greenguard Gold seal to be assured of the crib’s durability, safety, eco-friendliness, and non-toxic composition.

Dream On Me Aden 4 in 1 Convertible Mini Crib

Dream On Me Aden 4 in 1 Convertible Mini Crib

Difference Between Bassinet and Crib

If you are still confused about choosing a crib or bassinet and looking for a quick comparison between the two, the difference is large. Bassinets are used in the early months of your baby’s life – right from the beginning whereas cribs are introduced when your infant transitions to the toddler phase.

The use of bassinets is limited to babies weighing up to 25 lbs but you can use a crib until your baby is about 3 feet tall. Hence, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that bassinets are meant for infants whereas cribs are meant for toddlers. Furthermore, bassinets are compact, lightweight, portable, and travel-friendly but cribs are stationery, large and sturdy.

Hence, both these sleeping options vary completely in their build quality, shape, feature, weight as well as age limit, and pricing.

What’s Better Between a Crib or Bassinet for Your Baby?

Since bassinets and cribs – both are meant for different age groups, you can choose to either purchase one of them as per your budget, space, and requirement or both of them if you feel the need to. So, choosing between a crib or bassinet is completely up to you as per your needs and choices.

However, the advantages of a crib far outshine that of a bassinet when it comes to durability, stability, and safety but bassinets come in handy when the baby is too young to put in a crib or share a bed with the parents. After a deep study and comparison about bassinet vs crib, what do you think is better and more important?

Frequently Asked Questions about Cribs and Bassinets

Here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about purchasing a crib or bassinet for newborn.

How long does a baby sleep in a bassinet?

A baby can only sleep in a bassinet until he weighs 25 lbs. Once your baby starts to crawl, lean, scoot, or roll over, it is time to transition him or her to a crib – of course, if you feel the need to.

Is bassinet better than crib?

Both bassinets and cribs are great for the purpose they are meant for. Hence, what’s better between the two depends on your preferences, requirements, and comfort.

Should newborns sleep in the crib or bassinet?

It is better for newborns to sleep in a bassinet rather than a crib as it is compact, more comfortable, and snugly, and keeps the baby closer to the parents’ bed.

Can a newborn go straight into a crib?

Although there are no set rules to where and how your baby should sleep, it is better to keep newborns close and in warm and cozy bedding right after birth. Hence, choosing to put the baby in a crib straight away is not a very good option. Ideally, a baby should be transitioned to a crib between three to six months of age.

What features should I look for in a bassinet?

If you are considering buying a bassinet for your baby, try looking for the one that is:

  • Sturdy yet lightweight
  • Foldable and portable
  • Equipped with wheels, a canopy, and an additional compartment beneath
  • At least 10 inches deep with thick and breathable walls

Where can I find a baby bassinet crib for my newborn?

Since bassinets and cribs completely vary in their structure and usability, there is nothing like a baby bassinet crib. However, if you are looking for an option that lies in between a crib and a bassinet, you must understand the pros and cons of using a cradle as it may comprise of the major features present in a bassinet and crib both.

What is more space-efficient, a crib or bassinet?

A bassinet is way more space-efficient than a crib and comes in five major types to further give parents options to explore as per their requirements and the space available.

Wrapping Up

We hope we made it easier for you to make the right decision for your baby. Cribs and bassinets are both really good options for your newborn, of course, if you have the need, budget, and available space for them. Whether you want both or one of these options is totally subjective based on your parenting journey.

Some parents choose to just buy a bassinet for their baby and later transition their toddler into their bed while others prefer a co-sleeper and later switch to a crib. And there are even many parents who choose to purchase both – baby cribs and bassinets for their newborns. So, the selection between a crib vs bassinet should entirely depend on your choices and requirements.

No one – even an expert, can tell you what exactly to choose from a crib or bassinet for newborn. Hence, instead of looking for someone to say why you need to make certain choices for your baby, spend your time thoroughly researching the pros, cons, and risks of bassinet vs crib.

Once you’re well aware of the facts, recommendations, benefits, and risks, you can make the best decision yourself. Ultimately, all you must be concerned about is your baby’s comfort and safety along with your convenience.