Just like thousands of parents out there, are you also confused between selecting a cradle vs bassinet for your baby? Well, you are in the right place. This article will help you understand the pros and cons of a bassinet vs cradle and help you pick the ideal baby sleep solution for your baby. In the end, you will also find some FAQs about the same.

Overwhelmed By Plenty of Baby Sleeping Options Out There?

Choosing between a cradle vs bassinet can be really confusing, with all the myriad options available. It is not only about making an investment but is important because it is sure to affect you and your baby’s sleep routine for a long time. So, if you are looking for a baby sleeping option that helps your little munchkin get the comfort and much-needed back support required for healthy growth and relaxing sleep, we have your back (pun intended).

You might have navigated through a lot of web pages already or may even have consulted dozens of moms. But you may not have been able to conclude the most important information in order to select between a bassinet vs cradle.

So, read to find a practical and useful study and compare what a cradle and bassinet are along with their major differences, pros, and cons.

What is a Cradle?

A cradle is like a basket bed that resembles a crib but is much smaller. It has a manual side-to-side rocking or gliding mechanism. Typically, a cradle is made up of wood for extra safety and sturdiness but nowadays you can also find some cradles made up of heavy and breathable polyester mesh that hang from a heavy metallic structure to rock back and forth.

Dream on me - Luna/Haven cradle

Dream on me Luna/Haven cradle

Pros of Using a Cradle

  • Since it is generally made out of wood, a cradle is very sturdy and safe.
  • It is usually portable and easy to shift from one room to another.
  • By rocking or gliding, a cradle calms the baby to sleep comfortably.
  • A cradle makes it easy for a baby to switch to a crib because the latter is just a bigger version of the former.
  • Also, it can easily accommodate a child weighing up to 25 lbs, so parents don’t need to worry about changing the bedding within a few months.
  • Cradle allows you to have your baby close by during the early months.

Cons of Using a Cradle

  • A cradle is not motorized and needs manual rocking or gliding.
  • It doesn’t come along with a mattress which has to be bought separately.
  • It is quite expensive as compared to a bassinet.
  • Although portable, it is heavier and doesn’t come with wheels – making it slightly more difficult to move around.

What is a Bassinet?

Although it comes in various shapes and sizes, a bassinet is like a small, oval or rectangular-shaped basket usually fixed on legs with wheels. It is secured by breathable mesh walls and often comes with a canopy for extra protection from bugs. Some models also have a handle to carry around while others can be easily moved using the wheels. If you prefer co-sleeping with your baby while ensuring complete safety, you can also opt for a bedside sleeper that can be attached next to the bed to keep the infant closer at night without sharing the bed.

Dream On Me Poppy Traveler Portable Bassinet

Dream On Me Poppy Traveler Portable Bassinet

Pros of Using a Bassinet

  • A bassinet is generally very lightweight and even foldable. Thus, it is highly portable and you can easily carry it with you while traveling.
  • It is quite inexpensive as compared to a cradle.
  • You can start using it with infants straightaway.
  • It is usually made out of baby-safe materials.
  • Since bassinets are very cozy and comfortable, you don’t have to worry about purchasing additional bedding with them.
  • Most of the bassinets come with an additional space to store diapers, changing mats, wipes, sheets, etc.

Cons of Using a Bassinet

  • Its usage is only limited with babies weighing up to 25 lbs.
  • Since it has smaller walls and is not very sturdy, it is not a good choice for toddlers.
  • Models with enhanced features such as music or rocking are often very expensive.

Difference Between a Cradle and a Bassinet

So, the major difference between a cradle vs bassinet is their usage and sturdiness. Although more expensive, cradles are sturdier and safer than bassinets. Most importantly, cradles soothe the babies to sleep but bassinets do not generally have a rocking mechanism. However, bassinets and cradles can only be used till the baby rolls over and starts to push up on his hands and knees.

How to Choose Between a Cradle or a Bassinet

Although you know what is best for your baby as per the space available in your room and your baby’s requirements, here are a few points that will help you decide what you should choose between the two.

  1. If your child prefers co-sleeping and loves snuggling, opt for a bassinet that you can keep aside.
  2. If your baby finds difficulty sleeping and loves being rocked to sleep, go for a cradle.
  3. Take into account the amount of space you have because generally, bassinets acquire less space than cradles.
  4. Don’t forget about the price point either. If you are on a tight budget, opt for a bassinet but try looking for a wood rocking cradle bassinet that provides more security and rocking mechanism without paying too much.
  5. Lastly, think about the additional configurations you require. You cannot get enough options with old fashioned bassinets but modern bassinets come with many interesting features.

Frequently Asked Questions About Selecting Between a Cradle vs Bassinet

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

Are cradles safe for newborns?

Cradles are a very safe choice for babies but cradle safety can be enhanced by picking up a model that complies with international safety standards and using a highly breathable and supportive mattress.

How long does a baby sleep in a bassinet?

Generally, babies up to only six months of age can sleep in a bassinet as they are not too big and heavy.

How long can a baby sleep in a cradle swing?

You can use a bassinet or cradle swing until your baby starts to roll over and push up on their hands and knees. After that, it’s safest to move them to a crib.

Which is safer – a cradle or a bassinet?

Since both cradles and bassinets are safe for the age limit they are meant for, selecting one sleep option between them depends on your choice, requirement, and space availability.

How can I enhance cradle safety?

To ensure your child sleeps safe in his or her cradle, you must:

  • Pick a high-quality cradle with a heavy base
  • Check that your child meets the age and weight limitations, and
  • Never move the cradle with the baby sleeping inside

What is a wood rocking cradle bassinet?

A rocking cradle bassinet serves the purpose of both – a cradle and a bassinet. While old fashioned bassinets don’t rock, a rocking cradle bassinet rocks your baby to sleep while giving him that extra security through a wooden structure and even offers additional space underneath.

Are wooden bassinets & cradles better than a crib?

Wooden bassinets & cradles are the best choice for parents who want their baby close by, in their room, and for nursing moms. Hence, what’s better between the three actually depends on the needs and preferences of the parents.

The Bottom Line

We hope we helped you understand the difference between a cradle vs bassinet. Since sleep plays a huge role in determining your baby’s health and overall development in the initial years of his life, you must pay extra attention to selecting the ideal sleeping option for your bub. Every child and parenting journey is unique – and so are the choices. Regardless of what bedding you choose, what’s more important is that you pick the one that is right for you and your baby after considering preferences, lifestyle choices and budgetary constraints if any.