Blog > How Long Can A Baby Sleep In A Bassinet – Everything You Need To Know

How Long Can A Baby Sleep In A Bassinet – Everything You Need To Know

How Long Can A Baby Sleep In A Bassinet – Everything You Need To Know

How Long Can Your Baby Sleep In A Bassinet

Sleep is perhaps the most challenging part of having a new baby. Once new parents establish a sleep schedule that stays consistent, it’s time for the baby to switch from a bassinet to a crib. Transitioning from a bassinet to a crib can be a challenge for both parents and babies. For one, it means your little bundle of joy is growing up. Also, it’s another change that will disrupt your current routine. 

Here, we will answer any questions you may have about switching your baby from a bassinet to a crib.

When should you move your baby out of the bassinet?

Most infants start out sleeping in a bassinet in their parent’s room. This is much easier for dealing with nighttime feedings, wakings, and changings. Not only is this easy for parents, it adheres to the American Academy of Pediatrics‘ recommendation that newborns sleep in the same room as their parents for the first six months and maybe up to a year, but not in the same bed. 

If you’re wondering when a baby should stop sleeping in a bassinet, there’s no hard and fast rule. New parents don’t have to get a bassinet for their new baby, your baby can start sleeping in a crib as soon as you bring them home. As long as you and your baby are happy, healthy, and sleeping properly, it doesn’t matter if they are sleeping in a crib or a bassinet. 

Table of Contents

 

1. What is considered a bassinet?

 

2. What types of bassinets are there?

 

3. Are bassinets good for newborns?

 

4. Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is considered a bassinet?

A bassinet is a compact, comfy bed designed for a newborn or infant under the age of six months. They are  usually oval shaped, with a hood, handle, or wheels for rolling  around to different rooms. Bassinets are available in different sizes, shapes, and sometimes even with different functions. The sleeping space is normally 1.5 to 2.5 feet long.

Along with wheels, bassinets sometimes have a handle so they are portable. They are recommended for newborns under six months old, and they’re most often used when parents want their baby to sleep in the same room as them after they arrive home from the hospital.

What types of bassinets are there?

Overall, bassinets are pretty standard and all serve the same purpose. However, there are a few more types you can buy. 

Bedside bassinets

These are your traditional bassinet. They are freestanding and are usually larger pieces of furniture that you can put next to your bed or tuck away someplace in the room. Most bassinets are just a place for the baby to sleep, while others have added features like storage baskets on the bottom.

Travel bassinets

These bassinets are usually more lightweight and fold up for easier transport. Travel bassinets can be used in the home and can be a great option if you have limited space. Some travel bassinets convert to a pack and play, so you get two baby items in one. 

Bedside sleepers

These bassinets are designed to go right up to your bed. These are not connected to your bed. Having a bedside sleeper makes it easier to access the baby in the middle of the night. If you are breastfeeding, these are a great option. 

Smart bassinets

These are the bassinets of the future. Smart bassinets are equipped with additional features such as automatic rocking, built-in sound machines, vibrations, and more. However, doctors caution that if newborns are able to move about a bit, their changing weight combined with the rocking may cause them to get trapped on one side of the bassinet. 

Are bassinets good for newborns?

Bassinets are good for newborns as they provide the small, cozy sleeping place that newborns love. The small size of a bassinet makes it easier to let your baby sleep in your room, which is recommended by doctors. Bassinets take up less space than cribs, so if you aren’t working with a lot of space, choosing a bassinet over a crib can make sharing your room with your new baby more comfortable. 

One of the best things about bassinets is that many models can be rocked. Babies love this sensation and it will help soothe them when they get fussy and help them fall asleep. The movement of rocking and bouncing is similar to the womb. Since your baby has a limited view of the world and only knows the womb, they usually are comfortable with small, cozy spaces like a bassinet.

What are the pros of a baby sleeping in a bassinet?

Bassinets are really a win for both parents and babies. The convenience of a bassinet cannot be overstated, — especially during the first months of their life. Newborns need a lot of food, and reaching over to pick up your infant when they need feed, their diaper changed, or are crying, without having to leave your bed has its advantages. 

Another reason a bassinet is a great option is that they keep your baby close. New parents always have anxiety about their baby and keeping them close makes both parents and the baby feel better and comforted. A baby monitor can be helpful as well but many new parents want their baby close to them at all times and a bassinet is a perfect way to do this. 

Along with sleeping in a bassinet at night by your bed, a portable bassinet is convenient to use for daytime naps. Bassinets are recommended for sleeping over baby loungers. You can also use a bassinet to place your baby in while you’re doing chores, working, taking care of yourself, or need to put them down for a bit.  Look for a model with wheels for effortless transportation or one that is compact and light so you can move it about your house easily. 

When you’re welcoming your first baby, there will be seemingly endless amounts of supplies you need to buy, bassinet included. If you aren’t sure about a bassinet, consider if you are going to have more than one child. If so, it’s easier to justify spending money on one. They tend to last longer and don’t endure wear and tear like a crib since they are only used for a few months. A bassinet is easy to use again and pass on to your next baby.

Bassinet Pros

  • Small, comfortable space that newborns love
  • Easier for your baby to transition from the compact size of the womb to a bassinet rather than a large crib
  • Easy to move around
  • Lightweight
  • Less costly than a crib
  • Takes up less space than a crib
  • Easier to pick your baby up and place them back down again

What are the cons of a baby sleeping in a bassinet?

Bassinets aren’t for everyone and there is no guarantee that your baby will sleep well in a bassinet. New parents are overwhelmed as it is, there is no need to get worked up over deciding if you want a bassinet or not. 

There are several reasons why a bassinet might not be the best choice for every parent and baby. If you’re a light sleeper, sharing your room with your baby (and possibly a partner) will do more harm than good. Hearing your baby’s every move might make you anxious as well. Putting your baby in another room in a crib might be the best option for you. 

Besides wrecking your sleep, purchasing a bassinet when you don’t really want one is just an extra cost on top of everything else you need for a baby. Even a less costly bassinet might cost more than you’re wanting to spend for a piece of baby furniture that you won’t use past your baby’s first few months. 

Babies need a lot of stuff and more stuff means clutter. A lot of people prefer a minimalist aesthetic, so adding another piece of furniture into your house, especially if you don’t have much room, can be more trouble than it’s worth.  

If any of these sounds like you, it’s probably best to forgo the bassinet and go straight to a crib. 

Bassinet Cons

  • Only use for a few months 
  • If you’re only having one child, it’s just one more thing you have to deal with selling/donating when your child outgrows it. 
  • Can be expensive
  • Sleeping in the same room as your baby might not be the best idea for those with anxiety

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a baby suffocate on the side of the bassinet?

Babies can’t directly suffocate on the sides of the bassinet. To prevent suffocation and SIDS, keep the bassinet free of any extra objects like blankets. 

Do bassinets cause SIDS?

No, there is no direct link between bassinets and SIDS. To avoid suffocation, choking, and SIDS, make sure your baby sleeps on its sides and has a safe bassinet. 

Can babies sleep all night in a bassinet?

Yes, babies can sleep in a bassinet all night or just take naps in them. There is no limit to how long a baby can sleep in a bassinet. 

It’s difficult to say how long a baby can sleep in a bassinet. It depends on your baby and the bassinet guidelines. Whether you choose to have your baby sleep in a crib or a bassinet is entirely up to you and what works best for you and your family. Just make sure the crib or bassinet you choose adheres to the crib safety guidelines set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). How long your baby sleeps in a bassinet depends on their growth rate and weight. 

How long should a baby sleep in a bassinet?

Raising a baby comes with many questions, and one of which is how long should they sleep in a bassinet? There is no set rule on when your baby should stop sleeping in a bassinet and move to a crib. Even though there isn’t a set rule, it depends on the weight limit of your bassinet and your baby’s length and weight. Letting your baby sleep in a bassinet for too long can end up being dangerous, especially if they get too big and can sit up, turn over, and roll over on their own. 

If you’re considering moving your baby out of the bassinet and into a crib, here are some things to consider. 

Can your baby roll over, sit up, and/or turn over on their own? 

Everyone wants their baby to meet important milestones like rolling over, sitting up, and turning over on their own—meeting these guidelines within a specified time frame is a sign your child is progressing properly. While these milestones are vital, if your child starts to develop these new, exciting skills and is still sleeping in a bassinet, it can be very dangerous. 

Bassinets are typically shallower than crib walls, which means that if your baby is able to sit up or roll over, they might possibly tip over the side. As your baby gets more mobile, they are better suited to a crib. Also, the sides of some bassinets are made of wicker or have sections that might fall off, posing a choking threat. It’s important to keep an eye out on your baby’s mobility progression so you can adjust their sleeping arrangements accordingly. 

How big is your baby?

Most bassinets are made for babies up to the age of six months. This age is when babies normally outgrow them. If your baby is on the smaller side, it’s typically fine to keep continuing sleeping in the bassinet until they’re a little older, gain weight, or grow taller. Most traditional bassinets may be used until your baby weighs 15 pounds or begins to push up on his hands and knees, whichever comes first. Most infants reach these milestones at around 4 or 5 months old. 

After your baby has turned to roll over, your baby could easily turn over the bassinet and fall out. Many bassinet manufacturers list milestones in their instruction manuals for parents to follow. Not all bassinet manufacturers have the same milestones in their manuals, so it’s best to go by your baby’s weight and size. 

Does your baby look uncomfortable in their bassinet?

You don’t want to be uncomfortable and neither does your baby! It’s pretty easy to tell if your baby is uncomfortable or too small for their bassinet. When your baby is too big for their bassinet, they will run into the sides when they turn out. This can cause the entire bassinet to tip over and can seriously injure your baby. If your baby’s feet, head, and hands are bumping into the sides of the bassinet or they are waking up frequently or suddenly, it is a sign they are too big for the bassinet and it’s time to move to a crib. 

What is the weight limit of the bassinet? 

Bassinets and bedside sleepers which are opened on one side and face your bed have weight restrictions. Some have weight limits as light as 10 pounds, which may barely last a month depending on your baby’s size at birth, but the majority can handle up to a 20-pound infant. The weight restriction for your bassinet may be found in the instruction manual or on the manufacturer’s website. If you can’t locate the weight restriction, err on the side of caution and put your baby in a crib after they reach 15 pounds.

How old is your baby? 

Like milestones and using a bassinet in general, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to bassinet age limits; it all depends on when it seems right for your baby and your family. Some parents are eager to move their child into a crib and into their own room so that they can sleep better. Some, on the other hand, are fine to keep their baby in their room with them until they can’t anymore. 

Depending on the bassinet you have, the manufacturer might suggest an age where your child is too old for the bassinet instead of an actual milestone, like if they can sit up or roll over. 

How do I get my baby to go from sleeping in a bassinet to sleeping in a crib? 

Deciding to transition your baby from bassinet to crib in their own room can be a challenge for both parents and baby. It can be quite the adjustment going from sleeping in close quarters to having your own spaces—something that is new to your baby and might cause some new parent jitters. On the other hand, some babies mind the switch and will sleep anywhere. You won’t know how your baby will react until you make the transition from bassinet to crib. Here are a few tips to help both parents and babies keep the transition from bassinet to crib as smooth and worry-free as possible. 

Get the crib ready

The first thing you’ll want to do is to make sure the crib you have for your baby is safe and secure. Get a firm crib-size mattress. A soft mattress will make it difficult for them to roll over or sit up, or they may get caught in the sides if it is too soft. Additionally, make sure the crib is bare. This means no loose blankets or toys that might choke or suffocate the baby. If you’re worried about the transition, sleep on the sheet you’ll use to cover the crib pad, which will absorb your scent and provide your baby with a familiar scent in their new bed.

Create a bedtime routine

Maintaining a consistent routine benefits kids and helps adults have some time away from the baby while they sleep. Raising children is tough, and remembering what’s next isn’t always at the top of our thoughts, so having a routine can help. Routine is also excellent for your child, as they get mental comfort from knowing what to anticipate on a regular basis.

Make the crib transition in stages

Before putting your baby in their crib right away, let them nap in it for a few hours during the day so they get familiar with it. Then, slowly move them into the crib all the time. 

Stay with your baby until they fall asleep

Allow your baby to settle down and get sleepy while you are in their room with them. As your baby begins to sleep, sit down next to them either in a chair or on the floor and gradually move farther away each night until your baby can sleep on their own. 

Add the crib to your room for a few nights

It may be simpler to transition your baby to a crib if you bring their crib into your room for a few nights. This will help them get used to sleeping in the crib. Then, after they get more comfortable in the crib, move it into their own room. 

Tell us what you think

Please leave a comment below and tell us your opinion. We’d be happy to hear from you. 

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Emily Stringer

Emily Stringer


Emily Stringer is a Content Writer at SleePare. Emily has over five years of experience writing and conducting research for different industries. When she’s not writing, you can find Emily with her dogs in Lexington, Kentucky.