Bassinet vs Crib vs Cradle: Which One to Buy for Your Baby?

Bassinet Vs Crib Vs Cradle – Which One Should You Buy for Your Baby

Sleep is a very important aspect of a baby’s life as your newborn spends most of every day sleeping. This is because sleep is very important for the baby’s growth. In the midst of preparing for parenthood and readying the home for the baby, deciding on your little one’s sleeping quarters is very important. After all, this is the space where your baby will be spending most time of the day in the initial phase. There are different types of beds for babies, like bassinets, cribs and cradles. If you are juggling different options and are wondering about the crib versus bassinet, or crib vs. cradle for your newborn, you have come to the right place.

What Is a Bassinet?

Bassinets look like baskets with a hood and legs and are generally made out of cane or wicker. Very young babies will benefit from the use of bassinets the most because it is great for having in the same room as you since they are very small. 

Pros

  • Bassinets are small and lightweight, making them a good option if you want something that is portable.
  • Not that expensive.
  • Organic materials like cane and wicker are used to make them.
  • Your baby will be very cosy inside it.

Cons

  • Bassinets are made for very young babies, so your baby will get big for it very fast.

Tips to Buy a Bassinet

  • Bassinets that have walls that are made up of either mesh or some kind of fabric are preferable. This is in case your baby ends up sleeping with his face to the wall of the bassinet.
  • It is better to avoid buying bassinets that have already been used for health and safety purposes.
  • The mattress should be comfortable enough for your baby to sleep in and should be thin and there shouldn’t be any gaps between the mattress and the walls of the bassinet.
  • If the bassinet comes with any mechanisms that allow folding, make sure that there are locks that come along with it.

How Long You Can Use?

This will vary from baby to baby. While some babies can sleep in a bassinet for around three months, others may be able to safely use one till they’re six months old.

bassinet

What Is a Crib?

Cribs are the largest of all the baby beds and are much sturdier as well. The difference between a bassinet and a crib is that a crib has high railings, and your baby will be very safe in it. If you’re considering you’re options and wondering about a mini crib vs. a bassinet, go for the mini crib.

Pros

  • Cribs are very long-lasting since they are big enough to hold your baby for a few years rather than just a few short months. They can even be opened out to make a bed when your child gets big enough for it.
  • Cribs are very good for babies who sleep in their own nursery rather than in mom and dad’s room.
  • They are very safe since they have high walls. Your baby will be safe in a room alone or with pets around as nobody can get into the crib and your baby cannot get out of it so easily.

Cons

  • Due to the long-lasting and sturdy qualities of the crib, it tends to be on the pricier side as far as baby beds go.
  • If you want your baby to sleep in the same room as you, a crib may be too big for your room if you live in a small space.
  • Cribs are not portable and cannot be moved around the house.

Tips to Buy a Crib

  • Some cribs have sides that can be lowered, but they are not considered to be the safest kind so try avoiding those.
  • Some cribs come with crib bumpers that may seem to be a convenient addition to the crib, but they have been seen to be associated with SIDs.
  • There are cribs available that have a function where the mattress can be lowered. This will prove useful as you can adjust the height of the mattress according to when your baby learns to sit and stand.
  • Look for cribs that offer teething bars since your baby will find them to be very useful indeed. This will prevent your baby from chewing on the wooden bars of the crib and risking getting splinters.
  • If you are going to get a crib that has wheels, it is best to check that it also comes with a lock for safety.
  • The mattress should fit the crib well and not have gaps.

How Long You Can Use?

This again depends from child to child. It can take anywhere between 18 months to three and a half years. If possible wait till around 3 years for the transition so that your child has developed the maturity it takes to sleep in a big bed.

crib

What Is a Cradle?

Cradles are in between bassinets and cribs. They are much sturdier than bassinets but are smaller than cribs and almost always made out of wood. They are unique for always having a gliding or rocking mechanism.

Pros

  • Cradles come in versions that can be portable and others that are not.
  • The rocking or gliding will help when you need to soothe your baby to sleep.
  • Cradles will last much longer than bassinets.

Cons

  • Cradles do not come with any bedding, which means that purchasing bedding separately will be another added expense.
  • They are much heavier than bassinets. They are also more bothersome when you want to move around and keep your baby close during the first few months.

Tips to Buy a Cradle

  • Cradles have different levels of rocking, and some tend to tilt farther than others.
  • The ones that tilt farther should be avoided because they are dangerous for your baby.
  • If your baby rolls violently and hits the side of the cradle, he could be seriously injured.
  • You need to make sure that the cradle you want has gentle rocking movements.

How Long You Can Use?

This will depend on the baby’s size and the parent’s preference. Some babies will sleep in a cradle for around three months, while others may be able to securely sleep in one until they’re six months old. 

cradleSo It Sums Down To

After looking at the individual aspects of the crib, cradle and bassinet, making a decision about which one is best depends on a few things:

Which Is Safer?

When it comes to cradle versus bassinet, the bassinet is a safer option, but as cradles and bassinets are more associated with SIDs due to the loose bedding that is common, cribs are considered to be safer than the other two.

How to Choose Between Crib, Bassinet and Cradle?

When it comes to a bassinet vs. crib, or a bassinet vs. cradle, the advantages of the bassinet far outshine that of the crib or cradle when it comes to portability when the baby is very young. Cradles have that handy and soothing rocking mechanism so it may seem like they are coming out as the best choice. Out of the bassinet or crib, which is better?

The thing is, even if you choose to get a bassinet or a cradle, eventually you will end up with the crib.

Your baby will grow fast, and before you know it, the bassinet and cradle suddenly seem too small. They are both more like things you should get if you have the money to spare since they are handy to have at certain times but are not something that will last a very long time or make for a good investment. The best investment to make would be to buy a crib. Your baby can use it right from when he is very small to a few years, so it makes sense that you should pick the crib over the bassinet and cradle. This is especially true if you have a small budget.

FAQs

1. Can My Baby Sleep in a Cradle All Night?

Yes, but make sure there’s an adult who’s always around while the baby is sleeping, or make use of a baby monitor.

2. What Is the Difference Between a Cradle and a Bassinet?

A traditional cradle is bigger and heavier than a bassinet. A bassinet is smaller and portable.

Remember that babies grow very fast, so think carefully about what you want for your family. The bottom line is that whether you pick a cradle, bassinet or crib for the baby, it is alright as long as he gets good sleep in a safe and secure environment. That is what makes a happy and healthy baby.

References/Resources:

1. Developmental Milestones: 12 Months; American Academy of Pediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Developmental-Milestones-12-Months.aspx

2. Rochette. L, Yeh. E, McKenzie. L, Smith. G; Injuries Associated With Cribs, Playpens, and Bassinets Among Young Children in the US, 1990–2008; American Academy of Pediatrics publications; https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article-abstract/127/3/479/64957/Injuries-Associated-With-Cribs-Playpens-and; March 2011

3. Make Baby’s Room Safe: Parent Checklist; American Academy of Pediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/Make-Babys-Room-Safe.aspx

4. Choosing a Crib; American Academy of Pediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/decisions-to-make/Pages/Choosing-a-Crib.aspx

5. Klaas. K, Cook. W; How to put your baby to sleep safely; Mayo Clinic; https://mcpress.mayoclinic.org/parenting/how-to-put-your-baby-to-sleep-safely/

6. Important Milestones: Your Baby By Four Months; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/milestones-4mo.html

7. Infant Sleep; Stanford Medicine Children’s Health; https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=infant-sleep-90-P02237

8. Infant Sleep Position And SIDS; National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pubs/documents/SIDS_QA-508-rev.pdf; June 2007

Also Read:

Essential Sleep Products for Baby
How to Get Your Baby to Sleep in a Crib
Is It Okay for a Baby to Sleep in a Swing

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