how to choose a baby bassinet

How to choose the best baby bassinet

By Olivia Windsor   |  

Our top 5 tips to help you choose the very best bassinet for your baby.

Bringing home your new little human is exciting, if not also a little terrifying. You’re feeling all the feels and learning everything as you go. One of the big things you’re going to have to deal with, is getting them into a sleep routine. But before that can happen, you need to figure out what they’re actually going to be sleeping in. This is our straight-forward guide to help you work out how to choose the very best baby bassinet. No long lists of 20+ products in sight, because honestly, we’re here to make it easier not harder to decide!

What is a bassinet?

First things first, you might be wondering what the difference is between a bassinet and a cot. A bassinet is a small oval shaped baby bed specifically designed for newborns. The base of the bassinet is normally at your waistline, making it particularly easy to put your baby in and take them out. The main difference to a cot is the size as a bassinet is generally a lot smaller and therefore a little easier to move around the house. 

How long does a baby sleep in a bassinet?

Bassinets are specifically designed for your little one, which means newborns up until around four months of age, but could also go until six months of age. It really depends on the size of your child. You’ll know it’s time to move them when they’ve quite literally outgrown the bassinet! 

When to move baby from bassinet to cot? 

If your baby can sit up or roll over in their bassinet, or is starting to look a little cramped, then it’s safe to say they’re ready to move into a cot. Be sure to keep an eye on the weight restrictions for your bassinet too to make sure their bassinet is still safe for sleeping in. All children are different, but it can sometimes take a bit of time to transition your bub into their cot. We recommend slowly making the switch, perhaps let them nap in their bassinet during the day and put them in the cot at night. Or keep the cot in your bedroom for a while to introduce one new change at a time. 

What to look for when choosing your baby bassinet

  1. Portability 

One of the great features about a bassinet is its ability to be moved around the house with ease (especially compared to a cot). Some bassinets have wheels on them that make moving a breeze, whilst others also easily fold-up if you’re a frequent traveller and looking for a travel bassinet. We love the Linea by Leander Bassinet if you’re looking for something really portable. The wheels make it very easy to move around the house and it also has an adjustable frame height so it can match your own bed level. This is our pick for helping make late night feeds as easy as possible.  

2. Firm Mattress 

A really important safety factor to consider when buying your bassinet is selecting one that has a firm mattress and snug fit. There shouldn’t be any big gaps between the mattress and the bed.The safest surface for your baby to sleep on is a firm, hard mattress and nothing that’s too soft. All of our bassinets come with included mattresses, which is the best option as they all fit snugly inside the baby bed. If you’re looking to put a spotlight on the mattress itself, consider the Cocoonababy bassinet which is actually an ergonomically designed mattress that can be put inside a crib.  

3. Machine washable 

We’re sure we don’t need to tell you that babies come with mess. They’re no doubt going to have some accidents and you’re going to want a bassinet that’s easily washable, preferably in the machine. That’s why all of the bassinets we stock at the memo have removable fabric that is machine washable. Because we want to help make this having a baby thing as easy as possible! 

4. Breathability 

Ensuring your bassinet is breathable is a big one for safety here and this includes the mattress as well as the sides of the bed. It’s recommended to opt for a bassinet with mesh sides or wooden slats as they are ultra breathable. The Baby Bjorn bassinet is a fantastic option here as it has four mesh sides allowing for air flow. Even better the fabric is totally machine-washable and although it doesn’t have wheels, it’s a lightweight bassinet making it very easy to move around the house.

5. Sturdiness 

Finally, it’s important to make sure that whatever bassinet you end up choosing has a sturdy base and legs that won’t tip over easily. You want the legs of your bassinet to lock into place and if there are wheels, to ensure that they’re also lockable. Be sure to read the weight limits before buying your bassinet too, so you’re getting the perfect fit for your child. 

Once you’ve considered these key factors, you can then of course think about personal style to make your final decision. If you’re looking for a beautiful piece of furniture, we adore the Kumi bassinet from Charlie Crane. 

*EXTRA: If you value your sleep and your little on is struggling to settle during the night, consider investing in the SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet. It's the world's safest baby bassinet, and automatically calms crying and increases sleep. Think of it as a night nurse or baby whisperer more than a bed!

Bassinet sheets

It’s important to keep all bedding to a minimum to ensure your baby has the safest sleep possible. All you need is a fitted bassinet sheet here and no blankets at all. We have some beautiful options in a range of colours here. It’s important to keep their body temperature at a safe level too, so the best way to put them to sleep is in a sleep bag. This allows your baby to be at a comfortable temperature and eliminates the need for any sheets or blankets in the bed that can become loose. 

How to give good sleep

What we’re all here for- how to give your baby a good night’s sleep? Investing in a reliable bassinet is the first step to starting your baby’s sleep routine. From here, there are lots of things you can do to ensure they (and you!) have the best night’s sleep possible. Take a read of our blog article all about creating a sleep routine for more advice. You got this!

If you’d like to read more of our how to choose series, be sure to check out our guide to choosing a high chair as well as how to choose a breast pump on our blog. We offer practical, no-nonsense advice on what features to look for plus a very curated edit of suggested products to help narrow the list down for you, rather than complicate it. You can be sure you’ll only find everything you need (and nothing you don’t) here at the memo!  

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