How To Choose Between A Crib Or Bassinet For A Newborn

Should I get a crib or bassinet for my newborn baby? Almost every pregnant mom has asked themself this question.  

There are a lot of preparations that go into welcoming a baby into this world. This can seem overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time mom because you want everything to be perfect before your precious bundle of joy arrives.

One way of reducing this pressure is by identifying what should be on your baby registry. This way, your loved ones can get you some of these as you focus on others, like choosing between a crib, cradle, or bassinet. 

The good news is that it’s safe for your baby to sleep in all of these. However, they have some differences, and one may be more suited for you than the others.

Today, we’ll guide you in identifying whether a crib or bassinet is more ideal for your newborn. 

What Is A Crib?

A crib is a bed or sleeping space that babies can use from birth to when they reach 3 years

The standard crib is stationary, and so it is meant to be used in a particular area, which can be the nursery or bedroom. However, a few cribs have wheels and so can be moved from one room to another. 

The most common material used in making the frame is hardwood. However, other materials that can also be used include aluminum and plastic. Thus, a crib is highly sturdy, and your baby will be safe in it.

The majority of cribs are rectangular in shape, and they have high sides to prevent your baby from getting out.

What Is A Bassinet?

A bassinet is a bed or sleeping area meant for babies from 0 to 6 months (some can only accommodate up to 4 months old babies.) 

Most of them usually look like baskets.

They are lighter than cribs and are designed to be attached to the parent’s bed at night or wheeled around. Therefore, you can always have your baby in sight. It is also easier to pick up your little one at night because they’re just next to your bed and the sides of a bassinet are low. 

Some bassinets have a rocking motion to help your baby calm down or fall asleep.

Wood, metal, and plastic are commonly used to design bassinet frames. 

Bassinet Versus Crib: Pros And Cons 

Both bassinets and cribs have their benefits and drawbacks. Looking at these will help you know if you prefer a crib or bassinet for your newborn baby.

Advantages of a crib

  • It has a longer life span. You can use it for up to 3 years, and even later on, take off one side of the crib and make it into a toddler bed. 
  • It is made from durable material, making it more sturdy and stable. A child cannot easily climb out of it, so it’s perfect for active babies. 
  • It allows a lot of air to circulate due to the large and many spaces between the frames.
  • Some have a rocking motion that can help a baby fall asleep quickly. 

Drawbacks of a crib

  • The sides are too high, which makes it difficult to place or pick up your baby from it since you have to get up and bend all the time. This discomfort is not ideal, especially for moms recovering from C-section delivery or those struggling with back pain. 
  • It’s not travel-friendly because it’s bulky. 
  • It is costly compared to a bassinet.
  • Takes up a lot of space. 
  • It can be complicated to assemble. 

Advantages of a bassinet

  • Allows you to keep a keen eye on your baby, especially at night because you can see them next to you. 
  • Takes up a smaller space.
  • It is portable (wheels glide over surfaces, both carpet and hardwood) so your baby can sleep anywhere you are, and you can see them at all times.
  • Many bassinets come with a hood that can protect your baby from too much light and wind.
  • Makes it easy for you to pick up or place your baby since the sides are low. If you have back problems or are recovering from a C-section, you’ll have an easier time. You can travel with it because it’s light.
  • It is affordable compared to a crib. 
  • It’s easy to put together. 

Drawbacks of a bassinet

  • You can only use it for a short time before you have to get a crib or another type of sleeping arrangement for your baby. 
  • It is not safe for babies weighing 40 pounds and above because they cannot comfortably hold that weight. Some bassinets are meant for heavier babies and can hold up to 55 pounds. Still, most of them specify that their weight limit is between 15 to 20 pounds. 

Things To Consider When Choosing Between A Crib or Bassinet For A Newborn

Now that you know what the difference is between a crib and a bassinet, it’s time to choose between the two. 

There are factors you need to consider. These will get you closer to knowing whether you should go or a crib or bassinet for your newborn. 

Where do you want your baby to sleep? / Space

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy, it is safer for parents to sleep in the same room with their babies for the first 6 months. This is because you’ll be able to keep a better eye on your little one during the night. In addition, you’ll be able to help them in time if they experience complications like suffocating, as opposed to when they are in a different room.

If you decide to take this recommendation, consider your bedroom’s size. 

If you have a big bedroom, you can opt for any baby bed, whether it’s a crib, cradle, or bassinet. However, if your room is small, a crib will not fit, so a bassinet may be the best option.

A cradle falls somewhere between a crib and a bassinet. Think of it as a mini crib. It’s smaller than a crib but more powerful than a bassinet. 

Baby’s age

Your baby’s age is important when thinking of a crib vs. bassinet vs. cradle. 

A bassinet is designed to be used for the first few months of a baby’s life. Therefore, they can start with a bassinet when your baby is born.

When they get to 4 to 6 months, you can switch to a cradle. After 6 months, you can move them to a crib.

Some parents prefer to get their babies straight from the bassinet to the crib without using a cradle. If this is your preference, 4 to 6 months is a good bassinet to crib age. 

If your baby is more than 6 months old, then is a bassinet necessary? The answer is no. 

It is important to know that a baby can sleep in a crib right from the time they are born. So you can just get a mini crib instead of a bassinet. That means you don’t have to follow this order of bassinet to cradle to crib, but it helps to know what age is best suited for each one. 

If you also need help picking out the right stroller for your baby, read this article to become an expert on strollers

Your budget/finances

If you check out the 7 best bassinets for small spaces, you’ll realize that most of them cost between $55 to $145 while a few go up to $199. These are pretty good bassinets. 

When buying a crib, you can spend between $150 to $450 depending on the materials used to design it, its aesthetics, or any additional features it may have. 

This shows you that cribs are more costly than bassinets. Additionally, you can’t use a bassinet after your baby hits 6 months. 

This means if you buy a bassinet, you’ll have to get a crib too a few months down the line.

The question is, ‘do you have enough money to buy both, and are you willing to do so?’

If your budget or finances allow, then that’s great. However, if money is a bit tight or you don’t want to spend on two baby beds, you can buy a crib, and your baby can use it for the next 3 years. 

If you don’t have enough money for a crib, you can start with a bassinet since it costs less, as you save up for the former. 

Your lifestyle

A mom who travels a lot and one who stays at home has different needs, and so they need different baby beds.

If you usually move up and down and you want to have your baby with you, then you need a bassinet. This is because it is portable and light and so it won’t be an inconvenience to carry it around. You can’t do that with a crib.

On the other hand, if you rarely leave the house or if you spend a lot of your time in the bedroom or nursery with your baby, then a crib can suffice. 

If you do a lot of house chores that require you to move from room to room, then a bassinet is the best option because it will enable you to perform your tasks while keeping an eye on your baby.

Aesthetics

Some moms don’t pay too much attention to the aesthetics of a room, while others are particular about it. Regardless of which side you are on, it’s okay because moms are unique.

A crib or a bassinet for a newborn is still a piece of furniture, and so it can contribute to how beautiful a room or house looks. 

If you are into aesthetics, then you’ll be happy with a bassinet because they come in different colors, shapes, designs and are usually designed with beauty in mind. Also, since they are small and newborns are also tiny, they look cozy and cute.

On the other hand, a crib is quite big, and you can barely see a newborn from a distance. Also, they don’t have a lot of fancy decorations or designs, so they can appear bare and plain. 

Ease of use  

How easy will it be to use the baby bed you’re eyeing? This is something you should think of. 

If you’ve just given birth, the last thing you want to do is make many unnecessary movements. This is especially for cesarean birth or difficult delivery. Therefore a bassinet comes in handy because you can just roll over and pick your baby or place him or her inside it. This is because the sides are low. 

Changing the baby also becomes easy.

If you’ve fully recovered or if your delivery wasn’t complicated and you don’t mind getting up every time to get your baby for feeding or change of diapers, then you won’t mind having a crib.

When it comes to cleaning or maintenance, a crib gives you an easy time. All you have to do is remove the mattress cover and wash it together with any beddings. 

On the other hand, cleaning a bassinet involves taking apart some parts of it so you can access the fabric, which takes longer.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between a crib or bassinet for your newborn shouldn’t be a stressful decision. Both of them are safe for your baby to use at the end of the day. So don’t let the whole bassinet vs. crib take the joy out of preparing for your baby. However, if you are looking for something that’s more suitable for your child and your situation, then the factors discussed here like space, your baby’s age, finance, and ease of use can guide you in the right direction.