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Baby Bassinet vs Crib: What’s the Difference?

Bassinet vs Crib

You’re starting your new parenting journey, and there are so many decisions to make about your baby. One of which is where they’re going to sleep.

Your baby will spend most of their time sleeping, so choosing the right place for them to sleep, be it a bassinet or a crib, is a CRUCIAL decision to make.

Of course, you want the safest sleeping options for them, so allow us to show you the difference between a bassinet vs. crib.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

The Difference Between a Baby Bassinet vs Crib for Your Newborn

Before anything, we will say that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is safe to use either a crib or a bassinet for a newborn infant.

So, right off the bat, there is no right or wrong answer. It will mostly come down to your sleeping needs, safety preference, and your budget.

Now that that’s out of the way, let us walk you through the pros and cons of cribs and bassinets.

We’ll show you the differences and why one may be better than the other so that you can make the best-informed decision about your baby’s sleeping space.

What Is a Bassinet?

What Is a Bassinet?

Let’s get one thing straight. It’s definitely not a cradle!

Baby bassinets are made to look like baskets for your baby to sleep in.

These lightweight baby carriers are low-walled and usually made with wood wicker, plastic, or metal, in different colors and designs with the distinct woven pattern you often find in baskets.

Some bassinets have cool features like lights and sounds that entertain your infant, while others even have rocking features that act as a sleeping aid. Other bassinets are also made of organic materials!

Now that you know a little more about what a bassinet is, let’s get into its pros and cons!

Pros

1. Portable

Since baby bassinets are more lightweight and smaller in size than cribs, you can easily bring them around with you.

Some even have handle options making it much MORE comfortable to carry them around even as they sleep.

You won’t need to worry too much about moving them in and out of their sleeping space for doctor’s appointments or meeting up with family and friends.

It’s also great news for parents who may not have enough room for a crib just yet. The bassinet won’t take up too much space in either their’s or the baby’s room.

2. Lower Risk of SIDS

We mean that as new moms, a lot of the time, you’re ALWAYS keeping your eye out for your baby.

A bassinet makes the PERFECT CHOICE FOR CO-SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS, which allows you to look after your baby while in the comfort of your own bed.

Since it is so small and often comes with attachments, it’s easy to turn the bassinet from independent sleeper to co-sleeper.

Having this option for a co-sleeping device means that your newborn is at a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome because your baby will always be nearby.

3. New-Parent Friendly

Since bassinets have lower walls with higher bases, it’s easier for newer parents or mothers who have had a C-section to lay down their newborns.

You won’t have to be leaning over the high rails of a crib, and placing your baby down to sleep will feel more natural.

4. Budget-Friendly

Bassinets are a lot smaller than cribs, so they are naturally much cheaper. Where cribs are commonly $150 to $450, you’ll find that bassinets are at the $60 to $150 range.

Bassinets are a great option for parents who may not pay for all of the things the baby needs upfront.

A bassinet can give them some time to save up some money to buy other essentials or save up for a bigger crib or bed later on.

Cons

1. Weight Limit

Since bassinets are smaller in size, the weight limit doesn’t support babies that are too big. Most parents are advised to stop using a bassinet when their baby is heavier than 20lbs.

The build of a bassinet also makes it a tipping hazard. It’s usually placed on a high stand which makes it easier to knock over.

This advice is best for the baby’s safety and puts the parent at ease, but if you aren’t around too many people or have other clumsy toddlers or animals, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

2. Shorter Life Span

Bassinets are commonly made for newborns or babies no older than 4 months. This means that the lifespan of a bassinet vs. crib is much shorter.

Some cribs are often made to last through the child’s toddler years, so it’s made sturdier and with that longevity in mind.

Having your baby sleep in a bassinet is usually more of a TEMPORARY OPTION until you find other options for them to sleep in.

3. Not Cost-Effective

All of that said, you will find that in this bassinet vs. crib debate, the bassinet is the LESS COST-EFFECTIVE of the two sleep options.

If you do decide to use a bassinet, you will likely need to replace it more often than you would with a crib, and you would end up buying more things to make it more suitable for your growing baby.

In the long run, you’d be spending more money over time on the bassinets.

What Is a Baby Crib?

What Is a Baby Crib?

A crib is a large, stable baby bed made with slatted sides surrounding a small, well-fitted mattress pad. It most closely resembles a cage for your baby.

HANG ON. Before you go and freak out about buying a baby cage, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Yes, the bassinet sounds a little more dainty and appropriate for babies, but hear us out. Cribs can be just as comfortable as bassinets for the baby’s sleep.

Cribs also have many features that can keep your baby entertained or lull them to sleep if you need them. Some cribs are also made of safe, non-toxic materials, which we HIGHLY recommend.

Here, we have the pros and cons of having a crib for your baby. LET’S GO!

Pros

1. Safety

In general, cribs are a safer option for your growing baby because once they can turn and sit up, there’s no way they will get out of the crib.

If they were sitting up in a bassinet, they could easily tumble out of it because of the low walls.

Since the crib is high-walled, you won’t need to worry about your children climbing out of it until they are much older and can start standing and walking.

2. Grows With Your Baby

One of the main differences between cribs and bassinets is that a crib is a GREAT LONG TERM INVESTMENT FOR YOUR FAMILY.

Most cribs change and grow with your baby.

Crib bottom heights are often adjustable – they can be higher for new parents and newborn babies, then adjusted lower as the baby grows.

Cribs also have FEWER WEIGHT LIMITS because you can turn a crib into a toddler bed – removing crib sides creates regular toddler beds for bigger children.

3. Longer Life Span

Since cribs are built to last longer, you can use the same crib if you choose to have another baby.

We want to note that there is no problem in reusing a bassinet for a new baby; it’s just that, as we said, most bassinets don’t have long lifespans.

So unless you have a new baby coming immediately, you likely won’t be able to use the bassinet for them.

4. Good Air Flow

Cribs are made with slatted sides, which allows for regular airflow through the baby bed.

This is a good thing because a baby spends a lot of time on its back. That can make them very warm and sweaty when sleeping.

At least with this much airflow all around them, they won’t feel so warm and sweaty on their back.

Just make sure that there aren’t too many accessories in and on the crib, such as sleep positioners and crib bumpers, blocking out the airflow.

5. Countless Options

Since cribs are the more widely known sleeping option, you’ll easily find more than one option for your baby.

We think that this is a GOOD PROBLEM to have.

You’ll have several different designs, all offering plenty of characteristics that come in a wide price range.

Cons

1. Expensive

Now, a crib is immediately the more expensive option of the two. You’re going to have to shell out a lot of money upfront if you choose to go with a crib rather than a bassinet.

It depends on your financial situation and if you would like to invest in a crib already, whether or not you choose a crib or a bassinet.

WE SUGGEST thinking over the purposes that you will use the bassinet or crib then decide from there which is more worth it and feasible at the time.

2. Large Size

This is a con if you don’t live in a home that can accommodate enough room for a 52″ hollow box.

Think about the needs of your family by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is a crib the best option for the size of your baby’s room?
  • Can it fit inside your home?

Note: There are options for a mini crib, which is about 24″ by 38″. However, it won’t last as long as a regular crib, nor would it be possible to transition it into a toddler bed.

3. Complicated Assembly

Because cribs are so big, you can expect that they aren’t coming to you fully assembled.

This means that when you set up your crib, PLAN – have a helping hand around, know where you’re going to put it.

4. Not Portable

When you can finally assemble your crib, make sure you like where you put it because, unlike a bassinet, you won’t likely get to move it around.

Note: We want to stress the PROPER SAFETY GUIDELINES for SAFE SLEEP RECOMMENDATIONS for your baby sleeping in a crib.

Features You Should Look For Before Buying a Bassinet or Crib

So, after all the pros and cons, what now?

We understand that this is a HUGE DECISION. As parents, having your baby sleep in a space that not only lives up to your functional needs but also more than meets your safety standards is CRUCIAL.

More than anything, we want to make sure our babies are safe, right?

Let’s get into a couple of things you should look for when buying a bassinet or crib.

Safety Standards

The MOST IMPORTANT factor when buying a crib or bassinet is the overall safety of the bed.

We suggest that you RESEARCH on the different safety considerations for a bassinet and a crib. You often hear about a recalled bassinet or crib because of faulty production or unsafe materials.

Before buying a potential crib or bassinet, ensure that it follows the latest guidelines for a crib or bassinet by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Ease of Use and Assembly

Next, you want to make life easy for you and your baby, so go with the less complicated option.

Whether or not you go with a mini crib, regular crib, or bassinet, think about these things:

  • Where will I place it, is there enough space?
  • Do I have someone to help me?
  • Have I properly tried out the crib or bassinet in the store?

These will help you decide on the one bed that will make you and your baby happy and comfortable.

Durability and Stability

In line with safety, you want to make sure that the baby’s bed can withstand the normal movements of a rowdy baby.

Go with cribs and bassinets made with quality material, and remember this one thing – If the bed shakes or creaks when you touch it choose another one.

Space

This one is so important and so highly overlooked.

It’s simple. DO I or DO I NOT have space for a crib in my home?

Again, make things easy for yourself, and don’t force something that won’t work. A bassinet or a mini-crib will work just fine too!

Budget

Finally, NEVER go beyond your means because WE ARE SURE you’ll find an option that fits all these criteria WELL WITHIN YOUR BUDGET.

Don’t forget, you’ll need to buy more baby furniture than just cribs and bassinets, so don’t use up too much of your budget for just one item!

Try second-hand cribs and bassinets. People often give away items that are still in GOOD SHAPE, so these could be a good option!

Final Verdict: Is It Better to Get a Crib or Bassinet?

So who wins the Crib vs Bassinet matchup?

Personally, we choose a crib as a better option. The longer investment and better safety precautions edge out bassinets slightly in our book.

But remember to trust your gut and go with the option you feel is best for your baby and your situation!


Changelog:

August 5, 2021 – added 1 new internal link

About the author

angelica-graham

A few years ago, Angelica found out about all the plastic and toxic ingredients that got into most children’s products. And this worried her to no end. Because of this, she began to research what the best ingredients and materials were for children and made it her mission to share this information with other mothers.