If you’re still a few dollars short of saving for your dream crib or you love the idea of co-sleeping, a bassinet may be your best bet. This won’t be a permanent sleep solution for your baby, but it should be enough to get him by for the first three months or so.
With so many choices on the market, however, finding the right bassinet for your baby can be a little tricky. Here are some tips to point you in the right direction.
How Portable Does It Need to Be?
If a bassinet only has to be moved from room to room in your house, you’ll probably be fine with a model that just has wheels. But if you want to take it on a vacation with you or if you need to bring it occasionally to a babysitter’s house, make sure you pick one out that can fold up and fit easily into your trunk.
How Long You Want to Use It
Bassinets have a very limited lifespan – they shouldn’t be used once your child is capable of propping himself up. At that point, there’s a risk your baby will fall out, so you should begin using a crib at night instead.
But if you still want a bassinet in the meantime, you can make it more worth your money by buying one that doubles as a pack ‘n play. They come with a bassinet that sits on top of the pack ‘n play. During the course of the day, you can easily change it back and forth.
Long after the bassinet is too small for your baby, you’ll still be able to get use out of the pack ‘n play.
How Much You Want to Pay
Some bassinets are as expensive as cribs are, while others can be bought really cheaply. If you’re on a tight budget, you can still find a bassinet that will get you through the first three months of your baby’s life.
What Extras You Want
You can find bassinets that will allow you to gently rock your baby to sleep. Some play music to soothe your cranky baby and some have mobiles attached to them to give your baby something interesting to look at.
Just Remember the Safety Precautions
Whether you decide to use a bassinet or a crib, always remember that your baby should sleep on his back to reduce the risk of SIDS. And if you do opt for a bassinet, try to resist the urge to let your baby use it longer than he should just to justify how much money you spent on it. Pay attention to the weight limit of the bassinet and your baby’s development so you’ll know when it’s time to put that bassinet into storage.
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.