Bassinet vs Crib – Which Should You Use for Your Baby?

Preparing for your baby’s arrival involves purchasing the necessary items. Have you started shopping for your baby and planning your baby’s nursery? Are you feeling conflicted about the giant list of essentials?

If you have started shopping for baby products, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the number of decisions you must make before your baby even arrives. One of the most confusing choices is bassinet vs. crib.

Bassinet vs Crib - What is the Difference?

A bassinet is a small bed for a baby to use up until the baby is four months old. A bassinet is a type of cradle that looks like a basket. On the other hand, a crib is a larger bed for a baby with rails and a mattress.

While there are differences between bassinets and cribs, it is ultimately a matter of preference. Both bassinets and cribs are safe options for babies, so it really comes down to work best for your baby and your home.

Why Bassinets Are Great

Bassinets are great choices because they are aesthetically pleasing, small, portable, and do not take up much space. They are easy to move, and they are easy for parents to use. Without having high sides, it is much easier to place a sleeping baby in a bassinet than over the deep side of a crib.

Bassinets are also significantly cheaper than cribs, so purchasing a bassinet may be a more affordable option for some parents.

Why Bassinets Are Not So Great

The main reason bassinets are not so great is because they can only be used for the first few months due to size and weight limitations. Once your baby reaches 4 months old, your baby will most likely be too big for the bassinet. If your baby can sit up or roll over, your baby can possibly fall out of the bassinet because it has low sides.

Another key deciding factor to consider is that you’ll have to buy a crib eventually anyway. Once your baby is approximately 4 months old, you’ll have to transition him or her to a crib. Today’s Parent offers tips on how to transition your baby from the bassinet to the crib if you decide to choose this option.

Why Cribs Are Awesome

Cribs are larger, so they last longer than bassinets. Most cribs are used until a baby is at least 2 years of age. Some cribs even convert to toddler beds, which makes them last even longer.

Cribs can be designed to work in a beautifully decorated nursery with matching crib accessories. We had a fun dinosaur themed crib set for my son’s room. Additionally, while they are initially costlier, the price ends up being a “good deal” for the amount of years it is used in comparison to a bassinet.

Why Cribs Are Not So Awesome

Cribs are expensive – especially if you do choose one with additional features such as convertible beds. They are also large, take up quite a bit of space, stationary and cannot be moved around. Finally, it is harder to place a sleeping baby in a crib because of the height and depth.

Things to Consider Before You Shop

Before you start shopping, decide where your baby will sleep when you bring him or her home. Will you place your baby in the nursery or will the baby be in your room? Many pediatricians and experts, such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, believe you should have your baby sleep in your room at first to prevent SIDS.

If your baby will be in your room, will there be enough space for a crib? There is also another option – a combination pack and play such as the Graco Pack N Play Playard Bassinet. A pack and play is a smaller portable crib with a bassinet that your baby may use longer than 4 months of age.

While you will have to purchase a crib at some point, consider borrowing a bassinet from a family member or friend for the few months you would like your baby to be in a smaller bed. Many consignment stores also sell gently used bassinets for low prices.

Before We Go

Deciding between a bassinet vs crib can be overwhelming, but there is no wrong answer. Bassinets and cribs are both safe options for newborns. If you are struggling to decide, remember there are options that offer some of the positive traits of both such as the Graco Pack N Play Playard Bassinet. Consider these details when making your decision:

  • Bassinets are aesthetically pleasing, small, portable and cheaper
  • However, bassinets can only be used the first few months
  • Cribs are larger, stationary and more expensive
  • But, you’ll have to purchase a crib eventually

After reading through this pro/con list, do you have any questions? Please share your questions or comments in the comment section.

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Veronica Mitchell

Hi! My name is Veronica Mitchell. I am a mother to two adorable little girls and a handsome little boy. I spend my days caring from my children, packing lunches, reading aloud, kissing boo-boos, and working as the Chief Editor of My Parenting Journey. On this site, you will find friendly advice, expert suggestions, and guides to all shopping for the products you actually need.

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