Crib Vs Bassinet: 7 Differences to Think About Before You Buy


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Your guide to deciding whether to choose a bassinet or crib for your baby

Everyone wants to be sure their little one is enjoying a good night’s sleep. So – crib vs bassinet – which is the right option for you? Choosing between a bassinet or crib needn’t be an insurmountable challenge and we’re here to give you the advice you need. 

We know that a lot of people (and that includes many baby brands) use both of those names interchangeably to refer to different types of infant beds. However, it’s important for you to be aware that there’s no shortage of differences between them.

No matter whether it’s a crib or bassinet for newborn babies that you’re interested in purchasing, you’ll need to learn how they differ from each other. Why? Simply because both have different weight limitations, size and structure differences, safety differences and age requirements. 

Get the choice wrong and the dissimilarities may impact negatively on your little one’s quality of sleep. 

In this crib or bassinet guide, we’ll give you all the information you require to make a well-informed choice about which to purchase to ensure your baby’s well-being and comfort. 

What is a Bassinet? 

Before we go any further, you’ll need to be aware of what bassinets really are. 

Basically, they’re a special type of bed made for babies who range between 0 to 4 months. With an oval-shape, they often feature netting or mesh along the sides to improve babies’ safety. 

While cradles have rocking legs, the legs of bassinets are typically stationary for extra stability so your baby remains safe. 

Benefits and Features: 

Why use a bassinet you may wonder? Primarily, bassinets have the below features: 

1. Light and Portable

Usually, these beds are portable thanks to its lightweight construction. When you’re heading out, you can fold them easily, carrying them anywhere you need to go or storing them with ease. 

2. Tall Structure 

This bed’s usual structure is tall which allows you to easily pick up or put down your baby without bending. 

If you’ve given birth via C-section, this is a bonus since bending is difficult after this operation. 

3. Small Size

Typically, these beds are small and this is perfect for anybody lacking space in the room in which they intend to place them. 

Since they’re very compact, they’re a breeze to carry and store during travel. 

4. The Sides are Low

These beds have low sides but there’s no need to worry about safety, they’re usually sufficiently high to ensure your baby won’t fall out. 

It’s important to be able to effortlessly and quietly pop your baby down when they fall asleep and thanks to the low sides it’s a breeze to put your baby down without any problems. 

On the other hand, with cribs the sides are high so it can be hard to put a baby down inside. 

5. More Storage 

Some models feature extra storage which is ideal for storing away all the essentials your baby needs. Since babies need a lot of stuff, this is really handy.

If your little one poops during the night, for example, diapers and wipes need to be close at hand. 

With this borne in mind, a lot of these infant beds have an integral storage space. 

6. Added Features 

Finally, the best bassinet comes with a lot of add-on features like canopies, music boxes, rocking features and night lights. 

Limitations of Bassinets

Although these beds offer a host of benefits, they have a few drawbacks too. 

1. Safety Issues

A major limitation has to be potential safety issues. 

The smaller size of bassinets is convenient, but for babies who move a lot in their sleep this could be a problem. It could increase any risk of suffocation or even cause SIDS. With this in mind, you should avoid a basic model and opt for a larger size instead. 

2. Age & Weight Limit

Typically, these infant beds limit the age and weight of the child who can use them. This means they’re solely for short-term use. 

After your little one has exceeded the model’s weight and age requirement, it can no longer be used. 

3. Not Cost-Effective

A number of expensive models aren’t good value. This is because they can only be used for around 6 or 7 months. 

If you’re only buying for shorter-term use, this won’t be an issue, of course. 

What is Crib? 

Cribs are also beds made especially for babies but they can be used not only for a new born baby but for a growing toddler too. 

In terms of construction, they’re typically low-lying but the sides have a high protective enclosure to make it a safe sleeping place for older toddlers too.

Typically with a rectangular shape and with stationary legs, these beds are safe and stable for infants. 

Features & Benefits:

Here are some of the reasons why purchasing a crib is a good idea:

1. Durability 

This is a top feature since these beds are usually made from sturdy, strong material. This makes them strong enough to accommodate toddlers up to 3 or 3.5 years old

2. Sturdy and Heavy

Lightweight beds could tip over easily making them unsafe for a toddler or older baby. 

Fortunately, this kind of infant bed is stable, sturdy and heavy enough to support your baby’s weight effortlessly. 

3. Low Beds & High Walls 

When safety is your top priority, these beds won’t disappoint. With low beds and high sides, they provide optimal safety so your baby won’t fall or hurt themselves. 

4. Spacious 

Finally, as these beds have a rectangular shape they offer a larger space in which your baby can spread out and rest comfortably. 

Limitations of Cribs

Cribs have limitations too including:

1. Not Portable

These beds are sturdy and fairly large and this means they can’t be taken out and about with you. There are, however, a few portable models for sale. 

2. Requires Lots of Space

Since these beds are designed to accommodate both babies and toddlers, they take up a lot more space when compared with other kinds of baby beds. 

When you lack space, this isn’t a good choice for you. 

3. May Raise Safety Issues

While these beds are often the safest option, they still present a few safety concerns. If your toddler attempts to climb out over the railings, for example, they could fall and hurt themselves. 

To guard against a problem like this arising, you’ll need to know how to keep toddler in crib. 

4. Expensive 

Finally, they’re also expensive, especially if you lack a high budget. 

What is Difference Between Bassinet vs Crib? 

Since you now know some key things that will help you learn more about whether to choose a bassinet or crib, let’s move onto the differences that exist between them. 

1. Size & Structure

A key difference between crib and bassinet infant beds is their size and structure. 

Usually bassinets have an oval shape with low side walls and a taller height. They’re also compact and lightweight in construction. 

Conversely, a crib will be mostly rectangular although there are a few different oval models on the market. They usually have tall railing-like walls along their sides and a low-lying sleeping area rather than an uplifted one. 

2. Weight Limits and Age Restrictions 

Both types of beds are designed for babies however differences exist in terms of weight limits and age restrictions. 

A mini crib bassinet is made for newborns with a maximum age requirement of around 4 – 6 months with weight limits of around 15 – 20 pounds. 

Conversely, cribs are suitable for either newborns and toddlers to use up to around 3 years of age with an average weight limit around 35 – 50 pounds. 

3. Safety 

Since both types of bed have a completely different structure, so they also offer a different level of safety. While bassinets are open without higher railing sides and this reduces the baby’s chance of SIDs, when grown-up toddlers go to bed they need higher walls to keep them from hurting themselves by falling out. Conversely, though, the tall, enclosed sides of the crib could be suffocating for babies. 

4. Storage and Portability

Since there are differences in terms of both structure and weight, both types of bed have different requirements when it comes to storage and portability. 

Since bassinets are foldable and lightweight, they can easily be taken along if you’re traveling and they can very easily be stored. 

Cribs, conversely, are heavy and sturdier and this makes it hard to carry or store them.

5. Budget

Cribs are a sturdier and longer-lasting type of infant bed, but they’re more costly. 

6. Durability 

Cribs are a long-term solution for your baby to sleep in since there’s no strict weight or age limitation and their build is robust. Meanwhile bassinets can only be used temporarily. 

Which is Best for Me – Bassinet or Crib?

If you cosleep with your little one, there are several potential problems including the possibility of suffocating your little one accidentally, increasing the chance of SIDS. 

Which type of bed is best for you? Which one is better? Well, both have their advantages, so let’s discover which you should choose. 

Do I Need a Bassinet? 

Should I buy a bassinet? Is a question many new parents and parents to-be are asking.

You might choose one if:

  • You’re only needing a bed for a short term period for a new born baby up to the age of six months. 
  • You’re wanting a bed that you can easily store and transport.
  • You’ve got very little space in the room.
  • You’re on a low budget. 

It’s also easy to put a small child into this type of infant bed and to pick them up when they wake – a major bonus if you’ve had a Cesarean section and have pain when you bend over. 

Do I Need a Crib?

This type of bed is vital when you need to transition from cosleeping to crib. They’re also the safest choice for a little one as they grow into a toddler. 

Of course, you could buy both types of bed if you can’t make a decision, or you could choose a bassinet to crib convertible model. 

You should choose this bed type if:

  • You want a bed for your little one that is durable and will last a long time.
  • You need a bed that is spacious for your little one and have plenty of space in the room. 
  • You’re not on a tight budget.
  • You won’t need to store away the bed or carry it between locations.
  • You want optimal safety. 
  • You won’t struggle to bend down when picking up or putting down your baby.

Safety Advice When Using a Crib or Bassinet

There are some precautions you need to take to avoid safety concerns when using or purchasing an infant bed. 

1. Make Sure There are no Sharp Edges

If you’re going to buy an infant bed, always check before purchase there aren’t any sharp edges since they could harm your infant. Make sure wooden structures have no splinters. 

2. Ensure the Construction Material is Strong

Occasionally, accidents can occur if even a small amount of excess weight is placed into the bed. You can avoid this by ensuring the construction material is sturdy and strong. 

3. Never Keep Stuffed Toys In the Bed

Avoid putting stuffed toys in an infant bed as they could suffocate a small child. 

4. Never Buy Second-Hand Infant Beds

You should buy a new product that is properly certified instead of purchasing a second-hand item since it may have faulty or damaged parts which could cause an injury. 

5. Put Your Baby to Sleep On His Back 

Putting babies down on their backs to sleep will reduce the chance of both suffocation and SIDS. 

6. Check the Mattress

Finally, ensure the mattress isn’t sinking down or bending to one side. Mattresses must be sufficiently firm yet soft enough so your baby enjoys completely comfort. 

Final Thoughts

Being able to choose between a bassinet or crib is essential if you’re going to make the right choice for you and your little one. 

You’ll be able to ensure comfort and safety for your little one and you won’t experience any inconveniences. 

Consider the advice in this crib vs bassinet guide carefully and you’ll be able to make the right choice for your baby! 

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