So, which of the two is a better option for your baby’s nursery? Is going with a crib from the start a wiser choice? Or should you opt for a bassinet at first and transition towards the crib at a later stage?
Whichever of the two you decide to go with at first, know that your baby’s going to be safe and sound while asleep with either option. It’s just that there are a few differences you should be aware of, for the sake of practicality.
Bassinets VS Cribs – What’s The Difference Between The Two?
1) Life Stages
Up until a certain age, it’s no longer advised for parents to keep having their babies sleep in bassinets.
There comes a time where a baby will physically outgrow their bassinet and what it has to offer them, with the bassinet no longer being able to support their increasing weight, so moving on to a crib is advised at that point.
This is – in general – somewhere around the 6 months of age mark. On the other hand, babies tend to only outgrow their cribs by the age of 2 years.
This is one of the reasons why many parents prefer to have their baby sleep in a crib as soon as they’re born, and avoid the bassinet stage altogether.
2) Size & Space
Bassinets and cribs are not similar in size – in fact, there’s usually a massive difference. Generally speaking, cribs are larger than bassinets and require more space around the house for accommodation.
If you happen to have a shortage of space around the house because you live in a small place or don’t have the best organizational skills, a bassinet may be the better option for you until you can dedicate more space for a crib.
If you’re planning to setup your baby’s nursery in the same room as yours, though, and you happen to sleep in a spacious master bedroom with plenty of extra room – then going straight for the crib is not a bad idea.
A crib might give your baby more room to sleep and move around in than you would think is necessary, but that’s not always a bad thing. For example, if you have baby twins, did you know they can sleep in the same crib?
That way, instead of having to buy two individual bassinets, you can have them both sleep in the same crib at the same time.
Of course, this is not going to be a practical option for all parents out there, and having twins sleeping in the same crib does have its downsides as well as its advantages.
There’s a very good reason to why bassinets are used as a stepping stone when baby is still a newborn, and before moving on to a crib – and that’s coziness.
Before baby is born and comes out to explore the world around them, and when they’re still in their mother’s womb, it feels pretty comfy inside. Yes, it’s a pretty small space to be in, but that’s what makes them feel most comfortable.
When they’re born and are no longer in their mother’s womb, a bassinet aims to mimic this coziness by having them sleep in a small space.
Having a baby sleep in a giant crib right after they’re born takes away from this coziness aspect, and doesn’t help make for an easy transition to the real world.
Having your baby sleep in a bassinet for the first few months of their life is especially important if they were born prematurely.
Because cribs are more advanced than bassinets, are larger in size and build, and are meant to have your baby sleep in them for a longer period of time than bassinets (only the first few months of a newborn’s life), cribs are more expensive than bassinets.
You can expect to slash around 100$ to 150$ on a high quality crib for your baby, while you can find high quality bassinets that only set you back around 30$ to 40$.
So, if you can afford to buy a crib to have your newborn sleep in as soon as you bring them home, then by all means do consider doing that.
But if money’s tight at the moment and you have to save wherever you can (parenting isn’t cheap!), consider going with a bassinet first and transitioning your baby into a crib later.
Keep in mind, though, that there will come a time where you’re left with no choice but to buy a crib for your baby – so this affordability benefit associated with bassinets is only short-lived.
This assuming, of course, that you buy a crib afterwards. If you have one passed on to you by a family member or a friend, then that’s a different story.
Just be sure that when you’re given a used crib, that all the safety features it has (or once had) are still intact.
Many used cribs that get passed on to family members or friends who can’t afford to buy new ones are pretty worn out, while others were manufactured such a long time ago that the safety standards for cribs have changed a great deal ever since.
If you’re looking to get something for your baby to sleep in, and that you can move around the house with ease so you’re always co-sleeping, bassinets are usually the better choice as far as portability goes.
After all, it’s much easier moving around a bassinet that weighs around 10 pounds, than it is moving around a crib that weighs around a whopping 60 pounds!
This is a very important issue to consider, especially with all the times your baby will wake up screaming in the middle of the night.
Sometimes they’re hungry and desperately need to be fed, other times they just need to have some white noise played in the background to go back to peaceful sleep.
But whatever’s happening at the time, you’re the one who’s going to have to figure it out and take care of things.
Being able to move their bassinet around to have them sleep next to you when you know they’re not at a 100% can make all the difference in the world to you – instead of having to wake up multiple times in the middle of the night and walk all the way over to their crib if it’s already been setup in another room.
With that being said, there are manufacturers that produce portable cribs nowadays, manufactured with built in wheels and all. But be warned – they’re still nowhere as easy to move around the house as bassinets are.
6) Ease Of Use
Generally speaking, bassinets are easier for parents to use than cribs.
Cribs usually have higher sides than bassinets, making it a more difficult job for parents to place their babies in there and take them out on a frequent basis.
You’ll really have to lean forward and extend your arms all the way inside the crib to reach the mattress and be able to place your baby. Most of the times, the rails are that tall.
The only time you won’t really mind this is if you’re taller than average.
Parents who happen to be on the shorter side and face extreme difficulty with this often find they have to drop their babies in the crib and on the mattress because they couldn’t reach the bottom, which puts baby at high risk of sustaining physical injuries.
So, better safe than sorry! Get a bassinet if you know your height is going to cause you trouble with a crib, and when time comes to make the transition towards the crib, get one with low rails to help you out (but not low enough to put your little one’s safety at risk).
With a bassinet, you’ll usually find yourself not needing to bend as much to place baby inside and take them out.
That’s because the mattress in a bassinet is very easy to reach, and is nowhere near as deep as it is inside a baby crib.
Bassinets were also designed to keep you as comfortable as possible, and experiencing as minimal pain as possible, when putting your baby to bed in the few months after you’ve given birth.
Shortly after delivery, moms experience all sorts of physical pains and aches, especially back pain. It’s bad enough when you give birth naturally, and it’s even worse if you happen to have had a C-section.
To help keep these pains at bay, using a bassinet until you’ve completed your recovery is an excellent idea.
7) Protection From The Sun
Bassinets usually offer your little one protection from the sun, with lots of models out there being designed with covers or hoods – whatever you like to call them.
Most cribs don’t have this option built in, and you’ll have to do it yourself (or hire someone to do it for you) to keep baby safe from those harmful UV rays.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
Again, regardless of whether you choose to have your baby sleep in a bassinet until they grow older and begin needing a crib, or have them sleep in a crib right from the get go – that’s not what you should be focusing on.
Instead, you should be focusing on either meeting all of your baby’s needs.
Want to get a bassinet straight away? Good. Want to get a crib right off the bat instead? No problem-o. Just make sure that whichever choice you do end up going with meets the following basic criteria.
- Makes it as safe as possible for your baby to sleep in.
- Makes it as comfortable as possible for your baby to sleep in
Wrapping It Up
At the end of the day, the choice is completely yours to make.
Things will be just fine, regardless of whether you eventually choose to have your little bundle of joy sleep in a bassinet or a crib – as long as you choose the absolute best bassinets for babies or the best cribs for babies that money can buy, of course.
If your priorities are saving a bit of money on the short run till you have more to cough up later, saving some space around the house to accommodate other items and taking it as easy as possible on your body for recovery purposes after giving birth, a bassinet might be the more suitable choice for the time-being.
However, if you’re comfortable spending more money on baby gear right of the bat, you find a baby crib that doesn’t physically take its toll on you after a short while and have enough space for it in a bedroom, then you might consider going with a baby crib straight away.
You’re going to buy a baby crib soon enough when your baby outgrows their bassinet anyways! There’s no running away from that.
While lots of parents skip the bassinet and go for the crib straight away after bringing their newborn home, no parent out there can do without a baby crib at home when their little one surpasses the 6 months of age mark.