Figuring out where your baby will sleep is a much bigger decision than most people think. When you are sleep deprived and constantly busy caring for this new life, getting an extra few minutes of sleep can quickly become a top priority.
There are a few options for new parents. We will focus on in-bed and bedside sleeping, two terms that are interchangeable with co-sleeping. Both will have their benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the right bassinet for you and your baby will depend on your lifestyle, priorities and comfort level. But above all, you want your baby to have a safe, comfortable sleep.
First, we will cover sleeping arrangements, and then help you decide what kind of bassinet is best for you.
Some parents choose In-Bed Sleeping with their baby. It can make breastfeeding easier because your baby is in such close proximity. Having a parent's presence all night long is also very comforting and nurturing. For many families, this translates to better sleep for everyone.
However, there are some concerns with the risks associated with in-bed sleeping. The loose bedding and sheets can present a risk of suffocation to a young infant, so it is important that parents ensure the bed is a safe environment. Every parent wants a safe sleep for their infant, and these risks are imperative to consider before choosing in-bed sleeping.
There are various methods to help minimize the risk of bed sharing. These include; not sharing a bed with an infant under 4 months, placing the baby on their back to go to sleep, ensuring that your mattress is firm and fit snugly to the bed frame, and not using loose items on the bed such as quilts. There are additional risks to consider, which is why it is important to consult an expert before considering this option.
However, a safer option than sleeping with your baby on your own mattress is a bassinet. A co-sleeping bassinet can provide a safe alternative to this sleep arrangement, and we will consider the best options in this article.
Another alternative to consider is bedside sleeping. It gives families the opportunity to be close to one another while providing some space. This sleeping method reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in babies under the age of one because parents can keep an eye on the baby. This is a great option for new parents and their little ones.
Whether families choose to co-sleep, a safe co-sleeping arrangement is every parent’s top priority.
If your baby is going to sleep in the family bed or on their own, they'll need their own little baby-proof space with plenty of ventilation, breathable fabrics and safe materials.
This guide will help you choose the best co-sleeping bassinet to suit your needs, depending on your sleeping arrangement.
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Best Bassinet For In-Bed Sleeping:
Best Bassinet For Bedside Sleeping:
Best Bassinet For In-Bed Sleeping
Winner: SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper
This product is made specifically for co-sleeping. It goes in bed with mom and dad, but gives your baby their own space for sleeping. This will help to minimize the risks associated with in-bed sleeping, while still having the benefits that this arrangement provides.
In my opinion, the SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleeper is one of the best bassinets for bed sharing.
This sleeper has sides made of metal and mesh material, which create a solid barrier between parents and baby without allowing the baby to get overheated.
The bottom is a solid mattress rather than a soft space, which makes it slightly safer according to modern safe sleep standards.
It is lightweight and it comes with a very reasonable price tag.
Other cool features include glowing, vibrating, and collapsible sides.
Customer reviews for the SwaddleMe have been great as well. Parents love the versatility it provides, allowing them to comfortably place the infant between them as they sleep. This co-sleeping bassinet is also lightweight and highly portable, great for placing anywhere around the house, and makes a great travel bassinet.
This portable bassinet will keep up with your busy lifestyle, while allowing your infant to get the safe sleep that they require.
Although this product is one of my favorites, it is only designed to be used until your baby is about three months old or until they can roll over on their own. This bassinet also cannot transform into a space for tummy time or a space for play.
There have also been concerns raised in customer reviews that the SwaddleMe is perhaps too big and roomy. As a consequence, it might be difficult to fit between two adults as they try to get a good night’s sleep. This will of course depend on your personal preferences and the size of your bed, so be sure to take some measurements before purchasing
Runner-Up: DockATot Deluxe+
DockATot is great for co-sleeping. This portable crib/bassinet is made to fit into the bed right next to mom, while still giving your baby a little bit of their own space.
The edges are lined with a sizable raised tube that is designed to provide a buffer between the baby and parent at bedtime.
Some of DockATot's best features include the raised edges that cuddle the baby and recreate the feeling of being in the womb. This creates a comfortable setting and allows them to feel safe and secure.
The tubes are made of hypoallergenic material that is air-permeable, meaning that it keeps the baby from getting overheated.
The design of DockATot also makes it great for tummy time, traveling, or just hanging out. Specially made toys and covers can be used with the system to make it more fun and interactive for the baby.
DockATot is a little bit pricey. It runs about $175 on Amazon without any of the extra covers or toy attachments.
There is also a risk of the baby getting caught under blankets or pillows at night. Even though there is a buffer between the baby and the rest of the bed space, it isn't a fool proof system, so it is important the parents exercise caution when placing the baby in bed.
If you do decide to use DockATot for co-sleeping, be sure to read and follow their safe sleep guidelines.
Best Bassinet For Bedside Sleeping
Winner: Halo Bassinest Essentia Series Bassinet
The Halo Bassinest is made for room sharing. It has some great features that allows you to keep your baby very close all night long.
This bedside bassinet is a top seller because it acts as a stand-alone sleeper and keeps the baby out of their parents’ bed. It also meets or exceeds all of Health Canada’s safety standards, allowing you a great sleep knowing that your infant is safe.
It is adjustable and swivels, allowing you to keep your baby at eye level, swivel and pull your baby closer, or swing them out so that you can get in and out of bed easily. The sides are also spring-loaded so they will lower with the weight of your arm. There is also a breathable mesh side so that you can easily keep an eye on your baby at all times, allowing you to sleep with peace of mind.
The Bassinest is also designed for function and safety. It is constructed from polyester materials, which makes for easy cleaning with a damp cloth. It also comes with a fitted sheet, which is imperative for a baby’s safe sleep without the risk of suffocation or SIDS. As a bonus, the sheet is machine washable.
Upgraded models also come with storage stations, vibration settings, lullabies and sound soothers, nightlights, nursing times, storage caddies and mobiles. These options can be pricey, but it can be helpful to know that this bassinet allows you to upgrade to suit your needs, no matter how extensive.
The Halo can become very expensive, especially if you want one with all of the bells and whistles. It is considered a premium bassinet, but keep in mind that this comes at a premium price, and may be outside of your price range.
The Halo Bassinest is also not easily portable. It is lightweight, but it requires quite a bit of effort and reassembly if you're going to travel with it.
Runner-Up: Arm's Reach Concepts Clear-Vue
Arm’s Reach Concepts Clear-Vue is a more traditional form of the bassinet and is made to sit next to the bed. This sleeper is decidedly simple.
The sleeper has a huge storage compartment that is perfect for keeping all of your extra diapers, wipes, sheets or whatever else you might need to make those night-time feedings and diaper changes easier.
Built with adjustable legs allowing you to bring your infant to eye level.
All sides are made of mesh, which gives you a view from any angle.
It doesn't have lullabies, vibrations, or nightlights.
The base also does not slide under the bed, which means that you are not able to bring your baby as close as some of the other bassinets.
The sides are not collapsible or spring loaded.
Mothers who are recovering from a C-section may find it a little challenging to reach their infant for the first couple of weeks while in recovery.
Alternate: SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleeper
SwaddleMe By Your Bed is another option for room sharing. It is made specifically for the baby to sleep right next to the parent's bed without taking up any of their sleeping space.
Like the Halo, this sleeper is height is adjustable. It also has legs which will slide under the bed so that the bassinet can be placed very close to mom or dad.
The bed will also incline to either 10 or 30 degrees to make sleeping easier for babies with acid reflux or congestion. The bassinet also rocks back and forth, making it easy for parents to comfort their babies in the middle of the night.
Like some of the other options, this sleeper comes with vibration settings, lullabies or sound soothers and nightlights.
Some users have discussed design issues such as the lack of a removable liner and the lack of waterproof padding. These issues may make cleaning the sleeper more difficult, as you can't machine-wash it.
The sleeper also does not lay flat, which can be a concern for some parents.
Regardless of the type of sleeping method you decide, your family can benefit from the peace of mind that these safe sleepers provide. There are many great options for co-sleeping and room sharing, and this article contained a few of our favorites.
It is important to remember that the type of bassinet you choose is highly dependent on your personal situation and the type of sleeping arrangement that you prefer. You surely want a safe, comfortable sleep for your infant, while also being able to get a good night’s sleep yourself. So consider the type of sleeping arrangement you think is best for you, and then consider what type of bassinet can help you best meet these needs.
You will be happy you did this prep work, because a good night’s sleep for you and your infant is one of the most important things you can do in the early stages of a baby’s life.