Choosing the right baby bed for your newborn can seem like a daunting task. There are several different options to choose from, all with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.
The choice between wooden bassinet, cradle, and crib can be one of the most difficult. Of course, every mom has their own preference – but if you know exactly what to expect from each, you can make the best-informed decision for the newest little member of your family.
Now, you might be asking yourself the following questions:
Here, we’ll take you through the ins and outs of each of these options.
Let’s kick things off with the Wooden Bassinet.
What is it? Wooden bassinets are essentially smaller, basket-shaped cribs. Bassinets can also come in non-wooden materials, for example, wicker. Depending on the make of the product that you purchase, they can come with a hood or legs.
What ages are they for? Typically, bassinets are used for newborn babies in the 1-4 month age bracket.
Why choose a bassinet? If you’re looking to share a room, or a bed, with your newborn, bassinets are the perfect solution. They’re great for co-sleeping, and they’re super light and compact. Unlike the cradle and crib, bassinets are portable. You are able to pick them up easily and move them to any room in your home. Bassinets are also easier to lift newborns in and out of when compared to cribs or cradles. They’re also the cheapest option of the three, and this is likely due to their smaller size.
1. Keep your baby’s size and weight in mind when making the buy. Many makes of bassinet will advertise the size and weight bracket of the babies they fit. Make sure you’re buying the right one.
2. You’ll want to buy a new one instead of buying a second hand to ensure the right fit for your child.
3. You’ll also want to invest in a newer model. Bassinets are also frequently changing their safety regulations, so doing research into the model you’re purchasing is key.
What are the drawbacks of purchasing a bassinet? Remember, bassinets are suitable for newborns in the 1-4 month age bracket. Bassinets are grown out of quickly. If you’re looking for something that’ll last a little longer, you might want to make another investment.
What is it? The cradle is the halfway point between the bassinet and the crib. It’s bigger than the bassinet (and a lot heavier), and smaller than a crib.
What ages are they for? Cradles are great for newborns but, depending on their size, they’re also suitable for your children as they outgrow the four and five-month mark. The deepest cradles are appropriate for eight-month olds, but of course, this depends on the make. After eight months, the cradle will likely be outgrown. Cradles can only hold children up to 20 or 30 pounds max.
Why choose a cradle? There are many different marks of cradle available for buyers. The “rocking” feature that is typically attributed to cradles can be a huge bonus here – it can put babies to sleep faster and easier. Cradles can be installed in one place or, like bassinets, they can be portable. The cradle is going to last a lot longer than a bassinet due to its larger size and capability of holding more weight.
1. You’re going to want to triple-check the cradles’ safety certifications before buying. Vintage cradles are beautiful, but they may not meet today’s safety standards. Ones to look out for are CPSC and JPMA.
2. Make sure you know what you’re getting into on the rocking end of things. Some cradles have gentle rocking features whereas others are more aggressive. Decide whether or not you will be supervising your child when they’re using the cradle, then figure out how much you’d like it to rock.
3. As with the crib and bassinet, make sure all of the bedding fits the cradle perfectly.
Why not invest in a cradle: Cradles are heavy mechanisms – especially the ones that are fixed and not meant to move. It’s not as portable as a bassinet. Furthermore, unlike bassinets, you’ll likely have to buy your own bedding as opposed to having it included in the product package.
What is it? A crib is one step down from a bed for a young child. Typically, cribs are wooden and (unlike the bassinet and several models of cradle) unable to be moved.
What ages are they for? Children can fit comfortably in a crib until they are just under three years of age. The “transition” from crib to bed will depend heavily on the child in question, but typically this change is made when children are between one-and-a-half and three years old.
Why purchase a crib? The best argument for the crib is as follows – out of the three options described, it’ll last the longest by far. Bassinets and cradles are outgrown, in the best cases, when a child is just under eight months. Cribs last a lot longer. If you’re not planning on buying a bassinet or cradle, and you just want to start your newborn off with a crib, it might be good to invest a bit of money in just the right product. If your baby has its own room or “nursery”, the crib (with its high walls and safety precautions) is your best bet.
1. Look out for the ones with teething bars. These will stop your baby from chewing the wood and hurting themselves.
2. Look out – crib bumpers and drop-side cribs are now deemed “unsafe.”
Why not invest in a crib: They’re more expensive, a lot harder to move, and a lot heavier. But, in this case, some of the aforementioned benefits greatly outweigh the costs.
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