There are a couple of things that babies do pretty much all the time, and sleeping is one of them. And building a sleep schedule for the baby (and yourself) is important, and so is making sure that wherever your baby is sleeping is comfortable and convenient. You also have to make sure it’s safe. So you might need to cast your vote when it comes to the crib or bassinet discussion. You will need to buy something that fits your budget and also fits the baby’s needs. If you’re not aware of the pros and cons, read on.
So what’s the difference between a crib and a bassinet?
Bassinets and cribs are quite similar. Bassinets are bed-like structures which are shaped like a basket; they have hoods and legs, usually. They’re often made out of materials like cane or wicker. They’re meant to contain babies up to 4 months, and the more recent ones have fixed frames so you can rock the basket. They can also be made of metal or wood.
Cribs as you know, are larger and heavier. They can hold children up to 3 years of age and maybe even older. They have high walls around the bedding. The frames are usually made of hardwood or aluminium, or plastic.
Cribs vs Bassinets
So which one should you choose for your newborn? There are pros and cons to each. Let’s look at them.
So bassinets would generally be much more affordable than cribs. However, they can only be used up to about 4 months. Whereas cribs can be used for much longer, especially if you buy a good, multipurpose kind. So the price does jump up a bit with cribs, but it’s usually worth it. However, it might be a hard investment to make up front, all at once, if you’re experiencing a financial crunch. You might want to consider borrowing one from family or friends, in that case.
In terms of this, bassinets are way more portable than cribs. They’re made of lightweight materials and it’s quite easy to carry them from room to room. Especially if you don’t have a fixed nursery and your baby is sleeping wherever you’re sleeping, or if you’re travelling a lot for some reason, this can be convenient. Cribs require a lot more work to set up, and moving them is essentially like moving a piece of furniture to another room.
Cribs are larger and made up of heavier materials, so they occupy much more space in a room. It might be that you live in a house where you can’t really accommodate one comfortably. If you’re planning to set up a co-sleeping method with your baby, it might be difficult to accommodate room for yourself and the crib. Bassinets on the other hand take up much less room. You could fairly comfortably co-sleep with your newborn if you had one.
This is a hard one. So having a bassinet often allows for co-sleeping, which in turn reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (or SIDS). However, bassinets are only safe up to a point, because they can’t take the weight of a baby when it reaches a certain weight or age. Then it could tip and it could become a safety issue. Cribs on the other hand are quite well-built to prevent babies from falling out or crawling out once they get older. They have high walls and side rails.
- Long-term vs short-term use
Bassinets tend to be outgrown fairly quickly, but cribs – especially certain modern ones – are often made so that they’ll last a few years. You can make them into toddler beds later. In that sense, you get your money’s worth even if you’re paying a heavy deposit in the beginning.
- Other features
Bassinets, being quite light, are limited in terms of extra features and add-ons. They do have hoods so that your baby is protected from harsh light, and also storage areas where you can keep diapers, toys, etc. Cribs have a lot more features, but again, the more features there are, the more you pay. Some have teething bars, which are convenient for a baby. You can also adjust the sides (although this isn’t recommended) and the mattress height. You can get one with wheels. You can also attach toys or mobiles to it.
Ultimately, you have to choose what you think is best for your circumstances. Good luck!