In the bassinet vs crib debate, how do you know which of these baby products is best for your family?
Everyone’s needs are different and when faced with the numerous products to buy before the arrival of a newborn baby, parents naturally want to stay cost-effective.
Both the bassinet and the crib have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, each catering to a different type of parent and child, depending on what you prefer and what your budget is.
Bassinets, for instance, are the cheaper sleeping option given their relative usage period and are more mobile while cribs are durable and diverse given the many types of cribs out there. They also last longer, and are a slightly bigger investment.
Keep reading to get the full rundown and to see which of the two is better for you.
Bassinet Vs Crib: The Rundown
The Baby Bassinet
Starting off with baby bassinets, also known as Moses baskets or bedside sleepers depending on the type, we have a strong contender right off the bat.
Usually made out of cane or wicker, bassinets provide a more natural feel to a baby’s room, especially considering the fact that they’re usually fashioned just like a basket.
You can also get a modern bassinet made out of plastic or cosleeping beds made from wood. It provides a lot more durability than the ones made out of wicker or cane, but you lose out on that au naturelle feel that’s likely to compliment any sleeping space.
They’re also affixed to a pair of legs and usually have a hood on the top to shield your little one.
Some portable bassinets come on wheels so you can move the entire thing with ease. It’s ideal for parents who like keeping their baby close while still providing them with the comfort of a baby bed.
And don’t worry, the wheels on the bassinets have brakes on them so it can remain stationary when you need it to.
Certain models also include useful features such as a changing table and extra storage space.
One of its other main advantages is the size. A baby bassinet is rather compact, allowing you to place it almost anywhere.
On top of that, it’s a favorite among mothers who’ve had a C-section as a bassinet is taller than a crib. This means they don’t have to bend over as much, which assists with the healing process and prevents further injury.
Not to mention that the bedside sleeper variant is the only one of its type that allows for genuinely safe co-sleep as the bassinet can stay right next to the parents bed without risking the health of the baby.
However, one of the main cons of bassinets is that they’re quite small, usually ideal for babies under 6 months of age. But the short usage period does make them a whole lot cheaper than the alternatives.
Once your baby outgrows the bassinet, you’ll likely need to invest in a standard crib which may leave you feeling as though you’ve wasted money.
• Superior portability
• Relatively lightweight
• Doesn’t take up much space
• Not as sturdy as cribs
• Only usable for up to 6 months as the baby grows out of it pretty quickly
The Baby Crib
Cribs are known for their durability, providing safe sleep for babies from birth all the way up to toddlerhood (and beyond for some specific types of cribs).
They also have a better average weight limit, meaning that you can use them for a longer period of time.
As such, they’re a fantastic long-term investment for new parents.
You’ll have to replace it with a toddler bed once your baby reaches that age. However, to save you money, some convertible cribs can even transition into toddler beds with the right tools.
When it comes to size, there are mini cribs and full-size cribs in addition to portable cribs with wheels, all of which share a lengthy lifespan.
Traditionally (and still quite frequently) parents purchase a wooden crib with slats on the railings.
Nowadays though, more and more companies are designing cribs with a breathable material on the side instead of the slats so your baby’s fingers or hands don’t get stuck in between, providing extra comfort and safety.
Crib bedding is also not difficult to find as crib mattresses come in a standard size.
Despite all the upsides to a crib, when it comes to affordability, the fact is that a crib is a more expensive upfront investment than a baby bassinet.
Many parents simply can’t afford it when the cost of all the other baby gear is taken into consideration.
Also, aside from the portable crib, most cribs are stationary and bulky, which is another point in favor of the baby bassinet. Unless you have a really big bedroom, the crib will need to stay in the nursery from day one.
• Greater lifespan
• A number of different models to choose from (portable, mini, convertible cribs)
• The up-front cost is usually a lot bigger than with bassinets
• Lacks mobility unless you purchase the portable crib
• Needs an entire room as it takes up a lot of space
But Which One Is Better?
The answer depends on your needs as a parent.
If you’re looking for a durable baby bed that your little one can use in the years to come, and you have the budget for it, I suggest getting a crib. (A mini crib is a great alternative for smaller spaces.)
On the other hand, if you don’t have a lot of room for a crib and your budget is tight, then you can go for the bassinet and purchase a crib later on.
The reality is that most babies sleep in a baby bassinet for the first couple of months because it’s simply easier for the parents to care for the baby during the night. They usually transition to a crib later.
It’s up to you to decide whether you’ll purchase both right away, or only invest in the crib when your little one outgrows the bassinet. If you find that bassinets aren’t your cup of tea, there’s no harm in putting your little one to sleep in a crib right off the bat.
Before You Make A Purchase
Although it’s interesting to look into all the pros and cons of cribs vs baby bassinets, there are also some universal things to keep in mind before buying one or the other.
Not every sleeping area meets the very specific safety standards laid out by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
That’s why it’s important to opt for a reputable manufacturer whose products have undergone rigorous testing and won’t put your baby in danger.
If the construction of the bed is poor, the risk of SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome, increases.
SIDS can be caused by a dangerous sleeping arrangement, which also includes any accessories in the baby’s bed.
Things like crib bumpers, cushions, pillows, toys, and the like increase the risk of suffocation so make sure to keep them out of your baby’s bassinet or crib.
To Wrap Up
When talking about the baby bassinet vs crib pros and cons, it’s worth noting that neither of them are a bad choice.
Each has its own benefits and disadvantages, depending on your living situation, budget, parenting style, etc.
It’s similar to any other baby product you might be comparing such as electric vs manual breast pumps or Nutramigen and Alimentum infant formulas.
Just because a crib is more expensive doesn’t mean that it’s better and the same goes for the baby bassinet – its budget-friendly price doesn’t make it a poor choice.
A bassinet is a great choice if you have a relatively small place where a crib might take up too much space.
On the other hand, if you have the room to accommodate a crib, go for it as it’ll be a great investment in the long run.
If you have the budget for it, then I recommend investing in both and transitioning your little one out of the bassinet when it’s time.
Whatever the case, I’m certain that you’ll be able to make the right decision. Happy shopping!