Many parents believe that they should choose the same type of bed and bedding for the baby’s sleeping setup. After all, it makes sense to start the baby off with the same material and feel that they will be sleeping in when they head off to college or even get their place! However, there are a few important things that you should keep in mind when you are making this decision, starting from the age of your child, bedding height, and more. Let’s explore.
What Newborns Need
Newborns need a few things when it comes to sleep. They need a firm surface, they should be in their own space, and they should not be able to roll over or fall out of the bed. This is why many parents choose a bassinet or cradle for their newborns. These two options will give your baby the stability and security that they need in those first few weeks and months. When choosing bassinets for newborns, it’s important to make sure that they are certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). This will ensure that it meets all of the safety standards for newborns.
Bassinets vs. Cradles
So, what’s the difference between a bassinet and a cradle? It comes down to size and height. Bassinets are typically smaller in size, which means that they can fit into smaller spaces like next to your bed or in the corner of your room. They also have lower walls, which makes it easier for you to reach in and pick up your baby. Cradles are a bit larger, which means that they might take up more space in your room. They also have taller walls, which some parents prefer because it feels like their baby is more securely “in” the bed.
- They are smaller in size and can fit into smaller spaces
- They have lower walls, making it easier to reach in and pick up your baby
- They often come with a rocking feature, which can help soothe your baby
- Your baby will outgrow a bassinet faster than a cradle (typically around 4-6 months)
- Bassinets can be more expensive than cradles
- They are larger, which some parents prefer
- They have taller walls, making your baby feel more secure
- Your baby can use a cradle for a longer period (typically up to 9 months)
- Cradles can be less expensive than bassinets
- They might take up more space in your room
- Some parents find it harder to reach in and pick up their baby from a cradle
Age and Size Considerations
One of the most important things to consider when choosing between a bassinet and a cradle is the age and size of your baby. Bassinets are meant for newborns and young infants who weigh less than 15 pounds. Once your baby starts to grow and gets heavier, you will need to upgrade to a larger bed like a cradle or even a crib. Cradles can be used for babies who weigh up to 20 pounds. If your baby is larger than that, you will need to upgrade to a crib. Additionally, bassinets are only meant for short-term use. Your baby will quickly outgrow it and will need to move to a larger bed within a few months. Cradles, on the other hand, can be used for a longer period. Many parents use them until their baby is around 9 months old.
When you are choosing between a bassinet and a cradle, safety should be your number one priority. Both bassinets and cradles are safe for your baby as long as they meet the safety standards set by the JPMA. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First, make sure that the bed you choose has a firm surface. This is important because it will provide the support that your baby needs. Second, make sure that the bed has high walls. This will prevent your baby from rolling out or falling out of the bed. Finally, make sure that the bed is in a safe location. It should not be near any windows, heaters, or other potential hazards.
In addition to safety, you should also consider comfort when choosing between a bassinet and a cradle. Both beds should be soft and comfortable for your baby. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, bassinets are typically smaller than cradles. This means that your baby might feel a bit more cramped in a bassinet. Second, bassinets often have lower walls. This can make it harder for you to reach in and pick up your baby. Finally, some bassinets come with a rocking feature. This can be soothing for your baby, but it can also make it difficult for you to get the bed to stop moving once your baby is asleep.
Another important factor to consider is cost. Bassinets and cradles can range in price from around $50 to $200. The price will depend on the brand, the size, and the features. Bassinets are typically more expensive than cradles because they are smaller and often come with more features. However, you should be able to find a quality cradle for a reasonable price. Additionally, you can often find bassinets and cradles on sale at baby stores or online.
It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the needs of your baby. If you are looking for a bed that your baby can use for a longer period, then a cradle might be the best option. If you want a bed that is smaller and easier to move, then a bassinet might be the better choice. No matter what you decide, make sure that you choose a bed that is safe and comfortable for your baby. So, when it comes to choosing between a cradle or bassinet for your baby, there are a few things you need to consider. Age, size, safety, and comfort should all be taken into account when making your decision. Additionally, the cost is also an important factor to keep in mind. Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your personal preferences and the needs of your baby.