Today's world is seeing a resurgence in the practice of “attachment parenting”, meaning that parents try to keep their little ones near them as often as possible. This allows them to take care of their baby's needs on their own schedule. A huge part of that is co-sleeping.
Unfortunately, sharing a bed with your baby is inherently dangerous. That's where bassinets come into play. Bassinets are the best option for parents looking to co-sleep with their babies, without putting them in harm's way.
Bassinets are good options for more than just co-sleeping. Parents living in small spaces will find that bassinets provide a great place for a baby to spend his or her early months. Travel is made all the easier when using bassinets, as well.
There are a few things to think about before purchasing a bassinet, however. For example:
Standard Bassinet Features
Most bassinets have the same standard features. The one that makes them so convenient is that most of them are at the same height as a standard bed. This means that you don't have to climb out of bed to tend to your infant. This makes middle-of-the-night nursing something that can be done without having to get out of bed.
Another notable feature is wheels. Most bassinets come with caster wheels, allowing for easy movement. It allows you to bring your sleeping baby with you from room to room so that he or she can be near you wherever you are. This can also make moving a sleeping baby from your room to theirs a cinch.
There are other bassinet options that aren't always available, but great when you can get them. That involves vibrating bassinets, bassinets that play music, and those that come with a canopy, to keep the sun out of a napping baby's eyes.
The Perks of Using a Bassinet
There are a lot of upsides to using a bassinet in lieu of a traditional crib. The first is that it allows your baby to feel more secure. Because new babies are so used to the closeness of the uterus, leaving them alone in a huge, empty crib can feel uncomfortable, resulting in tears. Bassinets create a comforting closeness that will keep the baby quiet longer.
They also make nursing your baby in the middle of the night a cinch. Instead of having to listen for your baby's cries in the middle of the night, then trudging to their room, you can keep baby with you and nurse from the comforts of your own bed! For sleep-deprived new parents, this can be a lifesaver.
Traveling? Or just taking the baby to Grandma's for the afternoon? A bassinet makes for a great nap station when you're away from home. Instead of letting your baby sleep on an unsafe bed or sofa, you can let them catch their zzzs in a bassinet. Quite a few models are designed for easy transport for this reason. Remember: Baby needs to sleep somewhere safe!
When You Shouldn't Use a Bassinet
There are, obviously, times that you shouldn't use a bassinet. The most notable is, of course, when the baby doesn't like it. Some babies defy expectations and hate being in a bassinet's tight quarters. If your baby doesn't like it, it might be best to stick to a crib.
You also shouldn't use a bassinet if you don't have access to a new, American Academy of Pediatrics-compliant one. While antique bassinets are beautiful, and your old bassinet might be sentimental, safety features have changed a lot since then. And, if you buy a used bassinet, you can't be sure that there isn't a defect. You also can't register it, meaning that you won't necessarily know if there is a recall.
Lastly, you shouldn't use a bassinet once your baby has grown too large for yours. This can be anywhere from three months to five months, depending on the model. No matter what the age cutoff is, you should stop using once your baby can push up onto all fours.
Bassinets are perfect options for those looking for a sleep option that will keep themselves, and their baby, happy. Whether you're nursing, traveling, or just want to keep your baby close, bassinets are a great choice.