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August 16, 2019

Welcoming a new baby into the family means making plenty of room in your home and schedule. Between facilitating feeding times and finding the perfect additions for your nursery, parenting comes with a slew of new to-do lists. In an effort to make sure your baby grows up in the most comfortable and healthy home possible, you’ll likely find yourself weighing your options even when calculated consideration isn’t completely necessary.

Deciding between a bassinet and a crib is a lot different than deciding between canned or jarred purees. Babies spend an astounding amount of their time fast asleep, so investing in an apparatus that’s both durable and comfortable is well worth your while. The age-old debate between bassinets vs. cribs is one that remains wide open. Though it ultimately comes down to preference, there is plenty to consider before making your final purchase.

We’ll walk you through the pros, the cons, the differences, and all related questions you may have about baby bassinets and cribs. Have a specific question in mind? Use the links below to quickly navigate to an expert answer.

What is a bassinet?

What are the pros and cons of a bassinet?

What is a crib?

What are the pros and cons of a crib?

What are the differences between bassinets and cribs?

What should you look for before buying a bassinet or crib?

What is a bassinet?

A bassinet is a bed specifically designed to accommodate babies from 0-months to about 4-months old. Bassinets are characterized by their basket-like construction, offering walled protection similar to cribs but on a far more minimal scale. Modern bassinets often feature a fixed frame that also has the ability to rock from side to side.

Bassinet frames are typically made of wood wicker, plastic, or metal and sit atop fixed free-standing legs. Baby bassinets tend to be lighter in weight and easier to move from room to room.

What are the pros and cons of a bassinet?

Before making a final decision, weighing the pros and cons of an item is absolutely essential to ensure you’re making the right decision.

Pros:

  • Portability:Welcoming a new baby into the family means making several follow-up trips to the doctor, introducing your littlest one to family and friends, and taking the tiny bundle of joy wherever you go. A bassinet is a stellar option for parents who are constantly on the go and need a lightweight sleeper to transport from place to place.

Bassinets are also great for parents who opt to co-sleep with their child rather than letting baby sleep in a separate nursery. Bassinets are easy to bring into the bedroom and around the house when catching up on chores. No baby monitor necessary when your little one is right there with you.

  • Reduced risk of SIDS:In an effort to reduce the number of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) victims, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that parents create a safe sleeping space for their baby. Sleeping in the same room is one of the top suggestions they offer. A bassinet allows you to keep baby an arms-length away at any given moment.
  • Affordable cost:Because bassinets are smaller, more compact, and manufactured with lighter materials, they tend to run a lower total cost. This is a defining factor for parents on a tight baby budget.
  • Add-on features:The vast majority of baby bassinets come with add-on features like a hood and removable storage systems. The hood works to protect baby from harsh lighting while a storage system makes room for diapers, clothing, and other baby essentials.

Cons:

  • Weight limits:Every bassinet comes with a weight limit and developmental limits, and once baby reaches those, the bassinet becomes a tipping risk. This increased hazard risk effectively transforms a safe sleep space into a dangerous sleep space— prompting parents to find a quick solution to their baby’s outgrown bassinet.
  • Shorter life span:Bassinets are best engineered to accommodate babies around 6-months-old and younger. This means within six months of purchase, your bassinet could go into retirement. The moment your baby reaches the weight limit, the bassinet becomes a safety hazard and will need replacing or upgrading. However, once your little one outgrows the Lotus bassinet, you can then convert it into a travel crib.
  • Less cost effective:Because bassinets have such a short life span, they are the less cost-efficient option for parents looking for a long-term option. Even though they are significantly more affordable than cribs, the money spent toward replacing or upgrading may total higher than the price of an affordable crib.

What is a crib?

A crib is another form of an infant bed engineered to accommodate newborn babies and children up to 3-years-old. Cribs feature slatted, high-sided walls that form a safety perimeter around a mini-sized mattress. Developed out of a need to keep children in their bed, the crib addressed the issue of growing infants learning how to get out of a bassinet with low sides.

Crib frames are typically made of hardwood, aluminum, or plastic. Functioning as large, stationary pieces of furniture, cribs are heavier than their bassinet counterparts.

What are the pros and cons of a crib?

Pros:

  • Safety:Cribs are constructed of sturdy materials and are built to endure many years of use. The slatted high-sided walls serve as enclosed protection that keeps baby from falling out or escaping. These side rails can withstand the weight and gripping force of your baby, so there’s no need to worry about motion-related safety hazards.
  • Convertible:Convertible and multipurpose cribs are among the best investments parents can make. Once baby outgrows the crib around age 3, the convertible crib transforms into a toddler bed— making the transition from an infant bed to a regular bed more seamless.
  • Lower investment cost:Because cribs can be converted and multi-purposed, they serve as great long-term investment options for parents looking for the best bang for their buck. Cribs are also a great option for parents planning on having more children in the future.
  • Attachable toys:Entertaining your baby doesn’t always have to be a hands-on experience, especially when there’s dinner to cook and chores to catch up on. Many cribs come with attachable toys and colorful mobiles to keep an awake baby’s mind active.

Cons:

  • Large size:Because cribs are larger in size, they take up more space in a room. If you intend to co-sleep with your child in your bedroom, a crib will be a huge space hog that will require careful restructuring of your floor plan.
  • Difficult to move:In addition to being large in size, cribs are also heavy pieces of furniture, rendering them considerably difficult to move without a helping hand. This eliminates the ease of portability around or outside of your home.
  • Higher immediate cost:The initial purchase price of a crib is one that scares many parents away. Even affordable cribs tend to range around $100. The higher the quality and the more attachable or integrated features, the more costly the crib is.

What are the differences between bassinets and cribs?

Bassinets and cribs are both safe sleep options for newborns and young children, but the two are completely different apparatuses. To better illustrate the difference between bassinets and cribs, we’ve created an easy

Size & Space

Compact, lightweight, and easily portable. Smaller in size.

Large, heavy, and difficult to move without extra help.

Cost

More affordable since they are made with lighter, cheaper materials.

More expensive due to their high-quality, high-strength material construction.

Safety

Safe until the prescribed weight limit is reached. A topped weight capacity creates a tipping hazard.

Slatted high-sides protect baby from escaping or rolling outside of the crib.

Parenting Style

Parents on the go can travel easily with a portable bassinet. Bedside bassinets foster closer relationships with baby.

Parents who want to instill a sense of self-dependence early will be better suited with a crib

Durability

Bassinets typically last up to a child’s six-month-old mark.

Babies won’t outgrow a crib until around three years old. A convertible crib will last longer as a toddler bed.

 

What should you look for before buying a bassinet or crib?

From an apparatus that meets current safety standards to a crib or bassinet that lives up to your functionality expectations, finding the perfect bassinet or crib takes plenty of careful consideration. Use this shopping guide to narrow down your search and give you the confidence you need to feel great about your final purchase.

●   Safety Standards

The most important feature to keep a keen eye out for is the overall safety of your potential bassinet or crib. Though you’d like to believe that all items manufactured for babies are made with pristine care, there are a number of recalled and dangerous cribs and bassinets out there that ended up in shopping carts.

Safety comes first, so make sure your desired baby bassinet or crib adheres to the latest US Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. Check out the latest requirements for bassinets and cribs on CPSC.org.

●   Ease of Assembly and Use

Whether you’re looking to buy Guava Family’s Lotus Crib or Lotus Bassinet, knowing that both options are not only incredibly easy to assemble, but also incredibly easy to use, gives you the peace of mind you need. A bassinet or crib that is difficult to bring to life is just as difficult to pack away— make your life easy by purchasing a sleeper that a beginner builder could put together.

●   Durable Construction

Don’t make the mistake of choosing an affordable crib or bassinet that sacrifices high-quality in favor of a ridiculously low price tag. If possible, find an assembled model of your desired crib or bassinet so you can see the apparatus in its full form factor. Anything that feels flimsy or breakable should be an automatic red flag.


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