Best Bassinet Alternatives
Trying to find the best bassinet alternatives for your newborn baby?
Then let us help you find a bassinet alternative you’ll love!
Deciding where the baby is going to sleep might seem like an easy decision, until you see the range of options on the market!
While the bassinet is great for room sharing, it lacks the longevity of some alternatives. In a couple of months, your tiny newborn will have outgrown their bassinet.
But it’s not always as simple as using a crib instead. Large and heavy, cribs don’t fit in many parent’s bedrooms.
When choosing an alternative to the bassinet, you have to consider how it will fit in your home, and where your baby will sleep as they grow.
So, what alternatives to bassinets are there?
In this handy guide, we’ve gathered some of the best baby bassinet alternatives, along with their benefits, so you can find the option that’s right for you.
And if you love this guide baby sleeping options, then make sure to check out these guides on best crib alternatives, best bassinets for c section, best mini cribs, and can a baby sleep in a pack n play.
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Best Bassinet Alternatives
Let’s take a look at some alternatives to bassinets that are available.
Sharing the bed with your baby isn’t safe, but many parents like to have their little one as close as possible. The bedside sleeper is a perfect alternative.
This is placed next to the bed, and has four mesh walls for safe sleep.
One of these walls can then be collapsed, so parents can reach out to check on the baby during the night.
When they’re back to a peaceful slumber, you bring the wall up, and carry on sleeping.
Bedside sleepers are typically safe to use for around 3 to 6 months, at which point you’ll need to transition to something bigger.
They’re a fantastic option for c-section moms, or parents with reduced mobility. Instead of having to get up in the middle of the night, you can just reach over!
Bedside sleepers are becoming increasingly popular, so you have lots of varieties to choose from, including some high-tech designs.
- Safe alternative to co-sleeping.
- Small size fits in many spaces.
- Plenty of choice.
- Only suitable for roughly 5 months.
Arm's Reach is a well trusted brand in the bassinet industry, creating quality, functional co-sleepers for parents. And the Cambria is no exception!
You can use the Cambria in two modes; a bedside bassinet, attached to the parent bed or stand-alone bassinet, anywhere you would like to put it.
The drop down mesh side makes for easy access to your baby, whilst features such as the the storage pockets as well as a platform enables you to store essentials close by. Perfect for C section and breastfeeding moms!
This bassinet also comes with everything you need including a mattress, fitted sheet, and a nylon strap, plus most importantly a plate to attach to the adult bed for safety.
Mini cribs are compact versions of standard cribs, although unlike standard sized cribs, they don’t have to follow set dimensions.
Essentially, any crib smaller than the full-size crib is a mini crib. Like standard cribs, they tend to be made of wood, and use a slotted design to build a sturdy shape.
A mini crib is generally safe to use for at least 18 months, and potentially up to 2 years. When your child can start to pull themselves up on the railings, it’s time to move on.
There are many advantages to using the mini crib. They’re suitable for over a year, but take up significantly less room than a standard crib.
Although they aren’t lightweight, they can be moved around the house without too much struggle.
And while it isn’t the most important feature, mini cribs do come in some very appealing designs.
Mini cribs are more expensive than bassinets (and other bassinet alternatives) but you do get longer use out of them.
- Suitable for 18 months.
- Good for smaller spaces.
- Sturdy but portable.
- Expensive compared to other options.
If you need a small crib for traveling or a small bedroom, this crib is an excellent option!
Not only is affordable, but it folds flat for easy storage and include casters for easy mobility.
This mini crib grows with your child with two mattress positions that let you adjust the height. So, as your child starts to stand up, you can still use this mini crib.
The crib is made from sustainable New Zealand pine and comes in 5 different colors.
And best of all, you can use it until your baby reaches up to 50lbs making it a fantastic mini crib choice!
Travel cribs are designed for sleeping on the go, which means they can be used overnight.
These are made of a lightweight frame that can be collapsed and transported, and tend to be used by parents who like to travel.
The large base of the travel crib is used as the sleeping area, so they can potentially be suitable beds until two or three years of age.
Travel cribs are safe for overnight sleep, as they use a firm but comfortable mattress, and have mesh sides.
While children might be comfortable, parents can find the travel crib awkward. To get the baby in and out, you have to do a lot of bending down.
For c-section moms, this can get painful. Even the most athletic parents are likely to find the ground-level bed frustrating for midnight wake-ups.
But if you travel a lot, then using the travel crib while home and away can reduce expenses.
Plus, your baby will be used to sleeping in the crib, and should have less trouble drifting off in a new environment.
- Portable and lightweight.
- Safe to use for up to 3 years.
- Comfortable mattress.
- The low bed area is awkward for parents.
Pack N Play
Pack ‘n Plays are a mix between travel crib and playpen. Sometimes known as playards, these designs are known for their versatility.
As well as offering a place to sleep, a Pack ‘n Play is a play area and storage unit, and some come with changing stations as well!
Pack ‘n Plays are typically safe to sleep in for children up to 3 years old, but it does depend on the model.
Like the travel crib, Pack ‘n Plays have a wide base that can be used as a sleeping area.
However, Pack ‘n Plays tend to use thinner mattresses (for safety) that are less comfortable for overnight sleeping.
They’re okay for naps, but not so great for continued usage. Some Pack ‘n Plays come with attached bassinets, which are better for nights.
If you plan on using the Pack ‘n Play for newborn sleeping, we recommend looking for one with a bassinet attachment.
Once they’ve outgrown the bassinet, however, you might want to switch to a softer crib solution.
- Not just a sleeping area, but a playpen and storage box.
- Can be used as a travel crib.
- Low-cost alternative.
- Less comfortable.
If space isn’t an issue, then a full-size crib is the best place for your baby to sleep. Not only is it suitable for a newborn, a standard crib can be used until a child is 3 years old.
As an expensive item, you’ll be happy to get so much use out of the crib! It’s also the most comfortable place for babies to sleep, especially as they get older.
For parents, the full-size crib has some advantages.
The sturdy build means it’s likely to withstand whatever your child can throw at it, and the standardized sizing makes buying mattresses and sheets easier.
Many cribs are adjustable, with the base getting lowered as your baby grows. Some can even be converted into toddler beds, for several years of extra use.
However, they’re big and bulky, and many parents struggle to fit the crib into their bedroom for those first few months.
Full-size cribs can also be expensive, and with all the other expenses of a newborn, you might want to save this heavy cost for later.
- Suitable to until a child is around 3 years old.
- Sturdy construction.
- Standardized sizing makes shopping easier.
- The full-size crib is too large for many shared rooms.
Alternative to Bassinet Buyer’s Guide
There are many reasons why you may be looking for an alternative to a bassinet, but these are some key features to look out for.
Many parents use the bassinet as a space-saving sleeping solution for their newborns.
Experts recommend babies share a room with parents for the first few months at least, so parents are to hand in case of issues during the night.
However, full-size cribs don’t always fit into shared bedrooms.
If you want an alternative to the bassinet that can be kept in the main bedroom, be sure to check the dimensions before purchasing.
Bassinets can be expensive, and they’re only useful for the first few months of your little one’s life.
When your baby can start to push up on their hands and knees, you need to move onto a larger crib.
Options like the mini crib can be a cheaper alternative to the full-size crib, with a longer lifespan than the bassinet.
Never buy a bassinet or alternative from an unknown brand with no credentials.
To reduce the risk of SID, bassinets and cribs have to reach strict standards.
Safe cribs and bassinets will have breathable sides, flat and firm mattresses, and no spaces for babies to get stuck in.
If a baby isn’t happy in a sleeping area, they will let you know! In time, your baby might get used to the space, and find out they’re actually quite happy with the arrangement.
But in something like a Pack ‘n Play, you might find your little one never gets properly comfortable.
If you plan on using one of these options for overnight sleeping, check out some reviews to see how other parents have fared.
Final Thoughts on Alternatives to Bassinets
There are plenty of alternatives to bassinets available for parents who like options!
The mini crib and standard crib are great for longevity, but if you want your baby as close as safely possible, then a bedside sleeper is a great option.
Although nothing can possibly guarantee a good night of sleep for a newborn baby (and their parents), these options are all approved as an alternative to the bassinet!
And if you want to check out any more of our guides, we recommend checking out these guides on mini crib vs pack and play, best pack and play mattresses, and Uppababy bassinet stand alternatives.
Allison Banfield an experience mom of two, wife, writer, editor, and passionate parenting advocate! Backed with a Masters Degree in Public Health, a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion, a long career in health and safety, and 10 years of hands on experience using, researching, and testing baby products, Allison loves to use her parenting experience to support and encourage other parents.