How Long Can You Use A Bassinet For Baby To Sleep In?

How Long Can You Use A Bassinet For Baby To Sleep In?

New parents often ask the question “How long can you use a bassinet?”. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, there are some general guidelines to follow. 

Most bassinets are ideal for a newborn baby or infants up to around 15 pounds or until they can roll over on their own. This usually happens when your new baby is around six months of age. 

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However, some babies may outgrow their bassinet before then. This will depend on their size and sleep habits.

baby sleeping in a bassinet inside a crib

It’s important to remember that every baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Some babies may be comfortable sleeping in a bassinet for up to three or four months, while others may only use it for a few weeks. 

If your baby is starting to outgrow their bassinet or seems uncomfortable, it may be time to transition them to a crib. Plus, if your baby can roll over on its own, it should no longer sleep in a bassinet for safety reasons.

Understanding the Basics of Bassinet Use

nice bassinet near a bright window

When it comes to baby sleep, a bassinet can be a great option for newborns and young infants. Baby bassinets are perfect to use as a bedside sleeper in the parent’s room.

But how long can you use a bassinet for baby to sleep in? The answer depends on a few factors. These include the weight of your baby, the weight limit of the bassinet, and your baby’s physical development.

Most bassinets are designed for babies up to around 15 pounds. However, some newer bassinets come in different sizes and have higher weight limits, with some even able to support babies up to 33 pounds. It’s important to check the weight limit of your bassinet before using it, as exceeding the weight limit could be dangerous.

In addition to weight, you’ll also want to consider the comfort of your baby when using a bassinet. Look for a bassinet with a sturdy and supportive mattress that can provide a comfortable sleeping surface for your little one. Some bassinets also come with built-in features like vibration or music to help soothe your baby to sleep.

Portability is another key consideration when choosing a bassinet. If you plan to move the bassinet from room to room or take it on the go, look for a lightweight and easy-to-carry option like the ones in our article on the Best Portable Bassinet For Young Parents On-the-Go or the Graco Pack ‘n Play Day2Dream Travel Bassinet. Some bassinets even come with wheels or handles to make transportation even easier.

When it comes to baby gear and equipment, a bassinet can be a great addition to your baby registry. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and safety guidelines and make sure that the bassinet complies with the relevant Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Safe Sleep Guidelines and Recommendations

rattan bassinet on wheels

When it comes to your baby’s sleep, the first thing you should do is create a safe sleeping environment to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related deaths. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep, for both naps and nighttime sleep.
  • Use a firm and flat sleep surface, such as a safety-approved crib mattress covered with a fitted sheet.
  • You also want to place the bassinet on a flat and firm surface.
  • Avoid soft surfaces, such as couches, sofas, and armchairs, as well as any inclined surfaces, such as car seats and bouncers, for routine sleep.
  • Keep your baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep for at least the first six months, ideally for the first year. This means that you’re close by if baby wakes up in the middle of the night and will give you complete peace of mind.
  • Do not bed-share with your baby, especially if you or your partner smoke, have consumed alcohol or drugs, or are excessively tired.
  • Dress your baby in a sleep sack or a wearable blanket instead of using loose blankets or other bedding.
  • Do not use any products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS, such as wedges, positioners, bumper pads or special mattresses, as they have not been proven to be effective.
  • Follow all safety standards for cribs and bassinets, including ensuring that they meet current safety standards and that all parts are properly installed.

It’s important to note that while following these guidelines can help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths, they do not guarantee that your baby will never experience a sleep-related incident. 

Therefore, it’s essential to remain vigilant and aware of your baby’s sleep environment and always provide a safe place for baby to sleep.

Transitioning from a Bassinet to a Full-Size Crib

close-up of cute baby in a bassinet

As your baby grows, there will come a time when it will need to transition from sleeping in a bassinet to a crib. This typically happens when your baby reaches certain developmental milestones, such as being able to pull up or sit up on its own. This is also the time when you can transition your baby to sleep in its own room.

When planning the transition, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to make sure your baby is comfortable in its new sleeping environment. You can do this by placing familiar items, such as your baby’s favorite blanket or stuffed animal, in the crib.

It’s also important to choose the right type of crib for your baby’s needs. There are two main types of cribs: full-size cribs and mini cribs. Full-size or standard cribs are larger and can accommodate your baby as it grows. On the other hand, a mini crib is smaller and more portable.

The best way to transition your baby to a crib is to do it gradually. Start by having your baby take naps in the crib. Then, gradually increase the amount of time your baby spends in it until your baby is sleeping in it all night.

It’s also important to make sure your baby is safe in its new sleeping environment. Make sure the crib meets current safety standards and that there are no loose or dangling cords or strings that could pose a risk to your baby.

Overall, transitioning from a bassinet to a crib can be a big change for both you and your baby. With a little planning and patience, you can make the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible for everyone involved. Essentially, this will make the subsequent transition to a small bed or toddler bed much easier.

Additional Considerations for Parents

old style bassinet next to a single bed

As a new parent, it’s important to establish a bedtime routine for your baby. This can help signal to them that it’s time to sleep and create a sense of security and comfort. Consider incorporating white noise or calming music into your routine to help your baby relax and fall asleep.

It’s also important to be aware of your own anxiety levels and how they may affect your baby’s sleep. Try to establish a routine that works for both you and your baby, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend or family member if you need it.

As your baby grows and enters different stages, its sleep needs and patterns may change. Be prepared to adjust your routine accordingly and consult with your pediatrician if you have any concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I use a bassinet?

Most experts recommend that a bassinet should only be used for the first 4 to 6 months of a baby’s life. This will depend on the weight of the baby and how active he or she is. It will also depend on the weight capacity of the bassinet you’re using.

What are the basic requirements for a good bassinet?

A good bassinet should have a stable and sturdy base so that it cannot easily tip over. The bassinet also needs a flat and firm mattress that fills the base entirely so that there are no gaps.

Can a newborn sleep in a bassinet all night?

Yes, bassinets are the safest place for newborn babies to sleep in all night. 

How do you know when your baby has outgrown its bassinet?

If your baby is able to roll over on its own, then it has outgrown the bassinet. Plus, your baby should not weigh more than the weight capacity of the bassinet itself.

Do bassinets need sheets?

Yes, you should definitely use a tight-fitting sheet to cover the mattress in the bassinet. This offers more comfort for your baby and helps to protect the bassinet mattress.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the age limit for using a bassinet, it’s important to follow safety guidelines and recommendations. Most experts suggest using a bassinet for up to six months, but some babies may outgrow it sooner. Make sure to provide a safe and comfortable sleep space for your baby, whether it’s in a bassinet or a crib.

Finally, remember that every baby is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for sleep. Trust your instincts as a parent and do what works best for you and your baby.