Crib vs Bassinet—Useful Info To Read Before You Decide For Your Baby

crib vs bassinet

When it comes to babies, sleep is essential. 

A large portion of a baby’s life will be spent in their sleep space for the first part of infancy. Newborns sleep a lot, and a bassinet or a crib can be an excellent choice for your little one.

This article will focus on the difference between a crib and a bassinet. So which one wins in the bassinet vs crib debate? Let’s find out.

The differences between crib vs bassinet

When it comes to where your child goes to bed, baby sleeping safely should be your top priority. Understanding the difference between a crib and a bassinet can help you to be fully informed of the pros and cons of each choice so that you don’t make a brash decision.

crib vs bassinet


There are many types of cribs available on the market today. You can quickly become overwhelmed with options from traditional cribs to mini cribs and everything in between. The following are some of the various types of baby cribs:

1. Mini crib

Mini cribs are remarkable if you are room-sharing but don’t want to use a full size crib or bassinet. They are smaller and more compact than a regular baby bed, saving much more space than a bigger unit.

A mini baby crib require a special mattress, as a regular crib mattress is too large. These are great because they are often solid and sturdy. 

They can keep the baby safe but take up less space than a full-sized crib.

The best of both worlds

A mini crib offers the small space you’d get from a bassinet, which many parents find a plus. 

Newborns often sleep better in a smaller space. They stay warmer and feel safer and secure because they just spent close to a year inside mommy’s womb.

This particular type of crib also provides the solid and sturdy framework that parents choose cribs for. With solid legs instead of wheels or interlocking metal framework, these little cribs are durable and will last you months. 

Many mini cribs even last longer, making it possible to use them again with future children.

2. Convertible cribs

A convertible crib is a transitional bed that can be transformed from a crib to a toddler bed and, later, even into a full or twin-sized bed. 

These are great for parents who like buying only one bed but are more expensive than other options.

Toddler beds are great for when your little one starts to climb out of a crib, and it can be used for a few years until your child outgrows it. 

If you get a convertible crib that further converts into a regular bed, you can possibly end up going a decade or longer before needing to purchase a new bed for your child.

More bang for your buck

While it is true that these beds are pretty expensive, they make excellent baby registry items. 

If you are undecided in the bassinet vs crib debate but think that if you were to go with a crib, you’d want this over a traditional crib, consider putting one on your registry.

Many parents are offered a discount on any items on a registry they did not get after their baby shower or after the birth of their little one.

Where should your baby sleep?

3. Portable crib

A portable crib, also known as a play yard or a pack ‘n play, is another safe sleep option for your baby. 

The perk here is that baby’s sleeping space will be available to you no matter where you go, which means that you never have to worry about the baby’s safety when visiting family, friends, or on vacation.

While standard cribs, or freestanding cribs, are usually made of wood, a portable baby bed often has wheels that can be locked into place and mesh sides. They sometimes come with a portable newborn bassinet, a changing table, a mobile, and storage.

Considerations with cribs

When deciding a winner in the bassinet vs crib debacle, it’s not just vital that you understand the options. There are also essential safety standards that should be followed for both cribs and bassinets.

The following are a few items that you should keep in mind when it comes to cribs.

Crib bumpers

At one point, bumpers were thought to keep a baby safe in their bed so that arms and legs could not get easily stuck, and the baby wouldn’t smack their heads into the wooden slats. However, in recent years, crib bumpers have been discouraged, if not totally banned.

In 2022, crib bumpers and inclined sleepers were banned from sale in the United States due to safe sleep guidelines advocated for by the AAP and put into law in May 2022. The bumpers have been linked to suffocation and injury.

Babies can use them as a step to climb up and then over the crib rails. Sleep positioners have been linked to SIDS and other sleep-related injuries and death.

Loose articles

Blankets, stuffed animals, toys, pillows, and other loose articles must never be put into a standard crib or bassinet. 

One disadvantage of a standard crib is that there is a lot of space for the baby. Falling and staying asleep with so much room in their bed can pose a challenge.

However, if you have a freestanding crib, you must resist the urge to fill that space. A sleeping aide such as a stuffed animal or blankie is against safety guidelines and can jeopardize your baby’s safety.

Crib slats

If you know someone with an older crib they’d like to gift you, make sure that it is appropriate and safe by today’s standards.

You should not be able to pass a soda can between the wooden slats. If you can, the crib is not safe for your growing baby. Drop-side rails should not be used even if altered to make them stationary.

A few key differences between a bassinet and a crib


Most bassinets are fairly similar. 

The main difference between them is the bells and whistles that they may come with. Baby bassinets are a great way to keep the baby close, no matter what room you are in. 

On wheels and lightweight, they are much smaller than a crib and are great if you plan to room share.

The following is some information about bassinets that may help you to decide if you are still undecided on bassinet vs crib.

Limited weight limit

Each bassinet has a weight limit. Usually, this weight is around 25 pounds. Although viewed by many as one of the bassinet cons, this limit is not to be ignored.

Because the walls of a bassinet are much shorter than that of a large crib and are not made of wood but mesh or cloth sides, your child runs the risk of taking the sides out when they roll, especially when they are past the weight limitation or climbing out and falling, risking injury or worse.

You will have to transition from a bassinet to a crib or toddler bed when your little one has reached the weight limit or if they can sit up and move around on their own.

Less beddings to buy

Unlike the thick mattress needed for a crib, a bassinet includes a pad or small mattress with your purchased unit. 

You won’t have to buy crib sheets or any other bedding. This pad is often machine washable, easy to spot clean, and makes the parenting journey a little less tedious in the early months of parenting.

Consider nursery furniture and the fact that not all cribs are created equally


Many bassinets on the market offer a drop-down side or attachment that can go on your bed so that you can sleep with your little one safely. 

These safety considerations are lovely, and a bassinet that offers this feature is typically safe for the first few months of your child’s life because they aren’t sleeping in your bed or on your mattress.

Co-sleeping is not considered a safe sleep practice. If you want to be near your little one, consider getting a bassinet with a co-sleeper attachment

Professional medical advice will often tell you that sharing your bed with your little one is unwise and dangerous.

Other baby products to consider

While trying to decide between a crib or a bassinet, try to factor in what room your child will be sleeping in. 

If your baby has their own room, it may be wise to invest in a rocking chair or glider if your budget allows for it and you have the space. When a baby starts to cry in the middle of the night, you can simply go into the room and rock them gently back to sleep or close to it. It also makes nighttime feeding less stressful.

Another thing you may want to consider when deciding between a bassinet and a crib is a good baby monitor

Technology has grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade, and cameras and audio monitoring are better than ever. You can watch the baby in the bassinet in another room in real-time and ensure that everything is okay without ever having to go into the nursery. 

If the baby makes a racket from the crib, you can check your phone app attached to your monitor and make sure that all is well.  A good monitor is an invaluable tool for a baby, giving you peace of mind.

Your choice

A freestanding crib or bassinet is safe if used correctly for your baby. 

It is a matter of budget, space, and preference. You can also use a play yard or any other surface approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Whether you choose a crib or bassinet for your baby, ensure that you abide by all safety guidelines and pay attention to limits on weight for a bassinet. 

While the search may seem exhausting, trust that there is a baby bassinet or crib that will be the right fit for you and your baby.

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