Bassinet – Does Your Baby Really Need One?


Bassinet – Does your baby really need one?

One of the most important things to decide on when buying your nursery furniture is where your baby will sleep.

There are some differences between a bassinet and a crib, which can be helpful in deciding what to choose. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) however, does not provide any recommendations for parents to use either a crib or a bassinet, but they do offer some guidance around safe sleep for your baby.

What does the AAP Recommend?

The AAP recommends that parents choose either a crib or a bassinet.  They suggest steering clear of co-sleepers or sleeping devices that attach to your bed.

Unfortunately, the AAP doesn’t define any differences between either a bassinet or crib.  But, they do urge parents to follow safe sleep recommendations.

The AAP providing vague guidelines surrounding this important issue, how do you choose what is best for your baby?

Opting for a Bassinet?

There has been some research to suggest that bassinets may pose a slightly higher risk than cribs due to bassinet malfunctions. Second-hand, stability, rocking and swinging functions, covered fabric, thickness of the sleeping pad, and the weight-bearing load of the structure all need to be considered when opting for a bassinet.

With most basinets being costly and not lasting longer than a few months due to your baby growing, this can be a waste of money having to be out of pocket for both a bassinet and a crib. Bassinets are often smaller, making it easier for your baby to roll towards a side wall and run into breathability concerns. A 2008 study found that 85% of the 53 infants who passed away in a bassinet between 1990 and 2004 were attributed to anoxia, suffocation, or asphyxiation, while 9.4% was due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The studies found that additional safe sleep factors also contributed to these deaths, where unsafe sleep practices occurred such as placing the baby face down in the bassinet, and unbreathable soft bedding were used.

These studies, along with other research does not suggest that bassinets should NOT be used, however it is worth considering the option of a crib in addition to implementing safe sleep recommendations outlined by the AAP.

The Best Crib Mattress for Safe Sleep:

Scientific evidence suggesting that crib mattresses with fiber, porous interiors, or other core materials cause problematic rebreathing for babies. Therefore, it would suggest that a breathable mattress that does not trap CO2 will help improve safe sleep for babies

The SafeSleep® crib mattress is the only breathable crib mattress on the market that is approved and endorsed by leading AAP physicians as addressing the multiple risk factors associated with these deaths. The SafeSleep® provides safer, better, longer sleep for infants and toddlers.  Additionally, it scores higher than any other breathable crib mattresses for breathability and lower suffocation risk according to scientific testing.

The SafeSleep® surpasses other breathable crib mattresses for safety, comfort and ease of cleaning.  This is possible because the SafeSleep® has no fill or core.  The design is considered revolutionary. 

No close alternatives exist for a bassinet mattress that meets the standards of the AAP so closely. Due to the vague recommendations outlined by the AAP, and lack of research surrounding sleep-related infant deaths, we need to instead look to reducing the risks as much as possible.

It is worth considering then, the option of a crib over a bassinet simply because of the risk reductions associated with safe sleep when it comes to a breathe-through mattress. 

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