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Baby sleeping in a crib next to a bed.

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Bassinet or crib: the pros and cons

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If you’re expecting a baby, you’ve probably got a million things on your mind. One of which may be whether or not to get a bassinet or a crib. Newborns spend a lot of time in their sleeping space, so choosing what’s best for them can be a tough decision. 

Of course, you want the best for your newborn, but you also want to think of what suits you as a parent best and your budget. That’s why you may need to know more information about the subject before you can decide which is best for you and your baby. 

At Polysleep, we understand the importance of a good night’s sleep, whether it's for you or your baby. Better sleep for your baby means fewer disturbances — which means you get better sleep too! If you want your baby to be more comfortable and sleep longer every night, check out our baby crib mattress.

Differences between bassinet vs. crib

Before you make any decisions, you want to understand the key differences between a bassinet and a crib.

Mother comforts her newborn daughter in her bassinet.

Bassinet

A bassinet is a bed specifically used for newborns up to the age of four months old. They are oval-shaped, supported by freestanding legs, usually have cloth or mesh sides, and are designed for easy transport.

Crib

Cribs are rectangular beds for older babies with long, slatted sides. 

Bassinet or crib: pros and cons

There is no clear winner when it comes to choosing between a crib and bassinet. However, here we will discuss the pros and cons of each.

  • The raised base of the bed on a bassinet makes it easier for parents when they are laying down their baby or picking them up, as they don’t have to lean over as far.
  • Bassinets are smaller and better suited to a smaller house or room. 
  • Easy to transport.
  • Bassinets are designed for newborns up until they are four months old.
  • Bassinets are too small for older babies.
  • You will need to replace the bassinet with a crib as your baby grows.
  • Larger space for your baby.
  • Allow for better airflow.
  • Better suited for older babies and can be grown into.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Not designed specifically for newborns.
  • High walls make it more difficult to pick up and place your baby down.
Mother's hand rubbing her newborn daughter's face in her crib.

Which is safer: bassinet or crib?

As it turns out, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), does not recommend outright whether to choose a bassinet or crib.

However, they do recommend that if you choose a crib use a freestanding crib, and not choose a co-sleeper or bedside crib that attaches to the bed.

The Government of Canada also says that the safest place for an infant to sleep is in a bassinet, cradle or crib, and that it shouldn’t have loose clothing or bedding. 

If you are using a second-hand crib or bassinet, you need to use caution and be completely sure it is safe for your baby.

A second-hand crib, for example, could have loose or broken slats allowing your baby to crawl through. 

Smiling little girl sitting on a bed.

Mattress fit

Making sure the mattress is a good fit for the bassinet or crib is an important part of making their sleeping accommodation safe and comfortable.

Most bassinets come with a fitted mattress; however, if you buy a crib you may need to purchase your own.

The interior dimensions of a full-sized crib are 28 ± ⅝ inches x 52 ⅜ ± ⅝ inches.

Meaning that when selecting a mattress, you’ll want to make sure it is well fitted to your crib.

Fortunately, Polysleep’s baby crib mattress is 27" ¼ x 52" and 6 inches thick, making it the perfect size for most full-sized cribs.

Easy assembly

Assembly is an important thing to consider when purchasing a bed, especially if you are planning on assembling it after you bring your newborn home. 

Choosing a bed with easy assembly is always a bonus. Nonetheless, if you choose one that requires some extra time and thought, make sure you do it before you have your baby, and never be afraid to ask for help!

Easy assembly of a baby's room including a crib.
Mother with her newborn on her lap sitting on the bed looks at the baby with care and love.

Stability

After assembly, you’ll want to check the crib or bassinet for stability. Inspect each wheel and leg, shake the sides of the bed, and firmly push down on it to make sure it’s stable and in good shape. 

If your bassinet has wheels, make sure they are locked and the locks are in working condition. And if you have a portable bed, check the locks that hold open the crib or bassinet. 

The best mattress for a baby crib made in Canada

If you’ve decided on a crib, or you’re going that extra mile and getting both, you need to consider the mattress for your crib.

You want it to fit snugly, so there are no gaps between the crib and the mattress. Plus, you want to make sure it is high quality and will provide your baby with the best sleep possible. 

Then, you want to go with Polysleep’s memory foam crib mattress. This mattress uses open-cell memory foam which provides the perfect level of airflow, comfort, and support your baby needs to sleep soundly every night.

Each one of our baby crib mattresses is 100% made in Canada using organic Tencel Cotton, is liquid-proof, and is covered with a 5-year warranty.

Father setting up the Polysleep memory foam baby mattress while also holding his newborn baby.

Takeaway

As it turns out, there is no clear winner when it comes to getting a bassinet versus a crib.

However, there are pros and cons to each that may fit your parenting style and budget better.

In the end, whether you purchase a crib or bassinet, as long as you choose one that is safe and comfortable, your little one will be happy.

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