A New Kind of Bassinet
The bassinet is a popular choice for parents and their newborns. Even though you can only use these small sleep areas for about 3-6 months—until your baby starts to roll over and sit up—bassinets make things a lot easier for parents compared to high-sided and space-hogging cribs. You’re going to be tired those first few months. Don’t make things harder on yourself by having to bend over to pick up or lay down your baby in its crib. Moreover, especially compared to cribs, bassinets are inexpensive and portable. They encourage and make it easier to follow the best practices for putting a baby to bed and reducing the risks of SIDS. Yes, cribs can also be set up and used from the beginning of a baby’s life, but they can also be unexpectedly cumbersome those first few months.
Bassinets vs. Baby Boxes
At the same time, some parents are ready to “spare no expense” when it comes to nurturing their child. Okay, we get that, but it’s also true that raising your child is going to require a financial commitment for many years or even a couple decades, and a state-of-the-art bassinet isn’t going to be substantively better than a simple model.
In fact, you can essentially get all the advantages of a traditional bassinet with an even simpler baby box. In fact, what started as a Finnish tradition has become an international trend with Baby Box companies popping up in the U.S. and across Europe. These companies provide free or low-cost baby boxes that are still neatly decorated and designed to safely hold and sleep your baby.
Priorities and Trade-Offs
Now, we’re not trying to say that you can’t buy a traditional bassinet or that you’re bad parents if you splurge on a costlier bassinet. Instead, what we’re saying is that a cardboard box, done up as a baby’s bassinet, does the trick just as well. Plus, you can save and invest your money in a nicer crib/toddler bed or, you know, a college education fund.
In short, our advice is to get and use a bassinet, but also recognize that simple and functional doesn’t have to mean ugly or costly. And again, the real difference-maker for safety comes in following the best practices—baby on its back, swaddle the baby but no extra blankets or toys, avoid over-heating or sleep areas right next to a heating vent.