Congratulations for bringing a new baby to this world. The next overwhelming task is now deciding on what to buy for her. There are too many variables and options from which one has to choose from. The most important thing is that whatever you buy for the baby should be perfect for her.
One of the overwhelming choices that you will have to make is deciding on whether to buy her a Crib or a Bassinet. First of all, a place where your baby will sleep is a must. This is because babies adore sleeping. They will spend more time sleeping than actually being with you.
So, which is a better choice, a crib or a Bassinet? In this Crib vs. Bassinet analysis, we will show you how these two baby products stack up against one another. This would help you choose where your baby will be spending her crucial months.
Table of Contents
- 1 Baby Crib
- 2 Baby Bassinet
- 3 Differences Between a Bassinet and a Crib
- 4 Safety Considerations
- 5 Final Verdict: Which is better?
A crib or a cot, as it is referred to in some quarters, is a kind of small bed that is enclosed with bars on the side. These bars serve the purpose of restricting the movements of the baby so that she doesn’t crawl out. A baby crib is like a mini bed, albeit without the distinguishing sidebars and rails.
Types of Baby Cribs
When you mention a crib, the first picture that comes to your mind is the rectangular one with fixed side slats. However, there are several variations of this normal shape. Here are some of the common designs that you can come across.
Just as the name suggests, these are the types of cribs that grow with your baby. This is achieved by converting the crib into a variety of baby furniture. You could turn it into a standard crib, a daytime bed, a toddler bed or a single bed.
The naming of the convertible bed depends on the number of variations it can be converted to. A 3-in-1 convertible crib will be usable in 3 ways.
Pros of a Crib
To get us off in this boxing match between a Crib and a Bassinet, let us first consider what makes a crib tick. These benefits will differ depending on the type of crib that you choose.
- Enhanced Air Flow
Since cribs have slots on the sides, these slots provide an unrestricted airflow to the baby as she sleeps. As the cool air breezes the baby, she feels good and spots a charming smile as she sleeps.
In addition, the better breathing opportunities reduce instances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by a good percentage.
Baby cribs, particularly the convertible and multipurpose types can be used for various purposes in the course of bringing up the baby. Better still, if you are blessed with twins, the two should be able to share the crib for some time comfortably.
Babies will also use the cribs for longer periods, up to 2 years, with a possibility of converting it into a toddler bed. This ends up saving you on the cost of baby furniture.
- Sturdy Designs
When you are about to trust the safety of your baby on furniture, you need one that cannot crumble under the weight of the baby. Cribs have this compact build that withstands the long service lives.
Besides being sturdy, cribs do have the ability to prevent your baby from rolling out of the crib. You would find this very useful when your baby is an athlete to be. The side rails ensure the active baby stays in the crib.
Cons of a Crib
- Unsafe in a Way
Besides being able to keep your baby in the confines of the mattress, cribs are unsafe in a way. Babies tend to have their legs stuck between the sidebars. This however only happens when the babies are left unmonitored for a while.
Secondly, when your baby is teething, she would at some point try to bite on the crib side rails. Biting on these hard surfaces can be dangerous, with the wood even possibly splitting.
- Makes Co-sleeping Hard
Fitting most cribs in the same room where you sleep is quite challenging due to their sizes and immobility. You are therefore forced to sleep in different rooms with your baby.
You might wonder how this is important. Studies have shown that co-sleeping with your baby reduces chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by about 50%.
The initial acquisition value of a crib is very high. This is more than what you would spend on a bassinet. This is due to the sturdy wooden frame that they are made from.
Now to our second contestant for this match, let us see what a bassinet has to offer.
Pros of a Bassinet
- It is Affordable
A bassinet is much cheaper when compared to a crib. This would be beneficial if you are on a tight budget. Additionally, you could need one if the demand arises within a short notice. You would then find a cheaper alternative to the baby’s sleeping options.
- Are Portable
When there is a new baby around, you should be prepared to wake in the wee hours of the night. However, having to walk to another room to check on your baby should not be a problem with a Bassinet.
Since it is somehow lightweight and occupies less space, you can set it somewhere next to your bed at night. During the day, you are also able to have it near you as you do your chores and watch over your bundle of joy at the same time.
- It is Easy to Set the Baby in a Bassinet
The bottom of a Bassinet is mostly at your waist height. Placing a baby inside it would then be much easier. There are times when you do not want to lean down too much for you to set the baby to sleep.
When the sleeping surface is way out of reach, you might accidentally drop the bay as you attempt to put her to bed. This is common in mothers with back problems or those who have undergone C-section during birth.
- Provides a Snug Sleeping Surface
Bassinets are made with a confined sleeping surface so that your baby feels cozier like when she was in the womb. A flatter surface would, in turn, provide a much harder surface to sleep on for newborns.
The small and confined space makes your baby fall asleep much faster and sleeps more.
Most of the Bassinets come with a hood or cover that you can pull over the baby in her sleep. This keeps away annoying flying insects and the sun more so when sleeping in the day.
- An Extra Cart
Bassinets have an extra cart underneath them. This is useful when you need a storage space for the diapers and changing clothes. When it comes to the time when you need to change her clothes, you do not have to go back for fresher ones.
Cons of a Bassinet
Are not usable for long – The maximum duration that your baby can use the Bassinet is about 6 months. After this, you need to find other sleeping avenues for your baby. This is because their weight will have exceeded the Basset limit.
Differences Between a Bassinet and a Crib
To clearly illustrate the specific differences between a Bassinet and a Crib, let us take a side by side detail of each.
|BASICS||These are larger than bassinets, therefore occupying more space. The most common type is the immobile one, although there are some portable ones around||Are compact and lightweight, with some having a cover/hood over them. They are easy to move around as they are very light and portable.|
|DURATION OF USE||You can expect your baby to use the crib until the age of 2 years. In fact, most of those who graduate from a crib go directly to beds.||These are for short-term uses only. Your baby will quickly outgrow it, forcing you to find a crib, most probably.|
|COMFORT AND SAFETY||Some babies find cribs uncomfortable during the first couple of nights. However, when you find a comfortable mattress that is firm, the baby should be alright. Avoid drop-side cribs though as they are banned due to high mortality rates.||Although very comfortable for most babies due to the womb-like postures during sleep, Bassinets have weight limits. And since they are on wheels, care must be taken when placing them so that they don’t start moving with the baby inside.|
|COST||Cribs are more expensive than Bassinets. This is mainly because of their strength and longevity.||These are generally affordable since they are usable only over a shorter period of time. You can find these in very elaborate and a variety of shapes and designs.|
|PARENTING STYLE||A crib allows a parent to instill a self-dependence early on in their lives. By being alone, since the crib needs lots of space, the baby learns to be alone. This comes with its own challenges though.||Bassinets give parents the ability to have a closer relationship with their babies. You would simply place the Bassinet near your bed. This has been proven to reduce chances of SIDS by 50%|
|SPACE NEEDED||Due to their large sizes, cribs require considerably larger spaces to fit. A nursery would be appropriate. Not all of them are large. You can find smaller options if you need one.||They resemble baskets of sorts, thereby occupying smaller space. You can, therefore, carry or push them around the house with the baby on.|
Whether a crib or a bassinet, safety is very important. This is more critical when it is a crib you want to buy. Since babies and toddlers are very naughty at times, they may try to fit their heads between the crib slats.
This should never happen, as it can be very dangerous in case the heads get stuck in between the slats. Ensure then that the spaces do not exceed 2 3/8 inches. They would not be able to fit their heads in there. Corner posts should also not exceed 1/16th of an inch.
For bassinets, the wheels should have a locking mechanism so that they do not move about. The bassinet bottom should also be rock solid and not wobbly.
Final Verdict: Which is better?
From the illustrations that have been given above, it is clear that a crib is the ultimate baby sleeping option and has won the Crib vs. Bassinet battle. A bassinet may have its share of advantages, but it does not hold up well when compared with a crib.
You may argue that the bassinet is more comfortable, but your baby will most definitely overgrow it. And when that time reaches, then you will have to buy a crib for the baby to sleep in. So, what’s the point of buying it when you will have to use the crib later?
The durability of a crib is its main strong point. Your baby can use it from when you bring her home until she is 2 years. Better still, if you can afford both, well and good. The baby can use the bassinet during the early days and then graduate to a crib.
Either way, you should be aware that you will not be able to bring your baby up without the crib, but you sure can without the Bassinet.