As a new parent, you’ve probably seen bassinets being marketed on top baby registries and other toddler platforms and you might be wondering to yourself why you need one for your baby, if at all. Baby bassinets are basket like structures that resemble cradles with the exception that bassinets have free standing legs and lack the ability to glide or rock that the cradles possess.
Bassinets are excellent for carrying extremely young children i.e. from 1 day to 4 months old. If you’re planning to take a flight, either domestic or international, and have a very young child, a bassinet is the best way to go. Bassinets can be very comfortable and create ideal sleeping spots for infants. Their design allows for thin firm mattresses to be used that create a warm and cozy space for the child.
Bassinets are also important because they allow children to sleep in the same room as their parents without the inconvenience of sharing the same bed. Unlike baby cribs, they consume much less space and hence are often the preferred choice by many.
Interested in acquiring a bassinet for your infant? Consider these highly portable options.
Compare: The 10 Top Rated Portable Bassinets of 2017
Are you looking for a bassinet that will allow your infant to have a comfortable resting place regardless of where you go? Brica Fold N’ Go travel bassinet is a bassinet that offers great comfort and convenience. Whether you’re visiting friends and family, enjoying yourself at the beach or simply relaxing at the park, this bassinet is ideal for all situations and environments. It is extremely lightweight, requires very few seconds to fold up and comes with a convenient carrying handle. It also comes with durable side walls and a locking frame for enhanced stability. The breathable fabric and comfortable mattress pad that come together with the bassinet creates a very cozy and safe sleeping environment.
- It possesses a breathable fabric to allow for good air circulation.
- It comes with a four point safe T-lock system for enhanced infant security and safety.
- Lightweight – It weighs less than 3 pounds.
- Comfortable mattress pad. – This bassinet comes with fitted sheets and a water resistant mattress pad to ensure longevity.
- Double locking tubular steel frame.
- Considered a bit pricey by some.
- Some frames are a bit flimsy and can bend easily.
Are you looking for a bassinet that guarantees to make night time feeding much easier and faster in addition to being highly portable? If so, the Serta iComfort infant sleeper is the bassinet for you. This bassinet comes with a one of a kind design i.e. it is built with nature sound options, night lights and lullabies to soothe infants and lull them to sleep. These features can be activated during night time to shorten the time it takes the baby to sleep after feeding thus allowing the parent more time to rest. The Serta iComfort sleeper also comes with a mesh side design that allows for easy visibility of the baby as well as good airflow.
- Extra large design –Provides the baby with more room to grow ensuring prolonged use of the bassinet.
- Machine washable – Provides a very convenient option during cleaning.
- Electronic modules – Has nature sounds, night lights and lullabies to soothe babies to sleep.
- Good ventilation – Has a mesh side panel that allows for good airflow.
- Some parents consider the walls to be too tall thus making the process of transitioning the baby from the arms to the sleeper a bit challenging.
Do you enjoy sleeping with your infant in the same bed but want a bassinet that can be used without inconveniencing you? If so, the Snuggle Nest Surround XL bassinet is one that you should consider. This is among the best portable bassinets in the market that have the ability to create a protective area for your infant around your bed. The Snuggle Nest has short walls/ side panels that allow the parent to easily access their little one. This sleeper also has a removable incline wedge that can support infants in a slightly upright position with the aim of aiding their digestion.
- Creates a protective open area for infants resting on an adult’s bed.
- Waterproof foam mattress – Has a wrap around sheet that keeps liquids at bay.
- Light and sound units – These create a soothing environment for the toddler through entertaining lights and soothing melodies.
- Vented wall units – Prevents the infant from rolling over.
- Removable 1.5” incline wedge – Enhances the infant’s security during transit from the parent’s arms.
- Some mattresses are larger than the Snuggle Nest and do not lay flat.
Looking for a highly portable bassinet travel unit for your baby to rest in that can also double up as a diaper bag? If so, consider acquiring this 3 in 1 travel bag for your infant. This bag has a large pullout bed compartment that can be used to put the baby to sleep when traveling. The bag measures 12 by 15 by 5 when closed and 17 by 11 by 3 when the infant compartment is opened. It takes approximately 30 seconds to set up this compartment. No technical knowledge is required. Simply unzip the front compartment, insert the provided support sticks to the sides followed by the mattress pad and you’re all set.
- Easy to carry – It is lightweight and can be easily hang on the shoulder.
- Easy to use – No technical knowledge is required to set up the bed compartment.
- No chemical smell – This creates a safe environment for infants.
- 2 large external compartments and 4 small inside pockets – provides more room when traveling.
- The handles are not long enough to hang on a stroller. Parents need a large hook on their stroller to carry this bag.
Are you searching for a portable bassinet travel unit to use on a holiday getaway or an overnight stay when you’re away? Consider the Koo-di Sleep & Sun travel bassinet. This bassinet is made from 100% poly-cotton i.e. cotton and polyester fibers. This means the fabric is fully breathable and highly durable. The material also offers a safe, comfortable and clean place for the baby to sleep in regardless of where you may be. It is ranked as one of the best portable baby bassinets because it weighs less and is highly portable i.e. can easily be folded into a relatively small carrying bag. This makes it super convenient for traveling.
- Lightweight – weighs only 1.8 pounds.
- Highly durable – made from poly-cotton which is a strong material.
- Highly portable – can easily be folded into a carrying bag that measures 28 centimeters in diameter.
- Samsonite pop up – Opens very quickly (in a few seconds) to protect the infant from the elements.
- UVA and UVB ray protection – It has a pop up that offers infants up to 93% protection from harmful rays.
- The mattress pad may be a bit thin to the dislike of some parents.
Do you want a bassinet that is highly portable while at the same time oozes style and boasts of a modern and sophisticated look? If so, look no further than the UPPAbaby bassinet. This is among the top rated portable baby bassinets because it complies with the new ASTM standards that require canopy hinges to be incorporated in bassinets and be able to be accessed through the push of a button to raise and lower the canopy. The ASTM standards also require that bassinets have at least 191mm in depth. These requirements were put in place to ensure toddlers receive both adequate comfort and security.
- Complies with the ASTM standards – Proof of its safety and reliability.
- Aerated mattress – Allows good air flow when sleeping.
- SPF 50 sun shade – Protects the infant from harmful UV rays.
- Highly compatible with other devices – e.g. Vista 2015, legacy, Cruz strollers e.t.c.
- Very comfortable for overnight sleeping. – Infants can lie completely flat on soft, dense well vented mattresses.
- Expensive – Some parents consider the bassinet’s cost to be a bit high.
What is a portable Bassinet?
A portable bassinet is simply a structure that resembles a rocking cradle but with one stack difference – it lacks the rocking feature. Instead of a curved bottom surface that allows for steady side to side movement it has free standing legs. Bassinets are also highly portable. This means they can be moved easily from one point to another. This is another significant difference between cradles and bassinets. Cradles tend to be less portable and are mainly built to lull infants to sleep.
Bassinets are built from the perspective that babies are more comfortable in small spaces. Infants spent several months tucked in the womb of their mothers. Their bodies are accustomed to being held in small spaces. A Sudden change from the womb to large surroundings e.g. large rooms has been shown to cause infants some distress and take them longer to fall asleep. However, through the use of bassinets, infants’ insecurities have been observed to dissipate quickly and the infants are noted to be much happier. Making the infant fall asleep is also almost effortless. In this regard, bassinets are highly valuable in helping infants transition to newer larger spaces than they are accustomed to, with time.
When do you need a portable bassinet?
Bassinets are needed most during travel hence the reason they are built to be highly portable. If you are a new parent and you’re planning on taking a trip with your infant it is best to use a bassinet. This structure provides the most comfort to the baby ensuring it hardly gets disturbed during transit. The structure is built to ensure the baby is always comfortable and secure regardless of the location. Most infants can hardly detect the difference when parents are going up or down a flight of stairs or if they’re walking on a level plain.
- Sharing a bed with your child
Most parents try to avoid sleeping with their young babies on the same bed mainly because the infant may wet the bed or cause other messes. In other cases, parents have said they were fearful they might be a detriment to their own babies and might cause them to suffocate from blankets or harm them in any other way such as getting them wedged between the headboard and the mattress or pillow. For this reason many parents avoid sharing beds with toddlers and instead choose to have a cot in the same room.
Bassinets are the solution. Not only do they make it possible for parents to share a room with their babies but they also make it possible for them to share the same bed! Some bassinets are waterproof ensuring a child’s pee does not reach the bed or mattress. They also have walls are highly porous to allow good air flow ensuring the child is well ventilated throughout the night. Some also have high walls to create a barrier between the parent and the child preventing any accidental brushes by parents at night and even calamities such as suffocation.
- Short on Space
Parents who are short on space can choose to get a bassinet for their infants instead of a cot or a cradle. Because of their design, bassinets consume much less space than a cot or a cradle making them a convenient option in areas where there is a shortage of space. Depending on the bassinet, it is possible for parents to share the same bed with their young offspring.
- Assists the toddler’s transition
This is mainly a psychological benefit. New born babies are accustomed to life in small spaces. When exposed to large spaces they tend to display more anxiety, albeit in small degrees. There is even an argument that this is part of the reason why they take longer to fall asleep in open spaces. The solution is to help their systems transition to life in larger environments by using a bassinet. The bassinet attempts to duplicate the conditions of the womb by holding the baby in a small space similar to what he was previously accustomed to. Eventually this will contribute positively to the child’s development.
- Protection against the Elements
As a parent it is only natural to be concerned about your infant’s well-being and that includes how they fare against the elements. Because it is not advisable for infants to use skin care products as protection against the elements when in nature, a bassinet can act as a suitable substitute. Some bassinets have pop ups that unravel very quickly to shield babies against direct sunlight and the harmful effects of Ultra Violet rays. The UPPAbaby bassinet, for instance, offers up to 50 (SPF); protection against direct sun rays that may cause harm to a baby’s gentle skin. When dealing with toddlers it is important to remember that the sun’s Ultra Violet rays are the ones that cause the most harm compared to direct sunlight and therefore bassinets that offer UV protection and not just a shade cover should be given priority.
Tips for buying a bassinet
If you’re searching for a bassinet for your new born baby consider these tips to help you find the perfect one for your infant.
- Safety standards
When it comes to bassinets, safety and comfort should be your utmost priority. Although there are many bassinets in the market from different companies very few have incorporated top safety protocols to ensure the infants security is never at risk. When purchasing bassinets e.g. the chicco portable bassinet, it is important to look for a certification sticker with inscriptions such as JPMA or ASTM. This is proof that the bassinet has been vetted and complies with the recommended safety standards of either ASTM or JPMA. JPMA is a trade association that comprises of at least 300 companies that are in the business of making baby products. ASTM stands for American Society for Testing and Materials. This organization’s main purpose is to develop and publish standards for products and materials.
Apart from certification, parents are advised to evaluate the safety of a bassinet on their own in the same way they would evaluate a baby cot. If a bassinet has decorative posts that stick out from the side that the baby’s clothes could latch on to then its best to avoid this unit and opt for alternatives that don’t pose a safety hazard.
- Does the Bassinet Rock or Not?
Bassinets in general do not rock. However, there are some models with this feature incorporated into the design. As a parent you need to remember that although a rocking bassinet may help the infant to learn how to move and roll over much faster it also brings some safety concerns. For instance, while sleeping the baby might roll over and have its face pressed against the side. This can cause discomfort to the baby and because the bassinet rocks the baby might find it difficult to readjust itself. In extreme cases this can lead to suffocation.
If the thought of a rocking bassinet still fascinates you then ensure you purchase one that has a lock. The lock ensures the bassinet can be utilized in rocking and stationary mode. This way you get the benefits of a rocking bassinet without the safety risks.
- Age and Weight
Most bassinets are built for babies from the age of day 1 to around 4 months. The average weight they can hold is between 15 and 20 pounds. Parents should avoid randomly picking bassinets and instead inquire about the age and weight limits for each unit. Some bassinets such as the Serta iComfort infant sleeper have a large design that can accommodate a baby’s development for much longer periods, usually 2 months longer than the average model. The baby travel bag 3 in 1 open bassinet is also another bassinet that can be used for a much longer duration. It goes without saying that the price of these bassinets is slightly elevated to match the extra features accorded.
One of the common reasons parents shop for bassinets is because these units allow them to transport their children from one location to another with relative ease. The best portable bassinet come with a sturdy set of wheels to facilitate better movement.
When shopping for bassinets consider the level of traveling you will be doing with your child and the locations you will be visiting. This will help you determine whether you will need a travel bassinet with wheels or one without. If you choose one with wheels ensure the wheels come with a locking mechanism to restrict mobility. This is especially important when you leave your baby with other siblings who might be tempted to move it around.
If you prefer stationary bassinets consider acquiring either the Brica fold n’ go travel bassinet, the Serta iComfort infant sleeper or the Snuggle Nest Surround XL bassinets. In addition to being highly portable bassinet travel units some of these bassinets can also be disassembled and folded quickly when needed for either storage or travel.
Consider the bedding that comes with the baby bassinet. Before purchasing a particular unit it is important to ensure it has simple fitted sheets as well as a mattress that fits perfectly within the bassinet. This is crucial because most bassinets, unlike baby cots and cribs, are not built in standard sizes. This might make it a challenge to find sheets that best match the bassinet. As a rule, search for bassinets that provide at least an extra fitted sheet. This will come in handy at night when a diaper change will inevitably be required.
What to look for in a portable bassinet
Acquiring a bassinet is by far the best way to help you maintain a close proximity to your new born baby especially at night. Also, according to research, babies who share the same room with their parents (usually with bassinets) are exposed to a much lower risk of succumbing to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Bassinets are also highly beneficial in helping parents travel with their infants without disrupting the baby’s comfort. These benefits and more make the exercise of choosing a bassinet a crucial one. Here are 6 things you should keep in mind when looking for a portable bassinet.
When it comes to your child and bassinets, safety should always be your number one concern. Because there are hundreds of bassinet models in the market it can be difficult to gauge the level of safety the carriage structure comes with by simply looking or touching it. Fortunately though there are bodies in charge of scrutinizing these baby products to determine if they are usable by infants.
Before making a financial investment in a specific bassinet model check for a safety certification either from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or look for a JPMA label. Japan Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers’ Association (JPMA) is an association that is made of at least 300 international manufacturers of baby products and works in a similar way to ASTM i.e. setting product standards.
If you see bassinets without either of these two labels it is advisable not to purchase them.
Still on safety, parents are advised to avoid purchasing extra bassinet accessories without properly evaluating how well they complement their current unit. Some accessories may prove to be safety hazards to the growing child e.g. they may stick to the child’s clothes or they may easily come off and be ingested by the baby.
The walls of a bassinet perform multiple functions. For one, they keep the child secure in the bassinet. Secondly, they can be used to facilitate good air flow through mesh ventilations. Thirdly, they can also be used to restrict the baby’s movements from side to side. It goes to show that a bassinet’s walls are an important factor to consider when shopping for bassinets.
Start by considering what you’d like to achieve with your bassinet walls. If you want to enhance air circulation for your child then consider choosing units such as the Serta iComfort bassinet that have side mesh panels. Just remember the walls of this model may be a bit too tall and may require parents to use a bit more effort when placing and removing the child. If you want your toddler to have more room for movement it is advisable to choose a unit with an extra large design i.e. the distance between the walls is large. This will also ensure the unit is usable for much longer periods providing more value for your money.
The mattresses of bassinets need to be well supported. They should also be tough to support a young infant without flexing or bending. Before making a purchase check the entire mattress manually to see if there are supports holding it up in its entirety. This check is important because it prevents what is referred to as the “hammock effect” i.e. the mattress laggings at the center because of an infant’s weight due to lack of sufficient support. While this feature is okay for adults it can be hazardous to infants since it makes it difficult for them to turn or roll over.
The mattress should also be comfortable. Infants should be able to lie completely flat and not feel the support materials underneath. The mattress should also not leave any gaps along the edges. It should be easy to adjust and should, at least, have a waterproof cover.
As a parent it is important to learn that there are some units made from toxic materials. Polyurethane foams and polyester are two major examples. These materials are considered unsafe because of formaldehyde and toluene, substances proven to be harmful to infants. When shopping for bassinets enquire about the materials used to make the units to determine if they are safe for your child. VOCs or organic compounds that can be vaporized easily need to be avoided at all costs. VOCs are mainly found in paints – something to remember the next time you go shopping.
Mattresses promoted as being flame retardant should also be avoided as the chemicals present in the mattress may cause nerve and even brain damage in the long run.
A baby’s bassinet should also not be made from latex rubber unless it is proven to have no negative effects on the baby. If the parent suffers from latex allergy it is wise to assume the infant is highly susceptible to the allergy and avoid units composed of this material.
In general, parents should be looking for untreated materials. Natural rubber and organic cotton are the best materials for a young baby’s skin.
Does size matter when it comes to bassinets? The simple answer is – it’s all depends on you. Bassinets are smaller than baby cribs and cots. They are designed to last an average of 3-4 months. If you’d like to use one for longer it is advisable to choose a large unit although there is no guarantee it will exceed the average duration. Factors such as genetics, how often the baby is fed, the type of food the baby eats e.t.c. will contribute differently to the baby’s growth and consequently affect the period he needs the bassinet.
Some large bassinets to consider include the chicco portable bassinet, baby travel bag 3 in 1 open bassinet and the Serta iComfort Infant Sleeper.
- Travel (Convenience)
Not all bassinets are created equal. Some are more portable than others. If you’re planning to take a lot of trips with your infant child it is important that you choose a highly portable travel bassinet such as the Koo-di sleep and sun travel bassinet or the baby travel bag 3 in 1 open bassinet. These units are easily disassembled and folded when needed to travel on short notice.
Finding the best portable bassinet for your baby doesn’t have to be a difficult exercise. Start by defining what you would like the bassinet to help you accomplish. Is it to be able to share the same bed with your child? Perhaps you’d like to be able to take your child with you on your many trips without disturbing him. Maybe you want the child to be able to fall asleep quicker so that you can have more time to yourself. Whatever it may be ensure you define it clearly as this will play a critical role in helping you find the right bassinet.
Next, it is advisable to research different model units to find the one that best suits your criterion. Take your time. There are hundreds of models in the market and each has its pros and cons. Remember to choose a model that meets the set safety standards by either ASTM or JPMA.
Once you determine a model the next step is to determine the perfect place to buy the particular bassinet. Online marketplaces such as Amazon offer great deals and should be prioritized in your selection. Whatever you do try as much as possible to avoid purchasing second hand units as these may be of lower quality. It is also important to remember that price is not always an indicator of quality although in many cases it is a credible quality yardstick.