Bedside bassinets are wonderful options for mamas who may not want to bedshare but still want their littles nearby as they’re drifting off to sleep. We’ve asked experts and mamas alike what their favorite and best bassinets options for babies were, and are so excited that the selection for safe, non-toxic bedside bassinets continues to grow.
If everything old is new again, we’re thrilled. Mainly because more mamas are being encouraged to have their babies near them as they sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents room share with their babies for at least the first six months of baby’s life, and ideally the first year. They do so because room sharing can decrease SIDS risks by as much as up to 50%. Not to mention room sharing with baby makes it much easier to tend to his or her needs.
Dr. Harvey Karp is the trusted pediatrician who authored The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block. For over 25 years, he’s worked to translate and combine science with natural parenting instincts to empower parents to meet baby’s most basic needs. His “Five-S” methods have helped hundreds of thousands of parents (me included) calm their little ones during what he termed the fourth trimester–the first three months after a baby is born and adjusting to life outside of mama’s womb.
And because research is showing that bedside bassinets can make a difference in everything from calming fussy babies to helping babies who are undergoing opioid-withdrawal, also known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) to help reduce postpartum depression and anxiety for new mamas.
Mostly, we love seeing more hospitals focus on babies rooming in with mamas, as this increases maternal bonding opportunities, breastfeeding rates and skin-to-skin contact. That more hospitals are turning to bedside bassinets in maternal rooms tells us that the tide for natural birth practices is turning, even in medical facilities.
Debra Banville is a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Leader at South Shore Hospital, which is an affiliate of Boston Children’s Hospital. She says that when it comes to reducing risks for sleep-deprived parents who may fall asleep in chairs or other unsafe positions with babies, co-sleepers can support both parents and nurses.
So, what do you look for in a bedside bassinet? You’ll want to make sure that the bassinet is stable. Too often, they’re lightweight (nice) but not necessarily very stable, and that’s risky for baby. Be sure it will solidly support your little one.
As well, most mamas are looking for bedside bassinets that are near their bedsides. Keep the height of the bassinet you choose in mind as you are searching, as they come in various sizes and heights. Concerning sides, you’ll want to look for breathability, though bassinets are not recommended for babies once they can turn to their sides or from back to stomach.
The Best Bedside Sleepers and Bassinets
The SNOO is the first of the Happiest Baby smart products that Dr. Karp invented. He collaborated with several world-renowned industry leaders and the SNOO takes Dr. Karp’s principals of the 5 S-es to the next level. It’s been shown to reduce crying and boost by mimicking sounds and motions from the womb. This helps the 4th Trimester transition be easier for your little one, and that means it’s easier for you. It’s award-winning and has been proven to boost infant sleep by one to three hours as it safely and effectively soothes babies. It’s also the first baby bassinet that was created to prevent accidental rolling over and that again helps ease a mama’s mind.
The SNOO is also being studied for NAS babies at Boston Children’s Hospital to assess its capacity to support parents and nurses and evaluate its efficacy in settling babies with the rocking and sound ability. The possibility to reduce NICU admissions is a big perk, in that babies will also be exposed less to the need for medical interventions.
While buying the SNOO outright is costly, what’s really cool about the SNOO is that it is now available to be rented for about $3.50 a day! Yep, you can rent a SNOO for your little one--it couldn’t be easier to give them (and yourself) the gift of sleep and happiness! Rental comes with three 100% organic cotton SNOO SACKS and a 100% organic cotton fitted sheet because what your baby sleeps on matters!
The Baby Bjorn Rocking Cradle is a great co-sleeper to consider for your newborn to six-month-old (about 18 pounds). It’s designed with soft mesh fabric for good airflow, as well as opportunity to peek in from your bed, and there are no bars or loose parts as it’s made completely from fabric. The fabric and waterproof mattress cover are removable and go in the washing machine for super easy cleanup. It’s lightweight and portable, and perfect for rocking babies back and forth, as Dr. Karp recommends for helping soothe them to sleep. Some mamas take it an extra step and buy the Naturpedic Organic Cotton Oval mattress, which fits nice and snugly and ensures your little one is sleeping as non-toxic as can be.
Bill and Cathy Schmid lost their beautiful baby daughter Haley to SIDS in 1991. Bill, an engineer, committed his life to reviewing medical research and safe sleep practices, while also honoring the bond between babies and parents. HALO was the culmination of those efforts, beginning with the HALO sleep sack for babies. They’ve since introduced the HALO Bassinet Swivel sleeper, and it’s super popular among clinicians and mamas.
It has breathable mesh sides and is BPA-free and we love not only the height-adjustment feature but the swivel feature that lets you bring baby to you. The base tucks under the bed, so baby is even closer, and the drop-down wall is secure but opens easily for quick reach-in. Mamas with really high beds love it.
We recommend buying the optional organic cotton mattress, and sheets specifically designed for it so baby isn’t sleeping on the polyester and polyurethane foam. That said, if those aren’t in your budget, HALO does say there are no flame retardants used in any of their products.
Technically designated a lounger for baby to enjoy resting or tummy time, we can’t count how many mamas love the Snuggle Me organic lounger for their co-sleeping purposes. Particularly for those early newborn days (and nights) where mama needs to be near all the time for nursing, something close and secure for you and baby is vital. The Snuggle Me is cozy, with the sides of the sleeper giving a gentle hug to your little one, helping them adjust in this 4th trimester of their lives. The cover is made of GOTS-certified organic fabrics and filled with virgin polyester filling. The cover is removable for easy cleanup and comes in five neutral and soothing colors. The sides of the lounger help prevent accidental rollovers, but as is recommended for all bedside bassinets, when baby can roll on her own, it should no longer be used. The manufacturer says it’s safe for up to nine months, but we’d probably not use for quite as long. Still, it’s a Mothering Forum favorite for its non-toxic sleeping space to keep baby near.
In 1997, Arm’s Reach trademarked the term co-sleeper, creating the first co-sleeping bed for baby that attaches securely to your bed. Dr. Sears has heralded the perks of the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper for as long as it’s been out, saying that it gives the perfect amount of proximity and space at the same time for mamas and babies. It maximizes breastfeeding opportunity as well as bonding and sensory exchanges between mom and baby and offers both optimal chances for sleep. It has breathable sides and the Ideal Ezee allows storage space below for all the needs of nighttime diaper changes.
Particularly beneficial for mamas who’ve had to have c-section, putting baby within arm’s reach can make such a difference in breastfeeding rates, postpartum depression and comfort and bonding with baby. Again and again in our Mothering Forums, Arm’s Reach trends. We like the Ezee 3-in-1 because it grows with baby and is multifunctional–a co-sleeper, a free-standing bassinet and a play yard when baby is bigger.
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