Bringing Up Baby: Bassinet Vs. Co-Sleeping


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Bringing home a new baby is nothing if not overwhelming.

How to get a newborn to sleep in a bassinet? Should you try co-sleeping with baby instead?

how to get newborn to sleep in bassinet

You’re already exhausted and suddenly everything is different. Decisions you thought were made and done before they were born can sometimes come up for debate again once they’re actually here. One of the biggest examples of a decision that often gets rethought is a pretty important one.

Where is the new baby sleeping at night?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that a newborn baby should sleep in their parents’ room for at least six months, if not a full year.

But what are the best ways to make that happen? A full-sized crib might get a little crowded in most bedrooms and can be a little big for a brand new baby.

So two of the most popular options include using a bassinet and co-sleeping with your baby.

Let’s find out more about them…

How to Get Newborn to Sleep in a Bassinet

Much smaller than a crib, a bassinet is built like a basket for babies to sleep in when they’re very young.

Some are designed to be completely simple and stationary, while others can have a gentle rock like a cradle or even play a lullaby.

A bassinet is a relatively small, unobtrusive space that is entirely for your baby that can fit easily in most bedrooms alongside where you sleep as parents to provide the benefit of sharing a room.

As such, they’re a great choice for a newborn baby’s sleep space.

Best Baby Bassinets

>>> Take a look at our guide to the best bassinets

But if your baby won’t sleep in a bassinet for some reason, you might want to consider another tactic…

Co Sleeping with Baby

There are different ways of going about co-sleeping, but it is — essentially — sharing your bed with your baby.

If you’re looking for a middle ground between a bassinet and co-sleeping, an option known as a ‘co-sleeper’ exists that can attach to the side of your bed, giving you a closer feeling to that of bed-sharing than a typical bassinet, while still giving the baby their own space.

Best Co-Sleepers for Baby

Although sometimes considered controversial, co-sleeping in the way of bed-sharing is a biologically natural solution and can be very beneficial for both the parents and the baby in the long run.

What Baby Wants and the Pros of Co-Sleeping

Sometimes new parents find that their baby won’t sleep in their bassinet because they simply don’t want to.

co sleeping with baby

It’s no great secret that babies need touch and close affection from their parents and caregivers in order to develop in a properly healthy way, and anyone who’s tried to soothe a baby to sleep knows that it’s much easier for most of them to sleep when they’re being held close.

Proximity to their parents help babies relax, leading to better sleep for them through the night. And when the baby sleeps better, the parents sleep better as well.

To get the calories they need with how much they’re growing and developing, babies need to eat in the night.

For mothers that choose to breastfeed, co-sleeping is the easiest thing in the world. Feeding time doesn’t become the fuss it is when parents need to get out of bed and hunt for their babies.

It’s a matter of simply rolling over and holding the baby close to get what it needs, so the both of you can go right back to sleep.

Plus the physical closeness can be beneficial. During a busy day, it can be hard for parents to connect with their babies the way they need, and sharing a bed is a simple and relaxing solution to forging a strong and lasting bond that will help their baby grow.

Here’s a great video on one family’s co-sleeping set-up:

Cons of Co Sleeping with Baby

Co-sleeping has certain risks that can be avoided. When it comes to brand new little ones, there are risks everywhere, but the more you know, the easier it is to keep them safe.

Sharing the bed with your baby works better if you’re not an extremely heavy sleeper and can quickly alert yourself to the little one next to you.

In any sleeping situation — in a bassinet, in bed with you, or even in a crib — it’s dangerous to let a baby sleep in the prone position.

Without proper control of their muscles to move when they need to, they can block off their airways and asphyxiate.

Similarly, when sharing a bed with you, make sure your movements don’t cover the baby with blankets they can’t kick off and remove themselves, and be careful with where your bed is positioned so there aren’t crevices or gaps your baby can slip into.

Being alert with your baby’s position in bed with you is key to keeping everyone safe, happy, and enjoying the benefits of co-sleeping.

how long can a baby sleep in a bassinet

Closer is Better

Regardless of which sleeping situation feels best for you and your new family—whether you co-sleep with your baby sharing your bed, use a co-sleeper specifically for closeness but a designated space, or use a bassinet kept right near your bed within arm’s reach—it’s widely agreed that the closer, the better for your bond with your brand new baby.

Have you tried co sleeping with baby yet?


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