A bassinet or bassinette is a bed specifically for babies from birth to about four months, and small enough to provide a secure comfortable resting place for newborns and young infants. These are smaller than regular size cribs. There are many variations: light and portable types are sometimes called “Moses baskets”, there are the stand-alone bassinets, co-sleeper bassinets and the portable bassinets. Cradles are less portable and may have rocking motion capability.
Bassinets are generally designed to allow the resting baby to be carried from place to place, to be close to its mother. Bassinets are often raised on a stand or other surface to reduce back strain when bending over to tend the baby, and wheeled frames to convert a bassinet into a baby carriage are common. Light and portable types are sometimes called Moses baskets. A co-sleeper bassinet allows baby to have their own sleeping space close to the mother’s bed. One side of the bassinet is lower than the other and that is the side that should attach to the side of the mother’s bed, so the mother can be close to the baby. Portable bassinets can be moved from room to room where mother is so she can watch the baby.
Most bassinets come with detachable hoods, a hood that is detachable or that folds back is preferable. Many bassinets come with wheels for the convenience of moving the infant from room to room, or with fold-able legs for saving space.
The mattress pad should fit securely without any gap between the mattress and the edge of the bassinet. A firm mattress is safer for the baby regarding suffocation risks.
Bassinets should not have any sharp or rough edges, should have a stable footing, any folding mechanism should lock securely in place. Most bassinets have extra storage space at the base and wheels that make it easier to move them from room to room. The wheels should have locking mechanism for stability when not in use. Cradles can be rocked as the babies enjoy the soothing, rocking motion and fall asleep. To ensure baby’s safety, most cradles have locking pins that prevent the cradle from tilting to an angle greater than 5 degrees. Cradles should lock into a stationary position when required. The standard cradle size is 18″ x 36″.