A Bassinet is a baby sleeping surface not unlike a moses basket but is different in that it is made from modern (safe) man made materials. Essentially a modern play on the traditional baby basket.
Unlike Moses baskets or even cots, Bassinets can look quite different depending on the type you buy. It can be anything from a cot type design to something even more compact than a traditional basket.
The key thing is choice as not all babies are the same. Some babies are smaller than average and some larger. Even at such a young age they have preferences for hardness of sleeping surface, high or low sides, hoods. Some babies are fine sleeping on their backs, others prefer sleeping on their sides and although not recommended, sleeping on their fronts.
They are more popular in the United States where it is more commonplace to see new parents choosing to use them. They also refer to as Bassinettes and incorrectly as a Basinette or basinet.
In the UK Bassinets are not widely considered as an alternative to a Moses basket or cot. You can buy these in various different forms including the travel Bassinet and the PurFlo breathable baby Bassinet.
Visually they can look like a modern version of the traditional basket whereas other designed are modelled more like a cot. Again your choice is going to be both functional and aesthetic.
Small Portable Bassinets
Small Bassinets like the Lullyboo travel Bassinet are going to be more portable and can be used both in the home and out of the home. They fold up making them easy to transport. Being lightweight they are easy to move from room to room (but not with baby as the Lullyboo has no carry handles) so that your baby can stay with you during the day.
Large Cot Bassinets
If you are looking for a larger cot Bassinet, something that can be stood off the floor, then you can buy Petit Praia Bobo Crossed Wooden Bassinet which at 50cm x 80cm x 72cm stands taller than a moses basket without a stand but has a similar sized sleeping surface which reduces the risk of baby rolling onto their front.
The benefit of this type of design is that it is foldable so can become a easily taken with you if you have to travel. It is also wheeled so can be pushed from room to room although not moved up and downstairs with the baby in it. If you need a Bassinet that you can carry baby up and down stairs whilst they sleep then you need a smaller model that has sturdy carry handles or a traditional basket.
A smaller sleeping surface prevents baby from rolling onto their front which is a factor in SIDS.
Most Popular Bassinet
The PurFlo Breathable Baby Nest is one of the most popular sleeping surfaces parents are choosing for their newborns besides Moses baskets. It is a popular sleeping alternative as it provides a snug sleeping surface which helps prevent baby rolling over.
The PurFlo nest is light and small and is designed to go inside a cot and used for the first 4 months so your baby feels snug. Being lightweight it can be used as a travel sleeping area.
This is designed for parents that want to buy a cot instead of a Moses basket but do not want too large a sleeping surface. Once your little one gets old enough the nest can be removed and they can sleep in the cot.
My baby boy is nearly 4 months and doesn't sleep through night and was constantly stirring. Got this 4 days ago as it was recommended by a friend and he loves it. He doesn't stir at all just wakes for a bottle.
I was recommended the Sleepyhead but it seemed an awful lot of money so to hedge our bets we opted for the Purflo nest.
Bassinet or Moses Basket?
A lot of new parents will not heard of these and only be aware of using a Moses Basket for the first 4 to 6 months of their baby's life. If you've been baby shopping recently you may have probably already seen one in the shops or online but not realised that it was an alternative moses basket.
Benefits of Bassinets
‣ Wide range of designs and styles
‣ Can be folded for storage or travelling
‣ Modern and aesthetically pleasing
The downside can be the higher cost, if you are just looking for value over style then a traditional moses basket is more suitable.
There is no right or wrong when choosing between a Bassinet or Moses Basket for baby safety. Most parent decide on the basis of cost, space practicalities and portability.
Both NICE Centre for Clinical Practice and the Lullaby Trust state that the most important thing is that you baby sleeps on their own sleep surface for at least the first 6 months. So this could be a Moses basket, Bassinet or even a cot.
The safest way for a baby to sleep is on its back, in its own cot or moses basket in the parents room for the first 6 months - NICE Centre for Clinical Practice