In preparation for a newborn, the bassinet is one of the first items parents will consider. So what’s the difference between a bassinet and a cot (or crib)?
A bassinet is cheaper and also smaller than a cot, so it saves considerable space for those living in smaller homes. However, many bassinets are designed and recommended for babies under six months, so it is not suitable for older babies who can sit up unassisted.
In addition, bassinets are often designed to be securely attached to the parents’ bedside, much like an extended safe sleeping space. This makes overnight feeds easier, particularly if you’re breastfeeding. You can simply roll over and feed baby, instead of having to get up.
There are also bassinets designed for portability, so they can be moved around the house with ease, or used for travel. This is handy in the first few months of newborn life when the baby has more fragmented and frequent feeding and sleeping periods.
In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the best bassinets available in four different categories so you can decide on the most suitable bassinet for your newborn based on your needs.
Best co-sleeper bassinets
The co-sleeper is exactly as it sounds – a bassinet that is designed for safe co-sleeping with your newborn. These bassinets are designed to be an extension of your own bed, so they often come with straps and are also height adjustable so the baby will be on the same level as you.
By far the most popular bassinet in Australia, the Chicco Next2Me Cot is synonymous with co-sleeper bassinets. However, it’s also one of the most expensive ones on the market.
Most of its features are also readily available in cheaper brands listed below:
- Six adjustable height positions
- A travel carry bag
- Can be used level, or raised at one end to ease infant colic
- Supportive waterproof memory foam mattress
The Star Kidz Vicino Deluxe is the top-rated bassinet on ProductReview and my top pick for this category. It’s slightly cheaper than the Chicco Next2Me but has the same features. In addition, its stand converts easily into a rocker, a bonus feature that the Chicco Next2Me lacks.
As a much loved Australian brand, Love N Care range of baby products are very affordable and offers the same versatility as the popular Chicco Next2Me.
The By My Side Sleeper, in particular, is the most affordable option in this category at just $199, which is 40% cheaper than the Chicco Next2Me, saving you about $100.
The Kaylula By Babyhood costs about the same as Chicco Next2Me, but comes with an additional wooden mobile with beautiful safari toys. Made from European beechwood with a strong metal frame, its an aesthetically pleasing and sturdy design.
Best Rocking Bassinets
Rocking bassinets can be a lifesaver for parents with babies who like to be rocked to sleep. It’s also an easy way of helping the baby go back to sleep when she wakes between sleep cycles.
The BabyBjorn Cradle has soft sprung stands for a gentle swaying motion. It doesn’t rock conventionally from side to side but rather mimics the movement of a pram. It can rock along to baby’s movements, or be rocked by hand or foot.
It is a lightweight design so it can be moved easily around the home. Also comes with a mattress included. With a 4.9 star rating on ProductReview, this is one cradle you can’t go wrong with.
Larger than a conventional Moses basket, the Shnuggle Dreami Sleeper is an award-winning, beautifully engineered design with a foldable stand that converts from stationary to a rocking position with a quick flip.
It has a ventilated base and comes with a waterproof mattress.
The Dreamtime Sleeper by Love N Care is an all-in-one bassinet. It has the features of a standard co-sleeper (height-adjustable, dropdown side, bed attachment straps) plus the added option of being a rocker.
There is no video demonstration or description available online to show how you switch it to rocking position, but customer feedback is positive and it stands out from the crowd as a stylish and function co-sleeper.
Best Portable Bassinets
The smaller, lighter version of portacots (portable cots), portable bassinets are designed for maximum ease when travelling or on-the-go, so they are usually one-piece designs that fold quickly and neatly into a carry bag.
The Sunbury Cocoon is one of the best portable bassinets around. It comes with a detachable hooded mesh to keep out bugs if the baby is napping outdoors, and it folds into a compact size that fits in the overhead compartment storage on planes.
Slightly more expensive than the Sunbury Cocoon, the Babyhome Air Bassinet has a few more added features that make it an extremely versatile bassinet:
- Comes with easily attached change pad
- Three positions – Stationary, rocker, or with wheels
- Side pockets to store nappies or other essentials
This demonstration video gives a good overview of its many features.
A relatively new design on the market, the Compagno by Star Kidz is a stylish and very travel-friendly bassinet that you can set up and pack away in a single step. In addition, it can also easily change to a rocker position.
The air mesh can be zipped up to keep the baby warm on cooler nights.
Best Wooden & Rattan Bassinets
For the environmentally-conscious parents, timber bassinets are the way to go. Not only are they durable and sturdy in design, but their natural look also adds to the aesthetics of a room. Rattan bassinets are less popular, but their rustic hand-woven appeal is easy to love.
Beautifully handwoven from natural plant materials, the Rattan Willow Bassinet adds an instant Bohemian look and feel to any space. It comes with a firm foam mattress included and is also available in natural colour.
Boori is a well-received baby furniture brand in Australia and its timber bassinet is another timeless classic that is very much underrated. Although simplistic in design, it’s highly functional and can be used further as a laundry basket, toy storage or change table well after the baby has transitioned to a cot.
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This was written at night while my kids are in bed. Help me stay awake so I can keep producing free & useful content for Aussie mums!