Bassinet Sleeping for Newborns: Tips for New Parents
As new parents, it’s hard to imagine just how much stuff your baby requires! There are the diapers and onesies and blankies and bottles, but there’s also the question of where is your newborn going to sleep? In the beginning, when you bring your baby home from the hospital, chances are they’re going to sleep in a bassinet, and stay there until around 3 or 4 months old. That’s when you’ll transition to a crib.
Of course, every baby is different and grows and develops at their own pace, but when your baby outsizes the bassinet by height and weight, it’s time to move them out. But if you’re wondering how to get newborn to sleep in bassinet, keep reading for some more FAQ’s:
What is the purpose of a bassinet?
A bassinet is a great option for your newborn to sleep in as they are smaller than a crib, usually weigh less which means they’re easier to move around your living space, and if you live in a smaller home, the bassinet takes up less room. It’s true that a bassinet is a temporary place for your baby to sleep, but most parents find it worth the investment for the convenience, and safety, a bassinet provides.
Why won't my newborn sleep in their bassinet at night?
Newborn sleep is tricky business. Most new parents will tell you that being able to distinguish 3am from 3pm is very difficult those first few weeks – not just for your baby, but you, too!
Because your baby spends so much of their time sleeping in the beginning – as much as up to 18 hours in a 24 hour cycle – having a designated sleep space is important to ensure the best sleep for baby and you! But if your baby won’t sleep in the bassinet, it’s important to try to establish a sleep schedule. Getting into a routine of feeding, changing, and sleeping as soon as you feel ready to, can make a world of difference. It takes time and patience, but even using sleep cues like darkening the room, playing soft music, using the same sleep space for all sleep (naps and nighttime) will help you on your way towards a sleep routine. This will come in handy a few months down the line when your baby will be ready for sleep training. The Dream weighted swaddle can be a part of this routine. The gentle weight and snug feel of the swaddle will remind baby of what it was like inside the womb, which will help them drift off to dreamland in no time.
How to get a newborn to sleep in a bassinet?
Remember when it comes to your baby, you are the boss! …and it’s good to start flexing that muscle before your baby becomes a teenager, so get your practice in while you can! Kidding aside, it’s much safer for your baby to sleep in a bassinet, in your room, than with you in your bed – which can be so tempting when they’re that little! But keep in mind these safe sleep tips to stay on track for giving your baby the safest sleep possible:
- Room share, don’t bed share. While it may seem easier to bring baby into bed with you, they simply won’t be as safe in your bed as they will in their own space.
- Back to sleep. Your baby should always sleep on their back and on a firm mattress to avoid risks of SIDS.
- Avoid soft sleep surfaces. This means no sleeping on the couch, favorite chair, or in your own bed with your baby. The safest place for them to sleep is on a firm mattress such as a bassinet with nothing additional inside of it.
- Just baby! That means nothing in their crib – no extra blankets, toys, or pillows.
- Pacifiers work! If possible, once your baby is one month old, encourage your baby to use a pacifier. The sucking is soothing and also helps reduce the risks of SIDS.
Are bassinets necessary?
A bassinet may not be a must-have item, but it’s definitely a nice-to-have. That’s because it’s important to have a separate sleep space for your baby starting the minute they come home from the hospital. As tempting as it may be to sleep with your newborn, the American Academy of Pediatrics (the AAP) discourages it for a variety of risk factors including SIDS.
According to the AAP parents should follow this acronym for the ABC’s of safe sleep:
A – ALONE. Baby should always sleep alone but in the same room as the parents when possible
B – BACK. Baby should always, always, always, be put to sleep on their back – both for naps and nighttime sleep.
C – CRIB. Baby should sleep in a bassinet, co-sleeper, or crib with a firm mattress and snug-fitting sheet – that is it! No bumpers, no extra bedding, no cuddle toys!
If you’re concerned that your baby may be cold in the bassinet without a blanket, the Dreamland baby swaddle or sleep sack is perfect to keep baby at just the right temperature all night long.
What are alternatives to a bassinet?
Ask any older family member or friend and they may tell you that their parents had them sleeping in a dresser drawer when they were a baby! That’s because there are plenty of alternatives for your newborn other than a bassinet. There are co-sleepers, and play yards, moses baskets, the list goes on. But in terms of safety and convenience, a bassinet is a great place to start your baby on their sleeping journey.