How To Get A Newborn To Sleep In A Bassinet

How To Get A Newborn To Sleep In A Bassinet

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:


Baby should always sleep alone but in the same room as the parents when possible


Baby should always, always, always, be put to sleep on their back – both for naps and nighttime sleep.


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.

What else can help babies sleep better?

In addition to establishing sleep routines for your baby, a product that can help baby sleep is the Dreamland Baby weighted swaddle. It is designed to help baby feel calm, fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer. The gentle weight naturally reduces stress and increases relaxation through deep-pressure stimulation to give baby feelings of security and comfort. This typically results in longer stretches of quality sleep for baby… which means that parents will also get the sleep they need, too.

Is it OK for a newborn to sleep in a bassinet?

Bassinets are a game-changer with a newborn. It’s the best of both worlds, sleep in your own bed with your newborn baby safe and nearby. With that being said, newborns can sleep in a bassinet. Swaddling your newborn baby can help them sleep better while promoting safer sleep. Swaddling can help your baby feel safe and secure while also preventing them from scratching their body, but you don’t have to swaddle in the bassinet. Babies should be swaddled if this is their preference, but ultimately, you want to ensure your baby is happy and safe. Life with a newborn can be a little sleep-deprived, so you’ll want to do everything possible to ensure you and your newborn get the sleep you need. 

Newborns have recently transitioned from a small, dark, and noisy womb to a bright, busy, and also loud world. The feeling of being swaddled snug can remind them of the womb. To take the effectiveness of a swaddle one step further, try a weighted swaddle. The gentle weight can naturally reduce anxiety while helping your baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Our weighted swaddle at Dreamland is extremely user-friendly. Let your tired body get to sleep faster as you adjust the swaddle band to fit and zip up the swaddle. Long gone are the days of tangled swaddles sending parents into an emotional sleep-deprived breakdown. 

What are the pros and cons of bassinets?

Baby bassinets are often one of the most convenient options for parents who wish to “sleep with their baby.” It allows the opportunity for you to keep your baby close without preventing them from learning to sleep alone. For modern families, it’s all about the bassinet. Plus, most are on wheels, so you can use them in other rooms as needed.  Most see much more upside to a bassinet than downside, but we will leave it up to you to decide. 


  • Convenience: There’s no arguing the convenience that a bassinet can offer. During the first few months, there’s no such thing as a real full night’s sleep. As you wake up and go back to sleep several times throughout the night, it’s easier to have your baby less than a few steps away.
  • Independence: Bassinets allow parents to keep their baby close without promoting dependence on the human touch to sleep. Keep the bassinet close by, and your baby can still hear you and maybe see you too, but they will be on their own to sleep.
  • Cost-effective: Babies are expensive and undergo a lot of change as they grow. One of those changes is where they sleep. Bassinets can offer cost-effective options during the first few months. You can even hold off on purchasing a crib. After purchasing everything else to prepare for your baby, finances can be tight with a newborn.
  • Smoother transitions: The day will come when your baby is ready to sleep in their crib. While bittersweet, this is an exciting milestone as you will hopefully start to get longer stretches on uninterrupted sleep. 


  • Short-lived: Bassinets should only be used until a baby is about six months old. Therefore, you may not feel you get your money's worth. Bassinets have different weight recommendations, which you should be aware of. Specified weight limits can help you understand when it’s no longer safe for your baby to sleep in a bassinet.
  • Disrupted sleep for parents: While it may be unavoidable to keep your newborn close by during the nighttime, it can disrupt your sleep. From crying to making subtle noises, your baby may wake you more often if they sleep in close quarters. 

How long should a newborn sleep in a bassinet?

Bassinets have weight recommendations that can help you know when it’s no longer safe for your baby to sleep in a bassinet. Most weight recommendations will align with the statement that babies should only sleep in the bassinet up until about six months of age. 

Do you have to swaddle a newborn in a bassinet?

Babies don’t need to be swaddled - bassinet or not. Some babies may quite frankly need to be swaddled, while others may prefer not to be swaddled. 

Can you leave a newborn alone in a bassinet?

Newborns should not be left unattended unless for a brief period, and even then, dangers can arise. If you need to go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, or do something ultra-quick, and you have to leave your baby, it’s best to leave them in a safe environment, such as a bassinet. 

What should a baby sleep with in a bassinet?

Babies should not sleep with much of anything in their bassinet besides a fitted sheet and a swaddle (if preferred). Babies should always sleep on their back in a bassinet, and just like any sleep space it should be free of hazards. Bassinets with mesh sides can give parents a clear view and also can allow for breathing room if your baby does roll. 

Newborn and or young babies should sleep with a swaddle or sleep sack to keep them warm until a blanket is safe for use. If you want to give your baby some dreamy distractions, try a mobile above the crib or a sound machine nearby. With a Dreamland swaddle or sleep sack and a bassinet near their primary caregiver, your baby can drift off and catch some zzz’s. Sounds like a dream, right?

Why choose Dreamland Baby for weighted swaddles?

Dreamland swaddles are designed with one purpose in mind: to help babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The trick? CoverCalm® Technology. Our weighted sleep aid products, such as swaddles and sleep sacks, feel exactly as they sound - weighted. They are safe for babies to use and designed in collaboration with pediatricians, NICU nurses, and certified sleep consultants. Safety is equally as important as restful sleep at Dreamland.
Our sleep sacks and swaddles are designed for convenience, comfort, and good sleep. Drift off to Dreamland with our best-selling products. From weighted swaddles to ultra-comfortable bamboo pajamas, we are your one-stop baby sleep shop.

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