One of the most crucial things you'll want to do as a new parent is to ensure your kid gets adequate sleep, babies sleep for up to 16 hours a day in the early months, so you'll want to ensure that your baby is sleeping in a safe and comfortable environment. Many parents use a bassinet for their baby's sleeping needs but may wonder how long their baby can sleep in one. This article will discuss how long your baby can sleep in a bassinet and other crucial factors to consider.
What is a bassinet?
A bassinet is a tiny bed for infants aged four to six months. It is often formed of a basket, a cradle, or a little bed with legs that may be carried from room to room. Bassinets are an excellent option for parents who want to keep their newborns close by, as they are smaller and more portable than cribs, making them easier to move around the house.
How long will my infant be able to sleep in a bassinet?
Your infant should sleep in a bassinet during the first few months of life, generally until they are four to six months old. After that, they will have outgrown the bassinet and need to move into a larger sleeping space, such as a crib.
According to pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) says, infants should sleep in the same room as their parents for at least the first six months and ideally for up to a year. Research has shown that this can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The AAP also recommends that infants be placed on their backs to sleep on a firm, flat surface free from any soft bedding, including pillows, blankets, or toys. A bassinet provides a safe and comfortable sleeping space that meets these guidelines, making it an ideal option for your newborn.
When should I transition my baby to a crib?
Your baby will outgrow the bassinet as it becomes older and more mobile and needs to move to a bigger resting area, such as a crib, this usually happens around the age of four to six months.
You'll know it’s time to transition your baby to a crib when they roll over or sit up independently. If they do, they could outgrow the bassinet and risk falling out or becoming caught. It's important to make this transition as soon as possible to ensure your baby stays safe while they sleep.
Some signs that your baby may be ready for a crib include
- They are reaching the maximum weight limit for the bassinet.
- They are rolling over or attempting to sit up.
- They seem cramped or uncomfortable in the bassinet.
- They are starting to outgrow the bassinet.
If you're unsure whether your baby is ready to transition to a crib, talk to your pediatrician or a baby sleep specialist for advice.
Other considerations when using a bassinet
While a bassinet may be a terrific alternative for your newborn's resting needs, there are a few things to keep in mind to keep your baby safe and comfortable.
- Make sure the bassinet is stable
It's important to ensure the bassinet is stable and secure before placing your baby in it. This means checking that the legs are sturdy and not wobbly and that the bassinet is on a flat and stable surface.
- Check for any loose or broken parts
Before using the bassinet, check for any loose or broken parts that could pose a risk to your baby. Ensure that the bassinet's frame is intact and that no loose screws or other parts could come loose and be a choking hazard.
- Use a firm and flat mattress
The mattress in your baby's bassinet should be firm and flat, with no soft bedding, including pillows, blankets, or toys. This is important to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related accidents.
- Follow safe sleep guidelines
Always follow safe sleep guidelines when using a bassinet, including placing your baby on their back to sleep and keeping the bassinet free from any soft bedding or other objects that could pose a suffocation risk.
- Don't overcrowd the bassinet
It's important to ensure that your baby has enough space to move around and breathe while they sleep. Avoid overcrowding the bassinet with pillows, blankets, or other items that could risk your baby's safety.
- Keep the bassinet clean
To prevent the buildup of bacteria or other germs, it's important to keep your baby's bassinet clean. Wash the bedding and mattress cover regularly, and wipe down the frame and other surfaces with a mild cleaning solution.
- Supervise your baby while they sleep
While a bassinet is a safe and comfortable sleeping space for your baby, it's important to supervise them while they sleep. Make sure you can see and hear your baby at all times, and check on them regularly to ensure they are safe and comfortable.
A bassinet can be a safe and comfortable sleeping space for your newborn for the first few months. However, following safe sleep guidelines and transitioning your baby to a crib when they outgrow the bassinet is important. Following these recommendations can help ensure that your baby gets the comfortable and secure sleep needed to develop and flourish. Always prioritize your baby's safety and comfort, and talk to your pediatrician or a baby sleep specialist if you have any concerns or questions about your baby's sleeping arrangements.