Best Bassinet 2018
Last Updated: . The Best Bassinet 2018. After researching bassinets for the last 20 plus years, we pick the HALO Bassinest as the best bassinet for parents of newborns. This bassinet achieves two goals: allowing rooming in for newborns (to help with breastfeeding) while providing a safe sleep space separate from a parent’s bed.
New to bassinet shopping for baby’s room? Read our 7 Things No One Tells You About Buying for advice and tips.
The HALO Bassinest has side walls that squish down for quick access to the baby; it also sits on a base that allows you to rotate or swivel it 360 degrees. The Bassinest includes a waterproof mattress pad and sheet; extra sheets are $15.
The Bassinest comes in four versions: a basic model for $200 (called the Essentia), a deluxe version for $250 (Premiere), the Luxe for $280 and the Luxe Plus for $300. For the more expensive versions, HALO adds vibration, sounds and lullabies, nightlight and additional storage. While those frills are nice, we recommend going with the basic model—it’s all most parents need. Vibration and lullabies aren’t necessary for a newborn.
FYI: A twin version of the Bassinest debuted recently for $450—basically, this is a larger version of the Bassinest with a divider down the middle for twins. It has the same basic features as the Bassinest.
Here’s a quick video that goes over the HALO Bassinest basic features:
Accessory to skip: HALO Bassinest Newborn Insert
While we recommend the HALO Bassinest, we say pass on their “newborn insert,” a $49 accessory that is designed to create a smaller space inside the bassinet for newborns. This inserts attaches to the side of the bassinet and with mesh sides.
HALO takes great pains to point out that this insert is not a baby hammock, as it has a firm flat sleeping surface at the bottom. Still, we think this concept is too close for comfort to the other baby hammocks on the market—which we do NOT recommend.
We don’t see the point of this accessory—a newborn is perfectly safe and secure in the Bassinest, no insert needed.
Bassinet to watch: SNOO Smart Sleeper
If you are an experienced parent with one or two (or more) kids under your belt, so to speak, you’ve probably heard of Dr. Harvey Karp and his Happiest Baby books. Dr. Karp recently launched the SNOO Smart Sleeper, a bassinet which incorporates the soothing techniques he teaches in books and videos.
What makes it soothing? The SNOO uses white noise and motion to help rock your baby to sleep. This bassinet, which can be used up to six months of age, is touted as being the “safest baby bed ever made.”
The SNOO imitates the rhythm of the womb and when a baby wakes at night will automatically use sound and motion to get baby back to sleep. Used with the SNOO swaddler, it also keeps baby on his back the whole night. The SNOO includes a mattress and sheet; additional sheets are available online for $24.
The SNOOsells for $760 on Amazon. Dr. Karp’s own web site offers a $450 discount off the official list price of $1160 (as of this writing), plus three free SNOO sacks (like a sleep sack/swaddler), an $84 value.
Still, $760 for a bassinet is steep. We could see this bassinet as a solution for the small percentage of babies that have colic, but not for most other babies.
Now that the SNOO has been on the market for a few months, we are getting feedback from our readers—and the word is positive. Fans say the SNOO works as promised—and actually soothed their collicky babies.
However, at $760, we just can’t recommend this product—it is simply too expensive in our opinion. Most babies do just fine in a plain bassinet; and a vibration feature is all most fussy newborns need to be calmed, based on our testing.
UPDATE: Great news: the Snoo Smart Sleeper may be coming to your town soon . . . for rent! That’s right, the company is working to make the Snoo available for rent (around $5.50 a day, we hear). They are also hoping ongoing medical studies showing the benefits of the Snoo will lead to government and insurance company approval of the Snoo as a medical device. We should also note that some corporations are now making the Snoo available to employees.
Best Travel Bassinet. Got a road trip ahead? Here’s a solution for hotel rooms. The BRICA Fold N’ Go travel bassinet is a decent buy at $35—it features a firm mattress with fitted sheet and mesh panels. As the name implies, it folds compact for travel.
FYI: Most bassinets work up to about five months of age, but the smaller BRICA and can only be used for babies who are under three months of age and 15 pounds. FYI: BRICA is part of the Munchkin baby gear brand.
Why Trust Us
We’ve been rating and reviewing bassinets and other newborn sleep products since 1994. In addition to hands on inspections, we have also visited manufacturer facilities and met with safety regulators—and when we travel, we pay our all of our own expenses. We also evaluate consumer reviews posted on sites like Amazon, as well as our own message boards.
Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!
How we picked a winner
We evaluate bassinets with in-depth inspections, checking models for overall quality and durability. We also gather significant reader feedback (our book, Baby Bargains has over 1 million copies in print). Besides interviewing parents, we also regularly talk with retailers of nursery furniture to see which brands are most trustworthy and other key quality metrics.
The reliability of bassinet manufacturers is another key factor—we meet with key company executives at least once a year. Since we’ve been doing this since 1994, we have developed detailed profiles of major crib brands that help guide our recommendations. See below for links.
7 Things No One Tells You About Buying A Bassinet!
1. No matter where you put your baby down for a nap or overnight, focus on the four basic safety rules for safe sleep:
- Do not use any soft bedding in the crib/bassinet/cradle/Moses basket.
- Place baby to sleep on her back.
- Keep the room temperature in baby’s room at about 68° F.
- Don’t overdress your baby. A light blanket sleeper is all you need.
2. Many stroller manufacturers sell bassinets as accessories.
If allowed by a stroller’s maker, you can use these detachable stroller bassinets as free standing bassinets in your home, not just on your stroller. You’ll find manufacturers like UPPAbaby, Peg Perego, and Britax enable you to use their stroller bassinet as a stand-alone sleep space at home. Stroller bassinets typically cost around $200 to $250, about the same as a free standing bassinet but with the added feature of attaching to your stroller too.
3. Cradles are another option for newborn sleep.
If the idea of a plastic bassinet doesn’t appeal to you, consider a cradle. Unlike bassinets, cradles are typically made of wood and can be rocked. Prices range from $100 to $250 or more. If you plan on having more than one child, a cradle is a very sturdy option. You can also create a family heirloom with a cradle by passing it along to others in your family. Typically a cradle comes with a mattress pad, although replacement pads are available in a variety of sizes to fit different cradles.
4. Moses baskets can only be used for a short time.
Moses baskets are woven baskets with liners and carry handles. You can put your newborn in a Moses basket for naps, and move your baby around the house without disturbing her. Unfortunately, these baskets are useful for only a few weeks before they reach their maximum weight limit. If you get one for a gift, it might be useful, but it probably doesn’t make sense to buy one on on your own. They typically cost around $50.
5. Play yards now come with bassinet attachments.
If you’re going to buy a play yard anyway, consider buying a version with a bassinet attachment. You can find our top picks for play yards here.
6. Mini cribs are yet another option for newborn sleep and can be repurposed at Grandma’s house.
Mini cribs are sized similarly to a cradle at about 38″ long by 24″ wide. For comparison, a full size crib is about 52″ long and 28″ wide. Mini cribs have to adhere to similarly stringent safety standards as full size cribs, so they are quite safe.
The disadvantage of mini cribs? Babies often outgrow them LONG before they are old enough to go into a toddler or big kid bed—that means you’ll have to then use a full-size crib.
Some mini crib manufacturers note their mini cribs can’t be used “when a child begins to climb.” Well, a typical child will hit that milestone around six to ten months, when they can pull themselves up to a standing position. A mini crib has lower rails then a standard size crib—and that makes climbing out easy for infants under a year old . . . which of course is dangerous.
The take-home message: a mini crib does NOT replace the need for a full-size crib. A mini-crib replaces a bassinet.
7. In the end, you can just use a full size crib from birth.
That’s right. After all our prattling on above, you really don’t have to purchase a bassinet, cradle, mini crib or Moses basket. A full size crib will do the trick . . . and save you some money!
But . . . what if you don’t have room for a full-size crib in your bedroom? And you want your baby to room in to make sure breastfeeding is established during those first weeks? That’s where the bassinet comes in!
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