Baby Beds—Make A Cozy Nest

Baby beds (bassinets, cradles, and moses baskets) are useful for about the first four months of your baby's life. This baby furniture typically gets a lot of use, because babies sleep so much in the early months.

These small beds are handy because they can be moved from room to room. They can easily be placed right next to the parents' bed in order to make those newborn nights more restful.

The small size of these beds seems to make the newest babies feel more cozy, safe, and secure. Many parents say that this sense of security helps their babies sleep better.

Types Of Baby Beds

  • Moses baskets are the lightest and easiest to carry.
  • Bassinets often have wheels to make moving easier.

  • Baby cradles are usually a bit heavier than the other types, but their rocking motion is exceptionally soothing for newborns.

A bassinet or cradle may include a "hood". This is cloth strung on a retractable frame in order to shield baby's face from sunshine or indoor lights. If you consider a bed with a hood, make sure the hood is easy to fold out of the way when you want to lay the baby down.

Safety Considerations

When selecting and setting up your cradle, bassinet, or moses basket:

  • Make sure the baby bed is sturdy and not easy to tip over.
  • If the bed has spindles or slats, the space between them should be no more than 2 and 3/8 inches. (Baby can become entangled in slats which are further apart.)
  • There should be no rough patches or edges on the inside of the bed where the baby will sleep.
  • The mattress should fit snugly. (Check for less than two adult finger-widths of space between the mattress and the sides of the bed).
  • If the bed has wheels, the wheels should have locks. Wheels should be kept locked at all times, except when you're actually moving the bed.
  • If the bed can fold up, make sure that the leg lock mechanisms are secure. Keep them fastened at all times when the bed is set up.

Don't use any soft bedding where your baby is sleeping. Stick to a cotton sheet covering a firm mattress. Pillows or blankets are suffocation risks.

Here are the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission regarding the safest baby bedding:

CPSC Guidelines for Baby Beds Safety

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Moses Baskets ...
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