16 answers

Cradle, Bassinet or Co-Sleeper? Which Is Best for My Newborn?

I am currently 30 weeks pregnant and am at the final stages of selecting everything for my nursery/ registry. I am planning to breastfeed and want my daughter to sleep in our room for the first few months. I like the look of a cradle best but want to get which ever is most practical. Any advice on a cradles vs. bassinets and co-sleepers. thank you!

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After my C section, I couldn't climb in and out of bed. So, I slept on the couch... keeping my baby girl next to me in a bassinet that rocks. It was also nice because my hubby had to work, so we weren't keeping him up all night. we took shifts.

Hi D.! It really depends on what you're looking for. I breastfed my son for a year and intended to keep him in my room for the first few months as well. I got a bassinet. He didn't last one night in that thing. I don't know what it was, but he just didn't like it so he has been in his crib ever since! I use a pack and play for travel. I am already planning for the next one even though I'm not pregnant! I like the idea of the co-sleeper and have heard wonderful things about it. If it is style you are going for and don't mind the expense the Cariboo Bassinet is beautiful and small. It also folds up for ease of traveling and Petunia Pickle Bottom makes a cover for this bassinet which is beautiful. This is not a cheap option, but it's pretty! There is a Petunia Pickle Bottom outlet...if you're interested www.petuniaoutlet.com. All in all though my bassinet just took up space.

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Hi D.! Fist of all, how lucky is your baby to have a mommy who is already planning for the best sleeping arrangements for her?! my youngest is turning 1 on December 25th. We started out using a bassinet with her next to our bed. This Worked out great for breastfeeding at night! When she got too big for it (around 4 months), we transitioned her into our bed. This is what works best for us and it is such a joy to have her snuggled close to me all night long. She's so sweet! I did the same thing with my oldest (she's now almost 4). We co-slept with her as a baby and then at around 24 months, we transitioned her to her toddler bed- without any sleep issues at all! Now, there are MANY opinions on this topic, as I am sure you will see, but you'll have to decide what workes best for your family. I use what Dr William Sears calls,"Attachment Parenting" and you can read all about co-sleeping, parenting, and many other topics at his website- WWW.askdrsears.com. The site is a wonderful resource! He and his son are both pediatricians and he does an excellent job explaining his views and suggestions for everything baby (he has LOTS of research to support his parenting theories too!) I am very bonded to both my girls. Best of all, I have absolutely NO REGRETS that I ever let either one "cry-it-out". I wanted to show my baby that I am there for her and she knows can trust me to respond, day or night, when she needs me.
She cries very little, by the way, because she is so happy and secure! Co-sleeping will also makes night feedings much easier, since you plan to breastfeed (good for you for giving your daughter such a wonderful gift!) Anyway, much luck to you and I hope you listen to your "mommy instinct" when it comes time to decide what sleeping situation will be best for your little girl. Really, you are the only one with the "right" answer! What works for one may not be the right solution for you, so do what works best for you and your baby and that will be best of all.
Warmly, A.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi I prefer the cradle until 3 months.It is good to have your baby close to you at nights and the cradle provides that.my baby is three months and i have just moved her to the crib.crib during the day and cradle at nights.
D.

D.,

I have three boys, with all three boys I used the pack and play system with the bassinet attachment. It was much easier. Once the bassinet portion was no longer needed I packed it away and just used the play yard part for the boys to sleep and play in. No sense in spending money on 2 seperate items when you could purchase one that will pull double duty. There are some models that have fold down sides that pull up right next to the bed so the baby is much closer, just do your homework.

Good luck.

S.
34 year old SAHM of 3 boys

They all basically do the same thing. I had a bassinet for my first a cradle for my second. The cradle was definitley MUCH prettier. Both worked good for me.

What I think is more important is what to use inside the cradle. I think an "incline" is a must. This is what I used for both my kids: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2267019

I love it. It really gave me peace of mind. It helps keep them elevated which is supposed to be good and she stays in place. My 5 month old goes right to sleep when I put her on it. I lay her on her side and she stretched her arm out over one of the supports, so cute. My son used it for a long time until he started moving too much.

If you would like me to send you a picture of her on it send me your e-mail address and I'll e-mail you a few. Someone else on here asked about the incline once and I sent some to her, she decided she wanted it.

But, as with most things tody, almost all of us did not have any of these things when we were babies. So if you don't get it, she will be just fine too.

Anyway, good luck.

First of all, CONGRATS! We had to work at getting PG too and now our son is 9 months old and we're totally in love with him! I had two friends pregnant and the same time I was and two of us use the co-sleeper. We SWEAR by it, it's go great to have the baby at arms' reach for those night time feedings but also to comfort yourself as a first time parent...all you have to do is open your eyes and see your daughter is ok and comfortable and then go back to sleep. I can't tell you how many times my husband and I woke up just to make sure he was breathing. Now I have two more friends that are PG and both of them are getting co-sleepers too. Hope this helps!

for both my babies I used the bassinet part of the graco pack n' play- I found the pack n' play with a full size bassinet (they come w/ different size bassinets- you have to look for the full size one)
this was great bcse then after 3 months of using it in my room, we have a pack n' play :-)

I personally like the bassinet best because it's more portable. You can roll it around in case baby is taking a nap and you want to go into another room. We have a two story so I actually leave mine downstairs and while baby is sleeping I can do dishes, check email, etc. I have a monitor, but I guess for me as a new mommy I just prefer to be close by. Also, most of them are pretty portable/compactable so if you do any traveling you can easily bring it along and not worry where you're baby will sleep on vacation. I'm also breastfeeding and at nighttime we have baby sleeping in a crib in our room and I just pick baby up and feed him then put him back. I know there are a lot of mixed opinions on this, but I find that it's been important for my husband and I to have that alone time right before bed to cuddle and talk so we prefer for the baby to sleep in a separate space..

Hi D., You and your hubby should decide if baby in bed is an option or not. This either opens or limits your choices; and you may think one thing, and change your mind after the first few weeks. :-)I used a cradle, a bassinet, a crib, a cosleeper, and a pack and play with both my girls :-). I tried everything! I was most pleased with a bassinet and cosleeping. Cradles are too low to the ground for my taste with middle of the night feedings, and in the event a c-section should occur, impossible! I really liked the 5 - in 1 Carry Me Near bassinet system. It can vibrate, rock or lock and has a changing station with belt underneath. You can also carry sleeping baby in the basket-like bassinet with you to another room etc. Anyway, the only thing I had left was to offer that depending on the room you have, a cosleeper is very convenient and safe, but may not work in the space you have. I used the cosleeper usually late in the night and early morning perfect for breast feeding, but put baby to sleep in the bassinet at bed time and nap time in the first few months. If you are not planning on breast feeding, most pediatricians recommend baby be 8ft from you at night time sleeping beacuse they smell mom's milk. :-)Good luck, and remember, there is no right or wrong answer with this kind of stuff. Try anything once, and if it doesn't work, move on. God Bless!

I have a 2 month old daughter and was also concerned about where she should sleep. My husband did not want her in the bed with us and I agreed- I did not want to deal with having to get her out of the bed at some point. I bought an Amby Baby and love it! It is in our room, so I can hear her and feed her when she wakes in the night. I do have to get up and sit in our glider bc if I feed her while sitting in our bed, she will not go back in her bed.
I love the Amby Baby! It is basically a baby hammock, so it keeps her swaddled and enclosed, slightly upright (so if she spits up), and sways when she moves or we push it when she is cranky. It is also very easy to take apart and put in the car (which is great even for one night away). The instructions say you have to hand wash the linens- dont worry. I simply wash them on cold, delicate and do not put them in the dryer. I hightly recommend the this for sleeping. Check out Ambybaby.com.

We used a co-sleeper, the small kind that you put right in the bed with you. It's like a small 3-sided box with a little mattress in it. It folds up and hooks with velcro so you can take it places easily. She sleeps right in between my husband and I but is protected by the hard walls on the co-sleeper. I like this for a few reasons: It's less expensive than the other options, and we were able to move the co-sleeper around the house with us during those first few weeks when she slept all day. We also took it on a recent trip to see relatives and didn't have to worry about where she would sleep, since her bed came with us!

We also like it because it allows for a lot of nighttime bonding. My husband works a lot and loves to be able to come to bed and watch her sleep and cuddle a little bit. It's great for breastfeeding too because after we mastered the side-lying hold I could just lie her next to me and nurse in the bed, so I got more sleep than getting up. (One thing I learned though is that I would fall asleep while nursing and wake up an hour later to find her still chomping on my breast - ouch! I now set an alarm clock that I keep in bed with us so it wakes me up if I fall asleep.

The downside of the co-sleeper is that you are so close to them that they (at least mine) want to eat a lot more often. She woke up every 2 to 3 hours for the first three months. I eventually decided it wasn't a sustainable situation and moved her to her own crib where she doesn't wake up as much. That said, I found the co-sleeper to be a great way to start out.

Best of luck and congratulations on your baby! She will change your life in so many wonderful ways.

Co-Sleeper all the way. I used the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper. It attaches to the side of your bed and it level with the bed. It is essentially a 3 sided crib. It can also be 4 sided if you would like. No worries of rolling over on the baby because she is in her own space but you are able to get her without getting out of bed. I breastfed and my daughter did not wake up anymore than 3-4 hours even with the scent of my milk very close. I had a C-Section and let me tell you this was the best purchase of all my baby purchases. Good Luck!

I used the pack in play for both of my boys. It seemed to work out perfect for us in our room. You can set it up to make it a changing station too. All in one. I enjoyed using it. J. D

After my C section, I couldn't climb in and out of bed. So, I slept on the couch... keeping my baby girl next to me in a bassinet that rocks. It was also nice because my hubby had to work, so we weren't keeping him up all night. we took shifts.

Hi D.! It really depends on what you're looking for. I breastfed my son for a year and intended to keep him in my room for the first few months as well. I got a bassinet. He didn't last one night in that thing. I don't know what it was, but he just didn't like it so he has been in his crib ever since! I use a pack and play for travel. I am already planning for the next one even though I'm not pregnant! I like the idea of the co-sleeper and have heard wonderful things about it. If it is style you are going for and don't mind the expense the Cariboo Bassinet is beautiful and small. It also folds up for ease of traveling and Petunia Pickle Bottom makes a cover for this bassinet which is beautiful. This is not a cheap option, but it's pretty! There is a Petunia Pickle Bottom outlet...if you're interested www.petuniaoutlet.com. All in all though my bassinet just took up space.

Congrats on your new addition! You know I think it is something you have to research and think about in your life situation. I have cats, so I used the crib, it was not far from the bed and I didn't fear rolling on her or she smother in the hard walls of the co-sleeper. You think you will never do that, and then it happens. My mom was a peds nurse and told me some very sad stories about this.

I used the crib because I had a tent on it. The cats would try to jump on the crib and bounce off of it. It's kind of comical to watch. But this is up to you. Sure its a pain to get up and drag yourself over the the crib, but you do it. It is just natural, something that every mother knows she has to do. I plan on doing it with our next child, who is due in June. Good Luck!
Jen

I went thru all of this. We wanted something that would not take up a lot of room and be useful for a long time. We ended up getting a crib that fits in our room. But due to the night time nursing we ended up co-sleeping (so much easier for me). My little one just sleeps in bed with us and we have a pretty crib to throw his clothes in after the laundry is done to be put away.. LOL

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