First-time parents typically want their newborn to be with them all the time, especially at night. Many choose to share their bed because they think it is where the baby should be. However, some parents think that this is an unsafe practice.
Bed-sharing, room-sharing, and co-sleeping
Sleeping with a newborn has different terms. Some people interchange their use, but they have differences.
- Co-sleeping. The parent and child sleep in close physical or social contact, meaning the parent and child can tell that the other is close by.
- Room-sharing. The parents have a bassinet, portable crib, or a full-sized crib in the room close to their bed. Some parents attach a bedside sleeper to one side of their bed.
- Bed-sharing. The parents and infant sleep together in a bed. The practice raises concerns because it heightens the risk of deaths, including SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Co-sleeping and room-sharing are options that many parents prefer. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that newborns stay in the room with their parents for the first six months or up to 12 months to lower the risk of SIDS. Using a bassinet is one of the easiest ways to keep their baby close, ensuring they are safe and comfortable. Moreover, some parents choose any of the above practices because their infant does not sleep well.
Choosing a bassinet
The market has several types of bassinets. However, according to consumer reports, parents should choose a bassinet that carries a Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association certification sticker. This is the assurance that you are buying high-quality and safe products for babies.
Features to consider to lull your baby to sleep
When choosing the best bassinet for baby who doesn’t sleep good, you should consider several features, including rocking motion, waterproof mattress, 360-swivel feature, and adjustable height.
- Rocking bassinet. This is a portable and folding bassinet that has steady and rocking modes. Choose the model with mesh sides for visibility and good air circulation. Ensure that the bassinet has a soft padding. Check that its rocking motion is moderate to lull the baby to sleep gently.
- Built-in music. Some babies sleep better when they hear soft music. You can find a bassinet with a built-in music feature. Check the type of music the bassinet contains and if its volume control works.
Aside from these features, you should follow these recommendations to give your baby a safe sleep environment.
- Put the baby on their back every time they sleep.
- Use a firm, flat mattress with a snug cover.
- Do not put baby toys, pillows, blankets, and other items in the bassinet.
- Dress your baby according to the temperature in the room to avoid overheating.
- Offer a pacifier when your baby is about to sleep, but do not put it back into the baby’s mouth if it falls out to avoid waking the baby.
When you shop for a bassinet, choose one with a firm mattress, and get sheets made for the bassinet. Resist the temptation to personalize the bassinet thinking that it would look better. Newborns will not appreciate the decoration. A bare bassinet is the best for them, but one with a gentle rocking motion and soothing music will help make your baby sleep better and longer.