I remember going to register, with my extremely curated and researched list of products I “had to have”. Tyler and I completed our long afternoon creating the “perfect” registry, I went home that night to peruse it again and realized I did not register for a bassinet or place for my little newborn to sleep. Sure I had a crib but had all along intended for Eloise to sleep in our room for at least the first few months (I would have had her stay forever). I buried myself in much more research to find the perfect solution and after having 2 newborns, here’s some of the best newborn sleeping options out there. What is your favorite newborn sleeping option?
A MUST READ for all first time parents are the guidelines for infant sleep safety by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is actually a great read for experienced parents, too.
1. Fisher-Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper or similar (+/- $60, use: up to 25 pounds or until your baby can roll over/sit up) : Before we dive into this one, a disclaimer, you may want to ask your Pediatrician about this as a bassinet before relying solely on it for nighttime sleep. We’ve seen a few articles and forums suggesting this is not the best newborn sleep option because it doesn’t meet all of the guidelines listed above. We did however use this at certain points for nighttime sleep for both our daughters and our Pediatrician had no issue with us doing so – but always ask your own doctor. From a real moms perspective, my advice would be to use this for as little of time as possible. The RNP is at an incline which is great for babies with any sort of reflux but this incline can make the transition to a firm, flat sleeping surface an issue down the road. Margaux had mild reflux and slept in the RNP for about 2 weeks before we transitioned over to the Co-Sleeper Mini. Bottom line here is, you have to do what is best for you and your baby based on your decisions and the advice of your Pediatrician. The RNP folds flat very easily and is lightweight, making it super portable from room to room or house to house. See our editor Mallory’s, glowing review, here.
Likes: incline great for babies with reflux, cozy environment favored by newborns to larger mattresses of other bassinet options, portable, budget friendly, vibrating and rocking options
Dislikes: incline can make transition to crib tough, does not meet all the requirements for safe infant sleep as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians , full requirements, here
2. Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Mini (+/- $150, use: approximately 5 months or when your child pushes up to hands & knees): I used this with both of my girls and loved it. I have written about it many, many times (most recently, here) and for good reason. The Co-Sleeper attaches firmly to your mattress, creating an extension of your bed, putting your baby at eye level while in their own safe, environment. Most likely, you’ll need to purchase the Leg Extension Kit to make it level with your bed. The Co-Sleeper Mini can also be used as a stand alone bassinet (the side would not be lowered like in co-sleeper mode).
Likes: puts the baby at eye level in their own firm flat mattress makes crib transition easy, small footprint, great for c-section moms as lifting your baby is minimal due to height of co-sleeper, mesh sides for good air circulation
Dislikes: pain to set up, single use product that your little one will outgrow by +/-5 months depending on size and developmental milestones, changing sheets is cumbersome
3. HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Bassinet (+/-$215 – $250, use: 5 months or up to 20 pounds, max weight is 30 pounds): The newest newborn sleeping option to hit the market and it combines a lot of the features I love about the co-sleeper but with a few more features. The bassinet swivel is on an adjustable pedestal allowing you to use it up to your bed while still creating that safe environment our little one’s need. The sidewall of the Bassinet Swivel lowers allowing for easy in/out. The Bassinet Swivel “Premiere Series” also has soothing vibrations, music sounds, a nursing timer and a soft night light for diaper changes/middle of the night activities. Parents rave about the Bassinet Swivel’s features and the overall sturdy feel of it.
Likes: swivel feature, collapsable side for easy in/out, mesh sides for air circulation, adjustable height next to bed
Dislikes: single use product (up to 20 pounds), base has large footprint
4. 4Moms Breeze (+/-$299, playard use up to 35″/35 pounds): The Breeze is one of our all around favorite baby products but it is also a great newborn sleeping option using the bassinet topper. The best part about this option is that is a multifunctional product that will grow with your child. You can use it as a traditional playard, travel crib well through the toddler years. While this doesn’t attach to your bed it can still be very close although, for c-section moms it may not have the same benefits as the two previously mentioned. But really, there is no easier baby product to assemble!
Likes: multifunctional product that will grow with your child, easy set up, sturdy, mesh sides, portable
Dislikes: larger footprint than some bassinets, not attached to the bed (downside for c-section moms)
5. Mini cribs (Bloom Alma, pictured: +/=$335, use: +/-12 months). A mini crib is a great in between between the more traditional bassinet/co-sleepers and a full size crib. Our editor Lisa, loved her Bloom Alma Mini crib. While there are quite a few other models out there, the Bloom is collapsable making it super easy to store when you no longer need it. Most come with lockable wheels/casters and are designed to fit through standard door ways, making it easy to move around the house for use throughout the day and night.
Likes: firm, flat sleeping surface from day one, portable, easy set up
Dislikes: expensive, useful life about 12 months but in all reality you’d probably transfer to full size before that point.
6. Babybjorn Cradle (+/-235, use: 6 months / 18 pounds): This beautiful cradle is a great newborn sleeping option. It has all around mesh sides, is lightweight (only 13 pounds). Our editor, Hannah calls it one of her favorite baby products, you can see her full review, here.
Likes: mesh sides, body responsive movement for gentle rocking, easy to assemble
Dislikes: expensive, use limits (max weight 18 pounds) many parents complain of short mattress = quick outgrow
Cribs. You may be thinking, do I really need something separate from a traditional crib for my newborn to sleep in? Then answer is NO. While we are big proponents of having your little one sleep in your room, in fact, the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrom (SIDS) is said to be reduced when the baby sleeps in the same room as the mother, having your newborn sleep in a crib is totally acceptable. If you go this route, consider one on wheels or casters (like this one we used for our daughter Margaux, after her time in the co-sleeper). You will have to disassemble to eventually get it in your little one’s own room but it can be a worthy savings in purchasing another piece of gear.
Likes: cost effective, saves you having to buy another piece of gear, firm, flat sleeping surface
Dislikes: very large footprint, not portable, not able to have it as close to the bed as some other options
These are just a few of the plethora of options available to you, what is your favorite newborn sleeping option?