Bassinets, some fancier than others, are a mainstay in nurseries the world over. In Finland, new moms are famously given a recycled cardboard box that serves as a bassinet. Granted, those aren’t recommended in this country, because they’re not regulated. And now, American parents who covet a less-basic infant sleeper, one with Tesla-like features, can choose between two new bedside bassinets promising the holy grail of parenthood: A good night of sleep.
In the good old days, a bedside bassinet used to just mean a basic sleeping spot that would fit nicely in the master bedroom and keep your baby close by. Then the insanely fancy Snoo roared into town. For the mind-boggling price of $1,295 (you read that right), exhausted parents (by definition all new parents) could get a smartphone-controlled bassinet that would, ideally, soothe baby back to sleep, even choosing the white-noise sound and motion for you. But this is a piece of baby gear that can only be used until around six months of age (or 25 pounds), and even the Snoo’s rental option of $112 per month can feel prohibitive.
All snark aside, regardless of how high-end you want to go, a portable bassinet or play yard is a good thing to have, since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies ideally room-share with their parents until age one, or at least six months.
Now, two other popular baby-gear brands—4Moms, known for their gently undulating infant swings, and Halo, maker of those adorable sleep sacks—have come out with their own new bedside bassinets. Both cost less than $350, so you can put some extra cash towards your baby’s college fund. Here’s a look at how they measure up.
This smartphone-controlled bedside bassinet costs $329, has five distinctive motions and will be available in early February 2020. There’s a timer on it as well as five elliptical-like motions: Car ride, rock-a-bye, free swing, kangaroo and wave. Most are designed to mimic a parent’s natural movements.
Parents can choose among five speeds and there’s also a vibrating option. The four white-noise sound choices include fan, rain, ocean and “shhh.” Getting. Tired. Already. It’s Bluetooth-enabled and can be controlled either from your smartphone or the touchscreen on the bassinet. You can mix and match the movements, speeds and sounds to figure out your baby’s perfect soothing formula, which may change over time. (Think of it as mixing a cocktail—minus the booze.)
It has mesh sides to allow air to circulate and a firm surface (both of these are in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for a safe sleeping spot that may help protect against SIDS). The mattress is water-resistant and a machine-washable sheet is included. The height is adjustable, and a lower storage basket can be purchased separately. The bassinet can be used from birth until baby is 25 pounds or can push up on hands and knees.
Using this bassinet is a bit like co-sleeping, but with the baby in his own safe space. It’s not as high-tech as the 4Moms or the Snoo, but its flexible configuration may win you over.
It comes with a newborn insert (for babies up to 15 pounds) that provides a more cozy fit. It has a handy 360-degree swivel, so it’s easy to get out of bed. The side wall lowers, so you can feed or soothe baby from the comfort of bed—you’ll especially appreciate this if you’re breastfeeding, recovering from a Caesarean birth or both. The small footprint—with two legs that can tuck below most bed frames, allowing the bassinet to overlap the mattress—is ideal for tight spaces. And the entire base can be folded and stored under most beds when you’re not using it.
There are two vibrating speeds and two amber nightlights (one aimed at the floor, for midnight diaper changes), as well as a timer and four soothing sounds (a mix of nature, womb-like and music). The bassinet comes off and can be used on or off its base, so you can take it with you from room to room during the day.
Like the 4Moms and the Snoo, the Halo Bassinest has mesh sides that allow air to circulate, and the sleeping surface is firm. The mattress is waterproof and a machine-washable sheet is included. The height is adjustable, and the bassinet comes with a removable storage caddy. The bassinet can be used from birth until baby is 20 pounds (around five months), can roll over or has the ability to push up on hands and knees.
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