As a new mother a bassinet is not only aesthetically pleasing choice but it is such a convenient option to keep your newborn safe and close to you while they sleep. With frequent feedings throughout the night interrupting your sleep a bassinet can be an ideal option especially during the postpartum period, when it can be difficult to get up and get your baby. But babies grown quickly. These tips will help you know when is baby too big for bassinet.
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Signs Your Baby is Too big for Bassinet
According to the AAP babies should sleep alone in their own crib, play yard, or bassinet on a firm, flat mattress with a taught sheet in your room for the first 6-12 months. Your sleep surface should meet the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commision and you can check the CPSC website to determine if your specific bassinet is safe.
They do not give specific guidelines about when to transition your child out of a bassinet. It is best to follow the weight and age limit guidelines by the particular manufacturer that has been verified as safe product by the CPSC.
Weight Limits & Developmental Milestones
Each product is different so be sure to check the recommended guidelines for the product that you are using.
If your baby is sitting up, rolling onto their stomach, or getting into a crawling position they should be moved to a safer sleeping option such as crib, play yard, or flat mattress with tight fitting sheet. Infants are at a greater risk of falling out of the bassinet when they are able to roll, pushup, or crawl.
When to Stop Using the Bassinet
Once your baby is meeting either weight or age limits of your manufactured product or your infant is meeting developmental milestones of sitting up, rolling onto their stomach, pulling up, or getting into a crawling position it is time to find an alternative. Below are some of the most common infant bassinets and the recommended guidelines.
What if My Baby isn’t Ready for a Crib?
Is your baby too big for bassinet but not ready for crib? What options do you have? The safest sleep options for your little one are in a crib, bassinet, play yard or flat mattress with a tight fitting sheet.
Montessori Floor Bed
Some following the montessori method choose to baby proof their child’s bedroom and place a mattress on the floor. It may seem a little crazy to allow a 3-6 month old baby sleep on a mattress on the floor with no railings, but this is common place in the montessori community. Maria Montessori the founder of Montessori encouraged the use of floor beds to allow infants independence and ability to build trust in their environment.
This includes pack and plays, baby play yards, and other similar products. Each product is different so always confirm that the manufactured product is one that the CPSC has verified is safe for sleep. Just because you see an item in the store does not mean that it is safe for sleep or your baby. This link goes over the updated federal infant sleep standards as of June 2021.
A crib that follows the appropriate safety guidelines is a very safe place for a child to sleep. If you are experiencing your child resisting their crib it may be due to a few reasons:
- Change is difficult: often when we transition to a crib it is also out of the parent’s room. This is a big adjustment for your child and might take some time to adapt. It may seem like a cold and foreign space. Spend some time in your baby’s new space playing and having fun. This will bring more positive associations to their new space.
- They feel your negative emotions: babies are very perceptive and can tell when you are apprehensive about things. If you are feeling nervous or unsure about moving your little one out of your room they may feel that as well. Consider moving the crib into your room if you aren’t yet ready or try to work through your feelings so it can be a positive experience for all.
- They don’t know how to sleep in a crib: It is much bigger than their bassinet and does not provide that cozy feeling. This can take some time to adjust to. Consider swaddling your baby to help them feel safe and secure. If they are rolling this is not considered a safe option and you may need to consider a sleep sack. Another solution to help your child adjust to sleeping in a crib is to sleep train your infant. Sleep training can help them develop good sleep skills and adjust to their new environment. There are many options to sleep training. I give my full review of the sleep training course I used and the pros and cons of the program.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are no clear age limits for safety as each child grows and develops at varying rates. I believe that is why the AAP doesn’t clearly come out and give a specific age guideline. Each bassinet has different weight limits and size limits and manufacturer guidelines should be followed with each product. Although, if your child is developmentally moving in a way that could cause them to fall out, then it is time to make a change to a different safer sleeping arrangement. These guidelines will give you the confidence to make the right decision for your child and your family.
Jess is a registered nurse with over 6+ years of critical care experience for patients young and old and is the mother of two small children. After having her own children she felt inspired to provide mothers with real actionable guidance and education to make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy and postpartum experience.