When you first bring home your new baby, getting them to sleep a few hours at a stretch each night feels like climbing Everest. The bleary-eyed days as a new parent can lead to some epic sleep deprivation, and finding ways to alleviate that challenge even a little bit can be a big win.
The Best Bedside Cribs
Making sure you have a safe sleeping environment for your baby is the best way to keep them healthy. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that your baby should sleep in your bedroom for at least the first 6 months on a firm, flat surface (not in your bed). The bassinet or crib should only be outfitted with a fitted sheet. Recently, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) released new guidelines banning all in-bed co-sleepers, incline sleepers, and infant bassinets that are not freestanding with a base. These types of sleepers have led to the deaths of over 90 babies, and that is 90 too many.
The ban came after the board voted 3-1 to set new rules and guidelines to regulate products designed for infant sleep — previously, this was an unregulated category. The rules now state that all products designated for infant sleeping cannot be set to incline more than 10 degrees, and they must adhere to the standards set forth by the CPSC for other child and toddler sleep products, like bassinets, bedside sleepers, play yards, and cribs. In short, that means, nothing elevated, nothing that goes in the bed, nothing that doesn’t have breathable sides or slats, and nothing without a base.
The bedside sleepers and bassinets on this list all fit within the CPSC rules, are highly rated, and most importantly — they’re safe. Plus, they’re easy to figure out at zero dark thirty whenever your baby wakes you up with a diaper blowout and you have to change the linens in the dark. Because honestly, it’s going to happen several times.
Best on Space
The Halo BassiNest is a dream of a bedside crib. While it can be a pain in the butt if you accidentally hip check it (I have the bruises for proof), what piece of furniture isn’t? What I love about this bedside sleeper is how adjustable it is. Whether you’re in a low-to-the-ground platform bed, or a princess-style canopy, you can adjust this crib to be at the perfect height for your convenience.
It’s fairly compact at 22×34 inches, with legs that tuck under the bed, and it only requires 32 inches of clearance from the wall, so if you’re in a tight space, you can still keep your baby close. This bassinet is also feature-heavy, having everything from the capability of playing babbling brook white noise to sending soft, gentle vibrations through the sleeper to hopefully lull your child to sleep.
If your baby starts to pull themselves up and roll over a little earlier than you expected, you’ll be glad you have a deep bassinet like this one from Maxi-Cosi. Not only is it one of the chicest bedside sleepers you’ll ever come across, but it’s also extremely well-built, very breathable, and easy to put together. No, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the BassiNest, but what it does have is an extended-use period, thanks to the fact that it is a full arm deep. Having seen this one myself, I can tell you, this added depth feels so nice and so secure.
This does mean that you may have to stand up to get to your baby, but thanks to the mesh sides, you don’t have to stand up to check on them, and at some point, you’ll wake up and they’ll be staring right at you, causing you to yelp. Again, these things just happen.
If this cicada year has taught us anything, it’s that bugs can and will get everywhere. (We’re going to have nightmares for the next 17 years, we’re sure of it.) With this affordable, portable bassinet that works as well outside as it does in your bedroom, mosquitos and other flying bugs are the least of your concern. That’s because it’s equipped with a mesh canopy that covers the entire exposed area, keeping your baby free of pesky critters.
This sleeper is approximately the same size as the Halo, but it has the added benefit of having a small shelf below the sleeping area for those things you need in a hurry, like diapers, wipes, nursing pads, and instant coffee.
Not sure whether you need a bedside sleeper, bassinet, or crib? How about all three, just to make it easier! This multiuse model also gives you valuable storage below and comes with its own travel bag. It’s a bit longer, at nearly 40 inches across, but it’ll be worth it when you realize that extra inch or two makes converting it for travel that much easier.
It has a peekaboo flap that folds down for easy access to your baby when it’s in bedside sleeper mode, and because of its three-position adjustability, that bed could be a low sofa if you need it to be. The whole thing weighs under 30 pounds, so carting it around the house is pretty easy, thankfully, because showers may be needed occasionally.
Best for Twins
This is really the only twin sleeper on the market, but Delta somehow managed to make it affordable and functional. It’s as wide as you’d expect, so tight spaces may be a problem, but that’s also the genius of it.
It’s big enough for two newborns to sleep comfortably and safely. The mesh sides are breathable, and the construction is every bit as durable as you’d expect from the company that has specialized in high-quality affordable baby furniture for over 50 years.
This is the bassinet I used with both of my kids. I live in New York City, and I needed it to do double duty, being both a playard and a bassinet. I didn’t have space for both, and this classic from Graco does just that. The top piece is a bassinet that is the full size of the playard, and it pulls out easily to convert to a standard Pack and Play. I ‘m not going to lie, It’s not the easiest to collapse and put into in its storage bag, but I did just that several times per week to go to the park or attend T-ball games. The wheels are sturdy and durable, able to trek across the uneven ground of the park, and with all the available accessories like mosquito netting and sheets designed just for the Pack and Play, it’s truly an economical, convenient option.
It’s durable, washable, and you’ll get tons of use out of it. What more could you ask for?
If you want your baby close by, even after they figure out how to sit up, then you need a seriously deep bassinet. This is it. You can adjust this one from a newborn-appropriate depth to that of a traditional crib, and it’ll keep the same 27×41 inch footprint.
It’s designed to keep your baby safe and close the entire first year of their life. And, if your baby is anything like mine, toward the end of that, they will figure out how to hoist themselves over the edge and onto your bed to get access to snacktime all on their own.