Looking for something other than a crib in which to lay your babe to rest? Whether you’re interested in co-sleepers, motion beds, moses baskets, hammocks, bassinets or cradles, there are several great options for parents who are seeking alternative sleep solutions.
Note that with all of these options, it’s time to move your baby into a crib when he can sit up or becomes mobile. But for those first few months of your infant’s life, any of these baby-sized beds would make a lovely asset.
Small, womb-like sleep spaces are known to reduce SIDS and calm restless and colicky infants—you may even find that they allow you to get a little more shut-eye, too. Having a portable sleeper near your bed makes nighttime feedings much less of a hassle. They are also great for parents who are frequent travelers or are short on living space. Whether your motivation to buy an infant-sized bed is for luxury or efficiency, finding the best unit for your lifestyle and your baby’s needs is a necessity. We’re here to help!
A bassinet can be frilly and romantic or sleek and modern, but whatever your style, be sure you pick a durable unit with a wide base; a rickety bassinet is a big no-no. Many come with wheels, which can be exceptionally convenient if you need to move your sleeping baby across the room, but you’ll want to make sure that any rolling mechanisms have a working lock position. Also, check the weight limit on your bassinet—some only allow babies 10 pounds and under, meaning you’ll be making the switch to a crib just a few short weeks after your return from the hospital. Others have a little more longevity and multiple uses. A bassinet that can also be used as a play yard or changing table will give you more bang for your buck as it will allow you use it through your baby’s first year.
Our pick: This nifty model also includes a moses basket and a changing table, along with several convenient features to keep you neat and organized.
Kolcraft $200 at albeebaby.com
If you want your baby to be as close to you as possible while still ensuring his safety, then a co-sleeper is for you. A co-sleeper gets your babe ready for sleeping in a crib, while providing him (and his parents) with a sense of comfort for the first few months of life. Being so close to mom also makes feeding time a breeze—neither one of you will have to leave the warmth of your bed. There are two kinds of co-sleepers, those that attach to the side of the bed and those that are placed into the bed, and they’re both equally convenient and safe.
Our pick: This attachable sleeper converts to a playpen downthe road. And for you mamas who are seeing double—it’s also large enough to fit twins!
Arm’s Reach $210 at armsreach.com
If you’re a mom who’s always on the go, a moses basket is a great addition to your baby gear repertoire. They’re light and portable, and are nice space-saving sleep units for your infant. Once your little one has graduated to a crib, they become excellent on-the-go toy carriers, nursing baskets or doll beds. Make sure you don’t pick your basket based solely on looks, though—it should be fitted with a snug mattress and a strong bottom. Also check the reeds to see that they’re woven tightly and aren’t brittle or broken—you don’t want them to scratch or poke your baby.
Our pick: Safe and beautiful—the perfect place for your kiddo to catnap.
Serena & Lily $289 at poshtots.com
Cradles have many of the same rules as bassinets: choose a unit with a solid foundation and excellent craftsmanship. A rocking bed that can be tipped or pushed always poses problems, so if you have pets or other curious kiddos running about, a cradle may not be the best sleep solution for your family. If you do decide on a cradle, make sure the rockers are wide or opt for a stationary unit that glides on its base. Also, try to avoid buying a piece with a hood that doesn’t fold or come off—it will make getting your baby in and out of such a small space without hitting her head extremely difficult. You’ll probably have to retire the cradle when your baby reaches 15-20 pounds.
Our pick: This cradle is a stable solution for parents seeking a pretty, wallet-friendly place for their baby to snooze.
Angel Line $105 at ababy.com
An age-old solution for getting fussy babies to sleep, hammocks are now being welcomed into modern nurseries everywhere. As close to the womb as your baby will ever be post-birth, hammocks are helpful for babies with colic or acid reflux, and they’re also good for families who travel often or have limited space arrangements. When picking the perfect hammock, look at the stand to ensure its sturdiness and also check that the fabric is light and breathable. Generally they’ll last until your babe nears the 20-pound mark.
Our pick: Trendy and compact, the Hushamok was made for hip parents on the move.
Hushamok Dream $409 at babybungalow.com