Age Old Questions for New Moms: Should my Newborn sleep in a crib or bassinet? Where should it be located?

I remember just before my daughter was born, I struggled with the question should she sleep in a crib or bassinet/cradle when I brought her home? Guess what? That is still the same question most new parents struggle with. Everyone has a different opinion. It is a matter of personal preference but from my own personal experience,  I believe the bassinet has some real advantages.

I used a bassinet for my daughter. It was borrowed from my cousin whose child was 18 months older than my daughter and was definitely an unanticipated lifesaver. I could not have imagined having my newborn daughter in the same bed with me and even worse in a different room. I was so grateful to my cousin for this unexpected gift.

That bassinet was a lifesaver. It was small and portable and easily fit into my small to medium sized room. It was most valuable because in the middle of the night there were frequent breast feedings (every 2-3 hours) when baby wakes up hungry and crying it was so easy to roll over, reach into the bassinet, grab her to quickly breast-feed and place her back into the bassinet after she was fed, burped and off to sleep again. Doing this a few times throughout the night can be draining for any new, exhausted mom, especially if you have to walk to another room. I admit, from being so worn out, I did accidentally fall asleep with her in my bed once or twice. This was always my biggest fear, that I would roll over and crush her. Thank goodness this never happened. So for safety reasons, the #1 rule is baby should definitely NOT be sleeping in the bed with mom or mom and dad. That should not be the considering option. They should have their own safe sleeping space. 

So the pertinent questions are: Where does baby sleep in a crib or bassinet and where should it be located in the parent’s room or in the baby’s room initially?

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their parents (although not in the same bed). The reason being is that it is thought to reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Also, Baby being in the same room as Mom makes it easier for breastfeeding moms at night, which is a situation, I can personally attest to.

Babies should sleep on their backs only, without pillows and keeping face and head uncovered to help reduce the risk of SIDS. They should not sleep on their sides or stomach. The safest sleeping place is in parent’s room or adult caregiver for at least the first 3-6 months or longer, (some expert say up to twelve months) in a bassinet/cradle or baby’s own safe sleeping place (crib/mattress).  Initially keeping Baby in your room for the first 3 months may be a comfort zone for most parents and should not disrupt your child learning to sleep throughout the night.

When you do place the baby in their own room, you will want to consider purchasing a monitor that can alert to urgent needs that your baby may have. This will help you feel more comfortable with the changing situation, which has the potential of being a difficult adjustment for you and your baby initially.

No matter what experts all agree that Baby should be in the parent’s room but kept Out of Mom and Dad’s bed and in their own sleeping space. Bassinet or Crib that is still the same age old question. It is a matter of personal preference although a smaller portable bassinet does offer some advantages.

Bassinet or crib what did you use and why?