When Is A Baby Too Big For A Bassinet?
A bassinet is a handy little bed that parents of newborns will probably be well familiar with.
Whether it was given to you as a gift or bought by yourself, bought from a store, or even made by your or a friend’s hands. A bassinet is the perfect little bed for your newborn infant in these crucial stages of their life.
However, bassinets aren’t exactly the biggest of beds. It won’t be long before they start to grow up a little, and get too big for your bassinet.
Now, you don’t want to be rushing to find a crib for your little one at the last minute, so it pays to know when exactly your child will be too big for this basket-like bed, same as the cradle vs bassinet.
So, with the help of both the experiences of parents, as well as expert advice, we’re going to tell you when exactly is the right time for your baby to leave the bassinet, and move into a crib.
When Should Your Baby Leave A Bassinet?
So, when exactly will your child start to outgrow their bassinet?
Well, the exact time will vary depending on your child and how quickly they are developing.
However, pediatricians generally agree that 6 months is around the time when your child will start to outgrow their little bassinet, and need to be moved into a crib.
How To Tell When Your Baby Is Too Big
As we already mentioned, half a year old will be the general time when your child should be starting to get too big for their bassinet.
However, it is also true that some babies will mature later or earlier than this. So, what exactly are some of the signs that you should be looking out for?
Considering that bassinets are generally quite small, compact, and lightweight, having a baby that weighs too much for them is a pretty important detail to spot!
As a parent, you’ll likely be monitoring your baby’s weight for this early period of development, so you’ll be able to track how much weight they’re gaining and whether or not they are heavier or lighter than expected.
And because we know the average weight of a 6-month-old will be, you can also use that weight as a good guard for when to move your baby into a metal crib.
Pediatricians agree that boys at 6 months usually weigh around 15.5 pounds (or 7 kilos), while girls will weigh approximately 14.1 (about 6.4 kilos).
When your little one reaches this weight is a good indicator that it’s time to leave the bassinet behind.
This is probably the easiest measurement that you’ll be able to use for yourself.
Bassinets, while small, are not designed to be snug for your newborn baby.
They allow for at least a little wiggle room, so a bassinet that looks a little small with your baby inside it is a good sign that they may need to move to a bigger bed.
A bassinet should give enough room for your baby to sleep, without even stretched arms or legs touching the bottom or top. If they do, it’s time to switch!
There’s a good reason that cribs are often much wider than bassinets comparatively are. Aside from them being for bigger children, of course!
Along with that decent length, newborn babies don’t tend to move quite as much as their slightly older and toddler counterparts.
If you find that your baby is moving around a lot more when they sleep, it’s probably a good call to move them over to a crib, where they will have that extra freedom of movement.
Why Leaving The Bassinet Is Important For Your Baby
This one should be a pretty obvious reason to most people.
As they start getting a little older, babies tend to start exploring the world around them a little more.
Once they get to a certain age where their arms and legs start benign and able to handle more weight, this often means moving and crawling around more.
A bassinet isn’t designed to be able to handle this, which is why you must move them to a sturdy crib when they reach this stage of development.
Not only is it not comfortable for older babies to sleep in a bassinet, but it can be dangerous for them too.
Being in cramped conditions can mean that if your child turns over in their sleep, they may not be able to correct themselves, and have trouble breathing.
Pediatrics have found that the risk of Rapid Infant Death Syndrome (or SIDS) decreases by as much as 50% in some cases when they move from a bassinet to a crib.
But that’s not all. Remember how we mentioned that weight is a good measure of when a baby should be moved into a crib? Well, it isn’t just for the basket’s sake!
Most commercially available bassinets can only carry 15 to 20 pounds, meaning that having a baby older than 6 months in there isn’t just cramped, they may break through it too!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Exactly Is A Bassinet?
Despite mentioning it in the introduction, we haven’t explained what a bassinet is!
Bassinets are effectively small cradles that are made for newborns that can be easily erected near a parent’s bed.
When Should I Start Teaching My Baby To Sleep In A Crib?
So, if 6 months is the cutoff, when should you start teaching your baby to sleep in a crib?
Well, technically speaking, a baby can probably start sleeping in a crib from very early on, even as little as a month after being born!
Generally speaking, experts recommend using bassinets for the first 4 months of development, before beginning the movement to a full-sized crib.
It may not happen overnight, but this gives you and your little one a chance to get used to the new arrangement slowly.
So, as we have stated multiple times in this guide, 6 months is generally the latest that you want to keep a baby in their bassinet, for their and your sake.
Check out our how to keep a cat out of crib article for more tips!
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