Are Bassinets Safe For My Baby?

by Mishal Ali Zafar

If you're shopping for your baby, you'll probably find a myriad of available gear and gadgets. Cribs aren't just cribs anymore — they can fold into all kinds of shapes and sizes, with countless hidden utilities abound, as if they were designed by Inspector Gadget. Bassinets also come in a variety of options, with ones you can carry to ones that rock on their own. If you're choosing to put your baby in one, you might wonder, are bassinets safe for babies?

Sarah Brown, community safety expert for SafeWise, tells Romper that it really depends on the type of bassinet and how you use it. "Many bassinets come with attachments that could cause strangulation, so make sure that any mobiles or strings are out of your baby's reach," she says. Brown also notes that adding extras to your baby's bassinet and incorrectly positioning your baby to sleep can be dangerous, too. She says that the majority of infant deaths in the case of bassinets come from babies being placed on their stomachs to sleep or from suffocation. "You should never add anything to the bassinet like blankets or stuffed animals because those could suffocate your child."

If you're considering using a bassinet, Brown suggests that the safest ones will have a sturdy bottom with a wide base, a firm mattress that fits tightly so there are no spaces between the mattress and the bars, and no loose hardware sticking out.

Always remember that the safest position for your baby to sleep is on their back and on a firm surface with a tight-fitted sheet, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, no matter where they sleep, whether it's a bassinet, crib, or your own bed.

According to Brown, bassinets can be a safe option for your baby, as long as they are clear of any extras, and you keep your baby on their back. So when you shop for your James Bond version of a bassinet, just remember to keep these safety precautions in mind.