Do you know a healthy infant sleeps 14-17 hours over 24 hours? For the safety of newborns, many parents follow the ABC protocol of sleep that states; that a baby should sleep alone on his back but in a separate crib. Now, the parents practicing the ABC protocol of sleep often wonder about how long does a baby sleep in a bassinet?

How long does a baby sleep in a bassinet

Bassinet- a safe sleeping spot for neonates

When a baby is born we call him neonate for the first 28 days of its life. So, with reference to this medical definition of neonates, we can say that bassinets are the sleeping surfaces for neonates that accommodate babies for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 6 months of the first year of their life. So, a baby should sleep in a bassinet for the first 3-6 months of life.

The safety recommendations of safe sleep guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasize the importance of safe sleep. Bassinets provide a safe sleeping area and ultimately a safe sleep to babies.

Following the ABC protocol and AAP guidelines, parents can assure that the baby is sleeping in a safe environment and there is not any risk of health hazards like SIDS.

How long should a baby sleep in a bassinet?

Many queries arise in the mind of parents. If you have become parent first-time parent then probably you spent much of your time asking questions for information relevant to the baby’s safe sleep. Of course, questioning is a powerful tool that reveals many facts about the juggling situation of parenting.

The most commonly asked question that arises in the mind of parents is how long can a baby sleep in the bassinet. Babies can sleep in the bassinet as long as it offers a safe and healthy sleep to babies.

safe sleeping

Coming back to the point i.e. how long is a baby in a bassinet. The weight recommendation of the bassinet and gross motor milestones of the baby are the two main leading points that suggest how long does baby stay in the bassinet.

If you have a bruiser baby then it is better to consider the crib as soon as he outgrows the bassinet but if your baby is a tiny creature then you can place him in bassinets for up to six months.

How to get a newborn to sleep in the bassinet?

Newborns are born with many in-built reflexes and they need a soothing environment where they can snuggle properly. 

Some babies are self-soothers that get back to sleep by themselves and do not require the need of parents to soothe them. While others are signalers who signal the parents to awaken them and want the parent’s attention so that they can lull them to sleep. Either your baby is a self-soother or a signaler, you need a bassinet for the initial few months.

newborn to sleep in the bassinet

Here are some tactics that will help you to get your baby to sleep on the bassinet.

  1. Let him sleep naturally while laying him down awake
  2. Swaddle him as swaddling will help him to feel secure and integrate the Moro reflex as the baby’s limbs are restricted to move by the swaddle
  3. Add lullabies and vibrations in bassinets that soothe the baby.

These vibrations are useful aids that help the baby to sleep as they mimic the parents gently rocking the babies in their lap. But it should be kept in mind that do not let the baby rest in a vibrating bassinet at all times as they can become dependent on vibrations.

So it may affect his sleep pattern. If you have a vibrating bassinet and are wondering can the baby can sleep in a vibrating bassinet then relax and do not worry your baby can rest in it comfortably. 

While mastering how to get a baby to sleep in a bassinet is easy but still, some safety considerations are worth noting. You can assure the safety of the baby in the best baby bassinet by removing extra clothes or sheets and sleep wedges. 

Transitioning baby from bassinet to crib

The tiresome question of when a is baby too big for a bassinet is the most commonly interrogating statement.

When a baby outgrows bassinet and weight recommendation of bassinet does not fit your baby then it is a time of transitioning baby from bassinet to crib.

You should make it easier by following some simple steps that are listed below.

  • Make transition in steps
  • For the first few days let the baby sleep in a bassinet during daytime
  • Place him in bassinet and crib alternatively during nights of the first few weeks
  • Place the crib close to your bed
  • For the babies below one year make the transition from bassinet to crib in your room

How long should the baby sleep in the parents’ room is at the top charts of the parent’s queries? AAP guidelines recommend that babies should sleep in their parents ‘ room for the first year of life but on a separate surface.

Crib – A spacious sleeping area for Infants

For newborns, it is ideal to place them in the bassinet as it is a baby’s small bed where he can sleep safely. But what about cribs, can a newborn sleep in a crib?

Cribs are relatively larger than bassinets and are not better for neonates but they offer a safe sleeping zone to infants above 6 months of age. If you do not have a bassinet but a crib to offer safe sleep to babies then newborns can sleep in the crib also.

Although for neonates, cribs are larger and do not fit the neonate snugly, they offer a separate and safe environment for babies.

How long baby can sleep in a crib?

Most babies can sleep in it for the first one and a half years of their life till the age of three and a half. It does not matter at what age the baby should sleep in the crib. Baby’s comfort is the first considerable feature other than his safety.

Moreover when the baby attempts to climb out of the crib then it indicates that it is the appropriate time to move him to the toddler’s bed.

How long baby can sleep in a crib

So, if you are still wondering how long a baby can sleep in a cradle then it becomes clear that among bassinet vs cribs, bassinets are suitable for neonates as they are shallower than cribs and cribs can accommodate infants older than 5 months till more than one year of age.

FAQs for how long does a baby sleep in a bassinet

Cribs are the bed of infants having a frame where a baby can sleep from six months of age to a minimum of eighteen months of age.

You can place the baby in the crib for up to three years of age also because it is the time when babies mature emotionally and also they start to climb out the walls of the crib. So this is the time that suggests there is a need to transit the baby to the toddler’s bed.

Bassinets are the safest sleeping surface where a newborn can sleep safely.

Newborn babies want a small and cozy surface that can hold them snugly, so bassinets are smaller in size than cribs and offer a safe and separate area where they can sleep safely.

Sleep wedges are only suitable for acid reflux but they offer many hazards to babies and can put your baby in danger. So it is advisable not to place sleep wedges in the bassinet as they can make your unit unstable.


It is a well-known fact that sound sleep of babies is an essential component indicating the health of babies. So, as the babies spend much of their time in snuggling quarters then parents should have focus on each and every aspect of bassinets and cribs.

Transitioning from bassinet to crib does not always come naturally and there is not any hard and fast rule relating to the transition of babies from one sleeping surface to another.

For neonates, a bassinet is a suitable option where they can snuggle safely while for large infants, cribs offer wider areas where they can sleep safely.

Kelly Johnson
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