Bassinets and Cradles

One of the first comments a new mom hears when people look at her newborn is, "Oh my goodness, she's so tiny." It's true, newborns are tiny little people and they don't take up much room once they're outside the belly.

While it is perfectly fine to put a newborn in a crib during the initial weeks or months of life, many parents opt for the tradition of using a bassinet or cradle at the outset. Since the bassinet or cradle is smaller and close, it seems the baby is comforted more readily, perhaps the sense is reminiscent of the womb. Most items in the nursery are designed for use for a growing baby, so a crib almost seems like you're overdoing it. This is where a Moses basket, bassinet or cradle comes in handy.

Bassinets And Baskets

Derived from the French word for basin, bassinets are usually thought of as a small, oblong bed for an infant. Most of them have a hood that detaches and they sit upon a frame with wheels so they can be moved around a room easily. They haven't changed much over the years, so if you've inherited one it probably looks very much like any new one you may find in a baby furniture store. They're usually made of wicker or a lightweight wood and bedding as well as the outside decorating is often flounces or gathered skirts. Baby bassinet bedding can be purchased at any store that sells bassinets and cribs. Even though the styles rarely change much, there are still new items coming into the stores every year. Keep your eye out for advertising where you may be able to secure a bassinet in the clearance sale of your local baby store.

A Moses basket is a type of portable bassinet. A Moses basket is much softer in construction than a conventional bassinet and has handles so you can cart the baby easily from room to room without wheeling anything. It's ideal for a newborn, however, it won't be long before the baby will be bigger and heavier - making schlepping a Moses basket more difficult. They're not sturdy enough to support the weight of an older baby, which means that, like a bassinet, it will do for the first three or four months.


Once the baby outgrows the bassinet or Moses basket, a cradle is the next step. When looking for baby furniture, often cradles are considered an opulent extra. However, that said, cradles are romantic and have a special charm that is very appealing to new parents. Just as cribs, cradles come in a variety of styles and designs. Virtually all of them are wooden and have a non-toxic finish for baby's safety. They either rock from side to side or glide back and forth. Most come with a pin that can be used to keep the cradle from moving. Angel Line and Da Vinci, both well known baby furniture companies, have beautiful cradles for your precious bundle of joy. If old-world styling is your favorite, then you'll want to check out the Oxford Baby Cradle by Green Frog Art. Hand carving and hand painted designs set this one a step above.

For those parents who want an organic, all natural cradle, the Seed Organic Baby Cradle is not only study and eco-friendly, it also has a breather hole, latex mattress that contours to the shape of the baby's body. It's made from chemical-free organic cotton and the entire unit is designed for air circulation. It's not only interesting, it's really a great way to start your baby off in the world.


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