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How Long Can a Baby Sleep in a Bassinet?
Updated on
September 11, 2023

How Long Can a Baby Sleep in a Bassinet?

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How Long Can a Baby Sleep in a Bassinet?

A bassinet keeps your baby safe and close during the first few months. While not something you absolutely need—a mini crib or even a playard are two other good options—many parents love the convenience and safety a bassinet brings.

But how long can a baby sleep in a bassinet? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) safe sleep guidelines recommend room sharing with your baby for the first six months. Will you be able to use your bassinet the whole time?

We’re talking to a pediatrician to find out.

How Long Can a Baby Sleep in a Bassinet?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how long a baby can sleep in a bassinet, says Dr. Rebekah Diamond, a hospital pediatrician in New York City and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University and the author of “Parent Like a Pediatrician.” While some babies will use a bassinet for around three months, others may be able to safely sleep in one until they’re about six months old, she says.

“It really depends on parent preference, a baby’s physical size, and where a baby is sleeping,” she explains.

“Until babies are physically too large for a bassinet or can pull themselves up (and therefore risk falling out of a shallow bassinet rather than a deeper crib), using a bassinet is usually the easiest place to put a baby to sleep if they are sharing a parent’s room,” she says.

“Most families transition from a bassinet to crib somewhere around three to six months, or even sooner if a baby is no longer sleeping in the same room as parents.”

When To Stop Using a Bassinet

These are the signs to look out for to let you know it’s time to stop using the bassinet:

  • Baby has reached the maximum height or weight limit of your bassinet.
  • Baby starts to show signs of pushing up on hands and knees or can pull themselves up to a sitting or standing position.

You’ll also want to pay attention to if your baby is about to master rolling over. Once a baby is able to roll, pushing up on their hands and knees and sitting up usually isn’t far behind—so it’s likely that you’ll soon be leaving the bassinet behind.

When it’s time to make the transition from bassinet to crib, Dr. Diamond recommends keeping things simple and straightforward.

“All transitions are stressful and can definitely be anxiety-provoking,” she says, “But there really isn’t much to it! When you’re ready, just go ahead and make the transition. There will likely be an adjustment period and even a sleep regression, but it will all be temporary,” she assures.

What Age Should Baby Move to Their Own Room?

The AAP does not recommend bed-sharing with your baby under any circumstances. However, it does recommend room sharing, which means keeping your baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep, for the first six months.

If you’d like to extend room sharing beyond six months, there’s no harm in doing that, says Dr. Diamond—but the data supports the most benefits during those first six months.

“It’s very challenging for many parents to keep a baby in the same room for an extended period of time. Babies are loud and it’s hard for everyone to get a good night’s sleep,” says Dr. Diamond.

“If it works, it’s okay to keep at it for as long as you want. But the data is relatively weak and mostly correlation, and parental quality sleep is actually protective against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) too. Improving parental sleep, especially after four months (which marks the time when SIDS risk starts to dramatically decrease, overnight feedings are infrequent or even gone and breastfeeding is well established) makes a ton of sense.”

If you choose to continue to room share after your baby has outgrown their bassinet, you’ll want to move them to a mini crib, a playard or to a full-size crib if there’s room in your sleeping space.


Babylist Staff

Babylist editors and writers are parents themselves and have years of experience writing and researching, coming from media outlets like Motherly, the SF Chronicle, the New York Times and the Daily Beast, and the fields of early childhood education and publishing. We research and test hundreds of products, survey real Babylist parents and consult reviews in order to recommend the best products and gear for your growing family.

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