How to Find the Best Bed for Your Newborn

Being a parent can be a rewarding experience, but finding the right newborn bed to suit your little one’s needs can be quite a headache especially when you dive into the baby’s world for the first time. There is simply so much choice, that sometimes it can be hard to zero in on the best bed for your situation.

newborn bedsHere are a few different factors that you might want to consider:

Your Baby’s Individual Needs

Does your baby have any minor medical issues that could affect your choice of the ideal newborn bed?

For example, if your child has acid reflux and spits up randomly, you may not be able to safely lay her down on a normal bed. Many parents with this problem find that baby swings that allow the newborn to sit up work better.

  • Are you worried about SIDS?

A co-sleeper might work better for you because it allows you to watch your child more easily. Coupled with a heart monitor, this can offer a lot of protection.

On the other hand, if your baby has a more common problem like being fussy at night or during nap time, a cradle that rocks automatically may be more up your alley.

Take these needs into account when you’re looking for a baby bed, since they’re going to matter the most.

Choosing a Newborn Bed Depends on Your Lifestyle and Budget

Of course, lifestyles vary and your baby’s bed needs to fit yours. Are you a constantly on-the-go person who needs to lug the bed all over the house—or even to other locations if you travel constantly? A bassinet would probably suit you better than a traditional crib, since they are much more portable.

Naturally, there are trade-offs to this, since bassinets are small and your baby will quickly outgrow them within months. Having to buy several beds could be too expensive if you’re on a budget. In that case, a Pack-N-Play crib might be a good solution. This is a very portable bed that doubles as a play pen.

Things to Look For in Your New Baby Bed

No matter what bed that you decide to go with, there are a few indicators of quality that you should think about when shopping around:

  • Bassinets

First, make sure that the bassinet you are looking at is safe.

It should follow ASTM International safety standards and ideally have a seal from the Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association. It should be free of any sharp or rough edges, so take a close look at the reviews for the product and make sure that no parents have complained of this.

Besides the obvious safety issues, you will also want to look for a bassinet that is made with healthy materials. If you can find a baby bassinet with foam bedding that is CertiPUR-US certified, even better.

As far as features go, the bassinet should at the very least have a hood to cover part of the bed. This comes in handy during daytime naps. If you want something that will help you keep your baby asleep longer, there are bassinets for newborns that vibrate as well, and some can even play music.

As far as specific products go, a good basic bassinet that has great reviews and is safe for your child is the Delta Children Sweet Beginnings Bassinet. It meets all of the major safety standards, has a washable pad, and even comes with a night light.

The major issue with bassinets, though, is that they are not your #1 safest option. Cribs are the safest choice, even for a newborn. Also, babies outgrow bassinets much quicker.

  • Cradles

Cradles are a lot like bassinets, except that they tend to rock back and forth to lull your baby to sleep. The main concern here is in finding one that has a sturdy construction. They can be made of a variety of materials, but since they have moving parts, safety can be an issue.

Like bassinets, your baby can outgrow these quickly. Also, remember that cradles alone are not a good bed choice. Since you should not leave your baby unsupervised in a moving cradle, think of it more as a supplement to your baby’s “real” bed.

  • Convertible Cribs – Ideal for Newborns and Toddlers

According to Consumer Reports, a crib is your safest option for a baby.

Make sure that the mattress for the baby bed is nice and firm, and that you place only a fitted sheet onto it—no sheets or pillows. Also, be sure to check for any gaps between the sides of the crib and the mattress. This will offer your child a comfortable place to drift off as well as protect her from suffocation.

Another advantage of cribs as a newborn bed is that your child will not outgrow them as quickly.

Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

For a high-quality crib, we recommend the Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib.

It is built to be very sturdy and follows several safety standards, including ASTM International, and the paint is non-toxic. It’s made of a simple wood frame, but it’s actually convertible into a day bed and a toddler bed. You will have to buy the mattress separately, though.

  • Co-Sleepers

For parents who really want to bond with their baby—or just keep a better eye on her—co-sleeping can be a good option. This also makes it easier to breastfeed during the night, and it’s a very natural approach that human beings have used for generations.

A co-sleeping newborn bed can attach to the side of your own bed or sit in the middle. Keep in mind that co-sleeping baby beds that lie in the middle of your bed may not actually be the safest. It’s possible for you or your spouse to unconsciously roll over onto the child. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against bed sharing, so you should get a co-sleeper that attaches to the side of your bed.

Arms Reach Curved Mini Co-Sleeper BassinetWe recommend the  Arm’s Reach Curved Mini Bassinet as a good co-sleeper that attaches to the side of your bed.

Like bassinets and cradles, the downside here is also that your baby will outgrow a co-sleeper very quickly, since they’re rather small.

Back to The Question: What is The Best Newborn Bed for Your Baby?

The best bed for your baby—assuming that she doesn’t have any special needs—will probably be the traditional crib with a single fitted sheet. You can find these beds at most large retailers, but it’s probably a good idea to look around online. Amazon, for example, is a great resource full of tons of reviews that will give you a good idea of the quality of the beds that you’re looking at.

A good rule of thumb, no matter what bed you choose, is to never go too cheap. When a newborn bed is cheap, you can pretty much assume that there’s lower construction quality and maybe even fewer safety features. Spend as much as you can reasonably afford on a high-quality, brand name bed.