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Safety of a Baby Bassinet: What Parents Should Know

Safety of a Baby Bassinet: What Parents Should Know

One of the most important things parents need to consider when they start buying items for their baby is the bassinet that the baby is going to use. Baby bassinets are usually oval-shaped beds that are ideal for infants that are a few weeks or months old. Baby bassinets come in different shapes and sizes but what exactly do parents need to look for in choosing the bassinet? What are things to avoid when setting up the bassinet?

What to Look for in a Baby Bassinet

The Newer, the Better

When buying a bassinet, as much as possible, buy new. Second-hand bassinets might have some damage that would compromise the quality of the bassinet. If you do buy second-hand, make sure to inspect it thoroughly. Make sure that no part of the bassinet has been replaced and the original parts and screws are still intact. Avoid accepting DIY baby bassinets or heirloom bassinets as these might not have gone through quality checks and might be unsafe for the baby.

Certified Safe

In buying a bassinet, make sure that they are certified. Certification ensures that the bassinet was made according to safety standards and has undergone and passed strict quality control to make sure that it is safe to use. Apart from making sure it is certified, do some research on the certification and its legitimacy. Some bassinets in the market might claim that they have a safety certification but the certifying body is not legitimate. Certification depends on where the bassinet was manufactured and where it is sold.

Sturdy Construction of Baby Bassinet

The bassinet should not be flimsy. It should be made of sturdy materials. Baby bassinets made out of rattan usually fail safety tests.

Locks on Wheels

If the bassinet has wheels, make sure that at least 2 of the wheels have locks. Make sure that these locks are functional and can hold a grip.

No Screws Sticking Out

Carefully inspect the bassinet and make sure that no screws are sticking out. Inspect the bassinet often for any loose screws.

What to Avoid in a Baby Bassinet

Loose-fitting Sheets

Make sure that the sheets fit the mattress in the bassinet. Loose-fitting sheets might cause entrapment or suffocation.

Soft Mattress

Make sure that the mattress is firm, not soft. Soft mattresses might cause the baby to suffocate when they sleep.

Undersized Mattress

The mattress on the bassinet should be the same size as the bassinet and should have a snug fit. Gaps due to the undersized mattress can trap the baby’s arm or leg and might cause injury.

Thick Mattresses

A thick mattress can make the bassinet shallow which increases the risk of the baby falling out of it.

Placing Throws and Pillows in the Baby Bassinet

Pillows, throws, and even bumpers do not only increase the risk of suffocation but can also overheat the bassinet. It also increases the baby’s risk of falling out of the bassinet because they can use it as leverage.

Putting Anything on the Walls

If the bassinet is stationed next to a wall, avoid placing stickers, cut-outs, frames and other decorative items that might fall into the bassinet. These decorative items might potentially harm the baby if they fall off.

Hanging Toys

Avoid placing hanging toys over the bassinet especially when the baby is asleep. Some parts of the hanging toy or the hanging toy itself might fall, which can cause injury, entrapment or strangulation.

Stuffed Toys and Comfort Items in Baby Bassinet

Stuffed animals and comfort toys are great for the baby to play with but they should not be placed near them when they are asleep. These items can be used as leverage which increases their risk of falling out of the bassinet. It also increases the risk of suffocation and overheating.

Sleep Positioners

Sleep positioners are pillows or bolsters placed on each side of the baby to keep them in a specific position. These are not advisable as they increase the likelihood of suffocation.

Curtains, Drapes, and Fairy Lights

Decorative items such as curtains, drapes, and fairy lights placed on any part of the bassinet are hazardous to the baby. If the baby reaches towards these items or if these items fall on the bassinet, it can cause strangulation, entrapment, and suffocation.

Key Takeaways

Baby bassinets are where babies are usually placed when they are asleep or when not under any supervision. It is important to make sure that the bassinet and the area surrounding it are safe from hazards that might cause entrapment and strangulation.

The bassinet itself should be sturdy and has a safety certification. The mattress that comes with it should be of the right size. The sheets should also have a snug fit.

Pillows, decorative items, and toys can increase the risk of overheating and suffocation inside the bassinet.

Learn more about Baby Care here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Hazel Caingcoy Updated Oct 19, 2021
Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS