What’s The Difference Between a Baby Crib and a Bassinet?

February 18, 2022

What’s The difference between a baby crib and a bassinet?

Deciding what you should purchase for the nursery can take on overwhelming proportions. Do you actually require a changing table? What is the importance of a rocking chair? Is a bassinet better than a convertible stroller? Should you buy a convertible crib or a toddler bed and a bassinet?

There are countless questions when it comes to picking the right nursery furniture and baby gear but one of the most common question is what’s the difference between a baby crib and a bassinet and which one should you buy? (or both)?.

Infants spend a great part of their time sleeping, so having the right crib or bassinet that will ensure your baby’s comfortable and safe sleep is of vital importance.

What is a baby crib?

A baby crib is usable for any newborn baby as an alternative to a bassinet. Usually baby cribs are used for babies that are between 6 months to 5 years old.

what is a baby crib

The most popular cribs on the market are convertible meaning they can change shape and function, for example from a baby crib to a baby cot or even all the way up to a full sized bed.

Some common characteristics of baby cribs:

  • Modifiable mattress height: you can adjust the height of the crib mattress and move it up or down as your baby grows
  • A sliding railing: This allows for ease access and feeding when needed. Furthermore if you place the baby crib next to your bed this removed and barriers between you and your baby. The side rail can be put back on and secured in place for added safety so that your baby won’t be able to roll off while sleeping

What is a Bassinet?

A bassinette or bassinet is practically a smaller version of a baby crib. They are mainly used for babies up to 6 months old or until they outgrow the bassinet and can climb out.


Differences between a baby crib and a bassinet

  1. Size: With a crib occupying a great deal more room compared to a bassinet, bassinets can be easier for a smaller residence. Their lesser size is also what adds to the portability of bassinets.
  2. Longevity: Baby cribs obviously offer a much longer lifespan and with the introduction of convertible baby cribs then you won’t need to buy a a full sized bed for years to come
  3. Weight limits: Both have weight limits when it comes to the size of your baby but bassinets are suitable for younger children and infants whereas baby cribs can accommodate older babies
  4. Portability: Bassinets are very portable and lightweight which makes them perfect if you want to move your baby around the house and let it sleep next to your bed. Baby cribs on the other hand are heavy and will stay in place


Regardless of you choosing a crib or a bassinet, makes sure the item meets all the necessary safety requirements.

That being said, when it’s time to choose between a baby crib or a bassinet it mainly comes down to size, longevity and budget. Bassinets are cheaper but will last you for a much shorter period of time whereas baby cribs might not be as flexible or portable and they are surely more expensive but they can last you a lifetime and grow with your baby.

Sandra McNeil, PhD.

Sandra McNeil, PhD.

Sandra has over 13 years of experience as a child psychologist, both as a practitioner and researcher. She has a Bachelor's in child psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and then she did her master's in Psychology in Education (focused on Children & Families) at Columbia University, NY. She has been writing for health and child-related publications for over 5 years now.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Baby Cribs Central