My Experience With Baby Bassinets and Moses Baskets (Plus Pottery Barn Kids Bassinet Review)
The baby bassinet. So vintage. So sweet. So perfect for little baby. Enchanting, frilly, cozy, the perfect spot. Not to mention that its size and mobility make it suitable for any room.
There are many reasons why bassinets are popular for babies. The hardest part is getting one that suits the modern home and lifestyle. Once you find one, whether it be a Moses basket a full sized bassinet, grab it and pay the extra cash for it. You won't be disappointed. Here's why.
Since I can remember, my mother made little Moses bassinets for my dolls out of shoe boxes, batting, cloth, and laces, all of them hand sewn, enchanting, and original. It was the perfect way to hold little dolly. And when I grew up, there was no question that I would have a gorgeous little bassinet for my babies.
Look as I may, by the time we had our first child, I was a bit disheartened with the selection I came across. I wasn't about to buy something that I wasn't completely in love with. So, I chalked it up as figuring it just wasn't meant to be.
But by the time our second was born, I found a perfect little Moses basket bassinet, made of soft weave, hand woven with satin ribbons and bows, a soft padded pillow and bumper, and soft woven handles (ones with the perfect length that made one-handed carrying easy without squishing baby). She was so beautiful sleeping or giggling in there. Not too big, not too small, just right.
In that bassinet, our little Ana always had a safe spot nearby. We didn't have to worry about baby monitors and batteries.
This bassinet turned out to be a life saver, so to speak. Our little Ana suffered through colic, and we suffered with her. Not much seemed to work. One day, my husband made a discovery that changed our lives, and hers.
Ana's bassinet seemed to quiet her for temporary moments. One day, tired and a bit crazy from the crying, my husband picked up the bassinet by the handles and started rocking it low to the ground by the straps. She stopped. And in a while, she fell asleep. It was a trick we were careful not to overuse, lest we jinx the blessing. The best part was, we could set it down when she was asleep, without disturbing her, or changing her position, or giving her a start by slipping her out of our arms and onto a cold spot. Nothing else gave us the ability to do this so cleverly. While this did not cure her of colic, it eased us all and allowed her to rest so much better.
Infants and babies should not sit for more than 20 minutes at a time. So leaving your baby in a carseat is NOT a good idea. Sore bums and diaper rashes tend to appear or worsen when baby is confined in a seat. This is one of the things that makes baskets and bassinets such a good idea to have.
For our third child, we again used the same Moses basket. He did not have colic, however, so we didn't have to go through the swinging fuss, but it did work just as beautifully. He was happy till he outgrew it.
I had pondered getting a larger bassinet, one that I had seen at Pottery Barn Kids. But we had just moved and we'd had so much luck with the first one, that we opted to hold off.
Once he outgrew the Moses basket, it was put to good use as a place for stuffed animals and as a means to carry tea party things and blocks by the children from one room to another. It lasted and lasted and lasted. Then finally one day, a couple of years later, it lasted no more.
The Pottery Barn Kids Bassinet
When I found out I was pregnant with our fourth child, I didn't waste time. I knew that the one thing I was going to get if nothing else would be the bassinet I'd dream of getting from Pottery Barn Kids.
It was the most beautiful and most functional one I'd ever seen.
- I loved it for its vintage elegance.
- I loved it for its simple charm.
- I loved it for its sturdiness (oh yes, I tested it!).
- I loved it for it's ease of movement and the lack of movement when I locked the wheels (a very simple thing to do).
- The wicker is strong and didn't break despite my tries.
- The bassinet is removable, light weight, and far from flimsy.
- The storage underneath is quite ample.
- The mattress pad was comfortable, safe, and waterproof.
Pottery Barn Kids also has a nice selection of fully washable bassinet linens. While some are classics and can be found over the years, others are seasonal, allowing you variety in matching your décor.
I will never in my life regret this purchase. It was perhaps the best money I spent on anything. Most of the time it was by the bed, which was wonderful for me, since Sasha's was the most difficult birth of the four. It took a lot of recouping.
Not only was I completely enchanted with the look (lifting my spirits every time I lay my eyes on her sleeping or cooing so snug and happy in there), but I also couldn't get up every time I had to feed her, change her, hold her, or every time I wanted her and she wanted me. Thankfully I breastfed. This meant I didn't have to take trips to the kitchen to make bottles or to clean them. I could easily place her in and out of her bassinet without having to move much, and everything I needed for her from clothes and towels to diapers and wipes, where all right underneath and easily accessible . All I had to do was part the skirt. Not to mention she had plenty of room, and I do mean plenty, without her being lost in a sea of space as she would have been in a crib.
As I got better, I could stroll it into whatever room I was in, or keep her there and set the baby monitor on.
Another wonderful thing about the bassinet, is that it offered Sasha and me a wonderful way for us to not only bond, 24/7 (at first), it also offered us a gentle ease from being one to our being two. Towards those later weeks, anticipating that her stage of motor development would inevitably bring her to explore things far from "Mama," I was able to move her further from bed and closer to crib without anxiety. Slow and steady with the roll of a wheel and a locking in place. I have to say that she is my most confident child yet, as well as my most willing to explore life on her own (not necessarily usual for the youngest in the family), so you see, a bassinet is much more than a place for baby to sleep and dream.
At six months, it was finally time to give it up, unless she was asleep and I was right there beside her, as she was starting to climb all over the place.
The bassinet was still in perfect condition. The next step, storage? No. I passed it on.
Over the past 5 years, Sasha's baby bassinet has been a comfort to seven babies! Soon to be eight. Each mother loved it so much, she passed it on to a family member or a best friend.
It's still looking great, and is still as sturdy and fashionable as ever. If it could talk, my baby bassinet would have a lot of stories to tell.
Tips and Notes:
I find that the simpler the covering and bedding of your baby's bassinet, the better. Both in color and style. It's probably best not to dress it as though it were a christening item. As fun as you think that may be, it will become rather sickoning after a while.
Your baby will probably be in his/her bassinet for about six months. Once they start climbing or being able to pull themselves up in the slightest, it's time to move them to a crib and let them play around on a soft rug.
Apart from the bottom sheet (I had 7 of those), I never had more than two sets of bedding (bumper and skirt). If one got messy, I took it to the wash, and replace it with my extra set of bedding.
Unless you have a folded bath towel under baby, I would not recommend changing your baby's diaper in his/her bassinet. This will save you the trouble of changing the bottom sheet (although I must say it is MUCH EASIER than changing a crib sheet). So as long as you use a towel or spit-pads (as I like to use) it's actually one of the most convenient places to change your baby.
When looking for a bassinet, price matters. The better the quality, the longer you'll be using it, the safer and sturdier it will be. There's nothing worse than getting a bassinet and only being able to use it for a month or so because your baby has outgrown it in size and or weight, or because the materials just really don't hold up.
Do not, under any circumstances, decide that a bassinet/playpen (portable playground) are going to do the trick. The bassinet part will not last. You will find major sagging in a very short period of time. Not to mention, if there's going to be an issue, this type is the one you'll hear about. You're not saving money, nor are you being thrifty by buying multitasking items; you're wasting it.