Are you seeking a cheaper option for babies than high-priced bassinets and cribs? Many parents recommend using a laundry basket bassinet, but it may be unfamiliar to new moms.
What is it? It’s a makeshift bassinet or bed constructed from a rectangle or oval laundry basket. Many parents choose this equipment to keep their infants in the same room while saving money.
But are laundry baskets safe to use as bassinets for babies to sleep in? The answer is not since it may not meet the AAP Safe Sleep recommendations for newborns.
However, many people still opt for it due to its low cost. If you are in the same boat, this article is for you. It will explain why the laundry basket is not ideal for your baby. But if you still decide to use it, there are some tips to make this bassinet substitute safer.
Let’s get started!
Is It Safe For a Baby To Sleep in a Laundry Basket?
You may save money on an expensive bassinet by making one out of a laundry basket in your home. However, according to the AAP’s recommendations, a laundry basket bassinet is not entirely safe for your newborn.
Most include a regular plastic rectangle laundry basket and some plain bedding. This option is a bargain compared to a standard bassinet, which may cost hundreds of dollars.
Due to its low cost, it may not meet the standards and has features that an actual bassinet owns.
- Its construction may not hold the weight and size of a baby up to 6 months old.
- Its mattress may not be thick enough for the baby to sleep safely. In addition, finding a mattress that fits in a laundry bassinet is not easy. This will also increase the initial cost.
- Since the laundry basket bassinet has no stands or legs, you will have to either place it on the bed for bed sharing or somewhere, possibly on a chair, which is not safe or convenient for breastfeeding and comforting your baby.
- Because it’s not explicitly designed for babies to lie down, it will lack built-in padding. Adding bedding, blankets, or pillows can cause your baby to smother himself while sleeping.
Some safe sleep recommendations for newborn beds include:
- Remove anything else like stuffed animals, and pillows from the bed.
- Make the bed on a firm, flat mattress with a tight-fitted sheet.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS by almost 50%. Therefore, it is best to breastfeed through the first six months or at least the first two months.
- Do not place the baby on the couch or armchair to sleep.
For these reasons, this DIY bassinet version isn’t a good choice regarding safety guidelines for infants.
How to Turn a Laundry Basket into a Safe Bassinet
If you decide to make a DIY laundry basket bassinet, the following valuable tips will help you make it safer.
1. Select a Basket That is The Proper Size
According to the CPSC, any bassinet should have at least 7.5-inch side heights (not counting mattress thickness). A properly sized basket will ensure room for your infant to sleep comfortably and not climb out of it as he grows.
Use bedding that fits appropriately and tightly in the basket’s bottom. If your infant unexpectedly moves, one inch of gap might pose suffocation. A huge cushion may pile up on the edges and produce similar issues.
2. Use a Flat Mattress
According to the AAP, you should place your newborn on firm rather than soft mattresses. Also, the sleep surface should not be inclined more than 10 degrees. It is best that the mattress does not deform when placed in the basket.
3. Put Nothing On The Bassinet
Don’t put stuffed animals or baby toys in the basket. The bassinet must be completely bare when your newborn sleeps inside. Ensure there are no other pieces of clothing or laundry above or under the mattress.
4. Place The Bassinet On The Ground
Your DIY laundry basket bassinet may not come with a stand or a base. Therefore, the safest and easiest way is to put the bassinet on the ground if you don’t want to invest in a stand that costs almost a hundred dollars like this UPPAbaby Bassinet Stand. Putting your bassinet on a raised surface or a table is unsafe since your baby may fall.
5. Check To See If Anything Can Climb Into
If your cats or toddlers are around the bassinet, you may be concerned about whether they will climb into the bassinet or overturn it. It’s best to place the bassinet in a different room to keep them away. Furthermore, avoid covering the bassinet with a plastic lid or a towel.
6. Check To See If The Crib Is Durable Enough
The materials used to construct the basket must be durable. The sides and bottom of the basket should be sturdy enough to hold the baby inside, even when you move with the baby lying inside.
If it’s not reliable enough, when it breaks, in addition to your baby falling, the debris can be dangerous for your baby. You’d better test the durability of the laundry basket bassinet with something about 20 lbs, the same as a 6-month-old male baby.
7. Check To See Whether It’s Clean
You often pay attention to size and bedding but forget to check the hygiene of the basket. Before using, it’s a good idea to give the basket a good rinsing with soap and clean water. Before putting the mattress and other beddings inside the basket, ensure it’s completely dry.
At What Age Is Bed Sharing Safe?
As parents, you probably want to keep your baby in your hands even when it’s sleeping time. However, it’s against the AAP’s recommendations. They claimed SIDS, suffocation, and strangling are all risks of bed-sharing.
Avoid sharing a bed with newborns under four months, preterm kids, and kids born with lower birth weight.
Is It Ok for the Baby to Nap on Sofa?
The answer is no. You should never put your baby on a sofa while sleeping. Here are some main reasons:
Sharing a couch or sofa with your infant while you sleep has been related to a significantly increased SIDS risk. The infant might become jammed between cushions or even the sofa’s backrest without the sleeping parent noticing.
For these reasons, if you feel you’re about to take naps, place your newborn down in a firm place, and there is no risk of SIDS.
Can My Baby Sleep In A Car Seat Overnight?
The engine’s droning sounds may lull your baby to sleep by reminding them of being in the mom’s womb. However, if you have to drive long distances, it’s better not to let your baby sleep for a long time in the car seat because there is an increased risk of airway suffocation due to the straps or the lying position. According to a US Consumer Product Safety Commission report, out of 47 deaths, 31 occurred in car seats.
You can use a laundry basket as a bassinet for economic reasons. But, this way’s probably not a safe solution for your infant.
For the cost of making your own bassinet from a laundry basket, you can buy cheap bassinet models, around $5x, like Regalo Baby Basics, Dream On Me Karley, and Delta Children Deluxe Sweet. They are much safer and can be used for the next children.
However, if you’ve made your decision, it’s best to follow our tips to guarantee safety guidelines for your baby while sleeping.