are a popular choice for parents who want to keep their newborn nearby
at night. Many babies also feel more secure when sleeping in the smaller,
enclosed space of a bassinet.
Certain bassinet features are essential for safety; others simply
offer additional utility and value. Regardless of how they are accessorized,
bassinets generally have the following components besides the “basket”
or bassinet itself: wheels, stand, hood, mattress pad, and bedding.
– This can be made
from woven wicker, wicker-like materials, a metal or plastic frame
with fabric stretched over it, or a rigid material such as fiberboard
or cardboard. Wicker baskets can be dressed or undressed. If parents
wish to make their own bedding or purchase custom bedding, they’ll
need to purchase an undressed
with a rigid basket structure
that can be easily dressed. Frame baskets include the basket, bedding,
and skirting in one piece. When slipped onto the frame, the fabric
creates a soft sided basket enclosure that is beautifully dressed.
Fiberboard/cardboard materials usually yield sturdy, rigid-side
baskets that are easy to dress and offer a more solid feel. Basket
construction and materials are not as important as always ensuring
that no holes, rips, sharp edges, loose fabrics, or long threads
or ribbons are present to endanger baby. When no safety concerns
are present, the rest of the purchase decision is generally based
on personal preference. Standard baskets measure from 12”W
x 27”L to 14”W x 29”L; there are also Jumbo models
measuring approximately 15”W x 30”L. Basket depth can
be anywhere from 8” to 12”. Bassinets are usually rated
for up to 15 pounds (6.82 kg) or until baby can roll over or push
up on hands and knees.
casters or some other type of wheel assembly allowing you to move
the bassinet around. Some wheels are for decorative purposes only,
while others have wheels that roll smoothly on carpets and hard
floors. Some also have a locking feature.
are usually made of metal tubing, wood, wood composite board, wicker,
or plastic. Look for something that is strong, sturdy, stable, and
safe. It should not be wobbly or loose or have any exposed sharp
or pointy parts to pinch fingers. If it folds, it should have strong
locks that ensure it won’t collapse accidentally. An imbalanced
or top heavy bassinet could tip over or be pulled over by a curious,
small child wanting to see inside. The base should be wide enough
to be stable but not so wide that it sticks out too far and becomes
a tripping hazard. If the stand meets these basic criteria, then
consider extra features, such as storage space to keep diapers,
changing supplies, clothes, and toys handy. Some stands have shelves,
some a mesh basket. With a long skirt there won’t be easy
access to underneath storage. With a short skirt, an attractive
base is important. Some stands allow you to remove or flip-up the
wheels and then rock the bassinet from side-to-side on a specially
designed cradle stand. Other models allow you to adjust the height.
The stand is typically where most of the assembly is needed on bassinets.
Be sure to instruct your customers about how much assembly and what
tools are needed. Also, check to see if detailed, illustrated instructions
are included and if the manufacturer has a toll-free number for
– An option on most
units, a hood helps shade baby from harsh light and adds to the
classic look. Sometimes it’s adjustable or
removable. Solid wicker or plastic hoods can be covered with fabric
or left bare. Plastic frame hoods which require a fabric cover are
more common. Particularly on wicker units, the hood may be permanently
woven into the bassinet body. If the bassinet is covered with insect
netting, the hood will help support it and keep it taut.
should have a comfortable mattress pad that fits securely without
leaving gaps or being folded over. One- to two-inch pads are the
Bedding and Skirts
goes with bassinet bedding, now available in an endless variety
of colors and fashions. Your may have a simple fabric liner, a short
or half skirt that covers the basket but not the stand, or a long
skirt that cascades to the floor. At the very least, the bedding
set will line the interior of the
and include a sheet.
At the other end of the spectrum, liners with attached skirts (long
or short), sheets, and coordinated canopies or hood covers are also
available. While it’s bedding that is easy to clean and wash
is recommended, sometimes practical matters go out the window when
emotion and fashion are so much a part of the decision. Nevertheless,
it’s usually how a bassinet is dressed that will make or break
Mom or Dad’s (or Grandma’s!) decision to purchase. Most
mass-produced bassinets are pre-packed with bedding, but many custom
designers will create the skirt of their dreams.
- Increasingly common
with additional upgrades like attached mobiles or
toys, or pockets on the skirt for storage. You’ll also find
bassinets with electronic keypads that control vibration, music,
night lights, or even a re-recordable computer chip that will hold
a message you record for Baby.
Retailers should consider displaying a range of price points if
they have room. By showing basic ($30-50), upgraded ($50-150), and
designer ($150-200+) models side-by-side, customers can easily evaluate
the space in their house and decide which features are essential
to them. Bassinets sell better when shown out of the box so customers
can evaluate the height, sturdiness, and look and feel of the bedding
and extra features (if any).
When the right
is purchased, parents
can rest assured that they are ready to keep their sleeping baby
safe, secure, and nearby, starting with her first night at home.
By Sara L. Logan
Vice President of Marketing
Badger Basket Company
Published in the Fall/Winter 2003 issue of Baby Shop Magazine