What Is The Difference Between A Co-Sleeper and A Bassinet?

You want to keep your baby close to you at night for more peaceful sleep, so you’re considering sharing a room.

However, you’re having difficulty choosing which is the best sleeper for your baby.

Room-sharing with your infant has many benefits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that parents and newborns sleep in the same room but warns of safety risks when sleeping on the same bed.

Having your baby sleep in a crib near your bed is an option, but a crib takes up plenty of space, is difficult to fit along with your bed, and can be cumbersome. They are also more ideal for older babies, and you may have a newborn or infant you want to keep beside you during feeding or sleeping.

Those are all good reasons why you may be considering other options, such as a co-sleeper or bassinet.

Learn more about these two types, including:

  • What is a co-sleeper?
  • What is a bassinet?
  • What are the differences?
  • The Co-Sleeper v.s Bassinet

If you’re weighing the pros and cons of a co-sleeper vs. bassinet, keep on reading to find out which type suits you and your baby’s needs.

What is a co-sleeper?

Co-sleepers are sleeping cots for babies that are designed to attach or fit securely beside your bed. It keeps your little one within arm’s reach and gives you easy access whenever your baby needs feeding or comforting.

What is a bassinet?

A bassinet or bassinette is a bed made typically for newborns to babies of about four months old. Most of the time, they are designed with legs or casters. There are cradle variations that rock or glide to lull baby to sleep.

You’ll find bassinets will appear similar to a basket on free-standing legs, while a cradle is mostly set in a fixed frame with the ability to offer a rocking or gliding motion.

What are the differences?

Whether you use a co-sleeper or bassinet, you can place either one in the same room with you. Babies should be close to parents within the first six months to lessen the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.

A co-sleeper or bassinet are popular options for parents who are considering room sharing and looking to prevent the safety risks of bed sharing.

However, what exactly differentiates the two? They’re actually pretty similar. A co-sleeper can usually be directly attached or fit alongside the parent’s bed. That is why it is important that you choose a co-sleeper that exactly matches the height level of your bed. With a co-sleeper, your infant is next to you and reachable but placed in their own safe cot.

A bassinet, on the other hand, is portable as well, but it’s not as accessible as a co-sleeper. Your baby will also be safe and comfortable in their bassinet, but it doesn’t directly fit to the side of your bed. This makes it easier to move your bassinet from one room to another. Bassinets are usually used by babies during the first four to six months of age.

The Co-Sleeper vs. Bassinet

Let’s examine the pros and cons of each type of sleeper.


Do you have a tight budget and finite space?

Bassinets tend to be smaller, some of which can easily stand next to your bed. Your baby will appreciate a cozy bassinet as babies prefer smaller spaces in their first few months.

They’re portable, too. However, babies quickly outgrow bassinets.


If you’re using the attachment parenting method and seek to forge a closer bond with your baby, the co-sleeper is a perfect choice. It’s a favorite of mothers who are co-sleeping and breastfeeding.

It works as an extension of your bed and as a way to safely bed-share your infant.

Mainly, there are two kinds of co-sleepers. There is a type which you can place on top of your bed mattress. Another popular type is one which you can set beside your bed and lower the rail facing your mattress.

First of all, co-sleepers are convenient as you don’t have to leave the comfort of your bed to reach your baby. You also foster bonding in such close proximity.

It’s very functional, too. Unlike bassinets, most of the co-sleepers allow you to make height adjustments and many will have storage capabilities below the sleeper. Check out our review of the best co-sleepers on the market.

Keep these things in mind…

Whether you pick a co-sleeper or bassinet, remember to check the condition and that it meets industry safety standards such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Keep your baby’s sleeper away from any strangulation or choking hazards. Also, be sure to follow the accompanying instructions and properly assemble your new sleeper.

Sarah Morgan

Chief editor of WellBeingKid.com and striving mom-extraordinaire.Let me share and inspire you with my daily struggles to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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