Mini Crib vs Bassinet- What’s the Difference and What are the Best Options?

Last Updated on February 5, 2021

Mini crib vs bassinet- what’s the difference, and which of them is best for you? I’ll give you a quick overview in the first paragraph. If you wish to dig deeper, then scroll even further down to get more in-depth answers.

Milliard Bedside Bassinet

Best bassinet option

  • Side-sleeper
  • Adjustable height
  • Comes with storage pockets
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Aden 4 in 1 Mini Crib

Best crib option

  • Grows with your child
  • JPMA certified crib
  • Beautiful traditional mini crib
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What’s a Bassinet and What’s the Difference Between a Mini Crib and a Bassinet?

A bassinet is a small bed for babies from birth to about four months. After that, babies usually wiggle so much that it’s safer to transfer them to a more stable crib (also known as a cot) or mini crib. If the bassinet has a moving feature, it’s called a cradle. The weight limit is less than 25lb, usually around 20lb.

Mini cribs or non-full-sized cribs have inner dimensions of less than 28 ± 5/8 inches (71cm ± 1.6 cm) x 52 3/8 ± 5/8 inches (133 cm ± 1.6 cm). If you’re also interested in differences between a mini crib and full-sized crib, then click here.

In comparison to a bassinet, mini crib offers you more options. The mattress height of a regular mini crib is adjustable to three to four different positions. This means that you can use it for a long time. As a bonus, many models are convertible, so you can turn them even to toddler beds. But most are bigger than bassinets and can’t easily be adjusted to your bed. And let’s be honest here, a stand-alone cradle is just much cuter 🙂

Mini crib and a beautiful bassinet

Bedside Sleepers Function as Bassinets

You may also want to consider a bedside sleeper. With (usually) higher price, you get a more stable (and heavier) bassinet that can be attached to your bed. They are a little bigger than cradles, so you can keep your infant there up to about six months.

Baby sleeping in a bedside sleeper

One wall of a bedside sleeper is usually lower, so it’s easy to reach for your child. You can also adjust the height of most models. As a result, they accommodate flawlessly to your bed. And these features come especially handy if you have back issues. 

Milliard Side Sleeper (also sold on Amazon) is a popular bedside sleeper loved by hundreds of parents.

Bassinets That Come With a Playard or Mini Crib

Some travel cribs (playards) or mini cribs include a bassinet. This is a perfect opportunity to save money. So if you travel a lot or also want to have a pack and play, then it may be a good idea to buy one of these all-in-ones. Surprisingly, the combo options may be even cheaper than stand-alone bassinets. 

Tanzania by Baby Trend (also sold on Amazon) is one of the most popular options here.

Assembling Mini Crib vs Bassinet

Assembling a full-sized crib is usually effortless, and things are even more simple for mini cribs and bassinets. Travel cribs are intended for traveling, and you can unfold the best models in seconds. That said, many mini crib models require assembly, but the process is usually effortless.

In contrast to mini cribs, you don’t generally need to assemble a bassinet. 

Bells and Whistles of Mini Crib vs Bassinet

Most parents buy crib mobiles to stimulate their little ones. Activity bars and nightlights are also excellent additions. This said some bassinet models have these features built-in. You can find cradles that play sounds, vibrate or rock.

Fisher-Price Soothing Motions Bassinet (also sold on Amazon) is one popular example.

Mini Crib Mattress vs Bassinet Mattress

Mini cribs must be sold with a mattress, but you usually just get a thin pad. The same also applies to bassinets.This said they are usually enough for newborns as the bed must be flat to prevent breathing problems. And if you’re not happy, then it’s always possible to buy a replacement from a trusted seller. Just make sure that the measurements are correct, and it’s made for babies. A safe mattress shouldn’t be too soft.

Mini Crib: PROS and CONS

Let’s check the pros and cons of mini crib vs bassinet.


  • You can use a mini crib longer time compared to a bassinet. You can even convert many mini cribs into toddler beds. Bassinets, in contrast, are usually suitable only for up to six months
  • Similarly to bassinets, mini cribs are easily portable and many of them are designed for traveling
  • Some mini cribs come with bassinets, so you get an all in one
  • The design of mini cribs is less strictly regulated than that of full-sized cribs. As a result, you can choose between many shapes (there are even round ones!) and colors. Some models are intended for traveling, they can be foldable or have other unique features. This all said the large variety can be a little daunting for first-time dads. You may want to start with a bassinet and give yourself a couple of extra months to figure out your needs


  • You can’t adjust them to your bed. If you want your baby to sleep right next to you or have back issues, then a bedside bassinet is a better option
  • Most mini cribs are still bigger than tiny bassinets, but it’s not a rule. Many bedside sleepers can be quite heavy too

Bassinet: PROS and CONS

I didn’t buy a bassinet (yes, I said it) as I’m a big fan of lean thinking. Our baby slept in a crib from day one. That said, there are many good reasons to start with a bassinet. 


  • Traditional cradles are just cute cuter than mini cribs. You don’t need a better reason to buy one
  • The sleeping area of a bassinet is smaller than that of a mini crib. Your little one may feel more comfortable in it
  • If you feel more at ease when the baby is next to you, then a bassinet is an excellent option as it’s so small. Bedside sleepers also adjust perfectly to most beds (in contrast to mini cribs)
  • A lightweight bassinet is also a great option if you have to travel a lot. That said, most hotels provide you with an adjustable baby cot
  • If you have back issues or recovering from a C-section, then a bedside sleeper as a bassinet is a perfect solution
  • Bedside sleepers (or big bassinets) are excellent for breastfeeding mothers. The sleep is better despite the night-time feedings because there’s no need to get out of the bed
  • Acquiring a bassinet gives you extra time to think about your kid’s next bed (you can’t go wrong with it!). Choosing between a full-sized crib and mini crib isn’t always easy, so buying yourself four extra months to make the final decision is an excellent back-up plan 
  • You don’t usually have to assemble a bassinet. That said, putting a mini crib together isn’t rocket science either


  • Stand-alone bassinets are relatively expensive
  • You can use them only up to six months (if you opt for a bigger bedside sleeper). Traditional cradles are probably obsolete already after four months

Best Mini Cribs and Bassinets Reviewed

I want to introduce you to a couple of best options from both sides to make your decision easier when it comes to mini crib vs bassinet.

Milliard Bedside Bassinet (Check the Latest Price on Amazon)

This bedside sleeper illustrates perfectly how a bassinet can adjust to your bed. The height is adjustable, and you can also attach it to your bed. Thanks to the pockets, you can have all the necessary stuff (like bottles, pacifiers) right next to you. As a result, you don’t have to get out of bed during the night. Milliard bassinet comes with a waterproof sheet, and as a bonus for all dads, it’s effortless to assemble. You can use this bassinet for up to five months, which is quite good when it comes to bassinets.

Dream on Me Cradle (Check the Latest Price on Amazon)

If you or your partner were dreaming of a traditional cradle, then this is one of the most popular options out there. If you don’t like the grey color then no worries, you can choose between 7 different colors so you can probably find a suitable bassinet for your nursery. A thin pad is included. The problem is that you can use it for about three months. Additionally, it’s not the cheapest bassinet out there. 

Dream On Me Aden Convertible Mini Crib 4-in-1(Check the Latest Price on Amazon)

The Aden mini crib looks beautiful, and you can use it for years. It’s possible to convert it into a toddler bed or even a twin bed. Although you need to buy bed rails for that. You can adjust the mattress height, but it’s still not that comfortable next to your bed. All mini cribs come with a bad as required by law, but they are quite thin (as in this case). That said, babies shouldn’t sleep on a very soft surface, so I don’t consider it a problem. All in all, it’s one of the most popular mini cribs out there.

DaVinci Alpha Rocking Mini Crib (Check the Latest Price on Amazon)

The Alpha mini crib is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a portable bed for your little one, but want it to last longer than a bassinet. You can effortlessly move it around because it comes with removable wheels. It will also make quite a good bassinet as you can rock it (without wheels). The Alpha mini crib is a safe product as it’s Greenguard Gold certified and meets the federal standards as well.

Creating a Safe Space for Your Babys Sleep

Some parents opt for co-sleeping, but there are a couple of things to remember. Sharing a bed with parents doesn’t increase the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) if they are not smoking, using alcohol or other substances, and the infant is full-term. One shouldn’t also co-sleep on a sofa. If these requirements are met, then co-sleeping is a valid option. We didn’t practice it, though. I’m quite heavy and was afraid that I’d harm my kid in my sleep. Additionally, the quality of sleep wasn’t that good.

Buying your little one a bed is undoubtedly the safest option. Bedside sleepers allow your baby to sleep directly next to you and yet have his or her personal space. Bassinets, mini cribs, and cribs must all meet many federal standards, so they are guaranteed to be safe.

The mattress shouldn’t be too soft. Luckily, you can accuse mini crib and bassinet mattresses of that. As I’ve mentioned earlier (sorry for repeating myself), if you buy a replacement, make sure it’s age-appropriate.

You shouldn’t keep any extra stuff (don’t buy a pillow, and you may not even need a blanket) in your baby’s bed. Dress her warmly in baby sleepers and put him on his back. If she starts to turn, then you don’t have to worry. There’s very little you can do against it:) But at least in the beginning, babies should sleep on their backs.

It’s best to keep the room dark and quiet. It’s also essential that the place isn’t too warm.

To Sum Up

I hope this guide made your decision a little easier. If you’re not sure which one to get, opt for Milliard Bedside Bassinet (Check the Latest Price on Amazon). This is an excellent option as you can have your baby sleep next to you. It will make your life so much easier when recovering from a C-section, having back issues, or wanting to have more rest. This will also give you time to figure out your actual needs. The only downside is that you have to buy a new bed for your kid after about six months.