3 Things To Do When Your Baby Won’t Sleep in a Bedside Bassinet

3 Things To Do When Your Baby Wont Sleep in the Bedside Bassinet

As with many things you can buy for your newborn baby, there’s no guarantee you will use all of them! A common issue that comes up often is when your newborn baby won’t sleep in their brand new bedside bassinet!

Some babies won’t sleep in their bedside bassinet at night while other newborns won’t sleep in the bedside bassinet at nap time. Or, neither. Both scenarios are very common.

If you’re even a little like me, you might be nervous about bed-sharing. I worried about rolling over onto baby! I also felt that having him in the crib in another room was too far away!

A bedside bassinet is a perfect solution, but only if your newborn actually sleeps in it. If your newborn won’t sleep in the bassinet, here are 3 things you can do to help:

1. Sleep on the Bedside Bassinet Sheets

Your newborn baby likes to be near you and your scent, especially if you are breastfeeding. The smell of you is one thing that helps him feel more comfortable. You could try to sleep on the bassinet sheets for a couple of days or even walk around with them in your shirt while you pitter-patter around the house before putting them back on your baby’s bed. Your scent will be transferred to the sheets and may help him feel more comfortable when you put him a little further away from you in the bassinet.

2. Buy a Bedside Bassinet With Movement

Consider purchasing a bedside bassinet that has movement. I know you may already have purchased one, but see if you can return it or sell it to another parent who doesn’t have as picky of a sleeper. Believe me, the cost of buying a new bassinet will be worth it to get more sleep! Here are three options to consider:

SNOO Smart Sleeper BassinetThe SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet, created by Dr. Harvey Karp, costs over $1200, but now you can rent one! The big benefit here is that it’s “smart” in that it doesn’t move the entire time, but reacts to your baby’s crying by starting the motion and increasing the white noise volume. This can buy you precious hours of sleep! You would not want to skip necessary feedings, but this moving bassinet can help keep your baby asleep for longer periods of time since it doesn’t require you to activate it.

The Fisher Price Soothing Motions Bassient has a soothing swaying motion that can be initiated by you or your baby. It’s easy to soothe your baby by rocking the bassinet back and forth or turning on the vibrations. In addition, it has a mobile, too!

This HALO bassinet has a unique swivel feature and a drop side which makes soothing your baby super easy!

These bedside bassinets can be well-worth their money if lack of soothing is the main reason your newborn won’t sleep in the bassinet.

What About Bedside Bassinets with an Incline?

Many babies do not enjoy sleeping flat at all. It can feel unnatural especially if your baby has reflux. Sometimes just inclining the bed helps babies feel more comfortable, and helps keeps things down for those with reflux.

However, safe sleep guidelines say not to allow babies to sleep at an incline as they may roll onto their side or tummy.

You may have heard about the Rock-N-Play Sleeper, which has now been recalled** as well as all incline slepers. This sleeper was involved in a safety controversy (see below). Please – no matter what item you use be sure to always use any restraints every time you use it. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully too.

** The Rock-N-Play was recalled in April 2019. Since 2009, over 30 infant deaths occurred due to a child rolling while unrestrained. Please always use restraints on any device that has them and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, it is recommended to stop using some items as soon as your child can roll.

3. Be Persistent With the Bedside Bassinet

If you had a choice of sleeping on a regular mattress or on a pillow-top mattress pad, you might prefer the padded mattress pad, but it doesn’t mean you couldn’t sleep on the regular mattress. As long as the bassinet is safe and not made of rocks, your baby may be able to adapt and “get used to it.”

This might mean gradually increasing time in it during awake periods as well as sleep periods. For example, if he currently will only sleep in it for 30 minutes, try increasing the time he spends in it to 45 minutes, then 60 minutes, and so on.

In the end, what makes your bed “your bed” is the fact that our bodies become accustomed to it. When you sleep at a hotel, it’s just not the same is it? So, as long as your baby is allowed to sleep elsewhere, then what becomes their “bed” is not the bassinet. That might be your bed or your arms, or chest.

With concerted effort on your part, you can help your newborn baby associate the bassinet as her preferred sleep space! Even if it doesn’t happen in one sitting or one night, work your way up gradually!

Of course, if your baby is outgrowing the bassinet, it’s possible it’s time to transition baby to a crib or cot.

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15 thoughts on “3 Things To Do When Your Baby Won’t Sleep in a Bedside Bassinet”

  1. Useful info. It’s what i was looking for. My daughter is only 2 years old, she has been having trouble sleeping recently, which has been a headache to me all this time. Thanks for your great sharing

    • Hi @Tabitha, thanks for bringing this to our attention. We are aware of the recalls and it looks like we missed this article when we updated our materials with the new information that’s out there. I apologize for the inconvenience but do appreciate you commenting so we can be sure to update it. We have SO many articles it can be difficult to find them all to update when new research comes out.

  2. Sit up and cry along with my baby, just funny! I totally agree with you Janelle. Thanks for sharing useful info.

    • Hey @Sarah, thank you for your comment about the Rock N’ Play. We have also recently come across more research that shows this as well, so we appreciate your comment so we are able to update the article according to more research. We do try to include information on all sleep solutions we hear families are using, and when we work one-on-one with families using them always have a word of caution for them, however with more recent research, we will need to update a word of “being careful” to recommending not using them for infant sleep. We are working to update our articles with it but as you can imagine since we’ve been around for a long time we have SO many articles and this can take a while, so again I appreciate your comment so we are able to update these. I have passed this on and it’s on our list. Thanks again for your input, we appreciate it!

  3. Patience is virtue with any baby activities. My little one hates sleeping likes to stay awake along with all of us lol. Anyways great article. Like the perspecitive and angle you went with. I shared it with my peers as well.

  4. I warmed up the bassinet with a hot water bottle an hour before bedtime and take it out when I put her in and it works like a charm.

  5. I totally agree with this topic. This is common issue I heard from mothers. You give us a lot of useful tips. Thanks a lot!

  6. Proper use of Bassinet Sheets can help a lot as well Also mom persistent is also important. I think bay like incline so we can use these as well. Informative post. Thanks

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