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How to Buy A Bassinet

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Easy Reach Ultra Light Vibes Rocking Bassinet Kolcraft, $90 Record a calming message to comfort your baby as she snoozes in the next room.

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Bassinet with Star & Moon Linens PoshTots, $480 It's a total splurge, but your great-grandkids will love it.

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Portable Bassinet with Toy Box Badger Basket, $60 Use the built-in storage to keep blankets and rattles within reach.

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Musical Rocking Bassinet Eddie Bauer, $140 Its soothing motion and melodies will lull your little one to sleep.

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Carry-Me-Near 5-in-1 Sleep System The First Years, $120 You can use this as a portable or full-size bassinet, a bedside sleeper, a changing table, or a play seat.

Consumer Reports Shopping Tips

  1. Look for a bassinet that has a stable base. If it's a fold-up model, make sure the legs lock securely when it's in use. Avoid rough or sharp edges. The fabric shouldn't have any loose threads or stitching that could allow your baby's tiny fingers to get trapped.
  2. The mattress pad should be less than 11 1/2" thick, fit snugly against the sides of the bassinet, and be firm--not soft (a suffocation hazard). Use a tight-fitting sheet made specifically for the bassinet you choose, and buy extras to keep on hand for changes. Don't use additional padding or fluffy bedding--they can up the risk of suffocation or asphyxiation.
  3. Keep your bassinet away from curtains, window blinds, blind cords, and wall hangings; any of these can be a strangulation hazard.
  4. Your baby will probably outgrow the bassinet by the time she's 3 months old, but always follow the manufacturer's weight and size specifications.

-Sandra Gordon, author of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products

Copyright©: 2005. Reprinted with permission from the June 2005 issue of Parents magazine.