What To Do When Your Baby Won’t Sleep In Bassinet?

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Many new parents struggle to cope with the frustrating dilemma of a new baby that simply won’t get to sleep

repeatedly waking during the night and fussing instead of sleeping soundly.

Plenty of babies especially have trouble getting to sleep in a bassinet, and many parents wonder why.

If you’ve found yourself searching “how to get baby to sleep in bassinet” night after night, check out the following tips for some common answers to your questions.

Common reasons your baby won’t fall asleep in the bassinet

While comfort is key in helping infants get to sleep, safety takes priority over everything else.



Pediatricians recommend laying your baby down on their back for sleeping rather than on their stomach

since tummy sleeping can increase the risks of SIDS, suffocation, and overheating.

However, this new sleeping arrangement won’t always go over so well with your little one!

Various types of discomfort could turn out to be the reasons why baby won’t sleep in bassinet

so it’s good to familiarize yourself with which elements might feel foreign or uncomfortable for your baby.

Babies aren’t used to sleeping flat

When your baby was in the womb, they certainly weren’t sleeping flat like they do in a bassinet!

They slept curled up and likely elevated in some form–and that environment is what they’re bound to crave for a while after having entered the world.

When your baby won’t sleep in bassinet, they may simply be unused to how it feels to lie flat.

They may simply require some time for an adjustment period in order to get used to lying in a new position.

Additionally, some babies suffer from reflux when lying flat

which can produce discomfort in their throats and keep them from getting a restful night’s sleep.

Babies don’t like cold, rough sheets

Alongside the foreign feeling of sleeping flat on their back instead of elevated, your baby might also be uncomfortable with rough sheets.

Babies are extremely sensitive to new, strange textures, and what feels passable to you might feel far rougher against a baby’s skin.

If your baby is distracted by uncomfortable textures, they’re going to have a very hard time getting cozy and drifting off to sleep.

Another reason that your baby won’t sleep in bassinet might be that they miss your scent and warmth, and the comfort that those qualities offer.

After all, the baby went from spending all their time warm and contained in the womb to a strange, flat surface that’s far colder by comparison.

The bassinet might be too still

During their time in the womb, babies feel all sort of sensations that they’re bound to miss later on, such as gentle breathing motions.

A bassinet is much more still and quiet by comparison, which can sometimes result in infants having trouble settling down for deep sleep.

What do do when a baby won’t sleep in bassinet

While it might seem overwhelming to keep track of all the reasons that your baby won’t sleep in bassinet

there are a number of simple changes that you can make in order to help things along.

Forming a few easy habits can go a long way in making sure your baby is set up for success in their new sleeping arrangement.

Get a bassinet with options for elevation

There are a number of bassinets available on the market that come with incline capabilities

which can help you easily adjust the sleeping platform so that your baby can get to sleep more easily.

The inclined bassinet is a great way to help prevent your baby from experiencing reflux and throat irritation while trying to sleep

and it can help them feel calmer and more secure as well.

If you already have a classic bassinet that doesn’t incline and don’t want to replace it

lift up the sleeping platform when you change the sheets and tuck a towel underneath it to elevate it yourself.

Just make sure you always stuff the towel underneath the platform rather than on top

so that your baby is safe and sound on a smooth sleeping surface.

Update: According to the AAP, sleep incline is no longer recommended.

Get the softest baby sheets you can find, and make sure they’re warm

When shopping to finish off your nursery, make sure you look for the softest bassinet sheets that you can find.

This will prevent any unnecessarily rough textures from rubbing and disturbing your baby’s sleep.

See if you can find cotton or flannel sheets as well–provided they’re soft enough.

These will do a better job of trapping your baby’s body heat and keeping them warm.

Since even the sheets with the best heat retention are bound to be a bit chilly when you first lay your baby down for bedtime

Product Image Satisfaction Rate
Kids N' Such Sheet Kids N' Such Jersey Cotton 97%
NODNAL CO. Bassinet Sheet Bassinet Fitted Sheet Set 3 Pack 100% Jersey Gray Cotton 94%
Burt's Bees Baby Sheet Burt's Bees Baby - Bassinet Sheet, Fitted Unisex Boy Girl 100% Organic Jersey 90%

consider warming them in the dryer right before bedtime so that they’ll feel cozier.

Another way to warm the sheets is to cuddle with them for a while before bed, holding them against the warmth of your own body.

An added perk of this method is that they’ll also carry your scent when you put them back on the bassinet

so your baby is more likely to feel extra comfortable and secure.

Opt for a bassinet that can sway and rock

While your little one is getting used to being more independent in the world, they might benefit from sleeping in a bassinet that can rock back and forth.

The gentle swaying motions offer all the benefits of a picturesque baby cradle

but serve as a safer and more modern alternative.

Product Image Satisfaction Rate
Green Frog Bassinet Green Frog Baby Bassinet 92%
MiClassic Bassinet 2in1 Staionary&Rock Mode Bassinet 82%
Ingenuity Bassinet Ingenuity Portable Folding Rocking Bassinet 80%

Always remember: consistency is key

No matter which of the above suggestions you choose to try, keep in mind that consistency is necessary to determine whether the new approach works for you and your baby.

Make sure that you take a regular, predictable approach to bedtime by sticking to a new method for several days or even weeks in order to establish a routine that your baby can get used to.

Above all, what your baby really wants is to feel secure, and consistency is key in building up that sense of security.

Getting your little one into a routine will help them adjust far more easily than repeated changes.

To Recap:

Once your baby enters the world, they’re immediately required to adjust to all sorts of new sensations and environments.

Changes such as no longer feeling the swaying movements, elevated posture, and warmth of the womb can be jarring.

Add cold, rough sheets on top of that and all those strange sensations can interfere with a baby’s ability to get a sound night’s sleep.

In order to give your baby a more comfortable environment to fall asleep in

make sure you’ve gotten the softest possible sheets–preferably in a material that retains warmth, such as flannel or cotton.

Holding or sleeping with those sheets to give them your warmth and scent will help the baby sleep better as well.

Additionally, opt for a bassinet that can be elevated and rocked, and make sure that you stand by any changes that you make so that your baby gets used to the new routine.

Additional information:

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