Photo from thelittleones.co.uk
I learned about Moses baskets a while after I had my baby, having already gotten a bedside bassinet that actually worked really well. This time around I’m looking into Moses baskets more closely.
They just look so gorgeous and practical for moving around, and I can see myself taking monthly milestone pictures for my baby in them!
But are Moses Baskets safe for newborns? I did some research about the safety of Moses Baskets, and here’s what I have to share about it.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) doesn’t have an official statement about Moses baskets specifically, but they do have a general policy statement about safe sleep environments for infants. Moses baskets that are specifically designed for infants and offer a firm sleeping surface would meet the AAP’s recommendations.
The NHS recommends placing your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months. This is because it decreases the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Most Moses baskets are made from natural materials like wicker, bamboo, or seagrass. This allows for good airflow and breathability inside the basket.
Another good point is that Moses baskets have low sides which allow babies to be seen by parents at a glance.
So, in short, Moses baskets can be safe for newborns as long as they meet the AAP’s and NHS’s recommendations for a safe sleep environment.
I would recommend doing your own research to find a Moses basket that meets these guidelines and fits your needs.
What is a Moses basket?
A Moses basket is a basket usually made from sturdy natural materials such as wicker or straw. They are often used for newborn infants, as they are lightweight and easy to move around.
The name “Moses basket” comes from the biblical story of Moses, who was placed in a bulrush basket by his mother and set afloat on the river Nile.
Moses baskets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some have a hood that can be used to cover the baby’s head when they are sleeping.
Some also come with stands, so that they can be placed high on the floor next to the bed, or taken with you when you’re moving around the house.
Why is a Moses basket great for a newborn?
Moses baskets are a great option for newborns because they are practical, small, and less expensive than other sleeping arrangements like bassinets and cribs.
Easy to carry around
You’ll find a Moses basket to be really convenient. You can carry it easily around the house to keep an eye on your little one.
They can be carried easily from room to room since it is such lightweight item.
A Moses basket can make a great docking station as well. It will find its place in the living room and can be a great place to set your baby down for a nap.
If you have two or more floors in your house, it’s a good idea to have safe places to put your baby all over the house. Having a safe place for your baby, especially in your living area is really useful.
You can keep a Moses basket in the kitchen or your living room and put your baby in it while you are cooking or eating.
Small for the newborn phase
Moses baskets are great for newborns because they are small enough to make your baby feel contained and secure, so your baby doesn’t get overwhelmed by a huge crib in the first months of life.
This can be helpful in the early weeks and months when your baby is adjusting to life outside the womb.
Many Moses baskets come with a hood that you can use to cover your baby’s head when they are sleeping, which can create a cozy and calming environment for them.
Small price for a big payoff
Moses baskets can be a great alternative to bassinets, which can be more expensive. Moses baskets usually cost between $30 and $100, making them a more affordable option for new parents on a tight budget.
Knowing that you will only use this sleeping arrangement for a handful of months makes you consider cheaper options, and you can always resell your Moses basket once your baby has outgrown it.
Should you get a stand for a Moses basket?
You don’t necessarily need a stand for your Moses basket, you can simply put your Moses basket directly on the floor. However, a stand can work better for you if you have a high bed or if you have pets in the house!
If you decide on getting a stand, you don’t have to get a matching stand. You can buy a separate one relatively cheaply.
You can also find some good deals for the Moses basket and stand together, but I would also recommend taking a look at second-hand shops and online marketplaces to see what’s available if you don’t want to spend much.
How long should a baby be in a Moses basket for?
Most babies will outgrow their Moses basket around 4 months or so, which is when parents would make the transition to a crib.
A good rule of thumb is to stop using the Moses basket for sleeping when your baby shows signs of being able to roll over. However chunky babies often outgrow their Moses basket due to the size rather than in terms of mobility.
It’s good to take a look at the dimensions of the Moses basket and see if it will be a good fit for your baby before you make the purchase.
When your baby no longer uses the Moses basket, you can repurpose it as a cute storage for your baby’s toys!
If you’re worried about your baby quickly outgrowing their Moses basket, but still want to have the look and convenience of one, you can get a woven changing basket instead. This one on Amazon gets so much praise from parents.
It has the Moses basket look but can be used much longer for diaper changing and as a place you can put your baby in to feel contained and cozy before the crawling phase starts.
You can also lay your baby in it after bathtime, and you will get tons of cute photos of your baby in it.
Moses basket vs bassinet
If you are in the throes of last-minute nesting, you might find yourself hesitating between a Moses basket and a bassinet. After all, these two sleeping arrangements are pretty similar and seem to do the same job.
Here’s what you need to know about the two:
- A Moses basket is more lightweight and portable so might be a better choice if you are often on the go and moving around the house. It is also easy to store away when not in use or repurpose when your baby stops sleeping in it.
- A bassinet may provide your baby with a roomier sleep environment and is a good option for a bedside setup that will make nursing your baby easier. A bassinet is more expensive than a Moses basket, and you will use it for almost the same period of time.
So if you are looking for a small, relatively cheap, and super portable sleeping solution for the first few months, go with the Moses basket.
If you want something that will provide your baby with a bigger space, and want to have a breastfeeding-friendly option that can be used for a (slightly) longer period of time, go with the bassinet.
Safety tips for using a Moses basket
There are a few things to watch out for with Moses baskets, however. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that your Moses basket has a firm sleeping surface and fits snugly in its stand or base.
Here are some important safety tips to use your Moses basket safely:
Carrying the Moses basket
You should be careful about moving the basket using the handles while your baby is laying inside it.
If you have to carry the basket, make sure to keep your hand underneath your baby to support their weight with your hand so there’s no risk of the base falling or getting damaged.
Carrying the Moses with your baby in it while you’re going up or down the stairs is not recommended.
If you need to go up or down the stairs with your baby, take them out of the basket and carry them in your arms. It’s more of a safety issue regarding you tripping and falling while carrying your little one.
Watch out for mold or mildew
Most Moses baskets are made from natural materials like wicker, bamboo, or seagrass. These materials can be a bit risky because they can mold and mildew.
If you are living in a humid climate, be sure to keep an eye on it for any signs of wetness or mold. If you see any, discontinue use and dry it out completely before using again.
Be sure to also keep an eye on your baby for any signs of respiratory issues if you’re using a Moses basket that has been exposed to mold or mildew.
Babies are more sensitive to these allergens and can develop asthma or other respiratory problems if exposed.
Keep the Moses basket uncluttered
When you’re using the Moses basket, make sure to keep it uncluttered. This means no toys, blankets, or other fluffy items should be in the basket with your baby. These can create a suffocation hazard if your baby falls asleep on top of them.
Bumpers are also a no-no in the Moses basket, as they can also create a suffocation hazard.
Overall, Moses baskets can be a safe option for sleeping infants as long as you follow the guidelines above.
They are a good choice for newborns who are still breastfeeding, as they are lightweight and easy to move around. Just be sure to keep an eye on your baby in case he or she starts to roll over or turn their head too much, as this can increase the risk of SIDS.
So, are Moses baskets safe for newborns? Yes, but take some safety precautions! For more tips on creating a safe sleep environment for your baby, visit the AAP website.