How Long Can a Baby Sleep in a Moses Basket?
When you picture a newborn bundle of joy, quite often people think of a chubby little cherub all snuggled up in a beautiful basket with all the frilly trimmings. That basket is known as a Moses basket, after the biblical character who was found floating along the Nile as a baby in a basket. They are popular purchases for budding new parents, but I wonder if they’ve ever asked how long can a baby sleep in a Moses basket, before making their purchases. In this post I’ll look into the pros and cons of Moses baskets, and provide a few recommendations and alternatives.
How long can a baby sleep in a Moses basket?
It’s definitely one of those “how long is a piece of string” questions. If your baby is born as a 10lb whopper, you’re not going to get much use out of a Moses basket, but a tiny 6lb baby could be in it for months.
As a general guide, for an average length 8lb baby, you’re going to get 3-4 months use out of your Moses basket.
What will my baby sleep in after growing out of the Moses basket?
Once your baby outgrows their Moses basket, you’re going to need somewhere for them to sleep until they are old enough to sleep in their own room (not recommended by authorities until 6 months of age).
You have a few options for safe sleeping:
- If you have room, you can simply build their full sized cot in your bedroom, and then move them into the nursery when they reach 6 months of age.
- Put the baby to sleep in their full sized cot in their bedroom and you can sleep on a temporary bed in the room with them.
- Buy a crib, which are smaller than full sized cots and keep in your bedroom. Cribs generally are big enough for an average baby to sleep in until 6 months of age.
- Build your travel cot and keep baby sleeping in your bedroom in that. Travel cots are generally much smaller than full sized cots, plus you will get future use out of a travel cot until your child is approximately 2 years of age.
Beautiful Moses baskets
Pros and cons of Moses baskets
Can help newborns to feel secure as they as small and cosy.
Easily portable – you can carry the Moses basket downstairs during the day and then use it upstairs at night.
Babies usually grow out of them before they are 6 months old and therefore need another sleeping place before they move into their own bedroom.
Buying a Moses basket and stand usually costs as much as alternatives which can be used for longer.
Alternatives to Moses baskets
A crib is like a smaller version of a cot, but usually big enough for your baby to sleep in until they are approximately 6 months old. The great thing about a crib is that it is small enough to fit by your bed, but big enough to use until your baby is ready to move into their own bedroom. You can purchase special cribs like the Snuzpod which attach to the side of your bed and have a removable side so that you can sleep very closely to your baby, or you can buy a simpler wooden slatted crib and place it next to your bed so that you can easily see your baby through the bars. Many cribs also come with the option of being able to rock your baby, which can help to soothe them to sleep.
Some carrycots that are sold with prams are suitable for use for overnight sleeping. Please ensure that you check that your own carrycot is suitable for overnight sleeping – your manufacturer can advise. The risk is that carrycots are well insulated to protect your baby from the elements when you take the pram outside, and so they are not very breathable to allow sufficient circulation of air for longer term sleeping.
If you are going to sleep your baby in his or her carrycot overnight, I suggest that you purchase a better quality mattress than is provided with the pram to ensure the best sleep possible for your baby, and to fully support his or her growing bones.
Popular over the last few years are sleeping pods which are like big pillows for your baby. A number of these products have appeared over the years, but it’s important to note that they are not all thoroughly tested for safe overnight sleeping. The Sleepyhead Deluxe is one of the high quality products that has passed the tests, and is suitable for babies up to approximately 8 months of age. You can place the pod directly onto the floor in your bedroom whilst your baby is small, or use it in conjunction with a crib or travel cot. Then when your baby graduates into their own bedroom, the closeness and familiarity of the Sleepyhead can help them with the transition into their full size cot.
A Moses basket can be a really comforting place for your tiny sleeping newborn, but I have to admit that we never used one. We decided that we would get much more use out of a crib: our first son slept in it until five and a half months when he outgrew it, and the second little one is 3 months into his crib usage and all is going well. We used our pram’s carrycot for daytime naps downstairs.
If you’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of your baby, have you already purchased a Moses basket? Do you think a crib or sleeping pod is better value for money? Please comment below with your thoughts and questions, and share with your friends who are expecting!