ConsumerReports.org does not recommend allowing an infant to sleep in a Moses basket. Often made of straw or other natural fibres, Moses basket handles can break, leading to injury of the infant. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to Moses baskets, including bassinets, cradles and baby swing bassinet attachments. Before you purchase any baby bed, consult the Consumer Product Safety Commission's recall lists to avoid models that have been deemed unsafe.
Bassinets, like Moses baskets, are used for about the first five months of a baby's life. Bassinets should not be used once the baby is able to roll or push up. Most manufacturer weight guidelines for bassinets and cradles range from birth weight to 8.16 Kilogram, but a few models allow a maximum weight of 11.3 Kilogram. Bassinets can be made of wicker, wood, plastic or fabric and are portable as they roll on casters. Some bassinets fold for easy storage. Bassinets typically feature a mattress measuring 1 1/2-inch thick or less and are often covered with a liner to protect the interior of the bassinet. Find a sturdy bassinet with a strongly supported foundation and a wide base. Make sure wood bassinets do not have splintered or split wood, and that folding bassinets have locking legs.
Cradles are most often made of wood, but some are metal or plastic. Cradles may or may not be portable like Moses baskets. Some have casters for rolling and some models are stationary. Cradles typically have thin mattresses measuring 1 1/2-inch thick or less. Federal baby bed standards dictate that crib and cradle bars or slats be spaced no wider than 2 3/8-inches apart. According to ConsumerReports.org, a cradle with minimal rocking capabilities increases the level of safety provided for your infant. Infants can easily be rolled against the cradle sides or tipped out of the cradle if the bed is sharply jarred by children or pets. Old wood cradles should be avoided to protect against weak supports, lead paint, broken latches or thick mattresses.
Swing Bassinet Attachment
Many baby swings come with two attachments--an upright seat and a bassinet. Similar to a Moses basket, a swing attachment can be carried from one room to the next. The bassinet attachment swings back and forth like a cradle and usually can be detached and used as a temporary bed for a baby. The best bassinet attachments will have mesh sides that reduce the risk of suffocation if the infant rolls into the side. Make sure the mesh is not too stretchy, which could allow the child to roll into the crevice between the mattress and the attachment bassinet side. Swing attachments often have a locking, folding bar that locks up to attach to the swing and locks down when used as a bed. The bar should be inspected before and after each use.
For the safest baby bed of any design always purchase a bed that is clearly marked as certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Buying a new baby bassinet, cradle or swing with attachments allows you to register the product, usually by means of a mail-in postcard. If your product is registered, you will be notified of any recalls.