There’s nothing like a sleeping baby. That angelic face as they snooze AND a little time for you to relax and take five. You deserve it! So, you want to get their sleeping arrangements right, with somewhere that keeps them snug and safe.
Moses baskets have been ticking those boxes for a very very long time. And there’s a reason for that – they work for baby and you. So, to help you decide if a Moses basket is a good choice for you, here we answer the most frequently asked questions about Moses baskets.
What is a Moses basket?
Moses baskets are lightweight, portable basket beds for babies. They traditionally consist of an outer basket made from a woven material like wicker or palm and an inner sheet that covers the entire interior of the basket, plus a fitted mattress. Moses baskets usually have two handles too, to make them easy to carry.
They have been around for decades, and today come in a wide range of styles and materials, with different features. Although most stay true to the familiar, traditional Moses basket shape and form, you can find baskets made from plastic and other synthetic materials, with movable hoods, and with stands.
What are Moses baskets used for?
Moses baskets are made for newborn and young babies to sleep in, usually up to four to six months of age, depending on the basket and how fast your baby grows. Because Moses baskets are lightweight and simple to carry, they’re great for both naps and night-time sleeping as you can move them from room-to-room. Depending on the model, you can often carry a Moses basket with a sleeping baby in it, making them super-convenient. Your little one can fall asleep with you in the living room in the evening, then you can carry them in the basket to your bedroom to sleep with you at night.
Are Moses baskets safe?
The NHS, and other expert groups like the NCT, list Moses baskets as a safe and appropriate bed for babies. More than that, the NHS and other bodies recommend Moses baskets as safe sleeping places that can help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics state that bassinets are safe for newborns, as long as the product conforms to the safety standards and general performance requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
What age can a baby sleep in a Moses basket?
Moses baskets are designed for use from birth up to 3-4 months, or until your little one is able to sit or pull themselves up unaided. Therefore, it is advised that you only use your Moses basket while your baby is a newborn. Any Moses basket you buy should clearly state what age, weight and/or size baby the basket is made for.
To make the transition from moses basket to cot easier for your little one, you may want to place the moses basket inside the cot for a few days so your baby becomes used to their new surroundings before they go into their big bed.
When to stop using a Moses basket?
As well as making sure your Moses basket is appropriate for the age, height and/or weight of your baby, it will no longer be suitable if your little one has learned to sit or pull themselves upright on their own. If your baby can sit up, they may tip or fall out of the basket.
What are the advantages of a Moses basket?
Moses Baskets provide a safe and comfortable space for your newborn to sleep. They are often the first ‘bed’ that your baby will sleep in and can be used until they are around six months old. The main benefits for parents of using a Moses basket for their baby are:
- Safe: If used properly and you follow safe-sleeping advice, Moses baskets are a safe sleeping place for babies.
- Cosy: Moses baskets are smaller and snugger than full size cots.
- Small and lightweight: Moses baskets don’t take up much room and they’re easy to move and store.
- Flexible: Moses baskets can be easily moved from room-to-room, and they can be set down on the floor and on stands, making them ideal for both night sleeps and daytime naps in different rooms. You can even take them to family and friends’ places.
- Relatively cheap: Moses baskets tend to be reasonably inexpensive items of baby kit.
Do I need a stand for my Moses basket?
Moses basket stands are useful and safe places to sit your Moses basket, and we highly recommend them. If you want your little one to nap in the same room as you – whether that’s in your kitchen as you cook or your living room as you relax – a stand is the perfect place to settle your sleeping baby.
The stand will keep them clear of the floor, safe from drafts, high enough to see easily, and will be safer than perching the Moses basket on another surface, like the sofa. Just make sure the stand you buy is made specifically to be used with your model of Moses basket to ensure it’s suitable and safe. Our absolute favourite are rocking stands. These double as a safe stand for your Moses basket but also rock gently from side-to-side, or back and forth, to help lull your baby to sleep. Some parents swear by rocking stands as by far the easiest way to get their little ones to drift off.
Should my baby sleep in a Moses basket or a cot?
Ultimately, the choice is yours. Both a Moses basket and a cot are safe and appropriate beds for babies. Many parents choose to use a Moses basket in the first few months as they’re smaller and cosier than cots. And because they can be easily moved and allow for flexible sleeping.
The first few months of your little one’s life are crucial to the bonding process, so ensuring you have easy access to your baby as they rest is extra important. This is something that both Moses baskets and cribs can provide, so it’s really about making the decision that works best for you. If you have less storage options or space available, but still want your little one to sleep in a comfortable, breathable environment, perhaps a Moses basket is the option for you. Moses baskets are generally suitable for babies from birth to around 4 months, or until they start to roll over. At this point, it’s usually time to move them into a crib as they will need the extra space to move around freely.
What should I look for when buying a Moses basket?
Not all Moses baskets are equal; some are better than others. If you decide you want your little one to sleep in a Moses basket, look for the following:
- Firm sides: You want a Moses basket with sides that are firm enough that they won’t fold over and put your baby at risk.
- Long handles: Moses baskets with shorter handles are often not suitable for picking up and moving when your baby is sleeping in the basket. Longer handles mean you can do so safely.
- A fitted mattress with a sheet: Your baby should sleep on a firm mattress. Any Moses basket you consider should have a firm, removable, fitted mattress with a fitted sheet that can be taken off and washed.
- A stand: We really can’t recommend Moses basket stands enough, especially rocking stands. When looking at Moses baskets, consider models that have stands especially made to use with them.