6 Tips if Baby Won’t Sleep in Bassinet


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

For many new parents, getting your baby to sleep is one of the hardest things to do. We are all told to have your newborn sleep on their back on a flat surface. But what do you do when your baby won’t sleep in bassinet?

For those who become a ball of nerves at even the mention of bed-sharing, a bedside bassinet is the perfect solution. However, the option will only work if your child will actually sleep while in it!

So what can you do to help your baby stay asleep in a bassinet? Read on for several simple ideas you can try at home.

1. Purchase A Bassinet That Moves Or Has An Incline

The most popular option for sleeping on an incline has been the Rock N’ Play. Keeping baby buckled in place while at a slight tilt, the device also offered parents the ability to rock their child, with a newer version allowing the rocking to be done automatically. The device was especially loved by parents of babies with reflux, who tend to sleep better when placed at a slight incline.

While this popular sleep choice was recently recalled earlier this year, there are several other options still available for purchase. While some devices still offer a bit of an incline, it is lesser than the recalled option. In addition, the bassinet offers a vibration feature that allows for easy soothing, or parents can manually rock the baby back and forth. The bassinet is also adjustable so it is a great option for beds of all heights and for when the baby won’t sleep in bassinet.


It will change your baby's life!

Meanwhile, other options such as the Rock N’ Stay offer the ability to keep baby flat on their backs for sleep time but still offer the ability to slowly rock them back and forth, helping to ease them back to sleep quickly and quietly. Whatever the choice, these bassinets are a great way to help when baby won’t sleep in bassinet.

Benefits of Inclined Bassinet

Babies often don’t enjoy having to sleep flat on their back as this feels unnatural, especially if the baby experiences reflux. Oftentimes, a bed with an incline will help a baby to feel more comfortable and will reduce the likelihood of them experiencing anything coming back up due to reflux.

When shopping for a baby bassinet, be on the lookout for one with an incline. While it may be a slight difference, this change can greatly impact your child’s quality of sleep.

In addition to finding a bassinet with an incline, parents can also choose a bassinet that offers movement. These types of bassinets double as rockers with vibrations and an incline as well. When shopping for this type of bassinet, be sure to read reviews and always use the item as instructed. Oftentimes, these types of bassinets come with restraints and parents must be sure to use them properly.

Converting Existing Bassinet Into An Inclined One

For those who already own a bassinet and do not wish to invest more money into a new one, it is possible to work with the one you already have to create an incline for when baby won’t sleep in bassinet. A foam wedge, cushion, or pad placed underneath the sheets will offer enough of an incline for some babies that they will become more comfortable and find it easier to sleep. Another option is to place a towel underneath the sheets, which offers a softer sleeping surface for when baby won’t sleep in bassinet. This last option not only creates a softer surface but also produces a natural incline as well, making it a great option for babies who suffer from colic or acid reflux.

2. Make the Bassinet Safe & Comfortable

While these devices are wonderful for parents of children who do not enjoy sleeping completely flat on their backs, it is worth noting that it is important to always use the safety restraints that accompany the bassinet and to stop use of any bassinet with an incline as soon as your child is nearing the ability to, or is able to, fully roll over.

As bassinets can still pose a hazard for babies, parents should consider the following safety practices when trying to get baby to sleep in their bassinet:

Stick to Standards

While some parents want to use a vintage bassinet passed down through their family, this isn’t the best idea for their child’s safety. With bassinets that are several years old, parents run the risk of endangering their baby. The newest bassinets have to meet certain standards to make sure your baby is able to sleep as safely as possible.


Already have a hand-me-down bedside bassinet that you want to use? Be sure to check this bassinet against basic safety requirements for your baby. The mattress shouldn’t be overly puffy or too soft as your child is able to have a stable surface to sleep on.

The best bassinet to use is one that is certified and comes from a reputable brand. By doing your research, you’ll be able to make sure your baby is sleeping in the best bassinet for them.

Invest in Mesh

The mesh wall on baby’s bassinet is essential for their safety. In addition to protecting your baby from falling out, they offer your child more airflow.

In the event that your baby rolls over to the side in their bassinet, the breathable mesh will ensure that they don’t suffocate. Similarly, the protective barrier prevents them from falling out of the bassinet.

Lock the Wheels

Another benefit of bassinets is that they are portable. However, the wheels on a bassinet can also be a hazard. If the wheels aren’t locked when the baby is inside, this creates a dangerous situation for your child.

Be sure to check the bassinet’s wheels frequently to make sure they are always locked when stationary. Additionally, parents must use special care if the bassinet is in an area with pets, other children, or stairs. By checking to make sure the wheels are locked, parents can prevent a potential runaway disaster.

3. Create A Comfortable Sleep Environment

Babies are humans too, and as such they like to be comfortable. When your baby won’t sleep in bassinet, the solution could be as simple as a change of sheets. Because newborns have highly sensitive skin, the typical baby won’t sleep in bassinet unless there are incredibly soft, safe for baby sheets covering the mattress.

Temperature and sheets:

In addition, babies love to be warm when they sleep. It is important to lay your baby down on sheets that are warm while having the room kept at a cool temperature at the same time. Look for sheets made from natural fibers such as cotton or those made from a polyester blend or combination of other synthetic fibers, as these tend to be warmer to the touch.

While the sheets should be warm, as they are replacing the mother’s arms for a restful night of sleep, the room should be kept cooler to allow for optimum comfort when a baby won’t sleep in bassinet.

4. Sleep on Baby’s Sheets

Babies are strongly attached to the scent of their mother. As such, if your baby won’t sleep in bassinet, one simple solution is to have mom spend a few nights sleeping on the bassinet sheets so that her scent is transferred to them. This helps to make the baby feel more comfortable and may also promote sleep as a result.

If you cannot wait, you could even try to wear the sheets during the day underneath your clothes as you go about your life.

In addition to changing the sheets, another option when baby won’t sleep in bassinet is to swaddle your baby. Infants love to feel safe and snug. As such, swaddles act as a hug for an infant while they sleep and will keep them warm and feeling secure all night long. However, some children do not like to be swaddled, so this option is not for everyone. In the end, you know your child the best.

Does it smell like Mom?

Part of the comfort your baby experiences when sleeping next to you is that they can sense your presence. While parents won’t be able to hold their baby with them sleeping in the bassinet, sleeping on your baby’s sheets is the next best thing.

As babies love to be near their parents and their scent, having the smell of their mom or dad with them in their bassinet will help them feel as though they are still beside them. Parents can sleep on their baby’s sheets for a few days to make sure the scent transfers to these sheets.

While it still makes take some time for your baby to adjust to this new habit of sleeping in the bassinet, this technique will help to make the transition more bearable and is an excellent solution if baby won’t sleep in bassinet.

5. Use A Co-Sleeper

Some bassinets are available for purchase that are used on top of the parents’ bed, making the child feel more secure because their parent is closer, which may in turn help your baby to sleep for longer periods of time. Because the infant is inside his own bassinet, he will remain safe when you toss and turn at night.

Models are even available that have a removable base, meaning you can choose to use it as a bedside bassinet or co-sleeper. These are all great options for when baby won’t sleep in a bassinet, as baby feels safer and will be more comfortable and at ease.

6. Try this schedule:

One method to ease your baby into using his own sleeping area is to gradually increase the amount of time that is spent in it. For a baby who will only sleep for 30 minutes at a time, try to leave him in it for 45 minutes, and then 60 minutes. This method is not for everyone as it involves not answering every one of your child’s cries. Instead, it suggests that you let your baby remain in the bassinet while you are nearby and visible to help her learn to fall asleep on their own.

While this method may not work out in one or even two nights, within time you will be grateful to have a baby who sleeps in his bed!

The bassinet could also be used during the day to get your child more comfortable being inside it when baby won’t sleep in bassinet. For example, use the bassinet after feedings and for diaper changes. Place your child in it while you fold laundry so they can get used to the feel of the mattress while seeing that you are still nearby.

Putting a newborn to bed is one of the first challenges for parents. As many experts recommend newborns sleep next to their parents, it’s often the only way babies fall asleep when they are very young. However, other parents express their concern about rolling onto the baby when sharing a bed with their child. Thankfully, bedside bassinets make it easy to have a baby at an arm’s length while taking every precaution to keep baby safe.

However, babies often don’t take to using bassinets very easily. While this may be a safe way for baby to sleep, in many situations, baby won’t sleep in bassinet.

Parents that find that their baby won’t sleep in bassinet aren’t alone. Most babies grow accustomed to sleeping with parents and are often distressed when they try to put them in the bassinet alone. While this option of having baby in a bassinet is an effective one, many oftentimes, baby won’t sleep in bassinet without some coaxing.

If this is the case for you, the following tips will help your baby adjust to their new bedtime routine if baby won’t sleep in bassinet:

Other Things to Try

When putting newborns to sleep, parents may have trouble as it takes time for babies to adjust to their new routine. If baby won’t sleep in bassinet, parents may try the following:

Swaddle Baby

When swaddling newborns, parents can encourage babies to fall asleep. The swaddling adds comforting pressure to the baby, helping to relieve their startle-reflex, which will allow them to fall asleep more easily.

Put Baby to Bed Earlier

Though some parents follow the myth of trying to wear a baby out, it’s important for babies to get their rest at the right times. Oftentimes, babies won’t always exhibit how tired they are and the more tired a baby is, the more challenging it will be for them to fall asleep. This is due to the fact that overtired babies often wake up through the night, while well-rested babies tend to wake less at night.

Start Quiet Time Before Bed

When baby won’t sleep in bassinet, it’s often because of the fact that they aren’t tired. In order to put the baby to sleep successfully, parents should start their quiet time 15 minutes prior to bedtime. This period of time allows for the baby to wind-down, get drowsy, and fall asleep in the bassinet.

Use a Wedge

If baby won’t sleep in bassinet, it might be that they’re uncomfortable. Parents can use a wedge and put it under the mattress. This will help relieve the baby’s reflux, hiccups, or gas.

Make the Temperature Comfortable

If the temperature in the room is too hot or too cold, the baby won’t sleep in bassinet. Pay close attention to the AC or heat to make sure your baby is at a comfortable temperature.

If your baby won’t sleep in bassinet, it can be due to a variety of reasons. Be sure to consider the above information when getting your baby to sleep in a bassinet. As long as the baby is safe when in the bassinet, they’ll eventually adjust to sleeping this way.


From getting accustomed to their bodies to adjusting used to a sleep schedule, everything about a baby’s life is new to them. If a baby won’t sleep in bassinet, parents must understand that it may not happen immediately. Even if a baby doesn’t appreciate having to sleep in a bassinet at first, with some time, babies can learn to adjust to sleeping this way.

Parents can help babies learn to like the bassinet by increasing their time in the bassinet while they are awake as well as during sleep periods. If parents find that the baby only sleeps in the bassinet for 30 minutes, they can increase the amount of time they spend in it to around 45 minutes, 60 minutes, and eventually longer.

Ultimately, babies will learn to accept the feeling of their bassinet as part of the sleep process. With consistency from parents, babies will eventually be able to get a good night’s rest in their bassinet.


In the end, no one knows your baby better than you. These are all suggestions, but will not work with every child. You will come to learn if your child likes to be swaddled, needs to sleep on an incline, or simply wants to smell mom while he dreams. It may take some time, but your baby will learn to sleep on their own!