Are Stroller Bassinets Worth it? (Plus Safety Information)


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There are many, many types of strollers on the market today and some of those include bassinets to offer more flexibility for newborns and infants. But, are stroller bassinets worth it or should budget-conscious parents look elsewhere for the best deal?

Modern bassinet strollers are models that have a bassinet attachment that lets your baby lie down inside just like an indoor bassinet. Stroller bassinets work best for newborns and infants because they can’t sit up unsupported. Bassinet strollers are usually worth it if they can easily convert into a standard stroller once your baby is a little older.

Like most baby equipment, understanding the different attachments, styles, uses and options of strollers can get confusing. Because baby will change so much in the first year(s) you’ll want to choose a stroller style that can grow and change with baby starting from the very beginning and, of course, safety will be a priority.

What is a bassinet stroller anyway?

When you first discover you’re expecting the emotions can be overwhelming and so is the list of items you’ll need to welcome baby home! One item on every parent’s shopping list is a great stroller. Why? Because the right stroller makes being mobile with baby easier! Baby travel systems can become quite costly with all of the styles, attachments, and accessories available. One such item that lots of parents wonder about is the stroller bassinet.

Strollers can be a small or significant investment (with some models costing over $2000) depending on your family’s needs and budget. Some styles are meant to grow and change with baby while others, like an umbrella stroller, may be best for specific occasions or once baby is a bit older and is able to sit up unsupported comfortably.

A bassinet stroller is simply a stroller that has a bassinet attachment option ideal for newborns and their busy nap schedule! Unlike older stroller models, called carriages or prams, the bassinet strollers we see rolling around now are classic stroller models that have a bassinet attachment or bassinet add-on that works with the brand you’re considering making travel more ideal with newborns.

Stroller bassinets allow for a newborn baby to lie completely flat for safe, more comfortable sleep while you’re on-the-move.

If you are looking for a quick recommendation for a quality bassinet stroller that won’t break the bank then check out the Graco Modes Pramette Stroller here that lets you move from Infant car seat carrier to infant bassinet, to toddler stroller all-in-one!

bassinet stroller Graco Modes

Benefits of a bassinet stroller

Bassinet strollers are a good option if you’re looking for a stroller model that can accommodate a sleepy newborn. These attachments usually will include a large canopy to better protect little babies from outdoor elements like sun, wind, rain, and curious strangers.

Most models you’re buying that offer a bassinet attachment are meant to carry baby from birth through the toddler years, so this is a piece of equipment that will grow with baby and keep you from purchasing additional strollers.

Bassinet strollers can also be an ideal option for travel during the first few months since you’ll have a safe, familiar place for baby to take a supervised nap while you’re visiting with friends or family, navigating public transit, or even staying in a hotel. Some models are approved for overnight sleep; however, you’ll need to check with the manufacturer’s instructions and your pediatrician before using your attachment as an overnight bassinet.

When to use a bassinet stroller

Traditional bassinets, like the ones you’d see at a parent’s bedside, are typically meant for newborn babies or those under 6 months of age. The reason being is that bassinets are not made to handle much weight and for a baby that is able to roll, wiggle, and move around a bassinet may become a safety hazard.

Most bassinet stroller models will have a weight or height limit for the bassinet attachment, so it’s best to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations as well as your baby’s physical abilities when it comes to movement. 

If baby has transitioned to sleeping in a crib at home, it’s probably best not to use the bassinet attachment while you’re out of the house.

Is a stroller bassinet worth it?

The answer here is: it depends.

Because a bassinet is intended for babies under 6 months of age and most bassinet stroller attachments have a weight and height restriction, you’ll need to think realistically about how often you’ll be away from home with your baby in those first months.

If you plan to be active or on-the-go after baby arrives, then a stroller bassinet may be a convenient choice when it comes to deciding which stroller model or style you’re going to buy.

However, if walking or frequent daily travel is not part of your life now then things likely won’t change once baby arrives, so a bassinet stroller attachment may only be used occasionally and would not make sense to include in your budget.

Is a car seat or bassinet better for a newborn?

Again, the answer here is: it depends.

It’s hard to know what a baby will prefer when it comes to daily outings before it has arrived, which is likely when you’ll be shopping for a stroller and other pieces of equipment like car seats. So, without the help of baby in this decision, it’s best to consider factors like: type and frequency of use you’ll be needing the stroller for, safety considerations, affordability, and style.

Stroller bassinets are a great option for safe sleep during long walks, supervised naps away from home, and daily travel like a commute on public transit. Some models are even approved for overnight sleep and include bassinet stands available for purchase for added convenience (be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions and your pediatrician before using for unsupervised sleep).

Car seats, while being the most ideal (and legally the only option) for car travel they are not approved for sleep. A combination of angles, straps, and pads make it unsafe for napping outside of car travel.

It’s recommended that while traveling a parent should bring along a portable crib or bassinet to place baby in rather than allowing them to nap in their car seat. So, for example, while enjoying brunch at a restaurant, a stroller with bassinet attachment would be a safer place for baby to enjoy a supervised nap rather than a car seat.

How long can you use a bassinet stroller?

Babies can safely sleep in a classic bassinet, like the type you’d see at a parent’s bedside, until they reach 6 months or are meeting certain developmental milestones, like rolling over, or have reached manufacturer weight and height restrictions of the bassinet model.

The same applies to bassinet strollers.

All stroller bassinet attachments will have height and weight restrictions and it’s best to follow them closely for safety purposes and be sure to consider your baby’s own physical capabilities. If baby can roll over, sit up, or crawl then a bassinet is no longer appropriate for baby at home or on-the-go.

Are stroller bassinets safe?

Because not all bassinet strollers include straps, harnesses, or belts like the ones we see for older babies in classic strollers you may have concerns about safety. Bassinet strollers are made with infants in mind and are perfectly safe for strolling your newborn baby.

When choosing a travel system for baby, safety is a top concern. Generally speaking, a stroller is deemed safe if it includes the following features:

  1. Options to Recline: This option is especially for newborns because they cannot sit up on their own. It’s important that if you plan to use a stroller with your newborn you can use a bassinet or infant car seat attachment option(s) with your chosen model or brand so baby can be positioned properly and safely.
  2. Locking Breaks: While it’s best not to park your baby’s stroller on a slope, locking breaks are great for keeping it parked while not in use-just like your car! Be sure the breaks are located where little hands cannot reach.
  3. Wide Base: This is to help prevent the stroller from tipping over.
  4. Separate Footrests: This is an important consideration for double strollers as separated footrests across the front can allow space for little feet to get trapped between.
  5. For Used Strollers: Be sure to check the warranty of a stroller if looking to purchase one second-hand to avoid any safety recalls or other safety information.

Safety while strolling is also important no matter what style of stroller you choose, so parents should always:

  • Stay close and supervise baby while they’re in the stroller
  • Use straps, buckles, and attachments according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Don’t leave the stroller in the sun as it can cause plastic pieces and buckles to become extremely hot
  • Fasten any toys securely
  • Do not leave blankets or toys in the bassinet attachment with baby unattended

Are any stroller bassinets approved for overnight sleeping?

The vast majority of bassinet strollers that you’ll find on the market are not intended to be used for unsupervised sleeping because they do not pass safe-sleep standards set up by the AAP.

These standards are in place to ensure that babies are not at increased risk for suffocation or falling out of the bassinet when not supervised. If you think about a bassinet perched on top of a stroller, then an older baby could also manage to tip over the stroller and fall out as well.

With that being said, there are approved bassinet strollers out there that can work extremely well for parents without much space to store both an indoor and outdoor bassinet or simply want the convenience of letting their baby finish their nap in the stroller after a walk. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to find this feature outside of luxury brands that are quite expensive.

For instance, the UPPAbaby Vista is rated as a safe-sleeper but if you look here you’ll see that it has a pretty hefty price tag. Yes, you should be able to get quite a bit of use out of it, especially considering future children, but it’s still a little cost-prohibitive.

Understandably, you’ll want to do plenty of research before you purchase a big-ticket item like a stroller for baby. Modern travel systems can include a myriad of attachments that fit a variety of purposes, ages and stages, and range widely regarding budget. The choices can become overwhelming. The most important factor when taking baby out is safety. As long as your chosen travel system is manufactured in accordance with consumer safety standards and offers some flexibility and customization as your child grows, you and baby should get along fine!

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Josh

I'm the dad in charge of Natural Baby life. With 10 years of parenting experience across three children, I am constantly learning how to raise children more naturally. I'm passionate about doing whatever it takes to raise a happy and healthy baby! Find out more about me here.

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