Do You Need Sheets for a Bassinet? Everything You Need To Know!


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With how many accidents newborns tend to have while sleeping in their bassinets, you may find yourself wondering whether or not sheets are truly necessary to have on a bassinet. Are they helpful or just an extra step and burden in the cleanup process? 

Yes, sheets or a quality mattress protector are necessary for your baby’s bassinet in almost all cases. Not only do they provide comfort to your little one but they also protect and maintain the quality of their bassinet by keeping the mattress or pad clean. Just make sure the protective layer you purchase follows safe sleep guidelines and protects your baby from any potential hazards. 

Read on to explore the specifics of bassinet sheet sizes and safety, waterproof options, and the multiple ways you can help your newborn feel comfortable in their bassinet!

Do I need a sheet or mattress protector for my bassinet?

Fitted sheets and mattress protectors may seem unnecessary, however, there are several reasons that I highly recommend purchasing some for your little one’s bassinet. 

First things first. Protect your investment. Baby items are not cheap and if you’re hoping to re-use them again in the future you want to make sure you protect the item’s integrity. If you aren’t protecting your bassinet from the accidents your little one will have you may damage them and end up spending more money replacing the item than you would have spent on a protector or fitted sheet! 

Another consideration is your little one. Babies can’t have many of the comforts we are used to sleeping with and a sheet will provide a soft and slightly warmer surface for your little one. Similarly, the sheet can be washed regularly which will continuously provide a clean surface for your baby to rest on which will help keep them safe and healthy!

Overall, things like sheets for your bassinet are not things that you can’t live without. However, they certainly do make your bassinet easier to keep clean because it is much simpler to throw a sheet in the laundry than try to figure out how to get pee out of a pad!

Bassinet sheet safety

As parents, we often worry about all the things that could go wrong with our little ones as they sleep. Thankfully, the American Academy of Pediatrics has specified their safe sleeping recommendations in order to help us avoid any preventable accidents. 

For bassinets, just as with cribs, it is recommended that only a tight-fitting sheet is used. A tight-fitting sheet will prevent the sleeping surface from having any excess fabric that could be a suffocation hazard. 

Similarly, it is recommended that nothing else be placed in the bassinet with your baby. If your bassinet comes with anything extra that could be a safety hazard, please remove it before allowing your baby to sleep in the bassinet.

Last, it is recommended that your baby is in your bedroom with you for at least the first six months of life. If your baby is with you and their sheet comes loose or anything else happens with their bedding, you will be able to correct this problem sooner and avoid any harm to your little one. 

What size are bassinet sheets?

When it comes to finding a tight-fitting sheet for a bassinet, you may find yourself wondering if there is a standard bassinet size?

Yes, there is!

According to SheetWorld, the standard size of a bassinet is 15 inches by 33 inches with an average depth of the bassinet mattress or pad being 1 to 2 inches.

However, as most of us know from perusing baby stores, there are tons of different styles and shapes of bassinets available on the market and many companies make their pads in a special size so that you have to come back to them for more sheets.

So when it comes to finding the sheet that is perfect for your baby please look up the dimensions of your bassinet and buy a fitted sheet that fits those dimensions. Ideally, you paid attention to this fact while shopping for a bassinet as well! For some parents, that means all of your sheets will be ordered directly from the manufacturer in order to fix the unique shape or style of the bassinet you selected for your little one. Thankfully, if this is the case, most uniquely styled bassinets come with at least one fitted sheet when you purchase the item. 

You will want back-up sheets though, for accidents and laundry day, so plan accordingly! 

What about waterproof bassinets sheets?

It’s inevitable that your newborn is going to have some accidents while sleeping in their bassinet that can lead to wetness. That’s why I highly recommend that if you are going to buy sheets for your bassinet, go ahead and buy the waterproof ones!

Waterproof sheets are easy to clean and great for protecting the integrity of the mattress or pad that your baby is resting on. Buying these also means that you won’t have to worry about getting a waterproof mattress or pad to go with your bassinet.

Ely’s & Co makes a 100% Jersey cotton and eco-friendly waterproof bassinet sheet that is super popular among parents and one that we’ve used before as well in my family. The great thing about these particular sheets, other than being waterproof, is that they are meant to fit a variety of different shapes and sizes of bassinet because of the built-in elastic. Any roughly rectangular, oval, or oddly-shaped bassinet pad or mattress that is close to the standard 15×33 inch size should work!

That includes the popular Halo brand of bassinets, which is what we use!

If you want to check these out, you can do so here (and read lots of great reviews by parents just like you on Amazon!).

Keep in mind that these will not have holes in them for bassinet straps to pass through (which would make them not waterproof) and many report that they will NOT fit the Delta brand of bassinets!

How to put on bassinet sheets and covers

Fitted sheets can sometimes be hard to get onto the mattress or sleeping pad that comes with a bassinet. Ultimately, it depends on the style of sheet and bassinet that you have. You’ll likely run into one of these options:

  • Zip on – This will give you a snug-fitting and protective sheet layer that is easy to zip on and off of the pad and should be pretty straight forward. Be sure that the zipper side is on the bottom or otherwise covered so that it doesn’t snag on your infant’s skin!
  • Slide on – Similar to a pillow sheet, these covers will simply slide onto a mattress pad. Be careful to fold these over and ensure that they are tight-fighting to avoid any potential issues.
  • Wrap around – This style will have an elastic band around the edge that should allow you to wrap the sheet around the pad and keep a firm, tight fit. This is probably the most common style that you will find, in general.

How do I make my baby more comfortable in a bassinet?

Babies have it a little rough when it comes to sleeping since it is recommended that no blankets, stuffed animals, or pillows be allowed in their crib or bassinet for the first year. Still, there are several options for helping your baby feel more comfortable sleeping in their bassinet.

First, keep your baby near you when they are in their bassinet. Babies love being held and comforted by their parents and their parents presence helps them feel safe, just like they did in the womb. By placing the bassinet next to your bed, you’re allowing your little one to rest in the comfort of knowing their parents are closeby. 

Swaddling your baby will also help them to feel more comfortable. Babies are adjusting to the world after being tightly held inside of the womb. For this reason, babies feel comforted when they are tightly (but safely) wrapped up in a swaddle. Swaddling also helps regulate your baby’s temperature which will help them sleep more soundly and without interruption. You could also try a sleep sack for a safer, simpler alternative to swaddling!

By investing in a higher quality bassinet you may be able to ensure your baby feels more comfortable. Higher quality materials can provide safety to little ones without skimping on the comfort they desperately crave as well. Similarly, doing your research on more affordable options with higher reviews may help you avoid purchasing an uncomfortable bassinet that babies have been dissatisfied with. 

Last, get to know your baby. You will learn which pajamas they feel most comfortable in, which swaddles they prefer, and the perfect environment for them to sleep in. This will take some time but as you get to know what your baby prefers and what the best routine is for your family, you will better be able to help them get comfortable in their bassinet. 

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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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