How To Make Bassinet Mattress

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How to Make Bedding For a Bassinet

There can be many reasons why you might like to create your ownbassinetbedding. Possibly, you prefer a softer fabric, a more absorbent one, an odd size, or just a particular color. Whatever your reason, you can make your own bassinet bedding. Just follow the steps below.

Things you’ll need

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Sewing Machine
  • Marking pencil
  • Straight pins

Step 1 – Choosing the Right Fabric

For most babies, a softer fabric such as jersey, flannel, or even a lightweight fleece will better suite his sensitive skin. If you plan to sew your baby’s bassinet bedding, visit your favorite fabric shop and purchase the fabric of your choice.

Step 2 – Choosing the Right Pattern

If it’s a pattern you need, you should find bassinet bedding patterns at your favorite fabric store. There, you are also likely to find blankets and crib sheets you will be able to use, in addition to a variety of bedding patterns. Or, if you don’t need a pattern but will be sewing your own bedding, just purchase the fabric that most appeals to you and that will fit your baby’s bassinet.

Step 3 – Determining your Bassinet Dimensions

Whether purchasing material for you baby’s bassinet bedding or just purchasing ready made bedding, you will need to know the correct dimensions of your bassinet pad. Use a measuring tape and measure the length of the pad, add the pad’s depth, multiplied by 2, and add 8". Figure the width dimensions the same way. When the material is cut, if you request that it is cut across the fabric grain, the fabric will have a better stretch capability.

Step 4 – Using a Template

Make a template out of cardboard or stiff paper, then cut squares from each fabric corner, using you custom made template. Make the template to match the bassinet mattress, and add 4".

Step 5 – Creating Boxed Edges

Create boxed edges into which you will fit your mattress corners. With the right sides lined up together, use the machine’s zigzag setting to create a ¼" seam.

Step 6 – Attaching Elastic Strips

Make two ¼" elastic strips that are 3" longer than the mattress. Pin the center of each of these strips to the sheet end. Be sure the inside of the material is facing you and that the strips are pinned in their middle. Then, on each side of the fabric and 6" beyond the corner seam, pin the elastic ends to the fabric.

Step 7 – Sewing the Elastic into Place

With your machine setting on "zigzag," sew the elastic you have pinned into place. As you sew, stretch the elastic so it will fit properly when you have finished stitching it into place. You’ll need to finish the edge prior to hemming, so be sure you sew (zigzag) completely around the fabric, before hemming.

Step 8 – Hemming

Finally, you are ready to hem. Around the edges of the fabric, turn a ¼" hem under and begin sewing. Be sure the elastic is inside this hem as you sew.

How to Make a Bassinet Softer?

The mattress is the most important component of a bassinet. If the mattress is not comfortable enough for your baby, every other feature is almost useless. If your baby can’t sleep in his bassinet, the purpose of buying it is defeated.

We understand that there are several brands of bassinets in the market. Some of them come with their mattresses, while others do not come with a mattress. Either way, you’ll need a soft and comfortable mattress for your baby to enjoy his bassinet.

Unfortunately, not all mattresses are soft and comfortable. So, if the mattress that comes with your bassinet isn’t soft enough for your baby, he’ll find it difficult to sleep on it. You need to know how to make a bassinet softer.

Choosing a Mattress for Your Baby

As mentioned earlier, if the mattress of your bassinet is not soft enough for your baby, you’ll need to change it. That’s why it is necessary for you to be able to choose an appropriate mattress. Here are important tips.

1. Check the softness level of the mattress

A baby’s mattress has to be soft but not too soft. Before buying it, press and feel it with your hand. How soft is it? Press it with your hand.

Check if it makes an impression. If it doesn’t make any impression, it’s probably too hard for your baby. Choose another mattress.

2. Measure the thickness

A baby’s mattress should be about 1-3 inches thick. Any mattress that is thicker than 3 inches is not appropriate for your baby. Even if your bassinet comes with a mattress that is more than 3 inches thick, you need to change it.

3. It has to be firm too

Another quality to check is the firmness of the mattress. If it is not firm, it has higher chances of sagging in the middle, and when it begins to sag, it will no longer be comfortable for your little one. If you want to check the firmness of a mattress, apply pressure on a particular area on the mattress until it creates an impression.

Wait and see how fast the mattress will regain its original shape and eliminate the impression. If it does in less than 2 minutes, the mattress is firm enough for babies.

If it takes the mattress longer than 2 minutes to regain its shape, or it never does, you need to search for another mattress. The mattress is not firm enough.

4. The size of the mattress matters

The mattress has to fit snugly to the inner walls of the bassinet without leaving any space at all. When there are spaces between the mattress and the walls of the bassinet, babies could get trapped in between the spaces. So, pick a mattress that fits snugly.

How Breathable is the Mattress?

We all perspire when we sleep. This is applicable to babies too. That is why you need to get a breathable mattress for your little one. In case you don’t understand, a breathable mattress is the one that allows air to pass through it.

If the mattress is not breathable, moisture from your baby’s perspiration will be trapped in the mattress and bedding. This will reduce the durability of the mattress, and it will also make your baby uncomfortable. You should always pick a breathable mattress.

Any mattress that has all the qualities discussed above should be soft and comfortable enough for your baby. Nevertheless, here are some additional tips for using a bassinet for your baby. They are all important.

Tips to Apply When Using a Bassinet for Your Baby

1. Never use an air mattress for your baby

An air mattress is great, but it is not advisable for you to buy one for your baby. It can suffocate babies. This is because they can roll into a position that makes it impossible for them to breathe. An air mattress is impermeable, and it is not breathable. So, never place your baby on one.

2. Test it within its return window

Some mattresses are not comfortable for a reason you may not know. Such mattresses may look good and have the requirements listed above, but may still not be comfortable. It happens often.

So, we will advise you to buy your mattress after the birth of your baby, so that you can put the baby in it within its return window. If your little one finds it difficult to sleep on it, you can return it before the return window expires.

3. Always place your baby on his/her back

You should always place your baby on his back to sleep. Having him sleep face down is not safe. This position promotes reflux, and it also increases the chances of suffocation.

4. Keep objects away from his bed

Ensure that his bed is devoid of all objects. Even his toys should be removed from his bed. Let him have his crib all to himself.

He could roll over any of the objects, and this may put him in an awkward position. Secondly, being alone in his cot will give him all the space he needs.

5. Share the same room with your baby

It is necessary to put your baby’s bassinet in your room. In fact, it should be beside your bed. This will enable you to have quick access to him. You’ll also have a direct view of him all the time. This is why bassinets with mesh walls are preferable.

6. Don’t smoke around your baby

You should never smoke in the same room you share with your baby. If you have to smoke, you can go out and smoke. After that, you can wash up before coming back to your baby.

Final Verdict

The most important tip on how to make a bassinet softer is to change the mattress to a softer and more comfortable one. Since the mattress is the most important part of a bassinet, you should be able to pick a comfortable mattress for your baby.

Some nice bassinets come with not-so-great mattresses. So, you can always replace the mattress that came with your bassinet if it is not comfortable for him.

DIY Baby Bassinet Sheet and Mattress Makeover

Elijah only a couple of days old sleeping sweetly.

What can compare to the beauty of watching a newborn baby sleeping? I remember just watching Elijah sleep when he was little (I still do) even though I should probably have used that time to catch up on sleep myself. A young friend of mine will be having her baby in the next week or so but when I saw her mattress I thought-oh no we have to fix this!

It’s hard to see but here is a picture of the before mattress. No doubt it had seen better days.

Did you know that bassinet mattresses come in all sorts of sizes? Unlike crib mattresses which are all the same bassinet mattresses can be any size. Needless to say it can be quite hard to find a replacement mattress. (It is also sometimes hard to find sheets that fit.) I purchased a mattress that was close to the same size as the old one.

Using the old mattress as a template I traced the design onto the new mattress with a marker.

Next the somewhat scary part. Following the lines you made on the mattress cut away the excess but don’t throw it away.

Remove the foam from inside the scrap piece. Then take the vinyl part and use it to cover up the side of the mattress. It lined up great for me!

You can either use a hot glue gun or some type of heavy duty glue which is what I used. I applied glue to the front and side sections first. Then I attached this piece to the mattress and then turned the mattress over and glued down the back section.

To make this look even nicer you could make a new cover for the mattress but I thought it was unnecessary. Bassinett’s really don’t need mattress covers. Instead I decided to make 2 bassinett sheets.

How to Sew a Fitted Bassinet Sheet

  1. Measure the length, width, and thickness and write them down. For this mattress the length was 30.5″ width was 14″ and thickness was 2″.
  2. I found it helpful to actually draw a small diagram to help me visualize this (maybe it’s because I’m an ACT tutor and draw figures to explain things all the time). Then you want to add 3″ to each side. If you add 2″ it will not work so make sure to add 3. So my measurements ended up being 24X 41.
  3. Cut your fabric the length of your rectangle mine was 24X41. I used a warm flannel fabric for both sheets and did not worry about the grain lines.

My 24X41 square. Isn’t this fabric darling-I hope my friend likes it!

Fold each corner in half with the right sides together. On the raw edge measure from the point 5" and mark it.

Now sew a seam across to the folded edge. Cut off the excess fabric.

Your corners should look something like this. Then finish the raw edges (I used a serger). Next apply 3/8" (or smaller) elastic using a triple zig zag stitch and you are finished!

The finished project! This was very easy to make and fast (even chasing around Eli).

My little helper. I was trying to get him to hold them but that didn’t work so well for my active little guy.

DIY Baby Bassinet Sheet and Mattress Makeover

Elijah only a couple of days old sleeping sweetly.

What can compare to the beauty of watching a newborn baby sleeping? I remember just watching Elijah sleep when he was little (I still do) even though I should probably have used that time to catch up on sleep myself. A young friend of mine will be having her baby in the next week or so but when I saw her mattress I thought-oh no we have to fix this!

It’s hard to see but here is a picture of the before mattress. No doubt it had seen better days.

Did you know that bassinet mattresses come in all sorts of sizes? Unlike crib mattresses which are all the same bassinet mattresses can be any size. Needless to say it can be quite hard to find a replacement mattress. (It is also sometimes hard to find sheets that fit.) I purchased a mattress that was close to the same size as the old one.

Using the old mattress as a template I traced the design onto the new mattress with a marker.

Next the somewhat scary part. Following the lines you made on the mattress cut away the excess but don’t throw it away.

Remove the foam from inside the scrap piece. Then take the vinyl part and use it to cover up the side of the mattress. It lined up great for me!

You can either use a hot glue gun or some type of heavy duty glue which is what I used. I applied glue to the front and side sections first. Then I attached this piece to the mattress and then turned the mattress over and glued down the back section.

To make this look even nicer you could make a new cover for the mattress but I thought it was unnecessary. Bassinett’s really don’t need mattress covers. Instead I decided to make 2 bassinett sheets.

How to Sew a Fitted Bassinet Sheet

  1. Measure the length, width, and thickness and write them down. For this mattress the length was 30.5″ width was 14″ and thickness was 2″.
  2. I found it helpful to actually draw a small diagram to help me visualize this (maybe it’s because I’m an ACT tutor and draw figures to explain things all the time). Then you want to add 3″ to each side. If you add 2″ it will not work so make sure to add 3. So my measurements ended up being 24X 41.
  3. Cut your fabric the length of your rectangle mine was 24X41. I used a warm flannel fabric for both sheets and did not worry about the grain lines.

My 24X41 square. Isn’t this fabric darling-I hope my friend likes it!

Fold each corner in half with the right sides together. On the raw edge measure from the point 5" and mark it.

Now sew a seam across to the folded edge. Cut off the excess fabric.

Your corners should look something like this. Then finish the raw edges (I used a serger). Next apply 3/8" (or smaller) elastic using a triple zig zag stitch and you are finished!

The finished project! This was very easy to make and fast (even chasing around Eli).

My little helper. I was trying to get him to hold them but that didn’t work so well for my active little guy.

How to Choose a Baby Bassinet

Newborns

Infants

When you have a newborn, you want to keep your baby close. Safe sleep experts recommend that babies sleep in the same room with parents for the first 6 months, too. Buying a bassinet will help you keep a close eye on baby, and will allow you to have a baby sleeping in your room without having to make space for a full-size crib. If you’re shopping for a bassinet, these tips can help you find a safe one for your baby.

Bassinet Safety Standards

Older bassinets were only subject to voluntary safety standards. If you’re buying used, do an extra check for safety problems. Look for labels that say JPMA or ASTM. Members of these groups participated in voluntary safety standards before the newer mandatory federal standards were enacted.

Federal bassinet safety standards went into effect in April 2014. These standards ensure the bassinet is stable and durable. Requirements for mattresses and other soft parts of the bassinet reduce the risk of suffocation or entrapment. All bassinets manufactured after this date and sold in the U.S. must meet the standards.

Evaluate a bassinet the same way you would a crib.   Does it have decorative posts sticking up from the sides that could catch on a baby’s clothing? If there are side slats, can you fit a soda can between them? If so, they’re too far apart to be safe. Are there decorative cutouts in the headboard or footboard that could entrap a baby?

Weight and Age Limits

Most bassinets have a weight limit of 15 to 20 pounds. Some may be able to hold a heavier baby but remember that weight is not the only way babies outgrow their bassinets. In fact, many babies will be too big for the bassinet developmentally well before they reach the weight limit. Check the instructions for the weight limit and other advice about when to discontinue using it.   Some manufacturers may add a maximum age, or an age range, usually 4 to 6 months.

To Rock or Not?

A rocking bassinet might be nice, but it introduces safety hazards not present in stationary bassinets. Once the baby learns to move around a little, or roll over, the weight shifting around in a rocking bassinet could allow enough tilt that baby becomes trapped against one side. If your baby’s face is pressed against the side, this could pose a suffocation hazard. Since babies often gain their rolling over skills quickly, you may not even realize that your baby is at risk.   If you choose a bassinet with a rocking feature, make sure it has a lock so that the bassinet can also be used in a stationary mode.

Portability

A bassinet benefit is the smaller size and weight that make it easy to move around the house so baby can always be near you. A sturdy set of wheels makes moving it even easier. Wheels with locks will prevent the baby from being moved around by curious siblings.

It’s also nice if your bassinet can be folded or disassembled quickly for storage or travel. If it folds, test the latching mechanism before you buy. Is it easy to tell when the bassinet is locked safely in place? Check the folding legs and the places where the bassinet itself attaches to the legs for solid latches. If you need to disassemble the bassinet, it is easy to tell how it fits back together? If not, skip it. An improperly assembled bassinet is dangerous for your baby.  

Mattress Support

It’s essential that the mattress is well supported.   Mattress supports should be strong enough to hold your baby without bending or flexing. The entire mattress should be held up by the supports. Press along the mattress edges and in the middle to see if any spot dips easily. The hammock effect is comfortable for adults but dangerous for babies who can’t extract themselves.

Sleep Like a Rock

For an adult, it may seem like manufacturers want your baby to sleep on a rock! However, a firm sleep surface is a must for babies.   The bassinet mattress should not be heavily padded because you don’t want your baby’s face to be able to sink into it. Just like a crib mattress, the bassinet mattress should fit very snugly inside the bassinet. There shouldn’t be any gaps between the edge of the mattress and the sides of the bassinet. Frills and soft decor on the outside is fine, but make sure none of the frills or fluff extend into baby’s sleep space.

Baby Bedding

What kind of bedding comes with your bassinet? All your baby really needs is a simple fitted sheet, and it should fit the bassinet mattress perfectly.   While cribs have standard sizes, bassinets do not, so it may be hard to find sheets that are just right for your bassinet. You’ll probably want to have at least one extra fitted sheet for the inevitable night time diaper explosion.

Speaking of extra sheets, it’s best if those sheets are easily removed for washing. Any fabric inside baby’s sleep space is at risk for getting messy, so be sure the whole thing can be cleaned somehow. If the bassinet mattress doesn’t come with a waterproof cover, is one available for it? If not, can you throw the whole mattress in your washer?

Just like in the crib, the extras that come in bedding sets are not necessary. Don’t add bumper pads, quilts, or pillows to the bassinet. A safe sleep space for baby is pretty much bare. Nearly all bassinet-related deaths are related to soft bedding added into the sleep space.

Know When to Stop

Manufacturers give weight and age limits for bassinets. Keep a close eye on your baby so that you can tell if you need to stop using the bassinet before those stated limits. If the manufacturer says you can use the bassinet until 4 months and 20 pounds, but your baby is rolling over before those limits, you should stop using it. Babies learn new skills at a lightning pace. If your baby is working toward rolling or sitting, the transition to a crib or play yard to avoid falls. They are the leading cause of bassinet-related injuries reported to CPSC.  

Buying or Borrowing a Used Bassinet

A used bassinet may be a good way to save money, but use extra caution to be sure it is safe. First, check for recalls. Then, do the same safety check as you would on a new bassinet:

  • Make sure it’s sturdy and doesn’t have any gaps or soft spaces that could entrap your baby.
  • Pay close attention to the mattress and supports, making sure the mattress doesn’t sag in the middle.
  • Make sure all of the original parts are there. If it has been modified, don’t buy it.
  • Ask how it was stored. Bedding and wood pieces need to be stored in a cool, dry place so they don’t become moldy or warped.

Bassinet Styles

Once you’ve dealt with safety, it’s time for fashion! Bassinets are available in many different styles, from sleek modern to classic and frilly. You can find bassinets that have baby-oriented themes, such as bears or lambs, or you might choose one with dark, glossy wood and fabrics that tie into your home’s grown-up decor.

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