If you’re like most parents, you want to do everything possible to keep your baby safe and healthy. And that includes making sure they get a good night’s sleep. But if you’re worried about the potential dangers of toxic chemicals in traditional bassinets, don’t worry – there are plenty of great non-toxic bassinets out there, perfect for co-sleeping.
After all, room sharing has some great benefits. It makes a huge difference in your ability to keep up breastfeeding. Plus, co-sleeping helps regulate your baby’s breathing patterns, body temperature, and heart rate.
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These two factors (breastfeeding and room sharing) greatly reduce the risks of SIDS.
In this blog post, I’ll use my environmental chemistry PhD to take a look at some of the best non-toxic bassinets on the market. We’ll also discuss the dangers of toxic chemicals and why it’s so important to choose a non-toxic bassinet for your baby. So read on for more information!
What to look for in a non-toxic bassinet or co-sleeper
When you’re expecting a new baby, there’s so much to think about and prepare for. One of the big decisions is what kind of sleeping arrangement to use for your little one. Will you choose a bassinet, co-sleeper, or crib?
If you’re leaning towards a bassinet or co-sleeper, here are a few things to keep in mind. Look for:
A design that will be easy for you to reach in at night, (preferably without having to get out of bed). When you’re nursing your baby for the third time in a night, trust me, you don’t want to have to get up *again* to go get them. Having your little one at arm’s reach will make things easier for everyone, especially during cluster feeding.
Non-toxic or organic fabrics and materials. While you may choose organic, GOTS certified cotton and/or wool, you don’t have to. While it’s nice to have natural fabrics, it’s more important that they are free of toxic materials like vinyl, PFAS (used for waterproofing), and flame retardants. Even if the materials are synthetic (like nylon or polyester), that can be okay. After all, there’s no such thing as a “chemical free bassinet.”
RELATED: Which non-toxic certifications are best for baby?
No added formaldehyde. If it’s made with wood, make sure any glues or adhesives are made with no added formaldehyde. While solid wood is preferred over plywood or medium density fiberboard (MDF), it can be difficult to find.
Breathable sides. Finally, be sure to choose something with breathable sides so that your baby stays comfortable and safe.
The best non-toxic co-sleepers and bassinets
With so many bassinet and co-sleeper options on the market, it’s important to do your research and choose the best option for you and your family (But hey, that’s why I’m here to help).
Venice Child California Dreaming foldable bedside bassinet
The Venice Child California Dreaming foldable bedside bassinet is a great option for your baby. This bassinet can be adjusted to bed level, making it easy to get your little one in and out of their cradle for night time feedings. You can also zip one side down to make this a true non toxic co sleeper bassinet (which I love). Safety straps allow you to hook the bassinet to your bed.
If you’ve had a c-section, having a co sleeper is best so you don’t have to worry about getting in and out of bed for your baby during the night.
As with the other bassinets on this list, the California Dreaming bassinet contains no flame retardants. But to take it a step further, the mattress contains no polyurethane foam. Instead, the pad is made of a safer blend of cotton and polyester.
A shelf below the bassinet is perfect for diapers, wipes, or a few spare onsies or sleep sacks. Overall, this is one of my favorite non toxic bassinets on this list. Plus, it’s one of the more economical bassinets here too (hey, it matters!).
Check out the California Dreaming foldable bedside bassinet here.
Shnuggle Convertible Air bedside sleeper bassinet
Another true co-sleeper bassinet, the BEABA Shnuggle Convertible Air Bedside Sleeper Bassinet allows you to zip down a side wall to keep your baby in easy reach at night. I love that this is a basinet that hooks to your bed (clips are included), and there are multiple height adjustments from 16.9 – 25.2 inches (43 – 64 cm). Both the sides and mattress are breathable for peace of mind.
The Shnuggle Bedside sleeper has adjustable legs in case you need to incline your baby’s mattress for reflux (always check with your peditrician first). Plus, it’s compact enough to easily fit in smaller spaces. This co sleeper is also great for c section mamas.
The BABYBJÖRN cradle is perfect for small spaces. So if you don’t have room to put a full-size crib in your room beside your bed, the BABYBJÖRN is a great choice. And because it’s lightweight, it’s easy to move from one room to another for daytime naps.
Airy mesh sides makes this crib breathable, and everything from the mattress cover to the sides are machine washable for any middle-of-the-night blowouts.
This cradle is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, so it’s free of flame retardants, lead, and phthalates. Plus, the wood used to make the legs (MDF) is CARB2 compliant and low formaldehyde.
Check out the BABYBJÖRN cradle here.
If you’re looking for a sleek, stylish bassinet for your baby, you’ll definitely be interested in the Rockwell Bassinet. This beautiful Canadian-made rocker is made with chrome legs, solid walnut rocking feet, and a beautiful upholstered basket for baby.
While the bassinet is waterproof, it made without PFAS (which is a chemical class often used for waterproofing). In addition, the mattress pad is made without flame retardants. The Greenguard GOLD certification also reassures you that this product is low VOC.
The basket is removable from the stand, so if you ever want to move it to a different room for naps (or have a simple bed for travel with baby), it’s perfect. And once your child outgrows the Rockwell Bassinet, you can still use the basket for something else in your child’s room.
Babyletto Gelato portable bassinet
The Babyletto Gelato is a beautiful, simple bassinet with adjustable height from 24.25 – 31.25 inches (62.5 – 78.75 cm), allowing you to keep baby close.
Babyletto does a great job of making sure their products are non-toxic. The Gelato is no different. It’s Greenguard GOLD certified (meaning low VOC) and lead safe. Plus, it’s free of BPA, phthalates and vinyl.
Learn more about the Gelato here.
Oeuf Fawn 2-in-1 crib
If you think you may want to start with a smaller bassinet and then move to a crib later, you should look into the Oeuf Fawn Crib and Bassinet. The bassinet has wheels for easy portability, plus a shelf underneath for diapers, wipes, and onsies. As your baby grows, you can convert the Oeuf to a full size crib.
(Note: While the Oeuf comes with a bassinet mattress, a full-size crib mattress is not included. Fortunately, I have a whole article on the best non-toxic crib mattresses.)
RELATED: The best non-toxic crib mattresses
Th Oeuf 2-in-1 crib is Greenguard GOLD certified, meaning it is low VOC and there are low formaldehyde emissions.
Toxic chemicals to avoid in conventional bassinets and co-sleepers
Believe it or not, you child’s mattress can be one of the biggest sources of toxic chemicals they come in contact with. Given that newborns and infants sleep 12-17 hours a day, these exposures can really add up!
Chemicals can be “off-gassed” from the bassinets, meaning your baby can inhale them from the air. Plus, the concentration of these volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is much higher at right above the surface of the mattress (where your baby’s breathing space is during sleep).
Here’s the chemicals you need to avoid in your baby’s bassinet (and anything else on your baby registry):
Polyurethane foam (and memory foam made from polyurethane) has some great properties. It’s comfortable to lie down on, it resists mold and mildew, it wears well, and it’s cheap. The problem? It’s also highly flammable.
Manufacturers solved this problem by adding fire retardants to mattresses. However, these chemicals have long-term health effects on babies, so you should only choose mattresses that are free of flame retardants.
Often, cribs and bassinets (especially cheaper ones) are made of particleboard or medium density fiberboard (MDF). While some MDF is fine (especially if it’s marked as CARB2 compliant), it may be glued together with adhesives that contain formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is toxic and can be dangerous for children. In fact, studies have shown that children exposed to higher formaldehyde levels have a 39% increase in odds of having asthma compared to children exposed to lower levels.
If your bassinet isn’t made with solid wood, look for CARB2 compliant MDF or a Greenguard GOLD label, which tells you the product has low formaldehyde emissions.
Waterproofing is great for baby mattresses, but unfortunately, many waterproof materials are toxic.
Skip a vinyl waterproof mattress cover. Vinyl, made of PVC, is a known carcinogen linked to all sorts of problems, including asthma, learning disabilities, reproductive effects, and even cancer.
In addition, vinyl often contains phthalates, chemicals that make plastics more flexible. Phthalates are also endocrine disruptors, meaning they can cause reproductive effects and be related to some cancers.
Conclusions on choosing the best non-toxic co sleeper
Room sharing offers huge benefits for your baby – it could make a big difference in your baby’s health and development.
So, if you’re looking for a safe and non-toxic way to keep your baby close by, consider investing in a good quality co-sleeper. I’ve done the research for you and found some of the best non-toxic bassinets on the market. Make sure all your baby’s gear is safe by grabbing your free copy of the non-toxic baby registry guide.