What is a Moses Basket – is it worth it?
Moses basket is a small baby bed in the form of a basket with handles and a mattress. Its stand-out feature is its traditional appearance with a woven design. The weave material can be from cornhusks, palm, or wicker material. Its use dates back thousands of years.
This basket is small and therefore only accommodates infants up to 3 or 4 months, depending on the baby’s weight, height, and mobility level. Your baby should stop using it once they can pull themselves on their hand, rollover, or crawl (whichever comes first).
Moses baskets are often expensive, especially if you consider that your baby will only be able to use them for only the first few months (up to about 20 pounds). But many families also buy second-hand Moses baskets because they are relatively cheap. A new Moses basket usually includes a foam mattress, fabric cover lining, set of beddings. There are also options with a stand and others with a hood.
Perhaps you are wondering if it is worth buying a Moses basket and our answer is yes! And the reason is simple. Moses basket is smaller, cozier than a crib (which are too massive for a newborn), lightweight, and portable enough to be carried around your home so that your baby can nap wherever you are, ensuring they stay at your side so you can keep an eye. And at night, the Moses basket is safe for your baby to sleep and stays by your bedside where you can easily reach out and pick your baby for feeds without straining.
You can also read my reviews on these best Moses baskets available in the market.
Moses Basket vs Bassinet
Moses baskets are very similar to bassinets. They both are small beds suitable for babies up to 4 months and can be used for overnight sleep.
However, Moses baskets are easy to move around the house because they are lightweight and have carry handles. On the other hand, bassinets are usually fixed to a stand or legs, so they are not quite as portable. But, there are a few exceptions that have caster wheels for portability.
One of the greatest advantages of bassinets is that they come with lots of other convenient features, while traditional Moses baskets are limited in design. Most bassinets have storage pockets, canopy, and others have caster wheels. Some bassinets are designed with features that help entertain and soothe babies, such as rocking motions, vibrations, lullabies and white noise, and lights. Some bassinets can be used for co-sleeping with a lowering side. Co-sleeping with a Moses basket on your bed is risky as you can roll over on your baby. Still, you can use a Moses basket beside your bed with a stand.
If you also value products made from natural and environmentally friendly materials. In that case, Moses Basket is ideal for you as they are usually made from palm leaves, wicker, and corn husks, which are natural materials. Bassinets are usually made from different types of materials such as wood, plastic, wicker, and even metal.
Choosing between a Moses basket and bassinet is not easy; you will have to decide which one is more practical depending on your most important needs. Is it for co-sleeping? Do you need it to be easy to move around the house? Would you like extra features? Etc. From a financial point of view, neither option is favorable as both can only be used for the first four months of life. You should also know that bassinets are usually more expensive than Moses baskets.
Moses Basket vs Crib
Both Moses basket and crib provide a safe sleeping spot for babies. But, Moses basket is a portable bed while a crib is not portable at all.
Cribs are baby beds usually made of wood, and they are bigger and more sturdy than the Moses basket. They have rails on the sides and slats that let you see your baby while lying in bed instead of the solid wall panel of a Moses basket.
Being larger and spacious than a Moses basket, a crib can be used for longer until your baby shows the potential of climbing out. Some cribs, however, are also convertible to use as a toddler bed, thereby giving more value for money. Cribs are more expensive than Moses baskets and often require you to buy a mattress and bedding separately, which adds to the cost.
A Moses basket is better if you are looking for a portable bed option while a crib is ideal if you want a bed with longevity.
Moses Basket Vs Dock-a-tot
Dock-a-tot is a relatively new baby lounger that is designed to provide a comfortable spot for your baby to lounge, play, do tummy time and even get their diapers changed. It has two sizes options: for babies (0 to 9 months) and bigger toddlers (9 months to 36 months). Moses basket is a baby bed for babies up to 4 months.
What’s great about the Dock-a-tot lounger is that it has a spacious center, a padded bottom, and cushy sides, so it surrounds your baby with comfort. Like the Moses basket, it can be placed on the floor, and it would still feel comfy. Even better, you can also put the smaller Dock-a-tot lounger inside the Moses basket, making it easy to pick up and move around. You can also raise your baby off the ground by putting the Dock-a-tot and Moses basket duo up on a Moses basket stand!
While the Moses basket is safe for sleeping, Dock-a-tot is not because of the thick padded sides, which increase the risk of suffocation. That said, it provides a comfy spot to play and nap with supervision.
We recommend the Moses basket between the two because it’s easily portable, cheaper, and can be used for overnight sleep without putting your baby at risk. But, if you are looking for just a cozy spot for play that your baby can use as they grow then Dock-a-tot is ideal.
Moses Basket Vs Halo Bassinet
Halo bassinet is a top choice for moms. It is the only bassinet in the market that can swivel 360 degrees to bring the baby close to you while in bed. Most new moms love this bassinet. It makes tending to the baby less strenuous because it works as a bedside bassinet.
The Halo sits on a heavy base which is not easy to move, but the bassinet is detachable, allowing you to move around the house easily, just like the Moses basket. It is spacious enough to accommodate your baby up to 6 months, while the Moses basket can only be used up to 4 months. It also has additional features such as vibrations, storage pockets, etc. Price wise the Halo is many times more expensive than the average Moses basket.
If you are choosing between the two, the Moses basket is cheaper, but the Halo has more longevity and offers more useful functions.
Moses Basket vs Sleepyhead
Sleepyhead is the baby lounger from Sweden, which is known in the US as Dock-a-tot. Apart from new prints, it functions like the Dock-a-tot, so you know it’s more of a safe and cozy playing spot for your child than a sleeping solution, unlike Moses basket.
Moses Basket vs Baby nest
Moses basket is a lightweight basket baby bed that is easy to bring along at home. Since it has a firm sleeping mattress, it is suitable for overnight sleep and can also be attached to a stand to raise the baby off the floor.
Baby Nest is a type of baby lounger. It is lightweight and easily portable around the home too. Baby nest fits on any stable surface, providing a convenient way to keep your baby cozy, safe, and close as you attend to other stuff. It has thick raised edges, creating a comforting and secure feeling for your baby, but this also means it is not safe for sleeping.
The main advantage of the Moses basket over the baby nest is that it is safe for overnight sleeping, and it can also be attached to a stand. The baby nest can only be used for supervised naps and play, but it is not designed to be attached to a base.
On the other hand, baby nests can be used longer than Moses baskets until 6 to 9 months.
How to clean Moses Basket
From the sweat, tears, blowouts, and milk spills, and other messes, Moses baskets collect a lot of dirt, bacteria, dust mites, and other crawlies. To prevent this and keep your new Moses basket looking fresh, you need to clean it frequently. First, remove the dirty bed sheet and wash using antibacterial laundry detergent in a hot water cycle while following the washing instructions. Then use an antibacterial spray on the basket frame and a washcloth to wipe it down, remove any dirt particles, and let the basket air dry. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove trapped dust and debris that you can’t reach.
How to use a Moses Basket
The Moses basket is a great first baby bed. You just need to assemble and then place the baby for sleep. You may also need to place it on a stand so you can raise it to level with your bed to keep the baby close and easily accessible when you need to lift her out at night for feeds.
Whenever you need to move to the living room, kitchen, or any other place in the house, remove your baby from inside and take the Moses basket with you. This way, your baby can enjoy naps no matter where you are, even outside in your backyard.
Once your baby is ready to transition to a cot or crib, you can use the Moses basket inside for a few days to help them get used to the new sleeping surroundings gradually, which will be less stressful.
And when no longer needed for sleep, the Moses basket is a versatile product that you can use as a laundry basket or keep in your baby’s nursery to store blankets or toys. You can also keep it to use with a future sibling, or give it to a friend or family member who is expecting. Remember to replace the mattress if used with another baby or a future sibling for safety and hygiene reasons.
I am Ashley Davis, a mom of three kids and the editor here at Motherhood HQ (formerly 10BabyGear). I have been a parent since 2011 and have been doing full-time consulting as a baby sleep expert since 2019. When I am not researching or testing the next baby gear hitting the market, you’ll find me teaching my toddlers a trick or two – especially over the last few months with the lockdown. I hope you’ll find my guides and reviews helpful as you make your next purchase decision. If you have any questions, you can reach me at email@example.com.