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Your Baby Won’t Sleep in Their Bassinet? Here’s Why

Your Baby Won’t Sleep in Their Bassinet Here’s Why

Your baby’s sleeping time is one of the rare chances you get to rest. But why don’t babies sleep in their bassinets sometimes?

It’s mostly because of what they feel or their sleeping environment.

Find out more about why babies don’t sleep in the best bassinet and how to counter the reasons below.

9 Reasons Why Baby Won’t Sleep in Bassinet

9 Reasons Why Baby Won't Sleep in Bassinet

Your baby may still not sleep in their bassinet even when you notice baby sleep cues. The following are the possible reasons behind this. 

I’ve listed them, from what your baby may feel towards their sleeping environment. 

1. Startle Reflex

Is your baby throwing back their head, flinching, and crying? 

This may be because of their startle reflex or moro reflex. You’ll need to recreate the snugness of the womb by swaddling them. This should limit their startle reflex. 

2. They’re Hungry

Is it time to feed your baby? When was the last time you fed them?

Your baby won’t be able to sleep if they’re hungry. Keep them full before tucking them in their bassinet. Remember to burp them first to keep them comfortable. 

3. They’re Just Uncomfortable

Have you changed your baby’s diaper and clothes?

Maybe they’re not comfortable being ready to sleep. Keep your baby’s bedtime routine in check to ensure you have everything covered. 

4. Acid Reflux

Is your baby suffering from acid reflux?

This happens when food and stomach acid don’t go all the way down and move back up. Lying down can only worsen the uncomfy feeling that this brings. 

Keep your baby upright for 20 to 30 minutes before tucking them in to avoid this. 

5. They’re Not Tired Or They’re Too Tired

Does your baby still have too much energy? Or is your baby too exhausted for bed?

Your baby can’t be undertired or overtired to go to sleep. If they aren’t tired enough, they won’t be able to sleep for a long time.

In contrast, they can have a cortisol buildup if they are too tired. The release of this stress hormone only makes it difficult to settle. 

Maintain a good balance of naptime and waketime during the day to condition them for sleep. 

6. Too Much Light

Is your nursery too bright?

Babies always look around even before they sleep. If their room is too bright, they might rather look around than sleep. Keep the lighting of your nursery at a minimum when it’s time to sleep. 

Having some baby girl nursery ideas can help you out!

7. It’s Too Cold Or Too Hot

Is the room too cold? Or maybe it’s too hot?

Babies younger than 1-year-old can’t regulate their body temperatures just yet. You must ensure their room is the ideal temperature to adjust to their bodies. 

The ideal room temperature range that you should take note of is from 16 to 18 degrees Celsius.

8. It’s Too Noisy

Can unexpected noises be heard in your baby’s room?

These sounds wake them, especially when they’re still in a light sleep. Play white noise in your baby’s room to drown out other noises. 

White noise comforts your baby as it mimics what they hear in the womb. 

9. They’re Not Used To The Bassinet

Have you been making your baby sleep on you?

Your warm body is different from the cold sheet of your baby’s bassinet. Practice settling your baby in their bassinet for them to develop better sleep there. 

How to Get Baby to Sleep in Their Bassinet

How to Get Baby to Sleep in Their Bassinet

Now that you know why, it’s time to know how to put your baby to sleep in their bassinet in a breeze. 

What’s Their Wake Windows?

Your baby’s wake window is when they’re awake before their next sleep schedule. Wake windows may differ per baby, but they’re usually easy to identify once you get to know your baby better.

Once you learn your baby’s wake window, put them to sleep before that window closes. Your baby may be overtired if you miss it. This will only make it more difficult for you to put them to sleep. 

Adjust Your Baby’s Sleep Schedule

Adjust your baby’s sleep schedule by:

Putting them to bed 15 minutes later every 2 to 3 nights if:

  • they don’t want to go to sleep for 30 to 60 minutes 
  • they don’t show signs of tiredness by bedtime and/or
  • they wake up in the middle of the night or very early the next day with lots of energy

Putting them to bed 15 minutes earlier if:

  • they don’t want to go to sleep for 30 to 60 minutes
  • they are moody and easily agitated
  • they keep falling asleep even in transit during the day
  • their naps last for more than 2 hours and/or
  • they show signs of sleepiness during bedtime but are cranky

The answer is here: “How long can a baby sleep in a bassinet?”. It helps to know this to gauge the quality of your baby’s sleep. 

How to Get Your Newborn to Sleep in Their Bassinet

How to Get Your Newborn to Sleep in Their Bassinet

Dealing with newborn babies is different. You must ensure safe sleep for babies to avoid sleep-related injuries and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Find out what SIDS is and keep in mind the following safety measures:

  1. Share a room with your baby until they reach 6 months to 1 year old. This ensures that you can supervise their sleep most of the time. 
  2. Let your newborn sleep on their back in their bassinet. Ensure there aren’t pillows, blankets, or toys nearby to pose suffocation hazards. Don’t allow them to get used to sleeping on you, too. 
  3. Your newborn’s bassinet should have a firm mattress with a sheet that fits well. This also lessens the risk of suffocation if they move around in their sleep. 
  4. Give your baby a pacifier when they’re about to sleep. Letting it fall out of their mouths after they’re asleep is okay. Make sure that it doesn’t have cords or chains. 
  5. Let your baby enjoy a comfortable temperature while they sleep. Make sure to swaddle them with enough layers.  
  6. Don’t allow smoking around your newborn baby or in their room. Your baby’s system is too fragile for this. 
  7. Stop swaddling your baby when they start to roll over. They should have access to their hands whenever they need to roll over. 

How to Put Your Baby in Their Bassinet Without Waking Them

How to Put Your Baby in Their Bassinet Without Waking Them

You can’t control where your baby falls asleep. There might be many times when they would fall asleep outside their bassinet. 

These are the ways on how you can successfully transfer them when this happens. 

Warm Up And Prep Up

A cold mattress will only wake your baby up. Warm their bassinet with a hot water bottle before transferring them. This makes it cozier for them, too. 

Set the right sleeping environment for your baby as well. Keep their bassinet clean and clear before putting them down. Make sure that the room has suitable sounds and temperature.  

Swaddle, Don’t Squabble

Swaddle your baby with the right amount of layers to maintain the warmth of your arms. You’ll want to achieve the same level of comfort in the bassinet.

Browse The Drowse

If you place a sleeping baby in a bassinet, you’ll risk making them dissociate the bassinet from sleep. 

Timing is key here. It’s best to transfer your baby when they’re still drowsy. 

It’s not too late if you have a sleeping baby. Gently tickle them until their eyes open to transfer them. Since they’re still drowsy, they’ll naturally slide back to sleep. 

Keep An Eye On The Eyes

If you don’t want to risk waking your baby at all, there’s another way to transfer them to the bassinet. Make sure that they’re in a deep sleep.

Check if their eyes are darting under their lids. Wait until they’re completely relaxed. 

You can gently lift their arm before dropping it. It’s safe to move them if they don’t show signs of waking. 

Stay In Touch

As you move your baby to the bassinet, keep close to them. 

Keep one hand on their back with the other on their tummy. Keep your body close to them while you do this. Only ease your hands and body when your baby is settled in the bassinet. 

The pressure from your hands will make the transition easier. Keeping close to them will also help them feel more secure. 

Lower The Bottom

The best way to put your baby down is to start with their bottom first. It will look like a sitting position. Slowly position their head down after. 

If you lower your baby’s head first, this can trigger their startle reflex. This is an unsecured position because they may think they’re about to fall. 

Try Again

If your baby wakes in the process, be patient and repeat the process. They might just not be in the right sleeping stage yet. 

It will be easier once you get used to the process and know your baby better. 

Why Is It Important for Babies to Sleep in a Bassinet?

It’s necessary to go through all these for your baby’s safety. Making them sleep in the bassinet on their backs lowers the risk of SIDS. 

It’s also important that the bassinet has a firm and flat mattress, has a fitted sheet, and is free of delicate items. 

This is also important in the long run. Eventually, your baby will have its own sleeping space. Teaching them to sleep in a bassinet makes it easier for you to transition them later on.  

You may ask, “When is a baby too big for a bassinet?” or “When does a baby reach the bassinet weight limit?”. It might be time for you to know when to move the baby to a crib and start looking for the best cribs.


When your baby doesn’t sleep in the bassinet, they may be uncomfy, or their sleep environment isn’t right. 

You should keep many factors in check and do your best to securely transfer them to the bassinet. 

However, the process and considerations may depend on your baby’s personality. There aren’t strict steps you should follow, but the basics should help make it easier. 

Nayna Llenos
Nayna Llenos

Hi, I’m Nayna!
I’ve always wanted to be a mother, and I’m lucky and blessed to have two wonderful children to care for and love.
Despite this blessing, there are times wherein I do wonder if I truly am the mother my children need. Am I giving them the right food, care, and discipline to them?
But that is the beauty of parenting — you grow along with your children as they flourish to be their wonderful selves!
I wish to share my experiences with motherhood and how these tips can help you in your parenting journey.
I hope my advices and experiences will prove useful to you and that you have a smooth and wonderful journey as a mother!