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Baby & child.

Updated: 17 Dec 2021

Moses baskets pros and cons

Moses baskets can be a comfy and cosy sleeping option for newborn babies, and an easy, lightweight choice to move from room to room – we've weighed up their pros and cons
Sabrina Sahota
Moses basket 434665

A Moses basket is only suitable for the first few months of a baby's life. Given the limited use you'll get out of one, is it worth buying one?

If, after reading the pros and cons below, you decide not to buy a Moses basket, check out our guide on how to buy the best cot bed. The main advantage of cot beds is that they last such a long time: they can be used as a cot from birth and as a junior bed as your child gets older.

Choosing a Moses basket

Pros

  • Light and fairly easy to store.
  • Moses baskets with handles are easy to move around.
  • Can be rested on floor, or raised up with a stand.
  • Baby feels cosy and snug.
  • Moses baskets with fabric hoods keep your baby shaded and cool.
  • Cheaper than a baby crib.

Cons

  • Can be used only until your baby is able to pull themselves up – usually when they're around three to four months old.
  • Short-handled Moses baskets are not suitable for transporting while your baby is inside.
  • They're non-essential baby equipment so are an extra cost, especially if you're buying new.

Moses baskets are usually made from strong wicker or maize. Many come with a mattress and fitted sheet, decorative coverlets to keep your baby cosy as well as adjustable hoods.

Do you need a Moses basket stand?

Your Moses basket should be placed on the floor, on a flat surface. But if you'd prefer your baby to be higher up, you could buy a wooden Moses basket stand for around £20-£30. These are usually foldable and easy to store, and some can be used to create a rocking effect to soothe your baby to sleep.

What bedding does a baby need in a Moses basket?

Moses baskets often come with coverlets, sheets or blankets – but don't use all of them simultaneously. You don't need that much to keep your baby at a comfortable temperature.

How to use your Moses basket safely

  • Pick up the Moses basket with one hand holding the straps and the other supporting the base of the basket.
  • Check that the straps on your Moses basket are long enough to meet in the middle.
  • Moses baskets should be set down on the floor, on a flat, not raised surface – unless you have a Moses basket stand.
  • Regularly examine the Moses basket to check for wear and tear.
  • Don't use your Moses basket once your baby reaches the maximum size and weight the basket can hold.

The Lullaby Trust additionally has these sleep safety tips for parents:

  • The recommended room temperature for a baby to sleep in is 16-20ºC, or 61-68ºF. Use a room thermometer to check the temperature before putting your baby to bed.
  • The safest position for your baby to sleep is on their back, not on their front or side.
  • Baby bedding should be tucked in and made up to come no higher than your baby's shoulders.
Person young baby into a Moses basket

Can I use a second-hand Moses basket?

A Moses basket is usually safe to buy second-hand, but before you do, check that it conforms to the latest safety standard: BS EN 1466:2014

If you buy your Moses basket second-hand, we’d advise buying a brand new mattress. The Lullaby Trust charity states there's an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when a second-hand mattress is used. This is because there’s more chance of the mattress sagging or the mattress cover shrinking, which can be hazardous for your baby. 

When buying a mattress for your Moses basket:

  • Press down on the mattress to check that it’s firm and flat. If it sags when you press your hand against it, the mattress could pose a suffocation risk to your baby if they end up face down on it.
  • Use a waterproof cover, as this can help to stop bacteria building up inside the mattress.
  • Make sure there is no gap between the mattress and wall of the Moses basket. This is so your baby’s arms or legs don’t get trapped.

Depending on its previous use, you may also want to buy new fabric lining for your Moses basket. Where possible, try to buy it from the same brand as your Moses basket, so it’ll fit neatly on to it. The fabric lining should be thin and breathable to allow for air to circulate. 

Find out more about what baby products you should avoid buying second-hand.