For a new mother, trying out every new thing can make her paranoid because she always wants to keep her bundle of joy safe and sound. When it comes to a baby sleeping in the cradle, a handful of people recommend using one during the night, whereas some state the cons of using a cradle for the baby. The more you talk to people about it, the more different kinds of opinions will be generated.

It's time you heard it from the experts, an experienced and researched source. Before we get started, let us understand what a cradle is, how it helps soothe the baby, and whether it is safe for the baby during the night.

What is a Cradle?

Cradles are a classic baby sleep product that has been used for centuries. As a parent, you may be wondering if a baby sleeping in the cradle during the night is safe for your little one or not. Well, I have cut through a clear answer for you. For a baby aged between 0 - 4 months, it is safe. You can also see cradles for babies in the hospital. There are criteria according to which the babies can sleep in the cradle, and we will discuss that in detail here.

While cradles can provide a cosy sleeping space, there are some important safety and developmental factors to consider while using them. Let's check that out!!!

Take the first step towards your baby's sound sleep with 1st Step 

When your little one is just a newborn, choosing the right place for them to sleep is super important. 1st Step makes cradles specifically designed with your baby's safety and comfort in mind. Their cradles meet all the current safety rules. 

For example, the mattresses are firm and flat. The slats your baby lies on are spaced close enough together so they can't fall through. This helps prevent accidents like suffocation.

1st Step cradles are great for short naps during the day when you're right there watching. Babies under four months old who can't roll over or push up yet are the ones who should use them. You can place the cradle right next to your bed. That way, it's easy to keep an eye on your baby's breathing and how they're lying and ensure that they're OK.

Features in a 1st step Baby Cradle

 - Swing function with a gentle swinging motion to help lull the baby to sleep

- Swing lock to securely hold the swinging motion in place and make it manual cradle

- Wheels with a locking mechanism for easy manoeuvrability and stability when not moving

- Animal designs on both sides of the cradle for visual interest

- Sturdy and durable frame to ensure baby's safety

- Full mosquito net coverage for protection from insects  

- Storage basket underneath to keep baby care items organised in one place

Safety Considerations

According to the AAP(American Academy of Pediatrics), the most convenient place for an infant to sleep for the first 6-12 months is in the parents' bedroom, close to the parent's bed, but on a different surface designed especially for infants, such as a safety crib, bassinet or portable crib (AAP, 2016). 

This is because:

- Cradles don't meet current safety standards. Older cradles may have slats spaced more than 2-3/8 inches apart, posing an entrapment and suffocation risk. They also may not have a firm, flat sleeping surface.

- The cradle's design can pose positional risks. Babies who spend long periods in a cradle may assume positions that can compromise their airways or cause flat spots on their heads.

- It's difficult for parents to monitor baby. Cradles are often placed away from the parents' bed, making it harder to keep an eye on baby's breathing, position and general well-being through the night.


Cradles are safe for babies aged between 0 and 4 months as long as they don't turn or push their bodies too high, which can cause problems.

Developmental Considerations

For developmental considerations as babies develop, they begin to roll, push up and move around more. The confined space of a cradle may make it difficult for babies to move naturally as they grow. Around 4-6 months, most babies outgrow the length of a traditional cradle.

According to the AAP - American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines  -

The AAP recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing as the safest sleeping arrangement. They say babies should sleep in a crib or bassinet in the parent's bedroom or any baby gear close to their bed for at least the first 6 months and ideally for the first year. This has been shown to decrease the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.

When Cradle Sleep May Be Appropriate

In various situations, limited cradle sleep under close parental supervision is allowed:

- For short daytime naps, not overnight sleep.

- If the cradle meets current safety standards, has a firm, flat mattress and slats no more than 2-3/8 inches apart. 

- The baby is under four months old and has not started rolling over or pushing up on hands and knees.

The cradle is right next to the parent's bed, allowing easy monitoring of the baby's breathing, position, and well-being. 

Alternative Sleeping Arrangements After 4 months

Safer alternatives to prolonged cradle sleep include a portable crib, bassinet, or the parents' bed for co-sleeping. The AAP recommends a crib in the parents' room. Room-sharing in a crib allows babies to be in close proximity while meeting all safety standards.

To find out more about 1st Step's baby products, check out their website at Making your little one's sleep space as safe as possible is so important. So, lets check out the safety considerations now!!!


While cradles provide a sweet sleeping space, following safe sleep guidelines is most important for reducing the risk of SIDS and accidental suffocation. For overnight sleep, experts recommend room-sharing without bed-sharing in a crib or bassinet close to the parent's bed after 4 months, ideally the first year. Limited, supervised daytime naps in a safe cradle are OK for young babies. Always check with your paediatrician if you have any other questions!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Baby Sleeping in the Cradle

1. Can I co-sleep with my baby in my bed?

The AAP says sharing a bed with babies increases the risk of SIDS and is not recommended. Room-sharing in a separate crib or bassinet is safer.

2. When will my baby be ready to sleep through the night?

Most babies start sleeping for longer stretches by 4-6 months. Every baby develops at their own pace, so one needs to be more patient and consistent with your bedtime routine.

3. Is it OK for my baby to nap in a swing?

Yes, naps are generally fine, but the AAP does not recommend using swings or other inclined devices for overnight or unsupervised sleep due to safety risks like positional asphyxiation.

June 24, 2024 — Aatish Mandot