Updated January 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for Best baby Moses baskets

From cribs and cradles to bassinets and co-sleepers, you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to picking places for your baby to nap. However, few are as convenient (or cute!) as baby Moses baskets. 

Compact and cozy, Moses baskets take up hardly any space at all, making them a great fit for smaller homes. For most new parents, though, the most attractive quality by far is their portability. Thanks to handles and the relatively lightweight construction, Moses baskets can easily be carried from room to room, so you can keep an eye on your baby at all times.

Moses baskets come in a wide array of styles, ranging from charming natural wicker to modern versions constructed of easy-to-clean synthetic materials. Some also come complete with bedding, and many manufacturers offer stands for their Moses baskets as well.

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Don't forget to consider your home décor before you buy. Moses baskets are available in a wide variety of colors and finishes to complement almost any background.

Key considerations

Materials

Natural: Traditional wicker Moses baskets are usually crafted from materials like rattan, palm, or maize. The woven construction of these baskets naturally boosts air circulation, making for a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for newborns. While there's no denying that natural wicker Moses baskets have a certain Old World charm, they also have a tendency to creak slightly in response to motion or pressure.

Synthetic: A modern take on traditional wicker baskets, synthetic Moses baskets are generally constructed of nontoxic, soft-touch plastics that can easily be recycled later on. Most have holes positioned around the sides for improved ventilation and a smooth finish that can simply be wiped down or rinsed off to clean. While synthetic models might not be the first thing that springs to mind at the mention of Moses baskets, they can offer a more contemporary look for modern homes.

Size

Most Moses baskets measure between 27 and 33 inches long. Although they're intended for short-term use (you'd be surprised at how much growing your tiny newborn will do in just a few months!), choosing a larger model will increase the chances of your Moses basket seeing you through the first four to six months of your baby's life.

Handles

Given that fuss-free portability is one of the biggest perks of using a Moses basket, a good set of handles shouldn't be overlooked. Keep an eye out for sturdy, well-secured handles that are long enough to allow for a comfortable one-handed grip so you can hold your baby with the other when moving the basket to another room.

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CAUTION
Never carry your Moses basket with your baby inside. A slip of a handle or slight movement inside can disrupt your basket's balance enough to cause it to tilt sideways.
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Features

Bedding

While just about every Moses basket comes with a mattress, a handful of premium models also come complete with fitted sheets and blankets, saving new parents the hassle of choosing the bedding set separately. If you're getting a Moses basket as a gift, matching bedding is a particularly nice touch.

Stand

If your newborn will be sharing a home with older siblings or furry family members, it's a good idea to keep your Moses basket elevated and out of harm's way. However, simply placing it on a table or nightstand can be dangerous, especially once your little one starts to get more active. Moses basket stands can be purchased separately or as part of a set. If there are older siblings who might want to check on the baby every now and then, take care to choose a sturdy, well-balanced stand that won't easily topple over.

Canopy

Moses baskets that come with canopies can help block out distracting light in bright rooms and also provide a bit of shade outdoors. If you like the idea of a basket with a canopy, we recommend models with removable woven hoods or folding fabric canopies that can simply be pushed out of the way for easy access to your baby. 

Potential risks

Moses baskets are cute and convenient, but it’s important that you take some precautions when using one. 

Don’t leave your baby unattended in a Moses basket. 

Never use a Moses basket in place of a crib or put the basket in a crib. The woven structure isn’t firm enough to provide a tight fit between a mattress and the basket wall, creating a suffocation hazard. Also, an active baby could tip the basket over.

Don’t carry your baby in the Moses basket.

Some baskets — and handles — are sturdier than others. Note any weight limit and stop using the basket when your baby reaches it. Move the basket as needed, but carry your baby in your arms.

Don’t put the basket with the baby on a table or countertop.

A squirmy baby could easily tip the basket over, and there are no belts or other devices to secure your baby inside.

There's no need to throw your Moses basket out once your baby outgrows it when it can just as easily be repurposed. Use it as a comfy pet bed, put it to work in the laundry room, or use it as a toy basket in the nursery. With a little creativity, the options are endless.

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Baby Moses basket prices

Inexpensive

Simple Moses baskets that come with a mattress and liner typically start at around $35 to $45. Both synthetic and natural wicker varieties can be found at this price point.

Mid-range

Quality natural wicker Moses baskets and models that come with canopies or bedding sets cost anywhere from $45 to $80.

Expensive

If you're interested in a Moses basket and stand combo or simply want the best possible quality, expect to pay somewhere between $80 and $200 or more.

Tips

  • Swaddle your baby. Whether you put your baby down to sleep in a Moses basket, crib, or bassinet, swaddling can help your newborn get more rest simply by containing the baby’s startle reflex and providing a sense of security. 
  • Always fold the handles outward. Long handles are ideal for carrying your Moses basket, but when it comes to nap time, they can easily flop inward if you don't take the time to fold them out of the way.
  • Consider using a waterproof sheet. Wicker baskets can be difficult to clean. To protect your investment from diaper leaks and spit-up, consider covering the mattress with a waterproof sheet.
  • Keep bedding and toys out of the basket. Stuffed animals, blankets, and loose fabric can pose a suffocation risk for newborns. Keeping the Moses basket clear of extras is vital to your baby’s safety. If you think your baby might be cold, a cozy swaddle or sleep sack should do the trick.
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DID YOU KNOW?
Experts recommend that babies sleep in the same room as their parents for the first six months. It’s recommended that your baby sleep in a crib at night, not a Moses basket.
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A simple Moses basket filled with baby essentials like diaper rash cream, body wash, lotion, diapers, rompers, and the like makes a thoughtful and unique baby shower gift.

FAQ

Q. How long can my baby use a Moses basket?

A. That depends on a number of factors, including the size of the basket and your baby's growth and development rate. On average, most babies outgrow their Moses baskets somewhere around the three- to four-month mark. Larger models are often able to accommodate babies up to six months, but as a rule of thumb, it's best to stop using the basket as soon as your little one starts to roll over or push up on their hands.

Q. What's the best way to clean a wicker Moses basket?

A. Between natural materials and woven construction, wicker Moses baskets can be somewhat tricky to clean. While a thorough weekly wipe with a damp cloth is usually enough to keep your basket free of dust, more serious messes like diaper leaks call for a bit of extra attention. These steps will have your Moses basket sparkling clean in no time.

  1. Remove any bedding and fabric from the basket, including the liner and mattress.
  2. Prepare a soapy solution of warm water and mild detergent.
  3. Take your Moses basket outside and give it a thorough wash, using an old toothbrush to remove any dirt or dust buildup in crevices.
  4. Rinse the basket with clean water.
  5. Allow the basket to dry completely, preferably in a sunny spot, before replacing the bedding.

Q. Are plastic Moses baskets safe?

A. Many new parents shy away from plastics, but these can be every bit as safe as natural Moses baskets, provided you stick with a trusted brand. Reputable manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure that their synthetic Moses baskets are safe for newborns by using carefully produced plastics that are nontoxic and BPA-free.

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