A bassinet, bassinette, or cradle is a bed specifically for babies from birth to about four months, and small enough to provide a "cocoon" that small babies find comforting.
In a hospital environment, a special form of sealed bassinet is used in a neonatal intensive care unit.
On many domestic and nearly all long-distance flights, most airlines provide a bassinet (which is attached to a bulkhead) to adults travelling with an infant, i.e., a child under the age of two. The use of the bassinet is restricted by the infant's size and weight.
Research has shown that the mattress influences SIDS outcomes; a firm mattress lowers SIDS risk.
Some bassinets are designed to rock or swing freely, with many carers finding their child calmed by this action. The process of lulling the child to sleep may be accompanied by prerecorded or live performance of lullabies.