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Hands-on Gear Review

BabyBjörn Cradle Review

The BabyBjörn Cradle has a sleek design that doesn't sacrifice safety.
Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $350.00 List | $279.96 at Amazon - 20% off
Pros:  Full 360 degree mesh siding, chic, lightweight, comfortable, quality
Cons:  Expensive, vibration plus or minus depending on baby, not easily portable
Bottom line:  Lightweight, easy-to-use, shines in quality fabrics and safe sleep environment
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Baby Bjorn

The Skinny

All around impressive, the BabyBjörn Cradle out-performed the competitors and landed the coveted title of Editors' Choice in the bassinet category. It exceeded every other product we rated, due to its sleek design, incredible attention to safety, and use of high-quality materials. While every unit we rated was designed with slightly different intentions, (such as our Top Pick HALO Swivel Sleeper which is great for mothers recovering from a C-Section), based on our tests, it was clear that this is the best for overall use; it is lightweight, provides a safe sleep environment for your baby, and it is easy to clean. Read on to see how it performed in our tests and why we gave it top honors.


RELATED REVIEW: The Quest for the Best Bassinet

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Score Product Price Our Take
74
$350
Editors' Choice Award
Lightweight, easy-to-use, shines in quality fabrics and safe sleep environment
72
$150
Best Value Award
Great value, versatile, portable, safe, sturdy, convenient
61
$250
Top Pick Award
Recommended by bedside for moms after C-Section, however, not easily moved
59
$50
Portable, inexpensive, not ideal for general use within home
58
$100
Affordable, portable, no extra frills
55
$299
Classic design, well-crafted but lacks mesh siding and a few other bells and whistles
54
$83
Inexpensive with included bells and whistles but quality lacking
29
$129
Despite eye-catching design, low quality materials, do not recommend

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD
Mom-in-Chief
BabyGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
January 25, 2015

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A family-owned Swedish company, BabyBjörn has been designing high-quality original and safe products for young children, since 1961. Their products can now be found around the world, and include a variety of items, all engineered with the core principles of safety, quality, and style in mind. BabyGearLab found that they do a great job living up to these standards, which is why this product was the obvious choice for our Editors' Choice Award, and why we think you will like it as much as we did!

We found the Björn to be the meeting point where safety converges with comfort and elegance for your most precious new addition.  At first glance, it appears to be plain and simple, but a closer look and some explanation of the finer details reveals how intricately this cradle was engineered, surpassing national safety standards with Oeko-Tex Standard 100 classification. You can rest assured your little one is protected, all the while snuggled in a small, lightweight, easy to clean product.  While we tested several of the top products on the market, we are confident that after reading our review, you will understand why the BabyBjörn outshines the others, and why it might just be the perfect piece of baby gear to help simplify the earliest days with your little bundle.

Performance Comparison


The Baby Bjorn Cradle has a compact design that will provide a sense of safety for your little angel while she sleeps and will accommodate a baby up to 18 pounds.
Sturdy  health-conscious and functional equaled a winning combination in our book.  Kudos BabyBjorn!
 

Health and Safety


All fabrics that could come into contact with your baby's mouth are certified Oeko-Tek Standard 100.
All fabrics that could come into contact with your baby's mouth are certified Oeko-Tek Standard 100.
Infant sleep safety is a big topic, and rightfully so, since your little one's vulnerability rises when they're not safe in your arms. You can read BabyGearLab's advice on sleep safety, written by BabyGearLab's CEO and founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier. We considered all of her advice and more when rating this very important section of our review. While all of the bassinets we reviewed meet certain national safety criteria, the BabyBjörn outclasses the others, as it is the only one that meets the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class 1, guaranteeing no harmful substances are used in the manufacturing of any of the fabrics that come into contact with your baby. While most companies apply flame retardants during the production of their products, BabyBjörn went above and beyond to engineer a mattress that by nature is flame resistant, thus uncommonly safer for your newborn. Furthermore, the sheet that is available for purchase with the cradle is made from 100% organic cotton.

Though we were disappointed to learn that the base of the cradle is in fact an MDF board (manufactured wood that is controversial since it emits formaldehyde), it should be noted that BabyBjörn produces an MDF board in compliance with CARB Phase 2, which is the most restricted level of formaldehyde available on the market.
Another example of the 360 degree mesh sides  which gives real peace of mind if baby should sidle up against the side of the bassinet and breath into the fabric. Also  caregivers have full visualization of baby without having to look over the top.
Another example of the 360 degree mesh sides, which gives real peace of mind if baby should sidle up against the side of the bassinet and breath into the fabric. Also, caregivers have full visualization of baby without having to look over the top.

The sides of the cradle are mesh, surrounding the entire circumference, ensuring breathability, should your precious baby's face press up against the side. In-line with the ASTM F2194 standards, the mattress is firm, less than 1 inch in height, and fits snugly and firmly inside the nest of the cradle, with very little space between the mattress and the walls of the bassinet. The base is wide and stable and there is little to no chance that it could tip over, especially if used within the recommended time frame, before your baby is able to sit up on their own. The cradle is made from the highest quality clean fabrics on the market and crafted for stability. What more could you ask for? We certainly found that BabyBjörn outdid themselves in regards to safety.

Ease of Use


The BabyBjörn is small enough and lightweight enough that it can easily be moved around your home.
The BabyBjörn is small enough and lightweight enough that it can easily be moved around your home.
When using a product like this, one of the most important details is its maneuverability.  This unit is not only more compact than several of the others we reviewed, but it is also very lightweight, and therefor easy to move around from room to room and even up and down stairs, so you will not be confined to using the cradle in only one room of your home.  Although not a co-sleeper, the BabyBjörn will easily fit in most bedrooms, and is stable enough it could safely be placed next to your bed, without fear of it tipping over.  Also, unlike most of the other units we reviewed, the entire fabric lining conveniently removes from the frame with the ease of a zipper, allowing for easy cleaning as frequently as you feel is necessary.

Its clever design also causes a gentle vibration when baby moves, allowing your little one to soothe themselves should they wake. It literally appears as though every single detail was designed with your sense of peace-of-mind, and every new parent knows how helpful that is!

Portability


Though technically not "portable", the Björn completely collapses with the simple removal of two screws. Transporting the cradle in your car for use at grandma's is definitely doable if need-be. Within your own home however, you don't have to take it apart in order to move it around like some of the others we rated. It is lightweight, easy to lift, and small enough, that keeping your little one close-by wherever you need will not be an issue.
The BabyBjörn is small enough and lightweight enough that it can easily be moved around your home.
The BabyBjörn will easily slide in the backseat of your car once its two screws are removed and it is collapsed.
 

Quality


Though several of the others we rated were certainly high quality, this one surpassed the others by meeting several standards, including the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 for its fabrics, ASTM F2194 for its mattress, and CARB Phase 2 for the MDF base. Additionally, it complies with several international regulations and has passed all of their tests, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe.

At first glance, it is clear that it's designed with superior quality; the mesh is thick and sturdy, the base elegant, and the wood smooth and graceful. Not a single detail went unpolished, hence it was easy to rate the it highly in this category. We were pleased to find that unlike some of the others we reviewed, its sleek design does not retract from its structural integrity. The one comment we have in regards to quality is to periodically check that the screws that attatch the frame to the base are tightly screwed in, because it is possible that they could loosen slightly over time.

Ease of Setup


Setting up the BabyBjörn is easy. Simply open the legs all the way and insert the screws into the pre-drilled holes, using an allen wrench to properly tighten the base to the frame. Compared to the others we reviewed, this was one of the easiest set-ups, and the process was entirely intuitive.
Set-up was simple  just unfold the legs and insert two screws.  The lining zips on or off for easy cleaning.
Set-up was simple, just unfold the legs and insert two screws. The lining zips on or off for easy cleaning.

Best Applications


While many of the bassinets we reviewed seemed to work better for certain specific situations, the BabyBjörn Cradle truly is the quintessential freestanding cradle, and in our opinion, the overall best on the market for general use. It can be easily transported from room to room, allowing you to make ample use of your entire home, rather than being confined to a single space with your new sleeping baby. The mesh sides allow for you to see in, even if you are peering in from a different room, giving you an added sense of security that your baby is sleeping safely. Additionally, with the simple removal of two screws, it can be collapsed and will easily fit in your car, allowing you to travel overnight with your baby, still having a safe and comfortable place for them to sleep.

Value


This is the most expensive product in this category. $350 may seem like a lot of money to spend on something that may only be used for a few months at most, however at BabyGearLab, we believe a price tag cannot be put on your child's safety. Based on our research, the cleaner, and therefor healthier product is worth the investment, especially if you have more than one child. It's quality and ease-of-use are just added bonuses that complete the package. You can see how it scored on our value chart.

Conclusion


Considering all of the pieces we reviewed in this category, it is no wonder why the BabyBjörn won our Editors' Choice Award. It is the safest choice, produced with the highest quality standards, is easy to use, and it is simply an attractive piece of baby gear to have in your home. You will love watching your baby sleep through the mesh sides, all the while knowing that they are safe and snug as a bug. Now that warrants sweet dreams.
The BabyBjorn is small and chic and fits nicely in many spaces while not being used.  It's wide base and completely mesh sides provide safety while baby is sleeping.
The BabyBjorn is small and chic and fits nicely in many spaces while not being used. It's wide base and completely mesh sides provide safety while baby is sleeping.

Accessories


  • The BabyBjörn Canopy is a light mesh material made from polyester. It is light enough that it allows air to freely circulate, but still slightly dims bright lights allowing baby to sleep soundly.

Video


Juliet Spurrier, MD, Molly Hutto, & BabyGearLab Team

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BabyGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: January 14, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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