Yes, all existing research indicates that vibrations are entirely safe for newborns.
This is one of the most commonly asked questions about vibrating bassinets and vibrating mats.
It’s a good question to ask, too.
Dr. Harvey Karp aka. “The Baby Whisperer” puts it like this:
“They’re born three months before they’re really ready for the world. What you wanna learn how to do is imitate the womb and turn on the babies calming reflexes.”
Vibrations do just that. However, there still are dilemmas that need clarifying before a parent can be at ease with vibrating sleep products.
Is a vibrating bassinet safe for newborns?
The answer is YES. Vibrating bassinets meet all the strictest safety standards set by the JPMA.
There is one caveat, though – the baby can get used to vibration and take longer to fall asleep without it – more on that in a minute.
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Let’s take it one step further – if it’s safe, does that mean it’s good for them?
It’s the logical follow-up question because safe doesn’t necessarily mean good.
Is vibration bad for babies?
No, vibration is not bad for a baby in any way. It’s harmless. In fact, all new research shows a range of benefits, some of them surprising.
Six benefits of vibrations for babies
They fall asleep faster
Vibration is proven to induce sleep. Every parent knows that swaddling and rocking works.
Vibration has the same effect for the same reasons – it brings back the calming memories of the womb.
They sleep longer
I can attest to this one personally. My son’s sleep habits changed completely when we got a smart vibrating bassinet. Thank God for that; my wife and I were at the end of our ropes.
They get back to sleep easier
This one only works if you have a smart bassinet that can recognize movement and lull the baby back to sleep.
It helps with their breathing
In preemies, the brain can be immature and unable to regulate sleep well. This causes spells of sleep apnea. To put it simply, premature babies can forget to breathe for a moment.
Research shows that vibrations “remind” the baby’s brain to breathe.
In the words of Dr. David Paydarfar, a neurologist and baby sleep researcher, “This stimulus has appeared to improve breathing in infants without waking them up.”
I find this comforting.
Calms their bellies
Colic affects about 30% of newborns. It manifests as inconsolable crying.
Vibrations have been shown to help with the pain and gas release.
The evidence for this is mainly anecdotal, but it’s worth knowing nonetheless.
It gives them consistency
As time goes by, they associate the vibration with sleep, which becomes a secondary benefit. “It gets them in the mood,” as our family pediatrician puts it.
A caveat – problematic for nights away from home
If your baby does get used to vibrations, it can be a challenge on those nights away from home.
That’s where portable vibrating soothers, mats, and pads come in. They solve the problem of not your little one missing their precious vibrating bassinet.
What worked for us
I’m a fan of the bassinet/mattress pad combo. Our SNOO smart bassinet does a marvelous job at home and, when away, a vibrating pad does the trick. It takes a bit more time for baby to fall asleep on the vibrating mat, but it’s as close as we can get to the SNOO experience away from home.
The SNOO is not cheap but it’s totally worth it. And you can rent it, which is a big plus.
You can read my review of the SNOO rental here.
We did try using one of those vibrating soothers that attach to the crib, but that didn’t work nearly as well as the pad.
Frequently asked questions
Can my baby sleep in a vibrating seat?
The answer is NO. It’s not a good idea for your baby to sleep in a vibrating seat.
I understand that it is convenient to leave them be in their swing or a vibrating chair. It’s probably one of their happiest places.
Don’t kill the messenger, but according to a new 10-year long study, sitting devices account for 3% of SIDS.
BONUS: Download my FREE Baby Sleep Training PDF
Why are vibrations so effective?
Vibrations mimic the conditions in the womb, and there’s nothing more soothing for a baby than that.
If you think about it, it only makes sense.
They spent nine months listening to their mom’s heartbeat, conversations, activities – a baby experiences all of it as a stream of rhythmic vibrations.
That is why lullabies and rocking work – the rhythm.
That’s also why vibration works – it’s a gentle, rhythmic motion that brings back the good ol’ days of womb chill-out.
How can you use the power of vibrations?
There’s a variety of baby products out there that harness the comforting power of vibrations. These are some of the more popular ones.
Most popular vibrating baby products
Bassinets / cribs
If you’re going to get the most out of vibrations’ soothing effects, combine them with just the right sounds. That’s what smart bassinets do.
The best of them even recognize movement and react to any fussing by activating the gentle vibrations. It puts the baby right back to sleep without your intervention.
You can’t put a price on that; I know it first hand.
Check out my detailed take on the best vibrating bassinets.
Vibrating mats and pads
The bassinet worked from the first day, but it took some trial and error to find something that works when we’re away. I tried full vibrating mats and attachable soothers. None of those worked quite as well as the Brezza vibrating mattress pad – the kind you insert under the mattress.
We did go through a few of these before we found the Brezza Soothing pad. One turned out to be a dud and stopped working after two uses. The other would start vibrating without us turning it on and was also kind of bulky.
The Brezza is just right – the vibrations are even, it’s seamless and does not spontaneously turn on.
It’s also light, small, and easy to pack. We love it.
Vibrating soothers for cribs and bassinets
These devices attach to a crib or a bassinet and send vibrations through it.
Typically, they come with intensity settings and an auto shut-off function. The better ones have their own apps that allow you to control the vibrations from your phone.
They work well for sleepovers away from home, and the time comes to leave the bassinet. If they get accustomed to vibrations, the transition can be a pain without something to ease them into the crib world.
A crib vibration attachment is just the thing.
The question that brought you here might be something along the lines of:
Is vibration safe for babies?
The answer is YES. Vibration has been proven to be completely safe and come with a few substantial benefits.
I’m all about getting the most out of modern technologies in every aspect of life. Vibrations are one of those breakthroughs in baby products that changed the game forever.
Use it. Both your baby and you deserve the extra sleep.