A crib is where she'll sleep for the first couple years of life; with adjustable heights it can go from newborn to toddler and beyond. A convertible crib with the proper equipment can be used into the teen years.
But those first weeks of feeding and comforting every two hours, I'm not traipsing back and forth to the baby's room. And it's right next door.
This handwoven bassinet is made by Land of Nod which is owned by Crate and Barrel. (And which I love, but they don't have any retail stores in California. :-( Online only for now.) I love many of their things and while this isn't the worst bassinet, the huge bedskirt and lack of later function don't make it a must-have. I give it props for not being too frilly. The rocker is nice, but I've read that now a side-to-side rocking motion is preferred for soothing as opposed to front-to-back.
These are called Moses baskets, usually a cheaper bassinet option. My research has told me that these are not recommended due to their flimsy construction (easy for baby to roll out) and because they must sit on the floor. How about a little bending and scraping to pick up baby at 3am? Once again, frilly. Everything has ruffles!
This Graco bassinet is part of their Pack N Play collection but designed to function as a newborn sleeper. Finally, something that might have another use! But it's small, so baby won't be able to play in this for too long. More ruffles and frills!
A combination playard and bassinet is a good option for those who don't want a useless piece of baby furniture before the first tooth appears. The right one provides a place for a newborn to sleep wherever it fits, and it converts to a comfy playpen later. Many are easy to break down and portable, so you also have a travel sleep and play spot.
Initially we chose the Chicco Lullaby Playard, which has a second level and soft mobile, designed for newborn sleeping. It's a little pricier, but it has wonderful safety reviews and a real use later on in baby's life. It does have some drawbacks though- it is a bit heavy and rather large, so if you are really crunched on space it might still be too big. And while some parents reviewed it as easy to transport, others felt it was too heavy to be worth it.
In the end, we decided on the Graco Pack N Play Playard with Newborn Napper and Changing Table. Consumer and acquaintance reviews told us the newborn napper insert was ideal as a snug spot for a newborn, while the changing table right next to it was great for those first nights changing diapers. Both are removable to reveal two levels for sleep and playing later in life. The Pack N Play is also smaller and lighter than Chicco's Playard, a bonus since we have limited space in our home.
It's also worth nothing that in many cases, a strict bassinet can be as costly as these combos, without the additional functionality. They are often fancy and ornate (as you can see), making the added expense even more steep. To each his own of course.