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Middle English cradel, from Old English cradol; perhaps akin to Old High German kratto basket, Sanskrit grantha knot


  • 1 a : a bed or cot for a baby usually on rockers or pivots
b : a framework or support suggestive of a baby's cradle: as (1) : a framework of bars and rods (2) : the support for a telephone receiver or handset
c : an implement with rods like fingers attached to a scythe and used formerly for harvesting grain
d : a frame to keep the bedclothes from contact with an injured part of the body
  • 2 a : the earliest period of life : infancy <from the cradle to the grave>
b : a place of origin <the cradle of civilization>
  • 3 : a rocking device used in panning for gold


A bassinet or bassinette 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 some parts of the more developed world, such as Australia, a bassinet is also the term for a baby bouncing device used to relax a baby when it is going to sleep.

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 traveling with an infant, i.e. a child under the age of two. Rather than the age of the infant, the restricting criterion for the use of the bassinet is usually size.

Research has shown that the mattress influences SIDS outcomes; a firm mattress lowers SIDS risk.


Women seem to have more intuition than men, but they also appear to be somewhat less logical. Woman, however, has always been the moral standard-bearer and the spiritual leader of mankind. The hand that rocks the cradle still fraternizes with destiny.[1]


The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
Is The Hand That Rules The World

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.


Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow--
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky--
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.


William Ross Wallace (1819-1881)