My niece is coming to visit me for a few months and she has a newborn baby (1 month old). What can we use for a bed or should I just buy a bassinet?
Use a dresser drawer lines with soft towels then covered with a soft blanket.
Do you have a friend who has a pack and play or a playpen that you could borrow. My niece spent a few days with us with a small baby and she brought one of the pack and plays with her.
Sometimes when my daughter was that small, I'd let her sleep in her carrier (for the car). I didn't do this all the time, but it seemed very comfortable/cozy to her. They'll have to have a carrier for the baby anyway, so maybe that would work for the visit, too.
You can use a rectangular or oval laundry basket if the baby isnt too big.
When my son was a baby & I would go visit my mother in-law she would take out the dresser drawer & pad it with sheets (thick sheets), & his blanket(s). And he would sleep like an angel lol I know it sound crazy but trust me it work. Try it & let me know what u think.
I was also going to suggest a large oval or rectangular laundry basket or large drawer lined well with a blanket. Even if your neice is going to stay for a few months a currently one month old baby is not going to grow large enough to outgrow either. If your neice objects to the laundry basket or drawer ideas here perhaps she could bring her own baby's bassinet or crib with her?
You can find the playpens very cheap on Craigs List, I got one for my grandbabies for around $15. When I was a baby & my parents traveled, they put me in a dresser drawer. When my kids were babies that were still not crawling or scooting & I traveled, I would just put them on the floor if I couldn't take my playpen. I only did this when I thought they would be safe, such as no animals around or people who might walk across the floor, & it was warm enough. I put a blanket or sleeping bag down on the floor near the head of the bed, as a pad. Then covered the baby with the baby blanket.
Please don't use the baby carrier/car seat for the baby to sleep in. First of all, it can't be comfortable to spend that much time bunched up in a small space you can't stretch out it. Second & more important, they are saying now that small babies who are left to sleep in these things are more likely to suffer from a lack of oxygen to the brain because their head dips forward to their chest & they don't breathe enough to get the oxygen they need.
My mother was born in 1919 and she said that in the days when she was small, people pulled out a big drawer and lined it for their baby to sleep in. Everyone did it: nobody except for the very rich bought special baby cots. You would need to pad the drawer well with towels in case the baby's nappy leaked.