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Tips & Guides
So, the HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper is regarded by many to be one of the very best newborn sleeper bassinet in the market.
That is quite a big claim to make, given there are so many excellent baby bassinets available in the market. We have had a thorough review regarding that which you can head over here to read if you'd like to know what the fuss is all about.
Today instead, we are going to give you a thorough review on all the HALO BassiNest models, breaking down their differences and comparing each of them because yes, there are ... quite a few of them.
A Little Background
HALO was founded by a couple who lost their child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) back in 1991.
For those that do not know, this is the sudden, unexplained death of a seemingly healthy infant up to an age of one year.
After their tragic loss, the couple began an exhaustive review in the latest medical research and health recommendations to create a safe sleep environment for babies so that other families do not have to endure the same misfortune.
Contrary to many's belief, HALO's first creation is not the BassiNest.
Instead, it is the SleepSack Wearable Blanket which has, since its launch, became the nation's bestselling wearable blanket for babies and is to date, still widely used by hospitals nationwide. (You can read more about that here.)
Created on the understanding that suffocation is one sleep environment risks, which are primarily centered around loose bedding that can accidentally cover a baby’s face and interfere with breathing, the SleepSack is designed to eliminate such risk.
But that's a story for another day.
On the same note, the BassiNests were invented.
This revolutionary bassinet is made to allow parents sleep close to their baby, while still maintaining a safe sleep environment for their child so that the risks associated with bed-sharing / co-sleeping can be thoroughly eliminated.
As you can see from the picture above, the BassiNest can be placed right next to you, with more than half of it on your bed so baby can sleep as close to you as you want.
So much so that it can even feel like you are sharing the same bed, yet baby still have his/her own separate space to sleep safely in.
But wait, there's more - the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper is the only infant bassinet that moves to bring the baby closer to you. More about that later.
For now, let's explore the different BassiNest models the brand offers.
(A) ESSENTIA SERIES
The Essentia Series is the brand's very first HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper. It is the entry level for a HALO BassiNest, and it forms the basis of subsequent models that follows.
We wouldn't elaborate too much on each feature as we have already done a thorough review here, but if we are to sum up the Essentia Series in just a few words, it will be basically what's listed below:
The 360-degree swivel is a must-mention, given it is a HALO BassiNest signature that propels it to the top rated bassinets category since its launch to date.
Being the first and only bassinet that allows the bed component to rotate independently from its frame (yes, the legs/base stay stationary when you swivel the bassinet about), it changes the bassinet scene forever especially for nursing mothers, with many deem it the best bassinet for c section recovering mothers.
Not just that, but it is also regarded as the solution for parents who are short of space.
You see, the base design has low profile legs so you can tuck them under the bed and the updated improved design now requires only 32" clearance from the wall, making it ideal for small spaces.
Another distinctive feature is its patented sidewall - it can be lowered so that you can tend to baby from your bed. You do not have to get out from your bed, you do not even have to sit yourself up if you'd like to continue lying comfortably on your bed.
It will return back to its upright position automatically to ensure baby always sleeps safely, so you don't need to fret out each time wondering if you have pulled it back up. If you'd prefer to keep it upright all the time, you can lock it to your desire.
Other core features include:
- Breathable mesh walls ensure optimal airflow for a safe, comfortable sleep space.
- Stable 4-point base adjust from 24"-34" tall to fit most beds.
- Storage pockets to keep baby's essentials close by.
- 100% polyester coordinated fitted sheet that wipes clean with damp cloth and is machine washable.
- Waterproof mattress contains no toxic flame retardants.
HALO has subsequently released 3 other series. They are also called "HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper" (just different series) and they look pretty much the same at a glance so it can be confusing as to what their difference is. But know this:
All of them have the same features as the Essentia Series, plus a variety of different additional features and add-ons.
(B) PREMIERE SERIES
The Premiere Series is probably the second most popular series out of all, next to the Essentia.
It is not hard to see why, given the price difference between the two is not big, but you get 2 other features that prove to be essential for some.
One of it being the inclusion of a built-in soothing center.
What this means is that you get a nightlight, 2 levels of vibration, 3 soothing sounds and 3 lullabies with volume control.
All that, with a 30-minute auto shutoff.
Plus, a Back-to-Bed Reminder that will alert you to put baby back to bed after feeding.
And these are all in addition to the features of the Essentia Series, which this top baby bassinet is equipped with as well.
Parents found that the nightlight helps navigating to baby easier at midnight, as there's no need to switch on the bedroom lights and wake your partner up.
The nursing timer, on the other hand, helps to regulate baby's feeding sessions and this in turn keeps breastfeeding mothers' supply steady.
In terms of features like vibration and soothing sounds, parents have found them to be effective in calming their fussy baby and soothe them into a deep sleep faster.
We particularly like how the slight vibration and womb sound work together to mimic the environment your newborn is familiar with for the past 9 months in your tummy.
(C) LUXE SERIES
Next up we have the Luxe Series. You guess it right, this is a luxurious upgrade from the Premiere Series, with the addition of floor light, storage caddy and for certain finishes - removable bed.
You might be most intrigued by the latter - what does it mean by "removable bed"?
You see, the bassinet - the sleeping part of it, can actually be removed completely and be used on and off its base.
This means you can also lay it completely flat on the floor, besides standing on its base.
Not convertible ones like this.
That's perhaps the biggest distinction between the Luxe and its predecessors. Other than that, it has floor lights and a removable storage caddy, both of which may be more useful than you'd think.
The light is shone directly towards the floor and away from your baby, so it helps you to see and navigate better without tripping all the while not disturbing baby.
The storage caddy that hangs at the back provides extra storage for baby's essentials because for some, just the pockets at the side may not be enough. It is an item sold separately otherwise so if you really add everything up, the Luxe Series is actually pretty reasonably priced.
(D) LUXE PLUS SERIES
The Luxe Plus Series is probably the most confusing one out of all.
In fact, the one question that we were often asked is: halo bassinest luxe vs luxe plus, what are their differences? It doesn't help that its name is so similar to the Luxe Series.
It's actually not that complex, just remember this - the Luxe Plus is everything its predecessors have, PLUS the inclusion of a newborn insert.
Yup, that's it, that's the difference between the Luxe and Luxe Plus. It isn't that complicated when put that way, is it?
So, what is this newborn insert and does it make the Luxe Plus worth its money?
It is basically a basket-like compartment which you can 'insert' into the bassinet. Made of breathable and soft padded mesh fabric, this is how it looks like:
The purpose of it is to create a snug sleeping surface to help your baby feel more secure.
You see, for newborns who are adjusting to the world, a snug sleeping space is more comforting for them because they get the same sense of security as they get in the mother's womb.
Do we think it is worth the extra money paid? Absolutely, when you have a preemie, or if your baby is smaller in size.
The normal-size bassinet may otherwise feel a bit too big and baby may get anxious in it so considering it is so much more cheaper than buying the newborn insert separately, we think the Luxe Plus is worth the money paid.
Which HALO BassiNest is The Best
Now comes the question: which among the different series is the best HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper?
In particular, and we always get asked this a lot, halo bassinests essentia vs premiere - what's the verdict?
The answer - it really depends.
The Essentia Series has all the basic features a HALO BassiNest is well-known for so if you are not fussed about fancy accessories and add-ons, this shall suffice in doing the magic.
If it helps to know, the Essentia is also the brand's bestselling model and it is the cheapest model out of all.
On the other hand, if you have a particularly fussy baby, then perhaps a soothing center will be helpful in which the Premiere, Luxe or Luxe Plus Series will then be a better choice for you.
To some, floor light or storage caddy may be a necessity, while for others, they may prefer the flexibility of a detachable bassinet bed. It all depends on what you need, and perhaps also on your budget.
Just an observation though, with the small price difference between the Essentia and Premiere, we do find parents lean more towards the latter in most cases.
If you are still unsure, perhaps the following comparison chart may help you decide.
360 degree swivel & lowering sidewall
4-point adjustable base
Coordinating Polyester Fitted Sheet included
Dove Grey Tweed Only
Ivory Linen Only
Ivory Linen Only
Go through each criterion and ask yourself: is that necessary? Do I need this feature?
Move down the list one by one. By the time you get till the end, you will already know which HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper is the best co sleeper bassinet for you. Go on, try it!
What Makes the HALO BassiNests So Special
There are many reasons as to why the HALO BassiNests are regarded some of the best baby bedside sleepers in the market.
If we are to round it up though, it has to be, hands down, its innovative design.
For one, it creates this safe co-sleeping arrangement that otherwise may not be available for parents.
Safe Co-Sleeping Arrangement
You see, the issue of "Co-Sleeping" — parents and infants sharing beds has long been a polarizing topic in the U.S., laced with strongly held views about family bonds, psychological development and, of course, safety.
Parents are NOT recommended to share the same bed with baby without appropriate measures, because that may pose hazardous SIDS risks.
Yet experts have found that co-sleeping provides so many benefits to a baby's development. It's safe to say that this is a controversial subject.
The HALO BassiNests bring the safety of a bassinet into an adult bed in a way that is comfortable for both babies and parents. To put it simply, it allows baby to share the same bed as parents (hence achieving the goal of co-sleeping) but s/he has his own confined sleeping space.
Again, this picture will explain better than words:
Different from bedside sleepers like this or this that just sit right next to your bed, the HALO BassiNest has its upper portion (the bassinet basket holding baby) reach over and lay on top of your bed.
To do so, HALO underwent immense amount of research to achieve the right balance in creating a base that is wide enough to provide balance so that the upper portion does not tip, yet at the same time maintain a low profile so that it can fit under beds and reduce the risk of tripping.
The end result is phenomenal though. The HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper is probably the only bassinet in the market that is able to give parents the co-sleeping method that it did (on the same bed).
360-degree Swivel & Rotation
Of course, when it comes to the specialty of HALO BassiNests, how can we not mention its 360-degree swivel-bility? (yes, we just made up that word but you get the drift).
So what it does is pretty self-explanatory - the bassinet basket can be rotated and swivelled 360 degrees independently of the frame. This means the base stays stationary while the upper portion rotates.
This is such an iconic and revolutionary innovation, safe to say, it changes the scene forever for baby bassinets.
Many know of the ease it brings for parents, that is they can get out of their bed normally without being blocked by a bedside sleeper because the Swivel Sleeper can be rotated sideways to 'get it out of the way'.
In fact, that is probably the very first thing you'd read in many HALO Bassinest reviews.
What many may not know though, is that the purpose the bassinet is made to rotate is to make it easier and safer for parents to lift their baby from the bassinet.
You see, the safest position to lift a baby is actually when his/her feet are pointing towards you. By being able to rotate the bassinet, parents can easily and safely do so even when they are lying down on their bed.
C-Section & Childbirth Recovery
The HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper is widely known to be the best bassinet for c section recovering mothers in the industry.
In fact, for all mother recovering from childbirth. Your body has just went through a lot so you need to get all the rest you can. For c-section mothers, we're talking about at least 6 weeks of maximum rest.
During this time, baby will still need to be taken care of and that is where the BassiNest plays its role.
The patented lowering bed sidewalls allows you to scoop baby up for cuddles or nursing without the need to get out of bed and the mesh material lets you keep an eye on him constantly.
Having baby on the same eye level as such also calms and soothes him/her as s/he can feel your presence. So even though you're just lying down getting your own rest, baby gets to feel the closeness and bond.
Thanks to the 360-degree swivel feature, when you need to get out of bed, you do not have to scoot over to the other side or bend yourself in a weird angle, risk hurting your wounds in the process to get out of the bed because you can just rotate the BassiNest to get it out of the way.
Small Space Solution
It may not look like it, but the HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper is actually the best co sleeper bassinet for small spaces.
Even though it has a wide base (to provide balance for the upper portion), the improved base design now includes low profile legs that can be tucked under the bed to reduce its footprint.
And with the updated design now requiring only 32" clearance from the wall, it makes the Swivel Sleeper ideal for small spaces.
It is height adjustable too so it can fit most beds from 24" to 34" tall.
Recommended as one of the safest alternatives to bed sharing by the CJ foundation for SIDS, it is truly the best bassinet you can get for your little one.
Detachable Bed Feature
Last but not least, it is that the bed component can be detached from its base frame that sets the HALO BassiNest apart from its competitors.
Mind you though, not every series have this feature, in fact, only the Luxe and Luxe Plus Series have them in Dove Grey Tweed and Ivory Linen finishes respectively only.
Nevertheless, this means that the bed is removable and can be used on and off the base so your baby can nap safely and comfortably throughout your home.
If you think about it, there really isn't many (if any) bassinets that is able to do so. At the very most, they allow you to adjust their height to level with your bed but none actually lets you detach the bed completely from the base to form something like this.
So there you have it - our halo bassinest swivel sleeper reviews, examining the very top reasons that make the HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper the best newborn sleeper bassinet in the market, one that so many parents swear by throughout the years.
When Should You Stop Using The HALO BassiNest
The recommended age of usage is up to five months, however, as you should with any other bassinet, once baby shows signs of pulling up, rolling over or pushing up to kneeling position, it's time to make the switch to - a baby crib.
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More than anywhere else, baby cribs are perhaps where babies spend most of their time in. It is therefore absolutely important that you choose a safe and comfortable baby crib.
There are so many different types of baby cribs, and so many different brands and models to choose from. How do you choose the right crib for your baby? What should you look for in a baby crib? Read along to find out what type best suits your needs.
What is a baby crib?
Also commonly called a cot, a baby crib is an infant bed designed for infants and very young children. Do not mistaken it with the bassinet though - its cage-like design intends to restrict a child to the bed for safety reasons.
A baby crib will generally last until children reach two or three years of age when they are capable of climbing out the crib themselves (and hence should be moved to a toddler bed to prevent injurious falls).
Though, with technology nowadays, a baby crib may just last you longer if it can be converted accordingly to accommodate your child’s growth.
The different types of baby crib
This is the most common type of baby cribs. It is essentially what first came into your mind when you think of baby crib – a boxed-like cage with four fixed sides and slats. There is version in twin cribs, too.
A standard baby crib is fixed and cannot be adjusted. The design is simple but sturdy so it may be difficult to move this around.
A standard baby crib is usually the cheapest of all and is a great option for those in a tight budget.
A convertible baby crib, as its name suggests, is a crib that can be converted into different types of beds.
Essentially, it accords to your baby’s growth and therefore can be used for a very long time, even when baby has became a teenager!
The usual types a convertible can be converted into are day bed and toddler bed, though some can even be transformed into a full-sized single or double bed.
Really, this is the one bed to rule them all!
Because of this, the convertible baby crib has hands down become the favourite choice of most parents, due to its versatility and cost-effective element.
It is, however, generally more expensive than others but considering it is built to last for a very long time, many are willing to shell out the extra dollars for its versatility.
As you would know, this type of baby crib is designed with portability in mind. The easiest way to distinguish one is to see if the crib comes with wheels.
The wheels enable you to move the crib from room to room so that you can always keep an eye on your baby. Do not worry, the wheels are usually lockable so you can secure it on any spot you want.
One tip for you though: make sure you choose a size that can fit through your doorway!
This type of cribs usually has extra furniture attached to them, thus rendering them multi-purposeful.
The most common type of extra furniture incorporated into this design is baby changing table, dresser or shelf storage. Even though they may be more expensive than a single baby crib, the price is justified by eliminating the need to buy extra furniture.
If you have limited space in your room or nursery, a multipurpose baby crib will be your best choice as you do not need extra space for a separate changing table or dresser/shelf storage.
Last but not least, we have the travel crib.
Similar to portable ones in that they are meant to be brought around, travel cribs are even more compact and can usually be folded and stowed away when not in use.
What to look for in a baby crib?
The two biggest factors to look out for are Safety and Comfort.
The most common material found in a baby crib is wood.
However, cheaper cribs may be wood veneer, which is much more prone to chipping when baby is teething. Buy solid wooden cribs if you can as you definitely do not want pieces of veneer in your baby’s mouth.
Other common materials found are plastic, metal and fabric.
Slats and frame size
Slats should not be more than 2 3/8 inches apart to prevent baby’s head from slipping through or getting stuck.
Meanwhile, the crib interior should fit a standard-sized mattress (usually 51 ¾ inches long and 27 ¾ inches wide) snugly.
To determine snugness, if you can fit more than two fingers between the side of the mattress and the crib, the mattress is too small. This can be dangerous as baby may get trapped in that space.
You may also consider getting a crib liner to protect your baby from banging his/her head on the slats.
Adjustable mattress height
Most cribs allow you to raise or lower the height for mattress support. It is best that you choose one with such function so that you can change the height accordingly for your own comfort, and to make sure baby does not climb or fall from the crib easily.
Most baby cribs adhere to the latest safety standards but you should still give the crib a good shake, whether in store or at home after assembly, to see if it wobbles or rattles.
If it does, do not fret first and check if you have loose screws. If the problem still persists, you should make a refund and look for other cribs.
Last but not least, don’t forget about your budget. Before you even start shopping, you should decide how much you want to spend on a baby crib.
This will save you time as you do not have to even look at cribs that are above your budget. In other words, it can make selection easier for you.
Remember, most expensive does not necessarily mean the best. Instead, choose the best option that works within your budget.
Safety tips for your baby crib
Do not underestimate the place you choose to put your baby crib. Make sure that it is placed far away from windows, window blinds and draperies.
Babies may strangle themselves from cords and draperies, and older babies may be able to climb out and fall out of windows. Do not put it near furniture which can be used to help baby climb out of the crib.
And always remember to put it far away from heaters and radiators for health reasons.
Cords and decorative items
As mentioned above, babies can strangle themselves with cords so always make sure that there are no cords of any type near the baby crib.
There have been several cases where babies are strangled by baby monitor cords in the U.S so make sure you keep the cord well away from the crib, or switch to a wireless baby monitor.
Once baby is able to stand up, remove any mobile hanging from the crib to avoid choking hazards.
One simple rule: Don’t use these.
These are cribs with movable railings on the side which enable parents to move down the side to carry baby out.
Once hugely popular due to such convenience, this type of crib has been banned since 2011 as it no longer conforms to safety standards.
According to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), at least 32 infants had died between 2000 and 2010 as a result of being entrapped, strangled or suffocated in the space between the drop side and the crib mattress.
So if you are looking at second-hand cribs, stay away from these.
Watch this video to know more about safety measures around your baby crib!
Best baby crib
Now that you have learnt the basic 101 of baby cribs, you should feel more comfortable selecting the right baby crib for your little one.
If you are on the lookout for the best convertible baby crib, we have got some really good ones here on our list of Top 5 Best Baby Crib.