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- After trying to swaddle the traditional way with a blanket, my husband and I were amazed at how easy it was to use the HALO SleepSack swaddle.
- It has a loose fit at the bottom for hip health and a tighter fit at the top to help your baby feel secure. There’s also a zipper that unzips from the bottom, making middle-of-the-night diaper changes a breeze.
- Transitioning out of this swaddle as my baby grew bigger was also easy, and I never worried about any loose fabric being in the crib either since the sack uses secure Velcro fasteners.
- There are three different sizes and a lot of fun prints and patterns, and prices range from $19.99 and $24.99 on Amazon.
When I had my daughter Isabelle (Ellie), I had an unplanned C-section with complications that left me essentially bed ridden for the first week after her birth. These unexpected complications led to my husband caring for our newborn almost entirely on his own.
When my husband and I were in the hospital, he unabashedly rang for nurses around the clock. We had the best nurses in the world and they taught him how to change a diaper, soothe the baby, give her a bath, and swaddle, among many other things. I tried to teach him how to swaddle before Ellie was born too, but in typical fashion, he decided to not pay attention. I’m sure he was wishing that he had practiced more when he was calling the nurses in frustration after his fifth failed swaddle attempt in a row.
I could almost see the relief in his face when we were discharged and a nurse handed us a HALO SleepSack to take home instead of a traditional swaddle blanket.
It’s basically a zippered sack with arm holes, flaps, and Velcro fasteners that help create a secure swaddle to dampen the startle reflex. The bottom is loose and roomy to allow the baby to move legs and hips freely without damaging hips, while the top is more fitted. Even if you’re a swaddling pro, it’s not easy to swaddle a newborn at 2 a.m. and traditional swaddling with a blanket can potentially damage a baby’s hips if not done properly.
I loved this swaddle for so many reasons, the biggest one being that the design is just so intuitive.
To swaddle, slip your baby’s arms through the arm holes, zip the sack from top to bottom, pull the non-Velcro flap across the baby’s midsection and tuck it into the opposite side of the sack. Then take the other flap with Velcro and wrap it around the midsection again, securing the two large fasteners. Even though I had practiced traditional swaddling before Ellie was born, I quickly preferred this to a blanket because it was just so simple.
Another reason I love the HALO SleepSack is because of the zipper. Newborn babies poop and pee a lot. In the first couple weeks after Ellie was born, she pooped almost every time I fed her, which meant that my husband and I did a lot of diaper changes in the middle of the night. With a traditional blanket swaddle, you’d have to unwrap the whole thing to access the dirty diaper, but with the HALO SleepSack, you just unzip from the bottom instead of the top.
The swaddle sack comes in a variety of fabric weights, sizes, and prints, so you can find the one that works for you and your baby. The hospital sent us home with a white swaddle and we immediately ordered this pink one when we got home to have a second on hand when the first got dirty. We later ordered the Medallion Whisper and Ikat Damask Blue in Small as Ellie got bigger and outgrew the newborn size.
The sizes offered are Preemie, Newborn, and Small, which would fit your baby through six months, 26 inches, or 18 pounds — whichever happens first. Ellie was a big baby, staying above the 90th percentile through six month sand she started rolling early, so we unfortunately had to transition her out of the swaddle earlier rather than later. I say "unfortunately" because using the swaddle was such a breeze.
Transitioning out of the HALO SleepSack
It’s not always easy when babies and kids outgrow the parents’ favorite, trusted products, but discontinuing the use of a swaddle as soon as a baby can roll though is a must because it can quickly become a safety hazard.
When we first starting transitioning Ellie out of the HALO SleepSack, we swaddled her with just one arm out for a week or so, and then we left both arms out until she completely outgrew the sack. She was still secure with the fabric wrapped snugly around her belly and chest, but she was able to safely roll around with both arms out.
Read more: The best baby swaddles you can buy
What makes it stand out
Among all the convenient features that make this a great swaddle for a newborn baby and parents alike, the number one thing in my mind is safety.
Swaddles can help babies sleep because it makes them feel secure, but swaddling with a traditional blanket is not always safe. If a baby thrashes around a lot and gets a swaddle blanket loose or it somehow works its up around his or her face, it’s a major suffocation hazard.
The two large Velcro pieces on this swaddle never even came loose in the middle of the night, let alone undone. Even if the fasteners had come undone, the flaps are still attached to the sleep sack, so there aren’t any loose pieces of fabric in the crib.
Cons to consider
I honestly only have good things to say about the HALO SleepSack swaddle, but thinking back now that Ellie’s transitioned out of it, there are two things that could potentially be an issue depending on your situation.
While I loved the secure Velcro fasteners, they could be loud if you have to undo them in the middle of the night and could startle your baby, although Ellie never minded. She actually slept through some diaper changes because we didn’t need to shift her that compared to a traditional swaddle when we needed to change her diaper.
Since you’re zipping up your baby in the sack and then wrapping the two flaps over a baby’s midsection, the multiple layers of fabric could also get pretty warm at night, especially if your baby sleeps warm or the bedroom gets hot. Since we keep our bedroom cool, this was never a problem for us. In fact, we’d layer a long-sleeve pajama under the swaddle without a problem.
The bottom line
Every baby is different, and some even resist a swaddle, but if you have a baby who likes to be swaddled, the HALO SleepSack is worth the buy because, in my experience, it’s convenient for parents and secure for babies. But since every baby is different and has unique needs, you should still talk to your pediatrician or nurse to double check.
If you do plan to get this swaddle sack, make sure you take your baby’s size and weight into account when choosing the swaddle size; I would err on the side of buying bigger rather than smaller so your baby can grow into it, and you can make sure you’re not restricting the legs or hips at all with a too-small sleep sack.
Some parents go through five or 10 different swaddles until they find the one that works for their baby. If the HALO SleepSack doesn’t work for you, a great alternative to try is the Nested Bean Zen Swaddle, which we actually transitioned into the after Ellie outgrew the HALO. We also tried the Love to Dream Swaddle, but found that it didn’t give Ellie that same snug and secure feeling she got from the HALO.
Pros: Safe for babies, available sizes from preemie to six months, easy and intuitive to use
Cons: Velcro can be loud, multiple layers can be too hot for warm sleepers
Buy the HALO SleepSack — Newborn on Amazon from $19.99 to $24.99 (various patterns and sizes available)
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