Co-sleeping cots and cribs have grown quickly in popularity, allowing us to keep our babies close (which is great for breastfeeding and soothing at night), while following the NICE guidelines of having babies in a separate crib or cot.
This safe sleeping benefit is the main aim behind the Halo Bassinest, a new American co-sleeping crib gaining popularity here in the UK.
Founded 20 years ago by a mother and father who sadly lost their baby to SIDS, the Halo Bassinest promises to put the health and safety of babies first, while still allowing mums to sleep close.
The CJ Foundation for SIDS, one of the leading organisations in the US committed to eliminating this heartbreaking phenomenon, endorses the product as one of the safest alternatives to bed-sharing.
Which is probably one of the reasons the new co-sleeping crib has won so many awards over the years, including the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) Innovation Award in 2013.
Unlike other ‘co-sleeping’ products, this bassinet doesn’t actually attach to the bed.
Instead, it swivels 360 degrees so that it can partially sit ‘over’ the bed, meaning your baby can be even closer, without actually being in bed with you.
Or, if you’d rather (as I do), it can sit next to your bed.
How does the Halo Bassinest work?
The swivel function makes it easier for me to get into and out of bed as I can move it out of the way.
It’s very stable, so it’s never uneven at any point. The height can be easily adjusted to fit with the bed you have.
You can buy the Halo Bassinest from Kiddicare, John Lewis or Amazon.
Does it rock?
It doesn’t rock which, at first, I thought would be a problem as my son Toby (8 weeks) liked to be lulled by the rocking motion in his Moses basket that he’d previously been sleeping in.
However, what it does is way better than rocking. It vibrates! This function – which has two speeds – has been a godsend.
It soothes my baby Toby wonderfully and sometimes even buys me an extra half an hour of sleep if he wakes up peckish but not starving, as it encourages him to drift back off to the land of nod.
Having said this, the vibration is quite loud so could prevent some people from falling asleep. Luckily, I’m so exhausted that I’m able to block it out! And if the bassinet is touching your bed, you’ll feel the rumble too.
What other functions does it have?
As well as the vibrate button, it also has a music function, which plays lullabies, white noise and nature sounds.
Toby likes the white noise best. There’s also a light so you don’t have to switch on a lamp to feed, as well as a nursing timer.
Personally, I don’t find the nursing timer useful because I just feed Toby on one breast until he’s finished, then swop to the other after changing his nappy.
I’m not regimented with timings but if you are then this function would be handy. All of these automatically switch off after half an hour.
I found the fact that the light goes out a little annoying as I often feed for longer than half an hour (hungry baby!), so was left sitting in the dark. As a result, I now use the torch on my phone instead.
It is portable?
No. This bad boy is heavy, it’s a whopping 16kg! So wherever you set it up, make sure that’s where you want to keep it. The thick stand and wide feet mean that it’s very sturdy. This is great, but I wouldn’t mind the feet being a little shorter as I sometimes trip over them as they stick out quite a bit.
Tell us about the push-down side
One side of the bassinet can be pushed down with your arms and then gently springs back into position so that you don’t have to stand up to get your baby out.
This is marketed as being good for mums who’ve had a C-section. Having not had a C-section myself, I can’t comment.
For me, the push-down side is a nice touch but not really necessary – particularly as I usually get out of bed to feed in a chair anyway – so I tend to keep it in the locked position.
How easy is it to see your baby?
The mesh sides mean that visibility between me and my little one is great. It also means that even when he smooshes his face against the side, he can breathe just fine.
What’s the mattress like?
The mattress isn’t very thick but Toby seems very comfortable on it. He’s certainly sleeping better in his Halo Bassinest than he was in his Moses basket.
What’s the design like?
There are three designs: Honeycomb, Harmony Circles and Classic Damask. I have the latter and I absolutely love it. It’s very classy and the neutral grey and white fits in well with the bedroom.
How easy is it to clean?
As I previously mentioned, the mattress protector can be machine washed, and the rest of it can be surface-cleaned with water and gentle detergent.
What’s in the box?
Halo Bassinest with mattress
Was it easy to assemble?
It was pretty easy. The instructions were helpful and provided both words and diagrams. It took me about half an hour to put together.
Do you need to buy any extras?
The fitted sheets for the Halo Bassinest are expensive (£14.99 + £4.99 for postage and packaging) and are only available from one UK website, as far as my Google search could tell.
However, the mattress protector can be removed and machine-washed, so you could get away without shelling out for a sheet. But with all the vomiting, pooping and dribbling babies are inclined to do, I wouldn’t recommend not having a spare.
Is it good value for money?
The Halo Bassinest is at the upper end when it comes to cost but I definitely think it’s good value. In the first few months with a newborn, getting as much sleep as possible is tantamount to survival and, since using this product, both Toby’s and my zzzs have increased. You can’t put a price on that!
A fabulous product for mother and baby. The Halo Bassinest is comfortable, sturdy and well-designed.
The swivel function is brilliant for getting out of bed easily and bringing the baby nearer to you. Perfect for mums who want to have their baby close without the risks of bed-sharing.
Even though I don’t make use of all of the features (the push-down side, nursing timer and light), I can’t fault the ones that I do use. Without the vibration function, this mama would be a whole lot more tired and frazzled.