December 4, 2014
Not a day goes by when I miss the opportunity to talk to parents about their baby’s sleep. Why? Because safe sleep is critically important. About 4,000 infants die suddenly every year in the United States, and some of those deaths are from Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed (ASSB). In fact, accidental suffocation is the leading cause of injury-related deaths in infants. It is easy for sleep-deprived parents to let their infant sleep anywhere, anyway possible, but research has clearly shown taking simple precautions can dramatically reduce your baby’s risk. Always putting babies to sleep on their back, using a firm sleep surface, room sharing and not bed sharing, preventing smoke exposure, and keeping all soft objects (like blankets and pillows) out of your baby’s sleeping area is extremely important for safe sleep. My goal as a health provider is to share these strategies with parents. Alarmingly, a new study just released from the American Academy of Pediatrics this week reports that more than half of parents still use blankets or soft bedding with their infant. Obviously, there is a gap between understanding these safe sleep standards and putting them into practice. I think for many parents it is simply easier said than done. So whenever I find products that help with the day-to-day logistics of keeping babies sleeping safely, I get excited.
Enter the HALO company! I love HALO, because I truly believe their motto, “the safer way to sleep” is absolutely correct. Bill Schmid founded this company 20 years ago after going through the heartbreaking experience of losing his daughter to SIDS. In an effort to prevent other families from going through the same tragedy, Bill put his engineering skills to work and started developing safe sleeping products for infants. I have such huge respect for Bill. While this company was born from tragedy, the countless children that have had the gift of safe sleep because of Bill is a beautiful legacy. Over 1,300 hospitals across the nation model safe sleep using HALO products, which is more than 1.6 million babies. This week I had the privilege of reviewing HALO’s SleepSack and SleepSack Swaddle products. (Disclosure: Kid Nurse was provided with product from HALO to review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own. This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.)
The HALO SleepSack is a wearable blanket that helps infants sleep safely by eliminating loose blankets traditionally found in cribs. Because loose blankets can cover babies faces and interfere with breathing, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended wearable blankets since 2005. Parents no longer have to worry about the nagging feeling that their active little baby escaped their blanket and are either cold, or worse, in danger. That peace of mind provides a huge sense of relief that should interest all parents! Especially with temperatures dropping around the nation, safely keeping little ones warm and cuddly should be a priority.
The SleepSack is a sleeveless wearable blanket. Being sleeveless importantly reduces the risk of overheating. It also zips from the bottom to make those lovely nighttime diaper changing sessions just a little bit easier (It also won’t pinch your baby’s adorable double chin!). SleepSacks come in sizes from newborn to 5T and are available in many different (but equally adorable) fabrics and colors designed for different climates and seasons.
The SleepSack Swaddle allows parents to swaddle their newborn with additional fabric that velcro’s together and keeps your baby’s arms tucked in the blanket. Most newborns love to be swaddled. Swaddling recreates the warm, safe environment newborns experienced during pregnancy. Newborns also like to be swaddled due to the Moro reflex. The Moro reflex causes newborn babies to throw their arms out and start crying. This reflex can often happen during sleep and usually results in babies waking themselves up. The SleepSack Swaddle safely stays away from covering your baby’s face, but keeps his or her arms snuggly tucked in so they don’t wake up from the Moro reflex. Swaddling should be stopped by the time that your baby shows signs of rolling over or is trying to get out of the swaddle. Usually, this is around 2-3 months of age, and that means it is time to transition to the standard SleepSack where babies can freely move their arms. The Moro reflex also typically disappears around 2-3 months, so the need for swaddling is no longer present. If your baby does not like having his or her arms tucked in, you can wrap the swaddle around the waist. Having that option is a lovely feature!
Another reason I love the technology of the SleepSack is it allows for plenty of leg room! Leg room is actually very important when it comes to developing little hips. Swaddling or wrapping legs too tightly can increase babies risk for hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is an instability or looseness of the hip joint. It affects thousands of babies each year. Loose swaddling by the hips is an important measure to help prevent hip dysplasia. The International Hip Dysplasia Institute recognizes the SleepSack and SleepSack Swaddle as “Hip Healthy” for its generous sack design. Awesome!
Frankly, the only thing HALO still needs to develop is a SleepSack that would fit me, too. 🙂
When you know your baby is sleeping safely, you will sleep better at night, too. That’s a win-win situation. For more information and to check out HALO’s fantastic products visit them at www.halosleep.com. Connect with them socially for updates on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
Knowing that up to 50% of infants sleep still sleep with blankets or soft bedding is a very concerning statistic to me and the wonderful employees at HALO. Because we both want to eliminate this statistic, HALO agreed to giveaway a beautiful SleepSack Gift Sets to one of my readers! This adorable set includes a darling matching SleepSack and SleepSack Swaddle set. Enter below for your chance to win! The winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 9th!