Creating a Safe Sleeping Environment for Your Baby + GIVEAWAY

November 12, 2014

Along with all of the advice we have been given over the past few weeks as new parents, safe sleeping habits is one mentioned time and time again by the doctors, our pediatrician, nurses, and in nearly every pamphlet/book/brochure I read.

SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is no joke, and one that used to be a much more common occurrence. I could not imagine losing my child, like the founder of the company HALO did. Back when my parents were raising kids, it was advised to place your child on their stomach for sleeping. But now that is highly inadvisable as parents are instructed to place the baby on their back when they sleep and nap. With this change, there has been a 50% decrease in SIDS over the years.


To help promote safe sleep habits, I was sent a HALO SleepSack Swaddle. Prior to receiving this one from the company, I actually received a couple of these swaddles from friends and at my baby shower, so I knew these items were definitely something other moms recommended as well.


There are two ways to wear the swaddle as Cullen demonstrates: arms tucked in for a traditional swaddle.


Or Cullen’s preferred way: arms outside the swaddle so he can sleep in the “I win” (hands up by his head) position. Either way is a great way to swaddle your baby. Using this SleepSack Swaddle is a fool-proof way to swaddle your baby. (Because swaddling with a blanket is tricky, and I’m still not sure I’m that great at it.). Plus the Velcro ensures the material stays wrapped around your baby and won’t get lose and potentially obstruct your baby’s airway.


All the swaddles come with a nice reminder that “back is best,” which is one of the most important safe sleeping habits for infants.


Some other safe sleeping habits recommended:


  • Place baby to sleep on his or her back at naptime and at night time.
  • Room-share, but don’t bed share; the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend against bed sharing as it can lead to an increased risk for accidental suffocation.
  • Use a crib or bassinet that meets current safety standards with a firm mattress that fits snugly and is covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.
  • Remove all soft bedding and toys from your baby’s sleep area (this includes loose blankets, bumpers, pillows and positioners). The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests using a wearable blanket instead of loose blankets to keep your baby warm.
  • Offer a pacifier when putting baby to sleep. If breastfeeding, introduce pacifier after one month or after breastfeeding has been established.
  • Breastfeed, if possible, but when finished, put your baby back to sleep in his or her separate safe sleep area alongside your bed.
  • Never put your baby to sleep on any soft surface (adult beds, sofas, chairs, water beds, quilts, sheep skins etc.)
  • Never dress your baby too warmly for sleep; keep room temperature 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Never allow anyone to smoke around your baby or take your baby into a room or car where someone has recently smoked.

The HALO company also recently came out with a bassinet called the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper that is pretty sweet!You can place it right next to your bed, and you don’t even have to get out of bed to pick up your baby. That would have been so nice for those of us who underwent a C-section.


Check out the video for the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. (Oh, and I would love to look that thin after my baby was born!)

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Now time for a GIVEAWAY! Comment below to be entered to win your own SleepSack. I will choose a winner at random on Monday!
(Open to US and Canada residents.)
    1. I practice internal and pediatric medicine..and, no offense…but having a family bed (i.e bed sharing) has never been documented to cause ANY increase in accidental suffocations….this is a fallacy. Do whatever you want in terms of what you as a parent feel comfortable doing…oh…btw…congratulations on your birth!!!!

      1. I agree – bedsharing is safe IF you follow certain general guidelines: breastfeed, do not bedshare if you are overtired, taking medication or intoxicated, do not have bulky blankets around the babe, and do not bedshare if you smoke, are obese or are formula feeding. Families bedshare the world over and it is always best to do what feels right for your family but also good to promote safe sleep practices for all situations.

        But I do agree… those sleeps sacks are awesome! We use them for naps and the beginning of bedtime, but take them off when babe joins us around midnight.

        I’ve also seen research that SIDs might be caused from the flame retardants used in mattresses which release toxic gases when babies breathe moist air onto them and heat them up. We bought green-guard certified mattresses for our babes.

        Lots to ponder… and oh he is just precious!!! Congrats again

        1. When I was pregnant, I knew people co-slept/bed-shared, but I don’t think I realized that was so controversial. When we were in the hospital, they specifically told us not to co-sleep with our baby, and as mentioned above, professional organizations and doctors advise against it as well. However, there are a lot of other professionals and doctors who encourage it. I wonder if the Academy of Pediatrics advises parents against it because in general it is more safe to have the baby in their own area. . . .but that’s not to say it can’t be safely done with the right precautions.

          1. I think that it would be a HUGE liability for the AAP to promote co-sleeping/bed sharing. My midwives, however, unabashedly supported it. In the end, you do what feels right for your family and you don’t have to defend that to anyone as long as you and Craig are happy with it.

    1. This is a super hot-button topic, especially in Alaska lately. As a result, I’ve been doing a LOT of research so I can try and know how to approach it and what the statistics say about bed-sharing. Even if you go on the State of Alaska’s site, they’ll say that statistically, child deaths from bed sharing declined since the 1980s, even though of course they want to prevent more.

      So many infant fatalities involve the use of parents who are intoxicated or medicated, use tobacco, or have other pets or children in the bed too. Here’s a few articles I found interesting ….

      This one has a lot of statistics:

      And this talks about all the benefits:

      What was interesting to me was the statistics with SIDS vs. cosleeping deaths, something that is not always factored in. Definitely not saying you have to co-sleep, since it’s a really personal choice for every person 🙂

    1. PS I wanted some more current statistics so I emailed the Dr. Sears site directly. Haven’t head back yet but I’ll post the reply if I do!

    1. Our daughter fought every swaddle we put her in. Houdini at it’s finest. I think we went through 3 different ones in a single night! What finally worked for us was the ‘Houdini’ by Woombie. It’s the wildest looking thing, but works!

    1. I agree with previous posters about co sleeping. There are lots of safe variations. I used a bedside co-sleeper promoted by Dr Sears to move our baby back and forth for almost 16 months. I also wore a sweatshirt to bed in the wintertime, as an extra precaution to keep the blankets far away from her face and of course a king size bed helps! I love the halo swaddle and still use the sleep sack on our 2.5 year old.

    1. My baby loves her Halo sleepsack but is outgrowing it. I need to get her a new, bigger one!

    1. I would have loved that bassinet after my csection too! It was so hard to move around and especially with a baby. 7 weeks out its a world of difference though, I can move fine with no pain and I’m running again! I love halo and would definitely like to win a sleep sack!

    1. Greta loves to be swaddled, but also with her arms out. Perhaps she and Cullen will get along great?

      Hope you’re healing well & able to run/walk soon! Keep in touch!

    1. My daughter is 1 month old and she hates her arms restricted too! I was just looking at the sleep sacks the other day! I would love to win one!

    1. Didn’t plan on #3, so gave all my sleep sacks away 2 yrs. ago, LOL!

    1. I’ve Been Following your blog for a year and a half now. I Love to read about your runs and now about Cullen too. He is adorable. Congrats to both of You. I cried with your post about your labor. You aré amazing. I would Love to win to give This to my sister who is having baby #2. She is my only sister and my running buddy. Tomorrow we aré running a race here in Texas 13.1 🙂

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