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Hands-on Gear Review

HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Review

Top Pick Award
Price:   $250.00 List | $249.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Ideal post C-Section co-sleeper, easy to use, swivel, vibration and music
Cons:  Heavy, non-portable, cumbersome wide base
Bottom line:  Recommended by bedside for moms after C-Section, however, not easily moved
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   HALO

The Skinny

The HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper is our Top Pick for a mother recovering from a C-Section. It is highly specialized to be used safely from bed, and features many unique components that make it great for this specific use. For example, the 360º swivel feature and retractable bar which allow for easy access to baby, as well as the comfort module which provides an array of additional features such as vibration and soothing music.


RELATED REVIEW: The Quest for the Best Bassinet

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Score Product Price Our Take
74
$350
Editors' Choice Award
Lightweight, easy-to-use, shines in quality fabrics and safe sleep environment
72
$150
Best Value Award
Great value, versatile, portable, safe, sturdy, convenient
61
$250
Top Pick Award
Recommended by bedside for moms after C-Section, however, not easily moved
59
$50
Portable, inexpensive, not ideal for general use within home
58
$100
Affordable, portable, no extra frills
55
$299
Classic design, well-crafted but lacks mesh siding and a few other bells and whistles
54
$83
Inexpensive with included bells and whistles but quality lacking
29
$129
Despite eye-catching design, low quality materials, do not recommend

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD
Mom-in-Chief
BabyGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
January 25, 2015

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HALO began its mission to provide a safer sleep environment for babies over twenty years ago, after founder Bill Schmid and his wife tragically lost their first baby to SIDS. HALO has since been committed to developing products that promote the well-being of babies. They are also known for their HALO Sleepsack wearable blankets which also promote safe sleeping. BabyGearLab founder Dr. Juliet Spurrier wrote an article on sleep safety that highlights important tips, and if you are considering co-sleeping with your infant, it is especially important to be well-versed in this advice.

HALO took an entirely unique approach when designing the Bassinest, and the result is the ideal co-sleeper, especially for a healing mother. Every detail is oriented towards making those first exhausting days of early parenthood a little bit easier from bed, which is why we gave it our Top Pick Award for a mother recovering from a C-Section. Though a highly specialized piece of gear, we did feel that its weight was cumbersome and inhibited its versatility in comparison to the other products we rated, like the BabyBjörn Cradle which seems to address a broader range of new-parent needs. Regardless, if one of our friends were planning a C-Section, we would definitely recommend they check out the HALO Bassinest to see if it would meet the specialized needs that go along with healing from a C-Section.

Performance Comparison


Ideal for a mother recovering from a C-Section  and beautifully designed for co-sleeping  you will be grateful to keep your baby safe and by your bedside.
Ideal for a mother recovering from a C-Section, and beautifully designed for co-sleeping, you will be grateful to keep your baby safe and by your bedside.

Health and Safety


The HALO scored a little above average for safety. Its base is wide and weighted enough that there does not seem to be a risk that it could tip over. It meets all standard safety regulations, and carries the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) seal. The fabrics and mattress are fairly run of the mill in comparison to the others we tested, but we were impressed that the frame does not contain BPA, phthalates or lead. One minor thing that concerned us was the fact that in order to raise and stabilize the height of the sleeping area, you tighten a knob by hand, which, if not done tightly enough, could hypothetically result in the bed slipping down when baby's weight is inside of it. If careful attention is paid when tightening the knob, it should not pose an issue.

Ease of Use


To adjust the height  turn the height knob and lift the cradle to the desired height  then tighten the knob.  Be sure to tighten the knob completely to ensure the cradle will not slip once baby's weight is applied  and never adjust the height while your baby is inside.
To adjust the height, turn the height knob and lift the cradle to the desired height, then tighten the knob. Be sure to tighten the knob completely to ensure the cradle will not slip once baby's weight is applied, and never adjust the height while your baby is inside.
We gave the HALO an above average score for Ease of Use. It was one of two we rated that is also a co-sleeper, the other being the Arm's Reach Mini Arc Co-Sleeper which won our Best Value Award. As a new mother, being able to safely keep your baby right by your bedside where you can see him is a major bonus since it drastically decreases your need to get in and out of bed, allowing for more efficient heal-time. Our testers felt as though the adjustable height and surrounding mesh paneling on the HALO made it seem as though their babies were actually in bed with them, all the while safe in the Bassinest.

The swivel feature is truly one of a kind, enabling very smooth manipulation in any direction you choose. It is the only one we rated that includes a comfort module which plays very calming music, has a nightlight, two vibrating settings, and a nursing timer. The music is surprisingly tasteful and we felt, appropriate for soothing both baby and mother. The front bar which can be locked, can also fold down, allowing for easy removal of your baby when you need to nurse, without the need to get out of bed. We felt that the wide base was cumbersome however, because it is very wide and sticks out from under the bed, and is too heavy to move out of the way easily. The swivel feature does allow you to easily maneuver the Bassinest around, but the base is still very heavy and unwieldy, particularly in tight spaces.

Portability


The HALO Swivel Sleeper is the least portable of the units we rated, weighing in at a hefty 37 pounds and 2 ounces. Where it excels as a co-sleeper, it definitely lags in portability. We recommend that pregnant women not attempt to lift this it, as even the base without the nest attached is quite heavy.
The HALO is not portable  as it is very heavy and not designed to be moved around.
The HALO is not portable, as it is very heavy and not designed to be moved around.

Quality


This was one of the higher quality products we rated. The materials however, are not as high-end as the BabyBjörn Cradle or the Cariboo Folding Bassinet which is made from Organic Drill Cotton. Luckily, like the BabyBjörn Cradle, it was clearly engineered with scrutiny and an eye for details that improve new parents' lives from in-bed.

Ease of Set-Up


The HALO Swivel Sleeper was average next to the others in its set up. It certainly was not as complicated as the Babyletto Bowery, however some rather involved assembly is required, especially in comparison to some of the ones that had very easy assembly like the Fisher-Price Deluxe Rock 'n Play Portable. It should be noted that a pregnant woman should not attempt to lift the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper in its box due to its weight, and it should be assembled where it is intended to be used, as it is too awkward to transport once put together.

Best Applications


The retractable bar allows for easier access to baby from your bed.  We also loved the comfort module that offers a myriad of soothing sounds  a nightlight and even a nursing timer.
The retractable bar allows for easier access to baby from your bed. We also loved the comfort module that offers a myriad of soothing sounds, a nightlight and even a nursing timer.
As noted, we found that of all of the bassinets BabyGearLab reviewed, the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper was the most appropriate for a mother who has a C-Section, since it caters so well to the healing mother who is likely to need bed rest. Of course, for new mothers who have not recently had a C-Section, this is still a superb option as a co-sleeper, in particular for nursing mothers who don't want to get out of bed at all hours of the night! With the HALO, you can pull your little one right into bed with you to nurse, and easily put him back as soon as his tummy is full, assuring he sleeps safely through the night, all the while just next to you. It would also be a useful addition next to a sofa or recliner after a C-Section, for a mother who would like to have their little one close by, but may not want to be confined to their bedroom.

Value


If you take a look at our Value Chart, you will see that the HALO Swivel Sleeper rated very highly among its competitors, third only to our other two award winners, the BabyBjörn Cradle which won our Editors' Choice award, and the Arm's Reach Mini Arc Co-Sleeper which won our Best Value award. Based on our testing, we don't believe that the HALO is the right choice for a new mother looking for the overall best bassinet, but it is a very worthy and safe option, especially if you are planning a C-Section.

Conclusion


After careful consideration of all of the details, we found this to be a great option if your primary concern is safe co-sleeping, although it is not a good option for overall use, since it is way too heavy to move once assembled. If you expect a longer healing period after a C-Section, this is an especially viable option.
HALO's bassinet is a wonderful option for a mother healing from a C-Section who is likely to need to spend some extra time in bed.
HALO's bassinet is a wonderful option for a mother healing from a C-Section who is likely to need to spend some extra time in bed.

Other Versions and Accessories


HALO offers a few different accessories for the Swivel Sleeper, including:
  • A Bassinest Storage Caddy which attaches to the side of the Bassinest for easy access to baby's essentials such as diapers, wipes, or bottles.
  • The Bassinest Mobile that attaches to the side of the Bassinest and comes in either Whimsical Birds or Sleepy Owls.


Video


Juliet Spurrier, MD, Molly Hutto, & BabyGearLab Team

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BabyGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: January 25, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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