Please note (8/2020): A number of readers and reviewers have expressed safety concerns about the new version of the HALO, for being slightly tilted when it’s swiveled all the way out. We’re working on connecting up with HALO to see what’s going on with the new design, but wanted to alert you to this in the meantime–
Planning on having your baby sleep in your room for a while? The Bassinest is one of the centerpiece products from HALO, a company that believes safe sleep and innovation don’t have to be mutually exclusive. This is one of our favorite, ultra-practical options for newborn sleep during the “fourth trimester.” We especially love that it allows for “almost bed-sharing.”
If you’re willing and able to spend this kind of money ($229+) on an item that only lasts 4 or 5 months, it’s well worth investing in quality (and safety) of sleep for you and your baby. Trust us — moms are crazy for this thing.
The Bassinest was the first co-sleeping product to make it feel like the baby’s in your bed, but without actually bed-sharing. It’s really the best of both worlds.
When setting it up, you adjust the height to fit just over the top of your bed (below), and the swivel arm allows the bassinet to encroach into your bed space — all while maintaining baby’s safe sleep area.
The swivel arm also makes it really easy to push away so you can easily get in and out of your bed. Other co-sleeping products, like the original Arm’s Reach co-sleepers, are fixed to your bed and require mom to scoot down to the end of the bed to get out, something that’s rather inconvenient (if not downright painful) when you’re recovering from delivery.
Another nice perk for the postpartum period: the side railing pushes down easily, which enables you to scoop up your baby for middle-of-the-night feeds without having to stand up. Can we get a hell yess!!!? This may seem like a minor thing, but it makes such a huge difference in the middle of the night.
The mesh sides all around allow you to easily see your baby as well, which is always reassuring. Plus, it makes this bassinet extra breathable, so you don’t have to worry about overheating.
Remember to keep babies’ sleep surfaces completely clear and free of blankets. HALO was actually founded by a father who lost his baby to SIDS, and the company’s first product was their quintessential Halo safe sleep sack. We cover the HALO SafeSleep Wearable Blanket, and others like it, in our Wearable Blanket Smackdown.
The Bassinest may look top-heavy, but its X-shaped base is actually VERY sturdy and heavy — like, that thing is not going anywhere. In fact, some parents complain that it is too heavy.
The weight is purposeful because the Bassinest isn’t meant to be portable. It’s intended to be — and stay — at the bedside. In short, there’s no moving this baby around the house willy-nilly like with a more portable bassinet, such as the Fisher Price Portable Bassinet.
If you’re really excited about the HALO but also want something with more portability, you could consider also purchasing the HALO Bassinest stand ($49), which enables you to simply move the top part (the bassinet) around much more easily.
Moms who are dedicated to the Halo brand are loving the stand option for travel or for just easy use around the house.
The Bassinest swivel sleeper comes in various versions:
- The Halo Bassinest Glide Sleeper ($189) is a (somewhat) more affordable option, but without the swivel feature. The bassinet is the same as the classic hourglass model, but the stand glides across the floor (yes, that includes carpets) so you can push the whole apparatus away from the bed and pull it back towards your bed quickly and easily (using the little handle at the base of the bassinet). If you’re looking for a great, safe, practical bedside co-sleeper and don’t specifically need or want the swivel feature, this is a wonderful option.
- The “Essentia” version ($229) is the entry model Bassinest (with swivel arm).
- The “Premiere” version ($289) comes with a control panel that includes a night light, sounds/music, a nursing timer, and vibration. IMO, the vibration option is a nice last resort for a fussy baby (and perhaps, a much cheaper option than the SNOO co-sleeper), but the other features are not all that impressive. I used this model and the nursing timer was too quiet to ever wake me up, for example. It runs on three AA batteries, which is somewhat unfortunate… the vibration setting chews through batteries, so stock up! Too bad it doesn’t have a plug.
- The “Luxe” version ($309) comes with all the Premiere features as well as a floor light and an extra setting on the nightlight and vibration components. Most users do not think the upgrade is worth the price. The floor lighting is dim, and frankly, many moms don’t find the features all that impressive to begin with. And even if you did, again: the batteries. Buy in bulk.
- There’s also a twin sleeper, if you’re expecting multiples.
You may also want to purchase extra sheets for the “signature” HALO hourglass mattress pad.
Bottom line: In the world of bassinets, the HALO Bassinest is somewhat on the expensive side — not a good thing for an item that is short lived. But it’s a safe, convenient place for baby to sleep for the first 4 months (or until he can roll over/sit up), and, as far as baby gear goes, it’s an attractive piece. Moms really, really love it, and I loved it too. I especially loved having my baby very close to me. If that’s important to you, we say: Bassinest, FTW!
See it in action! (seriously, the video does a really nice job demonstrating the HALO features).