Certified Pediatric Sleep Coach: Sarah Pashniak's Tips on Safe Sleeping


Ollie Blog

Why I love the Ollie



My name is Sarah Pashniak and I am paSHionate about sleep!  I am a Certified Pediatric Sleep Coach and I am also a busy mom to three beautiful children; twin boys who are 4 and a baby girl who is 9 months old.  I have experimented with my fair share of baby products and I can say with 100% confidence that the Ollie Swaddle is my favorite swaddle!  I often speak at prenatal classes, sleep seminars and mommy groups and the number 1 suggestion that I give to parents of newborns is to purchase an Ollie Swaddle.  

Safe Sleep

Why do I love the Ollie swaddle so much?  This is a loaded question because there are a lot of reasons why.  One of the reasons that I love the Ollie swaddle is because it promotes SAFE SLEEP.   When I speak at prenatal classes, I focus on safe sleep practises which are also referred to as the ABC’s of safe sleep.

A-Alone- Baby must be alone in the crib with only a fitted sheet.  This means no bumper pads, blankets or lovies.  Ensure that the crib or bassinet is away from electrical cords, blind cords, curtains or out of reach of anything that can be pulled into the sleep space.  Using a blanket for a swaddle is considered unsafe because it can become loose.  The loose blanket is then a strangulation or suffocation hazard.  The Ollie swaddle has several Velcro strips that ensure the swaddle does not become loose, therefore it is considered a safe sleep product.  

B-Back- Your infant must be placed into the crib or bassinet on their back.  The Ollie swaddle helps keep your baby in the supine position (on their back).  

C-Crib- Your baby should sleep in a firm crib or bassinet for all sleep times.  Room sharing, not bed sharing, is recommended for the first 6 months.  Bed sharing (co-sleeping) is unsafe for several reasons.  

  • The risk of suffocation or rolling onto your infant
  • The bed and bedding is soft which makes it a suffocation hazard

The only place your infant should sleep is in a safe place such as their crib or bassinet.  

The Startle Reflex

Not only does the Ollie Swaddle promote safe sleep, but it is a game changer for newborns.  Newborns come equip with a “lovely” startle reflex.  It used to come in handy back in the day when we were monkeys (or so they say).  Newborns still have this reflex and it causes spontaneous arousals because your baby will feel the sensation that they are falling.  Swaddling has been used for centuries to help muffle this reflex.  

Safe and Secure

Swaddling makes your infant feel safe and secure. . . just like they did when he or she was in the womb.  Most newborns do not necessarily enjoy the process of being swaddled, but if you begin from day one and are consistent, your hard work will pay off.  Your baby will calm and settle down once swaddled and the startle reflex will not cause additional wakings.  We communicate to our infants through routines and behaviors.  Even the simple act of putting your baby in the swaddle helps send the message to them that sleep is coming.  You would be amazed at how quickly your infant starts to connect their swaddle to sleep.  

Everything. . . literally everything in your little one’s world is brand new and stimulating to them.  Many parents report that their infant is fussy in the evenings.  This is often referred to as the witching hour, but let’s be honest.  The “hour” can actually be several hours.  This time period is also referred to as PURPLE crying

One reason for this period of PURPLE crying is because they are overtired and overstimulated from sensory overload.  A swaddle helps to calm your little one down because they feel safe, secure and comforted.  For more information on PURPLE crying, visit this website. http://purplecrying.info/what-is-the-period-of-purple-crying.php Another added bonus that a swaddle provides relief from colic/ gas.  Although there is no scientific evidence as to why, the belief is that a gentle pressure on the abdomen aids in relieving stomach upset and colic.  

I have found that other swaddles are positioned higher up on a baby’s neck and easily become bulky around the face.  In my experience, these swaddles have gotten too close for comfort to my baby’s mouth and nose.  I was concerned that they could be a safety hazard.  The Ollie swaddle stays put once the Velcro is secured.  The material does not go anywhere near the face area and allows for oxygen to flow freely.  


Yet another reason that I love the Ollie swaddle is because of how it ensures a regulated temperature.  The Ollie swaddle is made of a light weight material that prevents baby from overheating.  Overheating is dangerous and is a risk factor for SIDS.  I advise parents to keep their home on the cooler side, 19-21 Degrees Celsius/66-70 Degrees Fahrenheit.  Depending on the temperature of your home, I suggest you dress your infant in a diaper shirt, onesie and the Ollie swaddle for sleep.  In warmer weather or if your home runs warmer, remove the diaper shirt if necessary.  


When your baby starts to show signs of rolling, it is time to transition out of a swaddle. This typically occurs around the 4 month mark, but every baby is different and this can happen sooner. When your baby begins to roll, they need their arms free so they do not get “stuck” on their stomach.  Rolling can quickly become a hazard if your baby can only roll from back to front.  

The Ollie swaddle still works great during this transition because you can still swaddle your little one with one arm in which leaves one arm free.  The other option you have is to use the swaddle around the torso and legs only which leaves both arms free.  

The Best Baby Gift

It was a sad day when my daughter out grew her Ollie swaddle because it worked like a charm for her!  I have since passed this swaddle on to my sister who has a newborn.  The first few nights at home, my niece wouldn’t settle and sleep was almost non-existent.  I went over for a visit and reminded them about the Ollie swaddle that I had handed down to them.  I swaddled my niece and within minutes she was asleep in her crib.  My sister and brother in law were in shock at how the swaddle worked. . . they were so shocked that they went for a nap!  The Ollie swaddle can be used from birth until 4 months as a swaddle and it can then be used throughout the transition phase.  I love that the Ollie can be size adjustable as your baby grows.  

I have tried several swaddles that are on the market but the Ollie swaddle is by far my favorite!  If you are ever wondering what to get new parents as a baby gift. . . this is it!  And if you are a parent looking to maximize sleep, this product is for you.  Speaking of maximizing sleep. . . check out my newborn sleep guide!  My newborn sleep guide has all the information you need to know about your infant’s sleep needs from 0-4 months.  This guide even has a section for multiples!  Visit www.pashionateaboutsleep.com where you can find sleep guides, blog post, my lullaby and more!  You can also find me on social media @pashionateaboutsleep where I offer free tips and tricks for newborn, infant and toddler sleep. 

As mentioned above, I am a certified Pediatric Sleep Coach and I work with tired parents to help get them the rest they need and deserve.  Sleep is on the way. . .