'My legacy is more sleep for babies and mothers': Love To Dream founder

‘This is my legacy, more sleep for babies and mothers’: Love To Dream founder Hana-Lia Krawchuk


In 2008, Hana-Lia Krawchuk had an idea that would change the lives of millions of people across the world, as well as her own.

The idea came to her when she hit breaking point after enduring 18 months of sleepless nights, when her newborn son Elijah could not sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time.

Closely observing Elijah’s preferred resting position, Krawchuk realised that he favoured having his arms resting beside his head while he slept, however the swaddles she was using did not make this easy.

There was a noticeable gap in the swaddle market space, and Krawchuk knew instinctively it was one she could fill. Leaning into her background in fashion, she set out to improve her son’s sleep, as well as her own mental wellbeing.

The resulting design, which would take hundreds of hours to perfect, went on to become the best-selling Swaddle Up, and the basis of her company, Love to Dream. 

For her first decade in business, Krawchuk was the sole designer within the company. By day she would design and create her innovative swaddles and begin the process of exporting them to more than 45 countries.

Two years ago, she sought support, bringing on Jo Jaggs who is now responsible for managing the design team. 

“I love the intersection of being creative and being commercial,” Krawchuk tells Women’s Agenda. “I like the idea of creating a business from being creative.” 

She has since expanded her range of products, as well as providing tools to help parents put their children to sleep, including the “Love To Dream Sleep Series” — an online set of guidelines, videos, and information on ways to improve babies’ sleep.

“I spent so much time preparing for the brith, but not preparing for what would happen when I had a baby,” she says.

“Had I had something like the sleep series, I would have avoided a lot of the traps I fell into with sleep and settling. For sure, he [Elijah] would have slept better, for sure my mental health and my family’s mental health would have been better.”

For Krawchuk, the pursuit was always simple: “This is my gift to the world,” she explains. “I want to help people learn how to put their babies to sleep and get more sleep. This is my lifetime legacy. Not really, the products. And this is free, for everybody.”

“Everybody is so focused on delivering a healthy safe, having a safe and health delivery, which is awesome, but there needs to be more focus on what happens once you get home, because that’s actually the hard bit.”

In 2017, Krawchuk won the Telstra Australian Entrepreneur Award, saying in her speech that the key to her success was good time management. 

“Good time management is actually having a plan with what you want to do with your day, written down,” she says.

“It’s about planning how you spend your day. I’m very thorough, I’ve got twenty-minute increments on an Excel spreadsheet, I write out what I do in each of these time slots and I mark off what was completed on time and what wasn’t. I learn how to improve my own efficiency. That way, I know how to plan better for the type of task I’m doing.”

Krawchuk is also passionate about supporting critical causes, partnering with charities that share Love To Dream’s core purpose and which make a measurable impact in Australia. 

One of them is Pink Elephants, a Sydney-based organisation that provides miscarriage education and support.

“We started supporting Pink Elephants because we felt so strongly for what they stand for,” Krawchuk says. “Up to one in five pregnancies end before week 20.”

“Women go through this in silence, it is so devastating. And not just women, their partners too. It impacts so many people, and it’s this silent thing and it’s this shameful thing, and we wanted to help Pink Elephant blow that misconception out of the water.”

Love to Dream also supports SIDS research and Prevention organisation, First Candle.

“First Candle is very close to the heart of our mission to keeping children safe, and helping education parents how to sleep their babies safety,” Krawchuk said.

For those who aspire to launch their own business, Krawchuk has one piece of advice:

“Don’t fear the word no. Don’t be disheartened when someone tells you no. And don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t be afraid to know your value or your product’s value.” 

Her company today is continuing to work on bringing more sleep to babies around the world, expanding out of swaddles and sleeping bags into the broader eco-system of sleep.

“Our whole business mission is to deliver more sleep to babies and family around the world,” Krawchuk said.

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