Become a swaddling pro when you bring your baby home from the hospital by using the best swaddles for newborn babies which make life easier.
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You may notice that when your baby is in the hospital, the hospital staff will swaddle up your baby before putting them down for sleeping, and there is a big reason that they do so.
Newborns are used to being squished up in Mommas’s tummy and being consistently warm and comfortable.
A swaddle can help your baby feel warm and cozy, just as they felt inside the womb.
Swaddling during the fourth trimester is a great way to help your baby transition into this new life, and get a better sleep too.
Swaddles can soothe and comfort your newborn and help make your new parent’s life easier at the same time.
Choosing a swaddle blanket isn’t as easy as it sounds. Here are the best swaddle blankets you can purchase, and all the additional information about swaddling that you need.
What Is A Swaddle Blanket?
A swaddle blanket is a large blanket that parents can use to wrap a baby tightly to make them feel safe and secure, just as they felt in the womb.
Swaddling can be tough to achieve for sleep deprived parents, and the market responded by providing easier swaddling solutions that go beyond a piece of cloth to wrap the baby up tightly.
The traditional way to swaddle is still a great option, and frankly, most any smaller-sized blanket can do the job, however a lot of babies wiggle and break out of their traditional swaddles and frustrated parents prefer products with zippers and velcro to prevent that from happening.
Not every swaddle will work for every baby because all babies have different preferences, which is why there are so many products to choose from. That definitely doesn’t help parents from feeling overwhelmed with swaddle choices, which is why we put together this guide to help you choose the swaddles that your baby will love.
The Best Swaddles For Newborn Babies
Halo Sleepsack Swaddle – Most Versatile Design
SwaddleMe Pod – Easy Zip Up Swaddle
Love To Dream – Best For Self Soothing
Aiden and Anais – Best Classic Muslin Blanket
Swaddle Me Original – Best Velcro Swaddle
Copper Pearl – Best Oversized Blanket Swaddle
The Halo Sleepsack Swaddles are our favourite swaddles hands down. You can get them in fleece or cotton, depending on your needs.
We love the Halo because it is so versatile. You can use it with your newborn and have the arms snugly wrapped to their sides, or have the hands to the face. When your baby no longer needs to be swaddled, you can still use the Halo as a sleep sack and have both arms out.
The zipper is inverted which makes night time diaper changes easy peasy, and you don’t have to wake up the baby by doing a full un swaddle.
This swaddle comes in preemie, 0-3 months, or 3-6 month sizes.
|Versatile swaddle positions||Fleece can get too hot so ensure the room is chilly if using the fleece option|
|Roomy design allows for legs to move around freely|
|Inverted zipper for easy diaper changes|
The SwaddleMe Pod is a great option for parents who want to swaddle their little one but don’t love the idea of velcro or traditional swaddle blankets.
This swaddle pod is roomy and flexible which allows for your baby to move their arms semi freely while zipped up in the sack.
This is great for those babies who don’t love to be tightly wrapped up.
|2 way zipper makes diaper changes easy||Babies can sometimes get hands out|
|Really simple for parents to use||Only goes up to 12 pounds|
|No velcro means quiet changing|
Some babies like to have their arms more free as they sleep rather than have them tucked at their sides which makes the Love To Dream swaddle a great solution for babies.
These swaddles have an easy to use zipper and hip friendly leg positioning design.
|Great transition swaddle||Newborns may not feel snug enough – best for older babies|
|Easy zipper design|
|Baby can self soothe by moving hands to the face within the sack|
Aden + Anais’ Muslin swaddles are soft and cozy and can be used for more than just swaddling.
They are breathable and lightweight blankets that can be used as burp cloths, nursing covers and regular blankets for your baby too.
These easy to use swaddle blankets come in many different prints and patterns too.
|Soft and cozy||No velcro or snaps to help parents swaddle tightly|
|Large and can grow with baby|
|Can be used for other things like car seat covers, nursing covers, stroller blankets and more|
The Swaddle Me Original is a swaddle pouch where baby sits in and has fabric wings with velcro strips to help parents swaddle the baby securely.
These are the most affordable swaddle packs you can purchase, and they work really well for the first few months of your baby’s life.
|Most affordable||Velcro is loud at night|
|Velcro makes this adjustable to grow with your baby|
|Easy to use|
Do you love oversized soft blankets? Copper Pearl makes amazing stretchy blankets that are perfect for swaddling and they make your baby feel snug and secure.
This is a great blanket for photo sessions and comes in many prints and colors.
|Large||No zipper or velcro|
|Soft and Cozy|
Guide To Buying Swaddle Blankets
Why Do You Need a Swaddle Blanket?
Swaddle blankets are a must add to the baby registry as they help new parents keep a baby comfortable and soothed, which promotes better sleep.
Here are some benefits to swaddling your newborn:
Warm and Cozy – Babies are used to being warm and cozy in the womb, and they have no way of regulating their temperature when they are born. A swaddle can help your baby with that extra layer of cozy fabric that can keep them comfortable.
Stops Startle Reflex – Babies are born with a “startle reflec” oficially known as the “Moro Reflex” which is an action that they cannot control where their arms move quickly and they wake themselves up if they are sleeping. Sometimes they even scare themselves when their reflex occurs. A swaddle can help keep their arms tucked away which prevents them from startling themselves awake.
Sleep Safety – Babies cannot use blankets and have loose bedding in their sleep space, and a swaddle blanket provides a secure way of keeping your baby warm while reducing the risk of SIDS, giving parents peace of mind.
What Are The Different Type Of Swaddle Blankets?
There are a few different types of swaddle blankets on the market today to make swaddling your newborn easy peasy.
There are regular blanket style swaddles, Zip Up Swaddles, Velcro Swaddles and Combination Swaddles of Velcro and Zippers.
Regular Blanket Swaddles – Just as it sounds, a regular blanket swaddle is simply a blanket that is wrapped around the baby snugly. This is typically made from non-stretchy materials and doesn’t have any zipper, velcro or elastic to help keep the baby in place. If you’re a pro-Swaddler and your baby is not Houdini, this may be the swaddle blanket option for you.
Zip-Up Swaddles – Zip-up swaddles are basically sacks with a zipper on them where you place the baby into the sack and then zip it up. This keeps the baby’s arms inside the sack but doesn’t always keep their arms at their sides, like traditional swaddles. These are easy to use and parents love them for the middle of the night diaper changes and easy swaddle back to sleep transitions.
Velcro Swaddles – Velcro swaddles are also very sack like where you place the baby into the sack and then use a velcro closure to swaddle the baby up. Parents like these types of swaddles because you can place the baby’s arms at their side easily and now have them come up to the face which leads them to break out of the swaddle.
Combination Swaddles – Sometimes parents prefer to have Velcro and zippers with their swaddles. The Halo sleep sack swaddle is the perfect example. The zipper part of the swaddle is used for the sleep sack, whereas the Velcro plays an important role in keeping the baby’s hands at their side.
What Are The Different Features To Look For In A Swaddle Blanket?
When choosing a swaddle blanket for your baby these are some important features you should keep in mind:
How It Works: You’ll want to consider if you are going to need zippers, velcro or use traditional swaddling methods with your newborn. If you’re a pro swaddler then perhaps a traditional swaddle blanket is the right product for you. If you think you may need some help with the swaddling, then maybe velcro or zipper style is preferred. Also consider if someone else will be swaddling your baby as well, such as a babysitter or grandma.
Size Of Swaddle: Most swaddles come in different sizes. This means that if you have a preemie baby, then you will have to grab a swaddle that will accommodate their tiny size. If your baby is longer, then you may have to consider the length of the swaddle blanket. For traditional swaddles make sure the blanket is square and is at least 45 inches long on each side.
Fabric: Consider the temperature of your home before choosing the swaddle fabric. If you keep your home cooler and it’s wintertime, then a fleece swaddle may be the best option. If your home gets pretty hot in the summer, then a light and breathable fabric like cotton or muslin may be a better choice.
What Are The Best Fabric Options For Swaddles?
Most swaddles are made from cotton, but there are other fabric options which you can choose from, including:
When choosing your fabric, it is a good idea to ensure that your home will not be too hot for fleece or too cool for muslin fabrics. You never want your baby to overheat, but you must also ensure your baby isn’t going to be too cold as well since it is not safe to use additional blankets on a newborn baby.
How To Swaddle A Baby With A Traditional Blanket Swaddle
Swaddling with a square blanket gets easier with time, but can seem very difficult in the beginning.
The hospital staff should be able to assist you in teaching how to swaddle if you haven’t had a chance to learn before the baby arrived. Keep practicing the swaddle while you’re in the hospital and keep asking for help if you need it.
Here is how you can wrap your baby in a burrito type swaddle with a regular square blanket.
- Lay out the blanket in a diamond shape.
- Fold over the top corner of the blanket towards the center.
- Place the baby’s neck where the folded section is flat.
- Grab the right corner of the blanket and wrap it tightly around the baby’s body, making sure to wrap the arm so that it is straight at their side.
- Tuck the extra material tightly around the backside.
- Grab the leftover bottom fabric and tuck it into the top of the blanket by the shoulder.
- Grab the left side of the blanket and wrap it around the babies body and tuck it tightly under the baby.
- Make sure the swaddle is on nice and tight.
Frequently Asked Questions About Swaddling Newborns
What If My Baby Doesn’t Like the Swaddle?
Most babies will fuss and seemingly seem unhappy in their swaddle at first, but it does not mean they do not like it. The swaddle will make it easier for your baby to calm down and get ready for a longer and better sleep.
Should All Babies Be Swaddled?
Not all babies need to be swaddled. If your baby is a happy and easy sleeper without the swaddle, then you don’t need to bother with the swaddle.
How Long Should I Swaddle For?
You can swaddle a newborn with the arms wrapped up until about 4 months, or when they start rolling over.
When the baby starts to roll, the swaddle can become dangerous as it restricts arm movement.
To make the transition from swaddling to being unswaddled easier, there are transition blankets you can purchase.
Can I Wrap The Baby Too Tightly?
It is nearly impossible to wrap the baby up too tightly, and the tighter the swaddle, the better.
Can I Place My Swaddled Baby To Sleep On Their Side Or Tummy?
Please do not ever let your swaddled baby sleep on their tummy or side as they do not have arm motions to prevent them from suffocating.
Do I Need To Swaddle The Baby’s Legs?
You only need to swaddle the baby’s body and arms. Wrapping up the legs can cause damage to the baby’s hips which could lead to hip dysplasia.
Do Babies Need Clothes Under A Swaddle?
It depends on the temperature of their room if clothing is required under the swaddle or not. In a hot climate, a cool material for the swaddle such as Muslin can be used on a baby with a diaper and no other clothing to ensure they stay nice and cool. In cooler winter months, it may be a good idea to have a simple onesie under a fleece sleep sack to keep baby cozy and warm while they sleep.
How Do I Know If My Newborn Is Too Cold At Night?
The easiest way to check if your newborn is cold or hot is to check the nape of their neck. If it is cool to the touch then your baby may be chilly. If it is hot, or if you notice the baby’s cheeks are flushed, then your baby may be overheating.
Can I Keep My Baby Swaddled While Breastfeeding?
You can keep your baby swaddled as you breastfeed, however the baby may be so comfy cozy while they are eating that they are more prone to falling asleep. To ensure the baby gets a full feeding, it is recommended that the baby is not swaddled when eating.
Can I Swaddle If My Baby Can Roll Over?
Please do not swaddle your baby once they can roll over. Transition swaddles or sleep sacks are a better choice for this phase.
What Are Some Common Do’s And Don’t Of Swaddling?
Do: Swaddle the baby using proper techniques
Do: Place Baby On The Back To Sleep While Swaddled
Do: Use a lighter material when swaddling to prevent overheating
Do: Ensure the baby can move their legs freely while swaddled
Don’t: Swaddle too tight around the chest
Don’t: Swaddle too loose so the material comes undone and becomes unsafe
Don’t: Place a swaddled baby to sleep on their tummy
Don’t: Use a thick blanket to swaddle
What Can I Do If Swaddling Is Not Working?
If your baby simply does not like being swaddled, you can try alternative techniques to help your baby get a night of better sleep.
I’ve Tried A Few Swaddle Sacks And My Baby Still Wakes Himself In His Sleep, What Can I Do?
There is a product called the Magic Merlin suit which isn’t really a swaddle but is a weighted suit for babies to help them sleep.