Swaddling isn’t just some old fashioned practice or a cute way to bundle a baby up for adorable portraits. It’s a time-tested trick to help babies sleep more soundly. Here are some great swaddles to help you get started.
Why do babies sleep better when they’re swaddled? After months in the womb with little room to stretch out, babies aren’t quite used to all that freedom of movement and if you watch an unswaddled baby sleep they’ll often shoot their arms and legs out, frequently startling themselves awake in the process.
Wrapped up snug in a swaddle they feel more secure with familiar pressure around their bodies and they won’t wake themselves up through their startle-reflex. The reflex can last up to around 4-5 months of age, but the general consensus is that you should swaddle your baby from birth until around 3-4 months of age—4 months is around the age babies are getting strong enough to roll themselves over and it’s important to let them move more freely. But with all things, it depends on your baby and consult your pediatrician if you have any questions.
Now, you can use any small blanket to swaddle a baby but not everybody feels comfortable wrapping a swaddle the old fashioned way with a swaddle blanket. Think of it as like wrapping a really secure and very important burrito, but you’re sleep deprived and the burrito is fighting back (and possibly crying too). It’s far easier to buy a ready-made swaddle that’s designed for you to slip your baby into with minimal effort. To save you the effort, here’s a look at the best baby swaddles out there.
Best Overall: Halo SleepSack Swaddle ($23)
The Halo SleepSack Swaddle is the best general baby swaddle out there. It’s a 3-way adjustable swaddle so it adjusts easily to your baby’s sleep style. You can swaddle them so one or both arms are tucked in, or you can position them so their hands and face are together. Whatever your baby prefers, you can adjust things accordingly.
The material used is made of 100% cotton so it won’t irritate your baby’s skin. Also, there’s an inverted zipper so you can easily change their diaper without needing to unswaddle. It’s a great time saver as well as an effective way to help your child feel comforted and supported.
HALO 100% Cotton Sleepsack Swaddle, 3-Way Adjustable Wearable Blanket, TOG 1.5, Heather Grey, Small, 3-6 Months
Most Versatile: Aden & Anais Classic Swaddle ($50)
Ok, so the Aden & Anais Classic Swaddle is a blanket that requires a little input from you. However, it’s incredibly cute and great for multiple different purposes. Made from 100% cotton, it has cute pictures and designs on it that you and your child will love. For $50, you get 4 different swaddles measuring 47″ by 47″. The fabric used is breathable and comfortable muslin, so it’s gentle on your child’s skin as well as cool too.
You can use the blankets for swaddling, tummy time, as well as for burping on, or simply covering the changing table with. It’s a delightful way of swaddling the old fashioned way.
Best For ‘Arms Up’: Love to Dream Swaddle UP Original ($30)
Some babies prefer to sleep with their arms sticking up because it’s how they slept in the womb. For that slightly awkward baby that prefers to be swaddle in a very specific way, the Love to Dream Swaddle UP Original is the ideal swaddle to buy.
The idea behind it is that babies self-soothe by touching their face and sucking on their hands, just like they did in the womb. By that logic, the Love to Dream Swaddle UP Original should save you many tears. It has wings on either side to keep their arms in the upright position without any risk of them being disrupted by their natural startle reflex.
The fabric is made of 93% cotton and 7% elastane so it’s stretchy enough to make them feel snug, while not allowing more mobility than you’d like. There’s a dual zipper too so you can easily change their diaper without needing to remove the swaddle. It’s a good solution for the arms up style sleeper.
Love to Dream Swaddle UP Self-Soothing Sleep Sack 5-8.5 lbs, Dramatically Better Sleep, Snug Fit Calms Startle Reflex, 1.0 TOG, Pink, Newborn
Simplest Swaddle: Woombie Original Baby Swaddle ($28)
The Woombie Original Baby Swaddle keeps things simple. Made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex, it has an ergonomically shaped design that allows for a more natural approach to swaddling. Essentially, you slip your baby into the swaddle and that’s it—no more added hassle!
The swaddle is designed to have a narrowed waistline that gentle compresses the stomach for added comfort, with plenty of room for your baby’s arms and legs to not feel too restricted. Hips and shoulders are also supported here, and your child can always self soothe too.
For your convenience, there’s a two-way zipper too so you can easily change diapers without unswaddling, and it’s reputed to be a quiet zipper too so you might not even make much noise during the process. It’s simple and straightforward.
Woombie Original Baby Swaddling Blanket - Soothing, Cotton Baby Swaddle - Wearable Baby Blanket, Twilight Heathered Gray, 5-13 lbs
Best For Wiggly Newborns: Miracle Blanket Swaddle ($30)
Is your child a baby Houdini? For wiggly newborns, buy the Miracle Blanket Swaddle and cross one worry off your list. It’s been described as escape proof and for good reason. It’s a snug wrap around swaddle that keeps your baby secure and unable to escape as they snooze and sleep.
The material is 100% cotton and there aren’t any awkward velcro straps or zippers to contend with. That does mean you need to unswaddle your baby to change their diaper but it’s a small price to pay for such a comfortable fit. If your baby is constantly eager to get out of the swaddle or simply wave their arms around, this is an effective solution for keeping them snug as a bug.