Swaddling is becoming more and more popular. It is a procedure where you wrap your baby in a light sheet or blanket to help them sleep, reduce excessive crying and have them feel safer. Many brands of swaddle blankets have surfaced onto the market to keep up with this trend. However, swaddling isn’t always a great idea, and neither is every blanket option on the market. There are risks you must be aware of, which we will cover at the end of our journey here. We will begin with some reviews, to help (probably terrified) new parents make a purchase decision that will improve their confidence. After that, we will explain how to swaddle your baby using the traditional method, with safety tips that apply to every kind of swaddle blanket there is.
Halo SleepSack Swaddle
This model is one of the most popular ones among new parents in the last few years. Halo prioritized ease of use and versatility, making this model one of the most intuitive and safe picks for anyone searching for one. The Halo SleepSack lets you adjust the swaddle based on your baby’s sleep preference. It lets you securely wrap the arms using velcro wings to prevent the startle reflex, or let one or both arms move freely to help your baby feel more relaxed. It is especially helpful when you want to transition out of swaddling, as you end up with a wearable blanket that gives your baby full limb freedom.
The zipper in the back is handy for easy diaper access, letting you safely and quickly change your baby when the time comes. The bottom section has more room than a lot of other models, which helps the baby healthily develop its hips. Remember, if you press on the legs too hard by wrapping them, it can lead to severe developmental issues.
- Very easy to use
- Provides quick and easy access to diapers for changing purposes
- Different fabric options, such as cotton, muslin, and micro-fleece
- Helps transition the baby out of swaddling thanks to its design
Kaydee Baby Organic Swaddle
One of the more traditional designs on this list, the Kaydee Baby Organic Swaddle brings more multipurpose benefits to you and your baby. If you learn the now standard “burrito wrap” technique (which isn’t hard at all), this model can serve you for as long as your baby needs to be swaddled and more. How tight the wrap is can easily be adjusted, letting you really craft your baby a fun sleeping experience. The “Organic” in the name refers to the material this model is made of, which is 100% organic cotton muslin. If you’re worried about the ecosystem, this blanket offers some relief without compromising what makes it good for babies.
The Kaydee Baby Organic Swaddle is easy to wash and becomes softer as you do it, meaning you don’t have to worry about your baby becoming less comfortable over time, which can be a deal-breaker for lots of new parents. At only $20, this blanket is also super-affordable, and since it will be useful past the point of swaddling, we think it’s an excellent safe pick. Just make sure you can do the wrap properly!
- Affordable price point
- Versatile (as it can double as a nursing cover or regular blanket as time goes on)
- Easy to wash and doesn’t lose quality as it’s washed
Woombie Original Nursery Swaddle Blanket
The Woombie is a more modern design, and this comes with some serious benefits. For one, it’s incredibly easy to use, and lets you quickly put the baby in or take it out without any wrapping/unwrapping procedures. The addition of spandex to the formula helps the fabric stretch, helping the baby achieve freedom of movement while recreating the feeling of the womb where it follows the baby’s movements. This blanket is not as tight as some of its competition, which helps if your baby isn’t the biggest fan of being swaddled.
The zipper helps you change the diaper quickly and without disrupting the baby’s comfort. The stomach section is slightly narrower, which helps secure the Woombie in place, and only compresses the stomach a tiny bit, which makes the baby feel snug. The baby can touch its hands and move around in the Woombie, which is helpful for self-soothing. The fabric is fairly breathable, which promotes healthy growth and easy sleeping in your baby. With a price range of $18-28, this model is quite affordable, and its ease of use can quickly make the deal for a lot of parents.
- Incredibly easy to use
- No risk of unraveling like traditional-style blankets
- Provides both a snug fit and freedom of movement
- Breathable fabric for better air circulation
Miracle Blanket Swaddle
If your baby is restless and keeps escaping other swaddle blankets, this Miracle model may live up to its name. Even if you’re experienced at swaddling, some babies are just fussy and agile enough to slip out of other models. The Miracle Blanket Swaddle sports a pouch for your baby’s legs, and wings and flaps that are meant to wrap around the baby and prevent any excessive arm movement. This not only helps the baby sleep peacefully, but it also prevents scratching and other problems. Velcro is a reliable method of securing your baby into a swaddle blanket, but a lot of babies find it uncomfortable. Not to mention that the sound of “unlocking” the Velcro can wake the baby up by itself. This model doesn’t use Velcro for these reasons.
The price hovers around $30, which isn’t the cheapest but it is still very affordable. The almost specialist-level safety and security make it well worth the asking price since very few other swaddle blankets prevent escapes as well as this 100% cotton Miracle model.
- Incredibly secure
- No Velcro to disrupt your baby’s comfort
- Reasonable price
- Special pouch for leg movement
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to wrap your baby in a traditional-style blanket properly, this SwaddleMe model was likely made just for you. The overall blanket is very easy to secure using Velcro and a special pouch for legs, and the wings are incredibly adjustable, letting you tailor the fit to your baby’s preferences. The leg pouch offers enough room for movement to enable proper hip development (this is one of the first things to inspect when purchasing a swaddle blanket with a pouch. Don’t forget about this!) without feeling like nothing is securing your baby’s legs.
The adjustable nature of the Velcro wings lets you add extra layers of protection if your baby was born during a cold period. The material is 100% cotton, which helps maintain a steady airflow and helps your baby relax. The price is higher than other models on this list, but this is because you get three blankets for one purchase. It gives you flexibility when it comes to laundry schedules and helps the baby feel fresh in a pleasant-smelling blanket at all times. The harness slit lets you swaddle your baby in a car seat, which is especially beneficial for single parents.
- Easy to use
- Highly adjustable wings to make your baby feel comfortable
- High amount of value per dollar spent
- Healthy airflow
We’ve covered the highest-quality swaddle blankets, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. A list of products means nothing without explanations and extra information to help parents make an educated decision. In this section, we aim to provide all the info you need to narrow down your options and make your baby’s sleeping experience safe and comfortable.
What kinds of swaddles are there?
Before we explain anything else, this needs to be cleared up. There are three main types of swaddles you can expect to see in your search, and there is no one true choice from the start. Which one you stick with will depend on your preferences, advice you get from your local pediatrician and your baby’s response to the product. Here are the categories:
- Swaddle pods are largely considered the easiest to use since you often only need to deal with one zipper before the baby is snug as a bug inside the pod. This type of swaddle provides the most freedom of movement in most cases, while still being tight and snug enough to prevent the startle reflex from waking your baby.
- Swaddle blankets are the traditional option. Typically a square-shaped blanket, these require a bit of origami before you can achieve that perfect “burrito” wrap. While it may seem intimidating, remember that every single nurse that works with babies knows this wrap, and they can teach you how to do it yourself with minimal fuss.
- Swaddle sacks are another popular option thanks to their ease of use. Most of the time, all it takes is placing your baby’s legs in the pouch and wrapping the wings around the baby’s upper section. The wings may or may not use Velcro, so pay attention when you purchase them. The leg pouch is the biggest selling point in our eyes because of how much it helps the baby’s hip development.
Are there any tips for swaddling properly?
Every swaddle you purchase will come with clear instructions. However, this doesn’t mean they mention everything about swaddling as a whole, which is where we come in. Here are some pieces of advice that could make the difference in the long run:
- Start swaddling from birth, up until three or four months of age. Don’t introduce it randomly along the way, because the two-to-three-month period has the highest risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- Don’t use thick sheets to swaddle your baby. Not only does this increase the risk of overheating, but it further limits the amount of movement the baby can make. While it’s important to stop the startle reflex, this doesn’t mean trapping the baby.
- On the same note, don’t swaddle too tightly. Freedom of movement is important, especially for legs and feet. If you limit leg movement too much, you can disrupt proper hip development.
- Only ever place your baby on its back while swaddling. If it starts to show signs of rolling over to its side or front, immediately stop swaddling.
- Don’t swaddle above the baby’s shoulders. The head should remain uncovered so your baby can breathe properly, and so it doesn’t feel trapped.
- If you’re unsure about how to swaddle despite reading the instructions, find newborn care courses nearby. Do this together so you can help each other learn – it also makes for good team-building, which helps organize your schedules and helps you feel like both parents are pulling their weight.
How do I make the burrito wrap?
Step 1: Place the blanket in a diamond position, then fold the top corner roughly 4-6 inches.
Step 2: Place your baby on its back onto the blanket, in a way that aligns the shoulders with the folded portion.
Step 3: Keep the baby’s arm down while you pull one side over the chest and tuck it underneath.
Step 4: Tuck the bottom corner under the still uncovered shoulder.
Step 5: Tuck the last side under your baby after pulling it around.
Note: Don’t make the wrap too tight. Make sure you give your baby some room for movement, without letting it wake itself up through the startle reflex. Consult a nurse at the earliest opportunity to learn more about swaddling from a professional. A lot of parent groups also hold courses that can be super helpful.
Co-founder of Counting Sheep and Sleepaholic