You’ve heard the hype from your parent friends, read all the baby blogs, and now you’ve decided you want give swaddling a try. Good decision! The benefits of swaddling are total game changers (unless you’re not looking forward to getting more safe sleep, peace and quiet, and having a happier baby overall).
There’s just one thing that’s even more important than knowing how to swaddle a baby, though – and that’s what you swaddle them with!
You can watch all the YouTube videos out there that walk you through the entire process from start to finish, and repeatedly take that parenting class at the hospital, but you won’t get it right without knowing which baby swaddle blankets to choose – and which to avoid.
So, let’s start off by having a quick look at what we think are some of the best swaddle blankets of today!
Best Swaddle Blankets – A Quick Look At Our Top 10 Recommendations
*Note: Upon clicking on any of the links in this section, you will be redirected to the respective product listings on Amazon.com where you can learn about the product’s price, customer rating & customer reviews.
- Love to Dream Swaddle UP Original
- SwaddleMe Original Swaddle
- HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Swaddle
- Woombie Original Nursery Swaddling Blanket
- Henry Hunter Baby Swaddle Cocoon Sack
- Anna & Eve Swaddle Strap (Arms Only)
- Ergobaby Original Swaddler
- Hootie Hoo Zipadee-Zip
- aden + anais Classic Swaddle Muslin Baby Blanket
- Gerber Basic Receiving Blankets
Best Swaddle Blankets – A More Detailed Look At Our Top 10 Recommendations
Let’s start things off by having a detailed look at what we believe to be the 10 best swaddle blankets for babies in today’s market. We’ll also discuss what makes each option so good, and any potential drawbacks for each that you should know about.
Love to Dream Swaddle UP Original
There’s a few good reasons that many parents call this swaddler a lifesaver.
The idea behind this option from Love to Dream Swaddler is that when babies sleep on their back, their natural position is arms up. Why is this important to your little one, exactly? This allows them to self-soothe when they wake by bringing their hands to their mouth.
Some babies absolutely insist on sleeping in this position, and are aggravated when swaddled in the traditional arms down position.
The Love to Dream swaddler is designed with exactly this in mind; it has wings so baby’s arms are restrained and covered, but can lay above their head. All the while it’s keeping your baby’s startle reflex at bay so they can rest more soundly through the night, and not wake up crying in the middle of the night.
It’s also designed with the hips in mind, with a sack-like bottom so it doesn’t pin baby’s hips down.
Another plus; the two-way zipper makes those middle-of-the-night diaper changes an absolute cinch! (Add in a baby night light to the mix, and you’ll be golden).
Overall, this swaddler is a great option for infants that love to sleep with their arms up beside their heads. It’s also ideal as your baby begins to move toward transitioning out of a swaddle. The Love to Dream doesn’t swaddle baby’s torso as snuggly as other options, so it’s an excellent choice for the first step away from swaddling.
SwaddleMe Original Swaddle
If you and your baby are still learning what they exactly consider to be a comfortable swaddle, you need to try a SwaddleMe.
The velcro on this sleep sack gives you adjustability and flexibility to try out different swaddling techniques and find out which one(s) work best for them.
Baby’s legs fit into a spacious sack, so the hips are not pinned or constrained. Then, all you need to do is either tuck the arms in (or not – it’s up to you) and secure the velcro wings over baby’s chest.
The strong hook and loop velcro should keep even the strongest mini-houdini from breaking free.
With the velcro wings gently secured, your baby will feel safe and comfy in this womb-like swaddler. SwaddleMes are ideal for newborns who crave this snug sensation – after all, it hasn’t been long since they got out of mom’s comfortable and cozy womb!
You can also use this swaddler if you’re trying the one-arm-out transition method. Or, you can leave both arms out and simply secure the velcro over baby’s belly as you shift away from swaddling. Again, the velcro gives you lots of different options to work with.
You can get SwaddleMes in a 3-pack, so you have a few on hand immediately. They’re ideal for newborns and younger infants that prefer a snug swaddle, and you’ll probably want several of these anyways!
HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Swaddle
The combination of velcro and zipper that this option has offers you and your baby ultimate versatility in one swaddler.
These are called sleep sacks because they fit on your baby just like a sack, with holes for the arms and a large, sack-like pouch for the lower-half. A velcro wing wraps around the torso and provides a firm embrace for your little one.
Why is all of this important, you ask? This gives you 3 different options to work with; you can swaddle with both arms tucked in, hands-to-face, or 1 or 2 arms free!
Fold the velcro over baby’s arms for a more secure, arms-in swaddle, or leave the arms out and simply wrap the velcro over baby’s belly for a hands-free feeling of comfort and security.
As with other swaddlers that have velcro, you can adjust how snug or how loose you swaddle your baby’s belly. The Halo SleepSack Swaddle is a bit different than other options, though, because the body of this swaddler zips from top to bottom – which means you can easily access your baby for diaper changes.
The pouch where the legs fit is fairly large, which makes it excellent for older infants that love to kick around as they drift to sleep. This also means it’s an excellent option for the process of transitioning out of a swaddle.
Halo SleepSacks are so versatile, though, so you can make use of them from day one to baby’s last night of swaddling.
Woombie Original Nursery Swaddling Blanket
Similar to the Love to Dream option discussed above towards the beginning of this list, this simple zip-up swaddler is easy to use and is ideal for transitioning baby from womb to outside world (hence the name Woombie!).
The Woombie is a bit different, though, because it doesn’t provide space for baby’s arms to rest by their face. Instead, you will have to tuck the arms down against the chest, allowing the hands to touch one another—which is a great self-soothing technique.
The hand-to-hand soothing method is great if you would like to keep your baby’s hands contained, but don’t want to pin their arms down to the side. Thick but breathable material should keep your little one gently (yet firmly) swaddled.
The narrowed waistline gently hugs your infant’s stomach, providing that feeling of a constant embrace through the night. Keep in mind that this might make it difficult to find the correct size for your baby, though. The waist should be a narrow fit, but not constricting, so getting the size part on point is important.
This swaddler is ideal for infants 3 months of age and younger. Older babies could potentially break through the stretchy neckline, so it’s not the best option for them. Also, the space for a baby’s legs is not very large and might frustrate older infants.
Henry Hunter Baby Swaddle Cocoon Sack
Ever wondered if there was an easy, sock-like swaddler that you could simply slide your baby into for quick snuggles? Well, there is!
The Baby Cocoon Sack is exactly what it sounds like—a soft, stretchy cocoon for your baby.
It’s not the best option for overnight swaddling, because it’s not actually designed to keep an infant securely wrapped. Any amount of kicking or wiggling and your little one could easily escape the cocoon.
With that being said, the Cocoon Sack is excellent as a receiving blanket! Your baby will rest comfortably and you won’t have to fold and carry around huge blankets for swaddling.
Newborns rest nearly around the clock for the first weeks and months of their lives. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of swaddling and re-swaddling your baby as (s)he gets passed from relative to relative, you’ll most likely love the Cocoon Sock!
The lightweight cotton cocoon is perfect for dozing newborns, but is probably not a good choice for babies that are 3+ months of age. The thin material easily bunches and slides around if the baby wiggles much.
Keep this one in mind for those first few weeks when baby comes home and family and friends are still coming over to visit. You might actually be able to sleep or be productive while your sweet baby rests peacefully for a little while in this cozy cocoon!
Anna & Eve Swaddle Strap (Arms Only)
This is an interesting take on swaddling, to say the least.
As you already know by now, one of the biggest benefits of swaddling is reducing the likelihood of the startle reflex waking up your baby. This Swaddle Strap is a simple way to mitigate that danger, and help keep both of you asleep.
The startle reflex wakes your baby up when those little arms instinctively fling out to the side due to an internal start. The Swaddle Strap keeps baby’s arms pinned down, as with a traditional swaddle, but without all the extra material.
While it’s not exactly a swaddle blanket in the true sense of the word, it will work in a pinch if your little one is prone to starting themselves awake.
The Swaddle Strap is simply a velcro strap that secures baby’s arms and midsection, leaving the rest of the body unencumbered. This is ideal for larger and/or longer babies that are too long for other swaddlers.
Another plus is that since your baby’s legs are uncovered, they’re free to wiggle those legs to relieve gas and self-soothe! It’s perfect for on-the-go swaddling, or for when all you really need is something to contain those chubby little arms.
Also, if you’re concerned about your baby overheating in a full-body swaddle in warmer temperatures, the Swaddle Strap might be a perfect solution for you.
Ergobaby Original Swaddler
The unique design of the Ergobaby Swaddler provides a secure swaddle with several velcro flaps that fold over baby’s entire trunk for a full-body embrace.
You can safely swaddle the arms up for hand-to-hand soothing, or down by baby’s side. There’s also arm pockets on the interior that help you achieve a very secure swaddle.
A velcro strap fits between the legs and fastens so that baby’s legs are left completely free to bunch up and kick around.
A loose pouch for the legs leaves plenty of space for those gams, but still covers them on cool nights. Slide it down to expose baby’s lower-half for a quick diaper change, or the leg pouch can simply be removed for warmer nights. It’s all about versatility with this option!
With the pouch on, this is one of the shorter swaddlers, so keep that in mind if you need to keep the pouch on for warmth. Also, the arm pouches might be a struggle if your baby is extra squirmy and doesn’t like to be forced into certain positions.
All in all, the Ergobaby Swaddler is great for infants of just about any age. You can customize how much, and how tightly, you want to swaddle your tiny sleeper.
Hootie Hoo Zipadee-Zip
As far as aesthetics and design go, this zip-up swaddler is really unique because of its starfish shape. It’s designed this way to provide a comfortable, enclosed feeling for your little one without restricting the limbs much at all.
The starfish arms keep baby’s arms contained, but gives them much more freedom than a traditional swaddle. Your little one has full range of motion to push up and wiggle around in order to self soothe.
The Zipadee-Zip is not designed with young infants in mind, though, as they typically do not require this amount of freedom to move around while sleeping. For the most part, only older babies need this level of freedom. It fits rather loosely and is not intended to squeeze or embrace your little one as most swaddlers do.
Some parents have noted that because of its size, it can rise up to the baby’s face. To avoid this from happening, be sure to purchase the appropriate size, and always observe your child sleeping in a new swaddle product before assuming it fits correctly.
This swaddler is great for weaning an older infant off of swaddling. It covers the hands and feet, keeping them warm through the night, but it does not restrict leg and arm movement much. The large body of this swaddler is meant to provide cover and warmth like a traditional swaddle, but without the wrapped sensation.
aden + anais Classic Swaddle Muslin Baby Blanket
If you’re looking for the perfect blanket for traditional swaddling, this one could very well tick all the boxes for you.
Muslin, a thin and breathable material, is perfect for the traditional burrito swaddle. You can layer it over itself and it won’t raise your baby’s body temperature too much.
This is perfect for swaddling newborns; the more you layer, the more secure the swaddle will be. This makes newborns feel safe and snug – just how they like their swaddle!
In addition to being lightweight, these blankets are large and spacious, so you really can wrap and secure your little one quite snugly.
Parents love the soft feel of these blankets so much and the brand has grown so popular, to the extent that Aiden + Anais have created a line of bibs, burp pads, and even baby clothes.
You’ll find these blankets in tons of adorable prints that are sure to make it as easy as possible for you to coordinate with your other baby gear.
A great shower gift for a new mom, these swaddle blankets are so versatile and can be used for just about anything and everything that comes to mind.
Until your babe ages out of swaddling, you’ll never stop using a good quality muslin blanket. These come in packs of 4, which is great because you’ll want one for every room in your house. (Trust me, I’m talking from personal experience here!).
Gerber Basic Receiving Blankets
These are the blankets that hospitals use to wrap newborn babies right after they are delivered. You might also recognize these because you probably got 50 of them at your baby shower!
They often come in packs of several blankets, so they’re great for stashing in the car, diaper bag, and every nook and cranny of your house.
Receiving blankets are considered a necessity in the diaper bag of new moms because they can be used for spit ups, cleanups, and yes, even swaddling.
Sizes vary, but the standard receiving blanket is 30 inches by 30 inches. This isn’t quite ideal for swaddling because it’s not a lot of material to work with (consider the Aiden + Anais blanket at 47 inches by 47 inches instead).
However, you can do a loose, basic swaddle with a receiving blanket, especially on newborns who tend to not be strong enough or active enough to bust out.
These blankets are typically made of flannel, which is great for swaddling in cooler temperatures. You would not want to swaddle a baby in a warm room with a flannel receiving blanket, as it could cause them to overheat.
What Exactly Is A Swaddle Blanket?
To answer this question best, let’s begin with what a baby swaddle blanket is not.
You might be tempted to think that just about old blanket you have around the house will do—maybe even a towel—as long as you swaddle correctly. And, you’d be wrong! So put that towel away, seriously.
You don’t necessarily have to go out and drop a lot of money on swaddle gear, there’s no need to break the bank to get this right, but you do need to make sure you’re using proper swaddle equipment.
Without it, you might end up with a swaddle that’s either too loose or too tight—both of which can be dangerous for your baby.
You’re probably already aware by now—from all that research you did before—that there are tons of swaddling sacks, suits, and sleepers out there to choose from.
If you’re more of a sleeping bag person, there’s also some of those you can pick out for your baby.
This is in addition to the copious amounts of regular blankets you could use to swaddle your baby.
All of this can make it really difficult to know which one to use so your baby gets the maximum benefit from being swaddled, though.
So, and because we’re here to simplify your parenting life one obstacle at a time, we’re going to break down exactly what you need to know, along with which product(s) will nuzzle your newborn and bear-hug your baby in all the right ways!
What Should I Look For In Swaddle Blankets For Newborn Babies?
Parents around the world have been swaddling infants for generations with whatever blankets and materials they had on hand. This tradition has lasted into the twenty-first century because babies enjoy it and are calmed by the feeling of a snug embrace.
The art of the traditional (burrito style) swaddle has really come back in style in the last few years, though. As a result, there has been a huge demand for blankets that make swaddling easier for parents and better for babies.
For those of you searching around for the best swaddle wraps for newborn babies out there, you should mainly be looking for ones with the following qualities:
- Breathable material
- Stretchy material
Let’s break these down a little and discuss why each of these is important.
Does size matter? When it comes to swaddle blankets, it sure does!
Swaddling with a blanket requires you to fold, wrap, and tuck it over and around your baby several times. You do this so that you get a secure swaddle, one that your baby won’t break loose from.
You’ll need a blanket that is large enough for you to do all that folding and tucking without running out of material to work with. A blanket that’s too small will result in a poorly executed swaddle, being both ineffective and not baby safe.
Also, be sure you don’t choose a blanket that’s too large, either. Dr. Moon writing for healthychildren.org reminds us to keep loose bedding of any kind out of baby’s sleep space for the entire first year. This includes any excess or extra blankets from swaddling.
Be sure to use a blanket made of thin material; avoid thick blankets because they are less pliable and won’t wrap your baby as securely.
It’s best to find a blanket made of somewhat stretchy material for that same reason. Also, stretchy materials like bamboo viscose allow your little one to wiggle a bit in order to relieve gas pain.
Keep in mind, your little one will be wrapped in several layers if you’re swaddling with a blanket, so it’s important to use a blanket made of breathable material so that your baby doesn’t overheat. A flannel blanket, for example, might trap too much heat and make your baby uncomfortable.
What Types of Swaddle Blankets Can I Choose From?
Here’s a breakdown of all the different kinds of swaddle blankets you could use for a traditional swaddle. You’ll find the advantages and disadvantages of each one discussed in each section as well.
Cotton Muslin Swaddle Blankets
If you were to search the internet for “swaddle blankets”, a lot of what you’d find are muslin blankets. These soft, reusable blankets have nearly become synonymous with the term “swaddle baby blanket”.
In 2006, a line of baby linens named aiden + anais really popularized the now common muslin swaddle blanket in the United States. They began producing large, thin muslin blankets that make swaddling a snap.
Bonus: you can find them in all sorts of adorable patterns!
Aiden + Anais say they use muslin because of its finely-woven quality that keeps the material breathable. The airy weave of this lightweight fabric makes it an excellent choice for swaddling because it allows air to pass through the layers, which – as a result – reduces the risk of overheating.
Of course, there are plenty of other brands out there (besides aiden + anais) that offer muslin swaddle blankets! So, don’t feel like you’re stuck with just one brand, because that’s not the case.
You can find them pretty much anywhere baby items are sold.
Similarly, there are other fabrics that work just as well for swaddling.
These blankets are ideal for:
- Swaddling in warm climates (or swaddling during summertime)
- Hot-natured babies
- Older infants (because of larger size)
If all of this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you might also want to look for organic cotton baby swaddle blankets if you’re specifically looking for an organic swaddle.
If you don’t know what a receiving blanket is, go back through your stash of blankets given to you at your baby shower—I could almost guarantee you have at least fifteen of these!
They are the smaller (usually 30 inches by 40 inches) blankets that are often used to wrap newborns.
If you delivered in a hospital, they probably swaddled your baby in a receiving blanket.
They are best for swaddling newborns because they’re rather small. It would be very difficult to securely perform a baby wrap on a big, wriggly three-month-old in a receiving blanket!
Speaking of which, receiving blankets are best for newborns because they tend to be made of stiffer, less flexible material, like 100% cotton.
Stiff material equals a less secure swaddle, especially without tons of material to work with. A newborn won’t be strong enough to easily break loose from a slack swaddle, but an older baby will!
These blankets are ideal for:
- Premature babies
- Swaddling in mild to cool temperatures
The Downside to Swaddle Blankets
There are only a few slight disadvantages to the traditional swaddle method that you need to be aware of.
The first disadvantage is more of a warning than it is a drawback: you must be careful to never swaddle your baby’s legs too tightly. Always leave the lower-half loose enough so that his/her legs can bunch up like a frog. This will reduce the risk of hip dysplasia and other complications.
Another disadvantage of traditional swaddling is the rather steep learning curve involved. It takes a little practice to get the hang of swaddling, but once you do, it becomes second nature to you. At that point, you could (and may have to) do it in your sleep!
Lastly, there is no effective way to access the diaper in a burrito-style swaddle. When your sweet angel has a blowout, you’ll have to undo the swaddle to change the diaper, which translates to the complete opposite of easy diaper changes.
Fortunately, though, modern technology has an answer for this!
The Solution: Swaddle Sacks, Suits, & Sleepers
Luckily for today’s parents, you have more options at your disposal to choose from than ever before.
Specifically, we’re talking about specially designed swaddle sacks and suits have recently come onto the scene.
Compared to traditional swaddling, swaddle suits and sleepers tend to offer easier access to the diaper region by way of design. This is a real life-saver if your kiddo has a blowout shortly after being laid down—you shouldn’t have to unwrap the entire swaddle to change it!
Be careful to avoid specialty swaddle suits with too many bells and whistles, though. In most cases, simple designs are better. This is so your infant doesn’t go to bed with too many gadgets that could break off and become choking hazards.
Regardless of the style, the biggest benefit of all these products is sheer simplicity. You won’t have to learn a long, multi-step process in order to swaddle your baby for bedtime.
So, if you’re intimidated by the process of the traditional swaddle, but still want to have all those benefits, then one of these products might be exactly what you’re looking for.
What Types of Swaddle Sleepers Can I Choose From?
Most swaddle sleepers are designed with the basic concept of swaddling in mind, but they go about it in different ways. Some secure with a zipper, while others use velcro for more adjustability. Some include swaddling the arms, while others don’t.
In the end, you’ll choose which type to go with based on what your baby’s needs are for his/her age and sleeping preferences.
As always, and to clear things up in case you’re confused by the different types available for you to choose from, we’re going to break it down for you – talking about each type on its own.
Zippers are a parent’s best friend, I always say! Thankfully, there are tons of swaddle sleepers that secure with a zipper for your convenience.
Many of these options require that the baby’s hands and/or arms are tucked inside, but not all of them do.
This is great if your baby is an arms-up sleeper, and this might be the answer you’re looking for if you want to swaddle your little roof-raiser but don’t want to pin those arms down.
Although there are several different styles that secure with a zipper, they tend to not hug the baby’s midsection quite as snugly because you can’t adjust a zipper.
You might even see something called a “baby sleep sack”, which is basically just a zip-up blanket. These are great to keep your baby warm, but they typically aren’t considered to be swaddlers because they are worn loose and don’t wrap around for a burrito-swaddle effect.
Luckily, and as babies get older, it becomes less and less important for them to feel that secure embrace that once used to be crucial to experience when they were newborns.
These sleepers are ideal for:
- Older infants (2+ months)
- Arms-up sleepers
Sleepers that secure with velcro come in different shapes and styles, but the basic idea is that there is a patch of velcro that secures over baby’s chest. This allows you to adjust how tight you want the swaddle to be.
Again, because newborns love a snug swaddle—remember, it reminds them of their tight quarters in mommy’s womb—a velcro swaddle sleeper is a great idea.
Velcro also makes it easy to transition the arms out of the swaddle, when your baby begins to outgrow being swaddled. Simply remove one or both arms and velcro over the chest! This way your baby still feels swaddled, but you can start the process of eliminating the need for it.
Remember: The Center for Child Development says you can expect your baby to start rolling over at around 4 months of age. This is the time to stop swaddling to avoid increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
These sleepers are ideal for:
- Newborns & young infants
- Transitioning out of swaddle (which is why it’s often referred to as a transitional swaddle)
You can find some swaddle suits that are a combination of zipper and velcro. These maximize the ease of a zipper for access to baby and the adjustability of velcro for swaddling.
Remember the sleep sack we mentioned before? You can find sleep sacks with velcro wings attached so that you can have your baby’s arms free, but still swaddle the chest and tummy. This is perfect for older infants that are graduating out of being swaddled.
These sleepers are ideal for:
- Older infants (2+ months of age)
- Transitioning out of swaddle
- Arms-free sleeping
The Downside to Swaddle Sacks, Suits, & Sleepers
You’re probably counting your blessings as a twenty-first century parent, and I bet these suits and sleepers are high on the list!
However, you might find it difficult to know which one to buy for your baby, and there really is no better way to know than just trying them out. It requires some trial and error, but stick with it! It’s more than worth it in the long run.
Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to upgrade in size as your baby grows bigger. Just like you upgrade in diaper sizes, the same holds true for their swaddle.
You want to keep your baby snug, but not so much so that (s)he feels too restricted and uncomfortable.
Also, very few (if any) swaddle sleepers are one size fits all, so this could get pricey if you’re not mindful of how much you’re spending and tend to go for the priciest options you can find.
How Many Swaddle Blankets do I Need?
The answer to this question depends on how often you enjoy doing laundry.
You don’t necessarily need a different wearable blanket or sleeper for every night of the week, you just need enough so that when that explosive diaper strikes and soaks through everything, you have a backup you could use.
And, you might want a few backups for your backup. You know what they say, better safe than sorry, and you should always be prepared for the worst.
Generally speaking, three to five swaddle blankets should be plenty.
Keep Safety in Mind
Be sure you always read any instructions included with an item you purchase for safe swaddling.
This is especially important for swaddle sleepers, as they all fasten differently.
It’s essential that you know how to correctly secure your little one in the product, otherwise you might be put them in danger.
Wrapping it Up
And that’s all there is to it!
Picked a swaddle that’s right for your little bundle of joy? There’s really loads of options to pick and choose from nowadays, so there should be no reason whatsoever to not have something that both you and your child(ren) appreciate!
It might take a little trial and error for you to figure out their favorite swaddle blanket & type, and to figure out how to best swaddle them (as well as what to avoid doing), but you’ll get there eventually! It’s a phase we all go through and learn about as we go.
The important thing is to always keep safety in mind. Keep your little burrito all safe and comfortable when asleep in a swaddle to avoid overheating and SIDS, and all else will be good!