The Best Swaddle BlanketsUpdated on August 8, 2020 While all product recommendations are chosen independently, we may receive compensation for purchases made through our site. Learn more about our affiliate program here.
When it comes to safe, restful sleep for infants, swaddling is a tried-and-true method. A swaddle blanket wraps around the baby and mimics the feeling of being in the womb. Traditionally, swaddling is done with square blankets made of a soft, breathable material that is wrapped around the baby in an origami-style fold. Modern swaddle blankets have evolved to provide the benefits of swaddling with an easier-to-use design. From sleep pods to sleep sacks, the best swaddle blankets are designed to soothe your baby, reduce the startle reflex, and keep your baby warm. These blankets are ideal for newborns and infants who are not yet rolling over, as they are recommended for back sleeping.
The best swaddle blankets are safe, comfortable, and easy to use and clean. Our top picks are made with high-quality materials and innovative designs to help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep. For those just getting started, this guide covers important considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a swaddle blanket. We also provide step-by-step instructions on how to use a swaddle blanket. Read on for our in-depth review of the best swaddle blankets for your baby.
Our Top Picks
|Swaddle||-Moisture-wicking material -Bottom opening for easy diaper changes -Adjustable for a custom fit -Machine-washable||See Best Price|
|SleepSack Swaddle||-Adjustable wrap design -3-way swaddle adjusts to different sleep styles -Inverted zipper for easy diaper changes||See Best Price|
|Swaddle Up||-Innovative “arms up” design -4-way stretch fabric for comfort -Easy to zip -2-way zipper for diaper changes||See Best Price|
|Original Swaddle||-Adjustable wings with velcro closures -Harness slit for car seats -Available in affordable 3-pack||See Best Price|
|The Original Baby Swaddle Blanket||-Arms-free ergonomic shape hugs baby -2-way zipper for easy diaper changes -Promotes self-soothing||See Best Price|
The Ollie Swaddle
Why we like it:
- Breathable moisture-wicking material helps prevent overheating
- Bottom opens for diaper changes without removing the swaddle
- Strong velcro closures prevent breaking out of the swaddle
- Customizable fit allows swaddle to fit as baby grows
The Ollie Swaddle is especially popular due to its unique design and comfortable fabric. The polyester and spandex blend has patented fibers that wick away moisture to prevent your baby from overheating. The rectangular design with velcro closures is adjustable. Pulling the fabric across the body, just under the shoulders, keeps your baby’s arms at its sides and reduces the startle reflex. Though the strong velcro may be a little loud for a sleeping baby, the bottom of the swaddle has an opening that is secured with an elastic band. This allows you to access the diaper without undoing the swaddle. It also makes the length of the Ollie swaddle adjustable.
In addition to reducing the startle reflex, the Ollie swaddle also improves sleep quality by soothing the baby and mimicking the feeling of being in the womb. The soft fabric has stretch to it and the velcro closures stay in place. The Ollie swaddle is machine washable and comes with a delicates laundry bag.
Halo SleepSack Swaddle
Why we like it:
- 3-way swaddle design adjusts to baby’s sleep style
- Roomy bottom promotes proper hip development
- Inverted zipper allows for diaper changes without undoing the swaddle
- Adjustable swaddle wrap design
The Halo SleepSack swaddle is a 100% cotton sleep sack with a swaddle wrap top. The wrap is adjustable with velcro closures and the sleep sack is secured with an inverted zipper. This unique design allows the Halo SleepSack to swaddle your baby with arms in, with hands to face, or with one or both arms out. Having the arms in prevents the startle reflex and is the most like being in the womb. Allowing your baby to bring hands to face can aid in self-soothing. When transitioning out of swaddling, being able to have one or both arms out is an important feature.
The sack design also provides extra room for your baby’s hips, which helps with proper development and can prevent hip dysplasia. The Halo SleepSack is also embroidered with a “Back is Best” reminder to keep the baby on its back while sleeping. The inverted zipper allows for easy access for diaper changes and prevents the need to undo the velcro closures.
With over 3,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.4/5 star rating, the Halo SleepSack is a popular choice for new parents. It is also trusted by hospitals and medical professionals.
Love to Dream Swaddle Up
Why we like it:
- Unique “arms up” position encourages natural sleep position and self-soothing
- No-wrap design is easy to put on
- 2-way zipper allows for easy diaper changes
- 4-way stretch fabric for comfort
The Love to Dream Swaddle Up is designed to mimic your baby’s natural sleep position in the womb. Infants tend to naturally sleep with their arms up, a position that is prevented by traditional swaddle blankets. The Love to Dream Swaddle Up swaddle has a wing design that lets your baby sleep on its back with its arms up. The wings cover the baby’s hands to prevent face scratches. The cotton and elastane fabrication has 4-way stretch that moves with your baby and allows room for the baby to move its hips. Since the design is a sleep sack with a 2-way zipper, there is no velcro or snap closures that could disturb a sleeping baby. The full zipper also prevents breaking out of the swaddle and reduces the risk of rolling over.
The Love to Dream Swaddle Up is available in three sizes and is not adjustable, so it is important to select the correct size. Since the Love to Dream swaddle is sized, there is no excess fabric to worry about.
SwaddleMe Original Swaddle
Why we like it:
- Adjustable wings with velcro closure allows for customized fit
- Affordable option available in packs of three
- Simple design is easy to use
- Cotton fabrication is soft and breathable
The SwaddleMe Original Swaddle is especially popular due to its affordable price point and easy-to-use design. The swaddle is available in a variety of prints with a cotton fabrication that is soft and breathable. A harness slit in the swaddle makes this design compatible with car seats. The shape of the swaddle provides the secure, comfortable feeling of being in the womb. The wings are adjustable with velcro closures for a custom fit. This prevents the startle reflex. The bottom part of the swaddle is roomy through the hips for proper development. It should be noted that the bottom of the swaddle is closed, so you will have to undo the swaddle for diaper changes. The SwaddleMe Original swaddle is available in packs of three.
Woombie The Original Baby Swaddle Blanket
Why we like it:
- Ergonomic arms-free design hugs your baby
- Stretchy, breathable fabric gives rooms for hips and shoulder joints
- Design calms baby’s nervous system with Hands Over Heart sleeping position
- Seamless design for added comfort
The Woombie Original Baby Swaddle Blanket has a unique peanut-shaped design that gives your baby room in the shoulders and hips while comforting the stomach. This design is ideal for babies who break out of traditional swaddles easily. The two-way zipper offers added security, in addition to accessibility for diaper changes. The fabric is soft, breathable, and seamless for added comfort.
The design of this swaddle blanket mimics the feeling of being in the womb and can help relieve some of the symptoms of colic. It was designed by an RN and promotes self-soothing. The arms-free design keeps your baby’s hands over their heart which is a calming sleep position. The Woombie is ideal for newborns and infants who aren’t yet transitioning out of swaddles, as the zip-up design does not allow for one or both arms to be out.
Swaddle Blanket Buyer’s Guide
A swaddle blanket is considered to be a baby registry essential for multiple reasons. These blankets do more than promote a safe sleeping environment by eliminating loose blankets in the crib. They also help to regulate your baby’s body temperature by keeping them warm. The close-fitting design helps your baby relax and prevents the Moro reflex, which is the baby’s response to being startled. Back sleeping is one of the safest sleeping positions for infants and swaddles promote this position.
With multiple types of swaddle blankets, it can feel a little overwhelming when it comes to choosing the best one for your baby. The fabric, design, ease of use, and cleaning instructions are all important factors to consider. This comprehensive guide goes over the different types of swaddle blankets, what to consider before making a purchase, and the benefits of using a swaddle blanket. We also include instructions on how to use them.
Types of Swaddle Blankets
The primary function of swaddle blankets is to mimic the safe, comfortable feeling of being in the womb. There are different types of swaddle blankets, which all function in slightly different ways. They each serve a purpose, and it is important to understand how they work before making a purchase.
The traditional swaddle blanket is typically a small, lightweight blanket. The square shape is versatile. One corner is typically folded down to create a triangle. The blanket is then wrapped over both arms, one side at a time, with the bottom tucked. This method is commonly used in hospitals. When swaddling with a blanket, it is important to ensure that the blanket is not wrapped too tightly around the hips. The specific folding technique can seem complicated and may take a few tries for new parents to master.
Swaddle pods are the simplest design, and do not require any wrapping or folding. The one-piece design typically features a front zipper closure. The pod design lets your baby move its arms and legs within the fabric, while still minimizing the startle reflex. This is ideal for infants who don’t respond well to the tight-fitting design of traditional swaddles. The added flexibility allows for self-soothing.
Swaddle sacks are typically designed with a lower component (or sack) for the baby’s legs. The upper portion is typically a wrap design with fabric panels that swaddle your baby’s arms and chest. Velcro closures are common for the top portion, making this easier to use than traditional swaddle blankets. The sack design allows for more freedom of movement for the baby’s legs and hips, which can help prevent hip dysplasia.
Swaddle Blanket Considerations
When it comes to selecting a swaddle blanket, everyone has unique needs and there are several factors to consider. Swaddles are designed to enhance safety while your baby sleeps. Infant size can determine which swaddle will provide the best fit and stay in place. Preferences on material and design will help you determine which swaddle is right for you. How easy the swaddle is to use and clean are also essential factors. Read on for more about each of these considerations.
- Safety: The American Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines for creating a safe sleep environment, including keeping the crib free of loose blankets. Swaddling is considered safe when done correctly. Secure closures like velcro and zippers can help keep the swaddle blanket in place, which reduces the risk of fabric covering the baby’s face. Swaddling also facilitates back sleeping, which is the safest sleeping position for babies.
- Size: Swaddles are typically used from birth to three or four months of age. A lot of growth happens in this period. Square swaddle blankets are versatile and adjustable. Swaddle sacks and swaddle pods tend to be sized, so it is important to check with the size recommendations from the manufacturer. The wings of swaddle sacks are typically adjustable, while swaddle pods tend to be one size without any adjustability. Fit is especially important in a swaddle, as this helps to keep the swaddle in place. A swaddle that is too tight can restrict joints and cause future issues like hip dysplasia. Too loose, and the extra fabric may cover your infant’s face. Certain swaddle styles are designed to transition as your baby grows out of the swaddling stage.
- Design: The design of a swaddle blanket determines how easy it is to use. It also affects comfort, as some babies will prefer to have more freedom of movement. When choosing a swaddle design, consider if the design is adjustable. Whether or not it has a bottom opening will determine if you can change your baby’s diaper without undoing the entire swaddle. Certain design features allow for alternate sleeping positions with one or both arms out, which is ideal as your baby learns to roll. Traditional swaddles that restrict arm movement should not be used once your baby starts rolling over, as their arms should be free for this stage.
- Versatility: Swaddle blankets can be versatile in their design. The traditional square blankets also serve as burping cloths, nursing covers, and changing pads. Sleep sacks are sometimes designed to allow for sleeping with one or both arms free, which helps your baby transition out of swaddling. Other designs are less versatile and are specifically designed just for the swaddling stage.
- Quality of Material: The quality of the material will affect how the blanket feels. Some parents prefer natural organic fibers, as this material is breathable and free from chemicals. The material will also affect how warm the swaddle is, and how well it regulates temperature. Take into consideration the season, the temperature of your nursery, and personal preferences before deciding which material is best for you.
- Ease of Use and Cleaning: Swaddling is often used to comfort a fussy baby, so ease of use is essential. You want to be able to quickly and easily swaddle your baby. Diaper changes are also important to consider, and many swaddles have an inverted zipper or bottom opening to accommodate this. Since babies are prone to messes – from spit-up to diaper changes – easy cleaning is also ideal. Many fabrics are machine washable for easy care, though it is wise to close any velcro tabs prior to washing so that the velcro does not stick to other items.
What Are the Benefits of Swaddle Blankets?
Swaddling is a longstanding tradition when it comes to caring for newborns. Wrapping infants in a blanket recreates the environment they adjusted to in the womb, with a close and comforting feel. There are multiple benefits associated with using a swaddling blanket, a few of which we have outlined below.
- Promotes a safe sleeping environment: Loose blankets in the crib are a safety hazard. Swaddling is a safer way to keep your baby warm as they sleep, since the swaddle is designed to wrap closely around your baby and stay in place.
- Helps to regulate temperature: It is important to keep infants warm, as they are not always able to regulate their body temperature. Swaddle blankets help to keep your baby warm, while still allowing for temperature regulation and breathability with lightweight fabrics. The swaddle can also be layered over onesies and lightweight sleep clothes for added warmth, though it is important to make sure your baby does not overheat.
- Encourages self-soothing and restful sleep: A swaddle blanket can mimic the feeling of being held close, providing comfort for infants as they fall asleep. Several designs for sleep sacks and pods encourage self-soothing by allowing access to their covered hands or encouraging a sleeping position that soothes their nerves. This added independence also helps new parents catch some sleep.
How to Use a Swaddle Blanket
Using a swaddle blanket correctly ensures you get all the benefits. There are three main types of swaddles: blankets, pods, and sacks. Each has specific instructions, which are outlined below.
- Lay the square blanket on a flat surface in a diamond shape, with one corner facing up. Fold that corner down a few inches to create a triangular shape.
- Place your baby on top of the blanket, with their shoulders in line with the fold at the top of the blanket.
- Gently place one arm at the baby’s side, allowing the elbow to be slightly bent. Pull that side of the blanket over the arm and across the body, tucking the fabric under the opposite arm and side.
- Fold up the bottom of the blanket, ensuring that the legs are still able to move gently. This will prevent the hips from being restricted.
- Gently place the other arm at the baby’s side, with the elbow slightly bent. Pull the remaining side of the blanket over the arm and across the body, and tuck it into one of the folds.
- Lay the swaddle pod on a flat surface.
- Place your baby in the swaddle pod with arms and legs inside.
- Zip up the swaddle pod.
- Lay the swaddle sack on a flat surface.
- Place your baby in the swaddle sack, with legs in the lower component. Place their arms through the armholes if the swaddle sack has armholes.
- Zip the swaddle sack up if it has a zipper.
- Gently place one arm at the baby’s side and wrap the fabric wing across the arm and body, securing it underneath.
- Gently place the other arm at the baby’s side and wrap the second fabric wing across the arm and body, then secure it either by tucking it in or using the velcro closure if it has them.