Newborns go from being in a very small, tight space to an overwhelmingly big space. This change in space can make it difficult for them to settle down and sleep.
Swaddling mimics how they felt in the womb to promote a sense of safety and comfort. Since babies should not sleep with loose blankets, swaddling can also help babies stay warm when they sleep.
NOTE: When babies start trying to roll over (often around 10-12 weeks), swaddles are no longer safe and should not be used anymore, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Swaddles come in a variety of sizes, thicknesses, and designs. Our Swaddle Buying Guide will help you choose the best swaddle for your baby and learn about safe sleep with swaddling.
Types of Swaddles
The best swaddle for your baby will be the one that works! There are two main types of swaddles:
Traditional swaddling blankets.
Blankets are used to fold and wrap the baby tightly. It can be tricky to get the hang of, but they provide a tight, customized fit when done properly. Before leaving the hospital after your baby is born, ask the nurses to teach you how to swaddle.
Swaddles with zippers, snaps, or velcro are designed to be easier to use because you don’t need to know how to fold like a blanket.
Here are My Top Swaddle Picks
As a certified pediatric sleep coach, here are my recommendations.
Copper Pearl Swaddle Receiving Blanket
What age is it for? Ages 0-8 weeks; also great for premature babies
Why I love it: Copper Pearl Swaddles are not only stylish with unique modern designs and colors, but they are made of a soft, buttery, breathable polyester-rayon blend that is thoughtfully constructed, allowing for a snuggly swaddle. This swaddle wins for comfort, versatile fit, and design, but it does require knowing how to swaddle. As a bonus, it works as a general, multi-use blanket as babies grow up.
The Ollie Swaddle
What age is it for? Ages 0-8 weeks; great for babies over 8 lbs
Why I love it: This swaddle uses Velcro allowing for the fit of a traditional blanket swaddle without knowing the swaddle technique. It has a custom closure so the fit can be individualized to meet the needs and size of each little one as they grow. Its soft patented moisture-wicking fabric helps reduce the risk of overheating, while its functional design allows you to make diaper changes without unswaddling!
What age is it for? Any weight, ages 0-3 weeks
Why I love it: The Miracle Blanket is made of 100% cotton, and it’s often effective for escape artists who can get out of other swaddles. This design, with an extra-long flap that allows for multiple rounds of wrapping, is likely to keep even the wiggliest of babies snug, secure, happy, and asleep. The design doesn’t include fasteners, so it does involve wrapping, but it’s much easier than using a traditional blanket swaddle.
What age is it for? Over 8 lbs, but comes in various sizes
Why I love it: This transitional swaddle is one of my absolute favorites and one of the very few swaddles out there that’s safe for use after 8 weeks (and for babies who are rolling over). Even as babies get older, it still effectively helps calm startle reflexes. This is especially great for babies who like to keep their hands out, but still need some restraint for startles in active stages of sleep. The other reason I am a fan of the Zipadee-Zip is its light fabric and zipper function. Zippers can be better than Velcro at keeping nighttime diaper changes or checks a little more quiet.
SwaddleMe Original Swaddle
What age is it for? 0-3 months
Why I love it: The SwaddleMe has a Velcro closure to secure it, which makes it very tight and secure for keeping babies in the swaddle. The 100% cotton material will keep babies cool, and the swaddles will withstand many runs through the washing machine. SwaddleMe offers additional options for transitioning out of the swaddle, including wearable blankets and others. Finding one brand that can grow with your baby can help with consistency as they transition and grow.
Love to Dream Swaddle UP
What age is it for? Starts at 8-13 lbs
Why I love it: Some babies naturally sleep in an “arms-up” position, and this swaddle allows them to do that while still feeling tight and snuggly. The snug fit comes from the 4-way stretch fabric that is 93% cotton and 7% elastane. The simple zipper design keeps it secure and makes diaper changes easy with no Velcro or other fasteners to deal with. It does come in a variety of colors and patterns and additional sizes.
MiliMili Wearable Blankets
What age is it for? Over 8 lbs
Why I love it: This option, while it’s not a swaddle, is a great transition for babies who are over 8 weeks of age, and ready for a sleep sack. It’s one of the most functional, soft, and lightweight sleep sacks on the market. While they are pricier, keep in mind they are made of 95% bamboo that is hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial. This sleep sack also features a custom, two-directional molded plastic zipper, meaning it opens from both the bottom and the top, making it simple to zip-up at bedtime and great for middle of night diaper changes. MiliMili also has unique designs you won’t find anywhere else for sleep sacks.
Halo Muslin Sleep Sack
What age is it for? 3-6 months
Why I love it: HALO makes several swaddles and sleep sacks, and this muslin option is made with two layers of breathable cotton. It allows for three swaddle options: arms in, hands-to-face, and with one or both arms out. This makes it great for transitioning as baby grows. The large front flaps allow you to find the right fit, and the loose sack design lets babies move with their legs and hips. An inverted zipper allows for somewhat easier middle of the night diaper duties.
aden + anais Essentials Muslim Swaddle Blankets
What age is it for? 0-3 months for swaddling
Why I love it: Made of 100% cotton muslin, these blankets are lightweight, beautiful, and versatile. The more you use and wash them, the softer they get. These are large blankets, so they do require traditional swaddling. It’s large enough to give you plenty of room to adjust. They also make great burp cloths, nursing covers, tummy time or playtime surfaces, and stroller covers.
Make Sure You Are Swaddling Safely
Be cautious of swaddles that are too loose, allow for too much movement, allow for too little movement, or that cause high or low-temperature changes with your child. It’s always important to check the size, age, and manufacturer’s guidelines to confirm whether it’s appropriate. Read more about recent safe sleep guideline changes from the AAP here.