Choosing the best swaddle blanket for yourself or a loved one’s baby can be a daunting task! We have looked at the 3 main types of swaddle wraps in this swaddle blankets review, weighing up the good and the bad points of each.
First things first: What is swaddling?
Swaddling a baby is simply wrapping them firmly in some sort of cloth to help aide sleep. Babies under 3 months sleep better swaddled, and many prefer to be swaddled much later than this.
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Swaddling increases the length of sleep, makes it easier to get baby to sleep and can reduce the symptoms of colic. So getting it right may make your sleepy times much easier. There are so many different styles of swaddle available to choose from and they fall in to three main categories:
1 A simple flat blanket:
2 Wings and a pocket for the feet:
3 one that zips up the front/acts like an all in one suit:
There are good and bad points for all of these choices, and you need to think what works best for you and your situation.
Review of simple flat swaddle blanket
This is the classic swaddle, the original, that humans have been using since the dawn of time.
With a simple flat blanket there are endless ways to swaddle, a simple Youtube search will bring up many tutorials. Or you can check out my methods here.
Flat swaddle blanket methods can get confusing and can be difficult to execute quickly and efficiently when they are required. They do need some practice to master – I recommend practicing on a baby sized doll until you are confident.
There are some ways of folding a swaddle that means the baby’s top half can stay swaddled while you change their nappies, other folds will have to be totally re-done each nappy change.
Flat swaddles come in a range of sizes and fabrics.
You need a natural fabric with a good diagonal stretch, that is not too thick and can breathe when baby gets hot – ideal fabrics are merino, bamboo and cotton muslin.
Square swaddles are much easier to use than rectangle ones. In regards to size – I would not recommend any swaddle under 37 inches/95 cm square for a baby under 12 weeks.
After 10-12 weeks babies need a wrap that is 47-50 inches / 115- 120cm square.
Any swaddle under these sizes are pretty useless to wrap with and you will get frustrated, and baby will escape. A larger swaddle can be used right from birth – making it a great investment. A merino swaddle can then be used as a great cot, TV, or travel blanket.
My two favorite flat swaddle options are:
Side note: Please do not use polar fleece to swaddle – babies overheat and are at greater risk of SIDS.
Review of the Miracle Blanket- a swaddle with wings and feet pouches
These are great for Houdini babies, you strap their arms down and swaddle around them.
Many people swear by them. However the aren’t so helpful for babies who like their hands across their chest or near their mouths to self soothe.
You need to be aware that babies will grow out of these – always check that baby has plenty of foot room. Many of these style swaddles you can change a nappy without removing the whole swaddle.
These come in a range of fabrics, but are usually made from either merino or cotton knit – both of which are natural breathable fibers.
Review of the Ergo Pouch All-in-one swaddles
Similar in concept to the above swaddle, but they allow baby to have their hands up by their chest or face depending on the brand. They are nice and quick to put on, with no tricky manoeuvres to master.
Again they have a size limit – you may think they are a cheaper option, until you find you need to buy several different sizes. These are very Houdini proof, but some babies find they allow too much movement to settle easily – defeating the purpose of swaddling altogether.
Many babies enjoy being swaddled well into the second half of their first year, some continue to sleep better swaddled over one year of age, so which swaddle you choose may be with you for a while – choose quality. A good quality wrap will last several children.
Whichever choice you make, you need to make sure that baby can relax into a hip-healthy position when asleep.
Please remember: It is important that baby’s face is kept clear at all times, and that a swaddled baby always sleeps on their back!
I hope this swaddle blanket review make swaddle choosing a little easier for you.