The best baby swaddles for a safe night’s sleep
A swaddle is essentially a baby straightjacket. They help a child sleep by mimicking the warm and safe environment of the womb. The best swaddle is tight, comfortable, and reliable.
Most people are introduced to baby swaddling in the hospital after giving birth.
Nurses make swaddling look incredibly easy. It’s actually mesmerizing to watch a nurse swaddle your baby with such efficiency.
When you try to do it yourself you realize it’s harder than it looks. But proper swaddling is one of the most important considerations in getting baby to sleep consistently.
The traditional method of swaddling is a combination of tucking and folding tightly so that baby has nowhere to go. Your baby should basically be a helpless burrito.
Swaddling is an acquired skill, so don’t feel inadequate if it takes a few practice rounds to get it down.
What’s most important in a swaddle is safety.
You’re looking for a reliable swaddle that isn’t overcomplicated. A safe swaddle should have no loose fabric lying around when it’s tight. And your baby should not be able to squirm out of it.
Here are some of our favorites.
SwaddleUp was designed with “self-soothing” in mind. While most traditional swaddles pin a baby’s arms down, SwaddleUp allows your baby to easily access their hands.
If your baby is like most, they will put their fingers in their mouth to self-sooth. This model will put them immediately at ease.
This swaddle is great for naps. As a bonus, it’s incredibly easy to put on your baby. Just lay baby down with arms up and zip up the sack.
SwaddleMe is a somewhat updated version of the traditional swaddle. It has velcro enclosures to make wrapping logistics easier on mom and dad.
When executed correctly, it does an excellent job of keeping baby wrapped up safe and sound all night.
SwaddleMe is also pretty dummy-proof.
Nevertheless, anything that requires unwrapping and folding while bleary-eyed at 2 a.m. is challenging.
One downside here is that the velcro on the swaddle can also be loud. If your baby is already asleep while you’re wrapping him and you have to re-wrap, it may wake baby up.
The Ollie Swaddle is the most expensive swaddle on our list.
This model is made from a custom-designed moisture-wicking material that purports to help reduce baby’s startle reflex.
This material features several velcro tabs and an adjustable loop for securing the bottom.
It’s also a “one size fits all” design. It does require mom or dad to position the baby exactly to ensure a proper fit. That can be a challenge in the wee hours of the morning.
Overall, the Ollie is a little too much effort than its (significant) price tag is worth.
The Halo sleepsack is our favorite combination of effectiveness, safety, ease of use, and affordability.
The sleepsack itself resembles a snow angel. The design gives mom and dad a few options for how to position baby in the swaddle.
You can wrap baby up tight and make the sleepsack into a traditional swaddle. If baby is a better sleeper without being constrained, you can leave both arms out.
You can also wrap baby up tight with one arm out of the sleep sack. Many parents find that this method helps to allow baby to self-soothe with one hand while also being wrapped up tightly.
The halo sleepsack also happens to be the #1 choice of hospitals nationwide.
Whether you find the right fit for your baby on this page or elsewhere, also make sure you are following recommended practices when swaddling your baby.
Safety is key in swaddling. Hopefully one of the products above provides the safe swaddle both you and your baby are comfortable with.