Best Swaddle Blankets: Keep Your Baby Snuggled Up (2018 Guide)
I remember everyone telling me that I needed include swaddle blankets when I was registering for my baby shower.
I registered for a set of them, thinking that they sounded good in theory. I knew that they helped a baby sleep, and I didn’t put much thought into which kind I should ask for, or the pros and cons of various brands.
I certainly wish I would have.
After my son was born, I absolutely hated the swaddles that I had and I ended up swapping them for some other kinds.
So let me take the guesswork out of choosing the right swaddles for your newborn.
After lots of research and personal experience, read on to check out the best swaddles on the market today!
Quick note: I've put together this table of contents that you can use to jump from one section to another.
If you're in a rush, however, and just want to read my top picks, skip ahead to the section on the best swaddle blankets.
What Is A Swaddle & What Are Its Benefits?
A swaddle wraps your little bambino up like a burrito. I mean, think about it!
Your baby was curled up nice and cozy inside of your for months. Then, when they get placed in a big, empty crib, they start to feel insecure and scared.
>>Read: Choosing the best baby crib
Babies also have a sleep reflex, where their bodies seem to jerk pretty regularly, waking themselves up, even if they are in the deepest of sleeps. (Source)
So, by swaddling them, you can avoid this disaster, and also help eliminate them from scratching themselves.
A swaddle wrap keeps your newborn in the perfect sleep position as well. They can’t move their arms or legs, and are nestled snugly in their crib.
While swaddling scares a lot of new moms, pediatricians absolutely recommend wrapping babies up. (Source)
And, I can’t think of a hospital that doesn’t adhere to the practice as soon the babies go in the nursery.
After reading about the numerous benefits of swaddling, I had to experiment with a few different kinds of blankets until I found “the one” that was easy for me to use effectively. (Source)
I used them on my son up until he started to turn himself over in his sleep.
There is a slight risk of SIDS if your baby is turning over and is wrapped up tightly, so just make sure you keep the blanket a bit loser as your newborn ages (they make swaddles in all different kinds of sizes). (Source)
Because a swaddle is, in essence, a large blanket, it can take some time to learn how to properly position your baby and wrap them up so they stay securely in their spot.
If you can’t pick up on the technique, luckily for you there are many swaddles that now come with velcro, flaps and straps, buttons, and even zippers to help you get the perfect swaddle.
How to Swaddle Your Baby
You're going to swaddle your newborn depending on the the blanket you choose, as each one works slightly differently.
If you purchase one where your baby’s feet slide in a sack, you'll simply use the Velcro wings to “strap down” your baby’s arms.
But, if you choose a plain blanket, you have to do a little practice and research.
Step 1. Place the blanket on a flat surface in the shape of a diamond.
Step 2. Then, position your baby in the center of the blanket.
Step 3. Covering your baby’s feet, pull up the bottom of the diamond and make sure it sits at your baby’s belly button.
Step 4. Grab the right side of the swaddle and pull it tightly, stretching it to the opposition side and tucking it beneath your baby (make sure you baby’s arm is straight down).
Step 5. Then push down your baby’s other arm and wrap the remaining piece of blanket to the opposite side and tuck it behind your baby.
While this is the method that I used, there are many other ways to swaddle, so hit up the internet and practice a few to see which one you prefer.
When to Stop Swaddling
If your baby does this while in a swaddle, there's an increase of SIDS.
Once my son started to do this, I invested in a swaddle sack blanket, which kept my baby cuddled up tightly, but allowed his arms to remain on the outside of the sack.
He was able to push himself up and over if needed, but still got a great night’s sleep because he felt warm, cozy, and secure.
Fabric & Swaddling Options
Fabric is everything when it comes to swaddles.
You want to choose a wrap that won’t overheat, irritate your baby, and will keep them cozy and comfortable.
Some of the best fabric to choose from are muslin, linen, poplin, and gauze.
Fleece tends to be a popular material, but from my experience, I’ve found that it overheats a bit and should never be used in hot weather, or a highly heated room in the winter time.
>>Related reading: How to choose the best crib mattress
Go organic when possible as well, so you're ensuring your baby’s most delicate areas are only coming in contact with safe and sustainable stuff. This also helps babies who have highly sensitive skin and other allergies.
Stretchy fabric is also easy to manipulate and tends to be the most comfortable for your baby, allowing you to get a custom, tight fit, in order for the swaddle to be most effective.
When using a swaddle, safety should be a concern of every parent.
While it holds an infant in place perfectly, things can get a bit tricky when you fully swaddle your baby that is able to turn from front to back.
There are some smothering concerns, so it’s advised that once your baby accomplishes this milestone, their hands are left out so they can push themselves over (or vice versa), if needed.
You should also monitor your baby’s body temperature when wearing one, as you don’t want them to overheat in their crib.
>>Related reading: How to choose the best bassinet
Finally, if you’re using a swaddle with lots of straps and buckles, be sure they are securely placed to avoid anything getting loose and wrapped around their neck or arms, or even getting attached to their crib (or wedged in the side of their mattress).
8 Features Of A Great Swaddle
A great swaddle should have at least some of these 8 main features:
#1. Warm. Your womb is a warm and cozy place, so a swaddle is ideal for giving your baby that extra layer of warmth. They also maintain the proper body temperature overnight, and in essence, get a better night’s sleep.
#2. Large. If you’re using a blanket you want to make sure it’s large enough to fully wrap around your baby. If you’re using a sack, be sure to adhere to weight and height recommendations on the wrap itself so your baby gets the best fit.
#3. Easy to use. Your swaddle shouldn’t stress you out. Choose a version that is easy for you to handle!
#4. Breathable. Opt for a fabric that won’t overheat. Cotton is ideal, while other organic fabrics like muslin or poplin are close seconds.
#5. Durable. Your baby will be swaddled quite a bit, so you want to choose one that is sturdy, durable, and well constructed so it can withstand kicks, rolls, and washings.
#6. Tuck in or out option. Your swaddle should allow you the option to tuck your baby’s hands in, or leave them out as they get older (for safety reasons).
#7. Easy-to-clean. Machine washable fabric is best since most moms don’t have time to do a thorough hand washing.
#8. Lightweight. Even though you want a large blanket, you don't want it to weigh your newborn down too much, so opt for a good lightweight option.
Best Swaddle Blankets
I absolutely love the Ziggy Baby Muslin Swaddle Blanket! Sold in a pack of three (click here to check the price on Amazon), they are the softest blankets I’ve come across (I wish they made them in adult size!)
Each blanket is 100% cotton and is designed in cute and trendy patterns. One thing that was super important to me is that my son was wrapped up tightly in something that was breathable.
I read so much about how infants can overheat during the night, and I was worried about how he would feel being wrapped so tightly in a swaddle.
Let me tell you: when I used these baby swaddlers, I never worried. He never felt overly hot, and he never cried out acting uncomfortable or irritated.
I also liked that the blankets were pretty big. Measuring at about 48” x 48”, I had these blankets for quite some time.
I also loved how it was up to me to customize the folds, and I didn’t have to put my son in some kind of “sack” like how other brands of swaddles are designed.
While those may be effective, I just liked knowing that I could get the closest, most snug fit by doing all of the tucks and folds as desired.
Another thing that impressed me was how I was able to use the blankets as a burp cloth, or even as a nursing shield during feeding times.
And, as my son aged, I turned the soft and lightweight blanket into a stroller cover to block out the sunlight from his eyes.
I’ve even used the blanket as something to lie down during diapering in public places. I never knew it could have so many uses.
So while some people may scowl and think that this is a lot of pay for 3 blankets, I’m here to tell you that you will get your money’s worth in a number of ways.
And, if you are not happy for any reason, the brand allows you to return the blankets and get your money back no matter what!
I’ve used the SwaddleMe Original Swaddle (click here to check the price on Amazon) a lot as well, and it's great for older babies.
They are very soft and a little heavier than the Muslin, so I ended up using them in the fall and winter the most.
I know many moms who swear by these swaddles, and Swaddle Me is the leading brand of swaddles on the market.
As I mentioned before, some swaddles are designed with a sac feature. These swaddles are like that.
It allows the baby’s legs to slide into the bottom, and it has Velcro on the arm wings to customize your fit, making it a great Velcro swaddle. Basically, you can’t mess up wrapping your baby in this blanket, and it helps create a womb like feeling.
You can also put your baby in their car seat or carrier because there is a slit in the swaddle to secure your baby in, but I chose to never do this.
Usually sold in a set of two, the swaddles are similarly priced to the Muslin, and come in a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns.
In order to select the right stage (size) for your child, each product also has weight and height restrictions to ensure your baby is safe and snug in each swaddle.
Overall, a great baby swaddle wrap pick.
#3. aden + anais Muslin Swaddle
Similar to the ZiggyBaby muslin blankets, Aden and Anais is a very popular brand when it comes to swaddling blankets (click here to check the price on Amazon), and makes a great swaddle for newborns.
These swaddles are 100% cotton muslin, so they are ultra-soft and breathable, which is important. Just slightly smaller than the ZiggyBaby blankets, these swaddles measure about 47” x 47”.
The brand’s claim is that the blankets get softer with every wash, which I heard is totally true.
And, they are just as versatile as any other blanket so they can be used as a changing pad cover, tummy time blanket, or as some of the uses I mentioned previously above.
Like all of the blankets I mentioned, it can be tossed in the washer and even dried, but just to be on the safe side, I always hung my swaddles out on the line.
While this brand seems a little expensive, you won’t need to buy any replacements since they are long lasting and ultra-comfortable (and they accommodate a baby’s size for a while).
In addition to be super soft, they are also super cute. The brand prides itself with having trendy designs, fun colors, and playful prints for both genders.
I have never personally used the Love To Dream Swaddle Up (click here to check the price on Amazon), but I have several friends who have and swear by it.
It looks a bit odd, but I can assure you it works like a charm. Your baby slides into this body bag, and has their arms facing upward, rather than down.
The brand claims that the baby is put into a more natural sleep position that way, and your baby’s legs are able to splay in the bag. This helps promote a healthy hip position.
The moms who have used this product report that their baby actually slept more peacefully than a traditional swaddle because they seemed more soothed!
Because it has a two-way zipper, the blanket makes diaper changes a breeze, and it has a back slot for stroller straps if you want to bundle your baby up when you’re on the go.
The blanket is made of soft and stretchy Jersey Cotton fabric, and it comes available in a variety of sizes so your baby can use it for quite some time (up to about a year old).
Again, it’s machine washable and comes in all sorts of colors and patterns to complement your baby’s gender.
Many moms need a back up to use when the blanket is being washed and dried, so you’ll most likely need to purchase two.
The HALO SleepSack (click here to check the price on Amazon) is similar to the Swaddle Me blanket, but has a few key differences.
One, it allows your baby to slide their feet into a bottom sack. Two, it also has Velcro wings, but the arm flaps are much larger than the Swaddle Me (it actually kind of looks like a strait jacket).
If you can get over its appearance, I assure you this is a highly rated and supported swaddle by many moms.
Like all the others, it is very soft (100% cotton), and it’s able to be used over pajamas and other clothing, eliminating the need for any kind of addition blanket in the crib.
The swaddle sack zips up for easy diaper changes in the middle of the night and its sleeveless design helps the baby not overheat, especially in summer months.
The bottom sack allows for moderate movement, and it has been recognized as “hip healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
Moms can choose to leave their baby’s arms out or in, and it’s great to use when you’re ready to transition from the sack itself to the brand’s wearable blanket once your baby starts rolling over and moving more in their sleep.
A lot of my friends liked this sack because it didn’t restrict their baby from moving as much as the other ones did, but each mom is different.
All in all, it is a great purchase and is rated very highly by its users.
Parents love multi-purpose items, and one that moms in particular swoon for is the BundleBee Swaddle (click here to check the price on Amazon).
It serves as a wrap and a blanket at the same time; it’s totally one of a kind and probably one of the most comfortable blankets you’ll ever feel. It allows your baby to feel snug and secure as they sleep, and it can be used in a crib, bassinet, or even a reclining stroller to accommodate naps on the go.
Many parents also take it with them if they know they will be away from their home and their baby will need a safe, snuggly place to sleep. The swaddle blanket provides a lot of neck support and because your baby remains in place, they won’t be woken up as you move them to and from desired locations.
It is made out of a down material and it’s filled with hypoallergenic polyester, which does not promote overheating or sweating. It is easy to carry and position your baby into, unlike some other swaddles that can get confusing due to their multiple straps and wraps. All you need to do is align and fold, adjusting your blanket to your baby’s preferred tightness level by using Velcro strips.
This blanket/swaddle is ideal for babies who have been just born, to about the four month mark.
#7. Baby Folie
These Baby Folie Swaddles (click here to check the price on Amazon) are great for parents who prefer to swaddle without using Velcro, flaps, or other straps or inserts.
They are 100% cotton, so they are soft to the touch, and they are organic, so your baby is being wrapped in something safe and high quality. Also, an added bonus is that every time you wash the blankets, they tend to get softer and softer!
Each blanket in the set is large (about 47”x 47”) and allows you to use them as your baby grows. The fabric is breathable, which will keep your little one comfortable, especially during hot, summer months. It will also keep them nice and cozy as winter weather sets in.
In addition to being a swaddle, the blankets can be used to shield them your little one the sun, rain, and wind. Parents also comment that they make awesome burp clothes and every-day blankets when your child doesn’t want to be swaddled anymore.
Moms who nurse also note that they are large enough to drape for optimal privacy when nursing in public. They can also be thrown down on the ground to promote tummy time or to be used as a changing station.
#8. Margaux & May
Parents now more than ever are paying close attention to what they put on their baby’s body, and blankets should be no exception.
This set by Margaux and May (click here to check the price on Amazon) is 100% GOTS certified organic cotton muslin. So, not only are they beautiful and unique, they are totally safe to come in contact with your little one’s skin. Each blanket is supremely breathable and high quality. They are light in weight and are large enough to swaddle your baby.
The set of blankets allow you a lot of versatility. So, they can be used for coverage, covering the ground or a surface for changing, mopping up spills from bottles or spit up, or simply serving as a calming item for your baby to hold on to as they take a ride in the car or stroller. The blankets soften up with every wash and they can be used in any season because they are totally breathable.
Each blanket measures 47” x 47” so they will grow with your infant, well into toddlerhood. Most parents remark how their baby uses it as a lovey when they are too big to be wrapped into swaddle position, and they love that it serves as a security item they can access for years to come in their crib and toddler bed.
#9. Hudson Baby
This 3 pack of Hudson Baby Swaddle Blankets (click here to check the price on Amazon) also rank highly with parents.
They are made of a super soft cotton fabric, so they will feel comforting on a baby’s gentle skin, which helps promote more peaceful sleeping. Each blanket is extra-large and is ideal for swaddling. Most parents use it as a cover as well, eliminating the need to pack multiple items in a diaper bag when on the go.
Your baby can be covered in their car seat carrier, while sitting in their stroller, or napping and remaining hidden from the sun. Moms love the blankets for nursing coverage, as they can also use the blanket to mop up spit up or any kind of feeding spills. It can serve as a changing table liner while in public, or even as a safe spot to place your baby for some tummy time, anywhere you are.
The best thing about utilizing a blanket/swaddle from a set is that when you wash one, you always have extra on hand. The blankets are machine washable and they don’t lose their shape or form after multiple cleanings.
They can grow with your baby for many years and will become their favorite security item that they’ll want to carry with them, everywhere.
#10. Little Remi
Another great blanket set is designed by Little Remi (click here to check the price on Amazon), which are also ideal for swaddling purposes.
Composed of bamboo muslin, the blankets are light and serenely soft to the touch, so you know they’ll provide your baby with an ideal sleeping situation. The set contains three 47” x 47” blankets, so you’ll never be without one. Use one to swaddle, use another to serve as a floor play space, or even a nursing cover or burp cloth when on the go.
You don’t have to worry about your baby overheating when wrapped in one, because they are very breathable and airy, which makes them great for shielding an infant carrier from the sun, wind, rain, snow, and even heat!
All blankets are machine washable and get cozier with every cleaning. They have been stitched supremely well and can hold up to multiple washes, wraps, tugs, and tosses without ripping or fraying.
The blankets fold up compactly and are easy to tote along with you or pack in a diaper bag. Parents also remark that their baby loves sleeping with these blankets because they help soothe them due to their softness and snugness.
Swaddling is a personal choice.
I knew right away that I wanted to try it because I heard lots of success stories with getting infants to sleep soundly.
Once I found the right swaddle, I absolutely loved the technique and theory behind the blanket.
Check out the ten I reviewed above to safely and soundly swaddle your little one up (successfully).