When it comes to birthing babies who sleep, I’m 0 for 4.
For the majority of their first year of life, my partner and I have relied on a combination of swaddling, rocking, sound machines, taking turns on duty with our tiny insomniacs, and sleep training to get just enough sleep to survive.
Through all of our sleep struggles, we’ve learned that a baby swaddle is one of the must-have products for your baby’s first year because it can be the key to getting any type of sleep as a new parent. Read on for more about using a baby swaddle, along with the best baby swaddles for safe and comfortable sleep for your newborn.
In this article:
- What is a baby swaddle?
- Best overall swaddle: HALO Sleepsack Swaddle
- Best for babies who are rolling: HALO Original Wearable Blanket
- Best arms-up swaddle: Love to Dream Swaddle UP
- Best transition swaddle: Love to Dream Transitional Swaddle
- Best arms-up swaddle: Love to Dream Swaddle UP
- Best for easy diaper changes: Sleeping Baby Zippy Swaddle
- Best for babies who scratch: Sleeping Baby Zipadee Zip
- Best budget swaddle: Comfy Cubs swaddle
What is a Baby Swaddle?
A baby swaddle is a way of wrapping a baby up in a fabric for the purpose of keeping them both warm and calm. Because newborns are born with primitive reflexes, including the startle reflex, it can cause their arms and legs to flail out, startling them.
Keeping them swaddled helps reduce the startle reflex and keeps them more secure and cozy, just like they were in the womb. You can achieve a baby swaddle with any blanket, using the technique that your OB nurses used at the hospital. (It’s impressive, right?)
Or, if you’re not a swaddling master, the good news is, there are plenty of baby swaddles you can buy that are much easier than whatever magic those use. Here are some of the best baby swaddles on the market that will take you from newborn days and beyond.
The Best Baby Swaddles
Best Overall Baby Swaddle
Swoon Over the Halo Swaddle
One of the features to love about the HALO is that it has adjustable, Velcro fasteners. When your little one wakes at night, diaper changes are easier with a zipper that opens from the bottom. Plus, it promotes safe sleep and is used in 1,700 hospitals nationwide.
In HALO’s sleepsack collection, you can choose from a variety of prints or solid colors. Swaddled babies can keep comfortable in all seasons without the dangers of extra blankets in their crib, with 100% cotton and micro-fleece sleepsack swaddle options from HALO.
“We have been using halo sleepsacks since we brought our son home from the hospital. They have been great! They keep him warm and keep him from waking himself up. As soon as we put him in it and feed him, he falls right to sleep and stays asleep! He will sleep for 6 hours at a time! He sleeps from 1 am- 7 am then he gets a dream feeding (diaper change and feeding without waking on his own) then sleeps from 730 am to about 1 pm!”—Amazon review
Best for Babies who Can Roll
Rolling into HALO
The key to the HALO is that it can be used for babies who are rolling over but still need some coverage at night. HALO’s Original Wearable Blanket is available in a variety of TOG, or Thermal Overall Grade, ratings. This means it is simple to pick the right swaddle for the season based on how cold or warm their nursery is at night.
This swaddle has a 4.8 rating on Amazon from parents who have loved knowing their baby is safe and warm while they sleep.
“One of my favorite baby products!! I wish I would’ve known about these when my baby was born. My little guy would always come out of wraps because he would move so much. I learned about these when he was five months old and I will never purchase anything else!!” —Amazon review
Best Arms-Up Swaddle
We Love the Love to Dream
The Love to Dream Swaddle UP isn’t just perfect for safe sleep, it is designed to be breastfeeding friendly. With your little nursling’s hands secured in the swaddle’s hands-in wings, you can cozy up with your babe without scratching or hair pulling.
A 4.6 star rating and over 1,500 reviews on Amazon landed this swaddle on our “best of” list. Parents love how soft this swaddle is and how easy it is to put on in the middle of the night.
“LOVE THIS SWADDLE! Our baby girl is 3 weeks old, and has spent night after night fighting her way out of swaddled because she wants to sleep with her arms up. This is a life saver! Not only is she settling better after night feeds and changes, but these tired parents aren’t crying over trying to wrap a swaddle for the 37th time at 3am! Thank you!!!”—Amazon review
Best Transition Swaddle
Transitions Don’t Have to be Tough
Made from 94% viscose, derived from bamboo, and 6% elastane, this swaddle is super stretchy and soft.
It’s machine-washable and lightweight, so it is perfect for hot summers but will require warm pajamas underneath during colder months. The makers warn that babies who have been sleeping with their arms secured down by their body may need a little time getting used to sleeping arms up before letting their arms free.
“Literally the best thing I have ever purchased. I want to buy these for every new mom. My three-month-old moves constantly in his sleep and kept waking himself up every time he “startled” awake. Swaddle up helps him feel secure while being able to have his arms somewhat free. He HATED being swaddled the normal way. He started sleeping 5 hours at a time once we put him in this thing. Now sleeps 7 hours, eats, then back to bed for three. It’s goofy as ever, but man does it work.”—Amazon review
Best for Easy Diaper Changes
Diaper Changes Made Easy
Parents and caregivers who have reviewed the Zippy Swaddle love just how easy it makes diaper changes, with zippers on both the top and the bottom of the swaddle.
“This has been the best swaddle sack for smaller babies. With other sacks I have had to secure it around my kids backs because they are smaller. Removing the Velcro from the back of a sleeping baby to change them stinks. This fits nicely and the Velcro secures my kids on the front and side and the zipper on the bottom is great. We just love all the zippy products. We just put our 2yr old in a flying squirrel after outgrowing her Zipadee zip and we are so happy. Fingers crossed our son takes to the zippy sleep sac as well as our daughter. “—Sleeping Baby review
Best for Babies Who Scratch
Zipadee Do Da (Right to Sleep)
The Zipadee Zip Swaddle has earned a 5-star rating from the reviews of 2,400 caregivers. Parents who have babies who struggle with scratching themselves to sleep are especially fans of this product.
“When we transitioned out of the swaddle we moved to these for sleeping because our son has pretty bad eczema. The Zipadee Zip is perfect for keeping his hands protected for scratching and helping with a good night’s sleep. I wish we had these for our oldest child because I’m really enjoying the 10-11 hours of solid straight sleep for my 7 month old!!”—Sleeping Baby review
Best Budget Swaddle
Comfy + Safe
Safe sleep practices are an important part of reducing the risk of SIDs. Choosing a safe swaddle instead of a blanket and picking out a firm crib mattress are two ways to promote safe sleep.
Ease of use is one reason the Comfy Cubs Swaddle is so popular. We love the grey and white, gender neutral option, but the three pack can be purchased in both pink and blue as well.
Thanks to the low price point, soft fabric, and ease of use, the Comfy Cubs Swaddle 3-Pack has earned a 4.5-star rating from over 4,500 customers. Parents love that their babies are secure, but the fabric is flexible enough for them to move around.
“I was super skeptical about this product but now I am obsessed!!! Our daughter would only sleep in her Rock-n-Play so I purchased this Comfy Cubs Swaddle 3 pack in hopes it would help with a smooth transition to her bassinet (and eventually crib). She slept for 10-hours straight on her first night in her bassinet while wearing this!” – Amazon review
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