Swaddling is one of those mysterious parenting things that can seem so overwhelming before you actually have a baby of your own to practice on. When it comes down to it, though, learning how to swaddle your baby can be a sanity saver, especially if your child has trouble sleeping or wakes herself up a lot in the night. You may get to practice swaddling with a traditional swaddle blanket if you take a parenting class, or you may get a real life crash course once baby arrives. Either way, some babies are resistant to being swaddled and will find a way to break out of their blanket, no matter how perfectly you think you got it.
Why Swaddle a Baby?
I’m glad you asked! Swaddling is a very old practice that has been used for centuries to simulate the womb and calm fussy babies down. It can help your baby to sleep better, especially if she tends to wake herself up in the middle of the night with flailing hands. Additionally, infant care professionals now recommend that infants should sleep only on their backs due to the risk of SIDS with other sleeping positions; swaddling can make the back-sleeping position more comfortable and natural-feeling for babies.
Is There Any Reason Not to Swaddle?
If your baby gets to sleep and stays asleep (on her back) just fine without being swaddled, then there’s no need to do so. If you swaddle with a blanket that easily comes loose, keep in mind that this can be dangerous, especially for very young babies. Finally, if you plan on swaddling for very long stretches of time, then it may be better to choose a swaddle that allows for free movement of legs and hips, as this is safer for baby’s development.
Here’s a quick video that demonstrates how to swaddle a baby the traditional way, with a large, thin blanket, often made of muslin.
If this method works for you, great! Below I’ve listed several traditional muslin blanket baby swaddles that might be perfect for you. If not, there are so many other awesome and innovative swaddling products on the market that can help keep fussy babies contained and soothed for bedtime and nap time.
While you’re looking at swaddles for newborns, be sure to add one of the top 10 best infant bath tubs to your baby registry, as well as a great high chair and some of the best bottles for breastfed babies.
Below I’ve put together a list of the most innovative, popular and just plain best baby swaddles available. Whether you’re looking for a sleep sack style swaddle that allows for freedom of movement, a more traditional cotton muslin blanket swaddle or a super secure swaddle that even the wiliest baby can’t break out of, there is a swaddle below that is perfect for you.
1. Best Baby Swaddle with 100% Guarantee: Miracle Blanket Swaddle
The Miracle Blanket Swaddle comes with a 100% guarantee, so if it doesn’t work for your baby and your family, you can return it for a refund. This unique swaddler with its patented arm flaps and wings is made from 100% cotton for breathability. It is designed with no Velcro that could scratch or wake baby in the middle of the night. The long wings prevent baby from breaking out easily and keep her snug for a longer sleep. The Miracle Blanket has been proven to extend sleep periods between feedings by preventing night movement and separation anxiety. Some consumers have noted that due to the several-step process of wrapping (see an instructional video below—it’s really not that difficult!), it can be hard to re-wrap baby if she busts out of her swaddle in the middle of the night. Due to the long wings, this swaddle can be pretty thick once baby is all wrapped up. At $30 a swaddle, this product is fairly expensive, but it is worth it if it works for you! It seems that a common complaint is that babies start to get strong/smart enough to break out of this swaddle at around four months old.
- 100% cotton
- No Velcro to scratch or wake baby
- Long wings help keep baby from breaking out of the swaddle
- Product is 100% guaranteed
- Difficult to re-wrap baby in the middle of the night if she breaks out
- On the bulky side, tends to be very thick once baby is wrapped up
- Some babies are able to break out of this swaddle
- On the expensive side
2. Best Budget Muslin Baby Swaddle: Hudson Baby Muslin Swaddle Blanket (Set of Two)
The Hudson Baby Muslin Swaddle Blankets are made from 100% cotton muslin and are available for a little over $11 for a set of two, which is a great deal. These swaddles are machine washable and come in an adorable combo of a solid pink blanket and a sheep-patterned blanket. They’re also available in a few other cute designs. Some consumers wish you could buy them individually so that they could mix and match the patterns and colors. Consumers complain that compared to the more expensive muslin swaddle blanket brands, these tend to fade and stretch out faster and are not as soft. Finally, the fabric is very stretchy and some consumers say that makes it difficult to maintain a good swaddle. Bottom line: If you’re looking for a budget pick and not sure your baby will take to a swaddle, these are a great choice, though not as high quality as the more expensive brands.
Price: $11.04 (15 percent off MSRP)
- 100% cotton muslin
- Machine washable
- Adorable pink sheep pattern
- Only sold in sets of two
- Tend to fade and stretch out faster than more expensive brands
- Not as soft as more expensive brands
- Some complaints that fabric is too stretchy to stay swaddled
3. Most Luxurious Baby Swaddle: BundleBee Baby Wrap/Swaddle/Blanket
The BundleBee Wrap/Swaddle/Blanket is a bit different from a traditional swaddle, as it it more of a sleep sack & carrier combo to keep baby all bundled up and snug. It’s especially great for winter months. This product is easy to use—the product description says it’s just like wrapping a burrito! The Bundlebee is made from 100% cotton fabric on the outside with a 100% coconut fiber support insert. The rest of the wrap is made from polyester. This unique product hugs the baby, creating a mother’s womb effect while allowing for natural arm and leg movement. The filling is very lightweight and is supposed to keep baby cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This wrap is machine washable, so it’s easy to clean. The most obvious drawback is that this “swaddle” doesn’t actually keep the arms from flailing and hitting baby in the face, potentially waking her up. It may work for some babies but is not meant to keep baby’s limbs contained. Due to the nature of the wrap and how fluffy it is, it is not suitable to be used for unsupervised sleep. Some consumers report that babies grow out of this wrap quickly, and it is on the expensive side.
Price: $44 (32 percent off MSRP)
- 100% cotton fabric on outside and 100% coconut fiber support insert
- Hugs the baby creating a mother’s womb effect while allowing for natural leg and arm movement
- Feather-light filling keeps your baby cool in the summer and warm during winter (reduces sweating or overheating)
- Easy to clean
- Doesn’t keep arms from flailing
- Not suitable for unsupervised sleep
- Babies grow out of it quickly
4. Most Adorable Secure Baby Swaddle: aden by aden + anais Easy Swaddle
The Easy Swaddle by aden + anais (the company famous for their beautiful and well made muslin cotton swaddle blankets) is made from 100% cotton muslin and comes in many cute patterns, including the dinosaur pattern featured above. This is a tight, secure swaddler, and it fastens using simple snaps. Many parents prefer the snaps to Velcro, as Velcro can stick to things in the laundry, and it makes loud noises, which can wake baby. The Easy Swaddle is made from soft, breathable fabric that is designed to prevent overheating. This baby swaddle does not have a second point of access for easy diaper changes, which can be frustrating in the middle of the night. Some consumers complain that the snaps take a while to fasten, which some babies just will not tolerate. This is a tight swaddle, and some babies prefer a stretchier swaddle that allows for some freedom of movement, especially in the arms and legs. Finally, there are some consumer complaints about this swaddle ripping at the seams.
- 100% cotton muslin
- Adorable dinosaur pattern
- Adjustable and secure with simple snaps
- Soft, breathable fabric that prevents overheating
- Difficult to change baby in the middle of the night
- Too tight/not stretchy enough for some babies
- Takes a lot of time to snap all the snaps
- Some complaints of product ripping at the seams
5. Most Beautiful Baby Swaddle Prints: Margaux & May Muslin Swaddle Blankets (Set of Two)
The Margaux & May Muslin Swaddle Blankets are another traditional large muslin swaddle blanket, this one coming in a set of two for $25; it’s fairly expensive for just two, comparable to the price per blanket of the posh aden + anais brand. However, reviews are very good on this product. Consumers love the beautiful blue leaf pattern (and the other adorable patterns), the large size, the softness and the versatility. Not only can these muslin blankets be used for swaddling, they also make a great stroller cover during walks, a clean surface for crawling babies or a crib blanket for babies old enough for one. One reviewer even stated that she was looking forward to using hers as a scarf once the baby grows out of it! Even though many people love the large size, for some people it is too much, making swaddling overwhelming and difficult. Others report disappointment that the printed pattern is darker on one side than the other. Finally, some consumers have reported flaws in their blankets, such as pulled threads. But please note that in many cases the manufacturer replaced faulty products upon request.
- Beautiful blue leaf pattern
- Made with soft, organic cotton muslin
- Very large size allows for an easier swaddle
- Use to cover stroller during walks, as a clean surface for crawling babes or even as a blanket for older babies
- Somewhat expensive
- Some consumers note that they are too large for swaddling
- Front printed darker than the back
- Some consumers report flaws in blankets, such as pulled threads
6. Most Innovative Sleep Sack Baby Swaddle: Love to Dream Swaddle UP Original
The Love to Dream Swaddle UP Original baby swaddle is an innovative swaddling product that allows babies to move their arms up to their face to self-soothe, while still being bundled up in the swaddle. It is more of a sleep sack and allows for freedom of movement in the legs and hips as well, while keeping the lower body covered and warm. This swaddler is made from 93% cotton and 7% elastane, which makes for a breathable, lightweight and soft material that keeps babies cool at night. Note that some consumers report the material near the neck is somewhat rough. It has a dual zipper to allow for easy diaper changes—no taking baby out of the swaddle necessary. Aside from the gray, this swaddle also comes in blue, pink and turquoise. There is even a version, the Swaddle UP 50/50, where the “wings” zip off so you have the option of letting baby’s arms be completely free. Consumers report that the sizing on these swaddles runs small, so you may want to size up. In general, this swaddle works great for many babies, but for some it is just not restrictive enough for them to get a good night’s sleep. If your baby wakes herself from sleep due to the startle reflex, this swaddle may not help with that.
- Allows babies to move arms up and self-soothe
- Dual zipper allows for easy diaper changes without taking baby out of the swaddle
- Made from 93% cotton, 7% elastane for breathable stretch
- Comes in four great colors
- If baby wakes herself due to startle reflex, this swaddle may not help
- Sizing runs small
- Material near neck is somewhat rough
- Not restrictive enough for some babies to get a good night’s sleep
7. Best Classic Baby Swaddle: aden + anais Classic Muslin Swaddles (Set of Four)
The aden + anais Classic Muslin Swaddles are the gold standard when it comes to traditional cotton muslin swaddle blankets. They come in super adorable patterns in beautiful colors. They are made from a soft cotton muslin that helps to reduce overheating. They’re also extremely large, measuring 47 square inches. They’re easily machine washed along with the rest of baby’s clothes. Aside from just swaddling, they can be used as blankets, stroller or car seat covers, or as a place for little ones to play comfortably on the floor. They are more expensive as compared to some other brands of muslin swaddles, but consumers prefer these for a reason: they are high quality, soft and breathable. Some consumers have reported that certain patterns tend to be scratchy or stiff where the pattern is printed. The thin material can tend to snag on a zipper, Velcro or wedding ring. Some consumers report pilling after machine washing.
- Adorable patterns
- Soft cotton muslin helps reduce overheating
- Machine washable
- Large 47 x 47 inches size
- More expensive
- Thin material is easy to catch and snag on a zipper or Velcro
- Some patterns can be scratchy or stiff
- Some consumers report pilling after washing
8. Best Affordable Secure Baby Swaddle: Summer Infant SwaddleMe Adjustable Infant Wrap (Set of Three)
The Summer Infant SwaddleMe Adjustable Infant Wrap is a great affordable secure baby swaddle that comes in a pack of three for just $25. These swaddles are made from 100% cotton and have soft fabric wings that you can fasten and readjust securely with the hook and loop Velcro attachments. They also have a leg pouch that opens for easy and quick diaper changes. You can play around with how you wrap baby in these swaddlers: you can wrap both arms, or leave one or both arms out if your baby needs a hand to self-soothe. These swaddles come in cute patterns and colors and make a great gift for baby showers. This swaddle uses Velcro to attach the “wings,” which can wake baby during diaper changes and get stuck to other items in the laundry. Some consumers complain that these swaddles run on the small side, so you may want to size up if you have a larger baby. They also tend to shrink and fade a bit in the wash. The SwaddleMe wraps are made of fairly stretchy fabric, which some kids can break out of easily.
Price: $24.90 (11 percent off MSRP)
- Inexpensive (comes with three swaddles)
- 100% cotton
- Soft fabric wings fasten and readjust securely with hook and loop attachments
- Leg pouch opens for easy diaper changes
- This swaddle uses Velcro, which can wake baby during diaper changes and get stuck to other items in the laundry
- Tend to shrink when washed
- They tend to stretch out, which can leading to babies busting out of the swaddle
- Sizing runs small
Find more Summer Infant SwaddleMe Adjustable Infant Wrap (Set of Three) information and reviews here.
9. Best Stretchy Baby Swaddle: Woombie Original One-Step Baby Swaddle
The Woombie Original One-Step Baby Swaddle is a stretchy, sleep sack style swaddler that is made for babies who like a little bit of give so they can move their arms and legs while swaddled. It is made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex, which gives the fabric a lightweight, breathable stretch. The Woombie has a two-way zipper for quick diaper changes that won’t wake baby. Though the fit is stretchy, it is still snug enough to help many babies feel soothed and to help them sleep. The Woombie has received over 15 awards for its innovative design and has been nominated as “Mom’s Favorite Swaddle” for effectiveness and ease of use. This swaddler is not tight enough to soothe some babies—because their arms and legs can maintain natural movements, some babies become frustrated by the fact that they can move their limbs but not access them completely. There are also a couple of complaints about sizing: Some consumers say the neck fits too tightly, and others wish for a transitional size between the newborn size and the 14 to 19 pound size.
- 95% cotton, 5% spandex for breathable stretch
- Has received over 15 awards with its innovative design and has been nominated as “Mom’s Favorite Swaddle” for effectiveness and ease of use
- Two-way zipper for quick diaper changes
- Stretchy but snug fit allows for natural arm and leg movements while swaddled
- Not tight enough to soothe some babies
- Some consumers complain that there needs to be a transitional size between newborn and 14–19 pounds
- Some complaints that neck is too small
10. Best Winter Baby Swaddle: HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Swaddle
The HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Swaddle is an affordable sleep sack made from a warm and snuggly micro-fleece material that is great for keeping babies warm when they are too young for blankets. It also has the added bonus of being a swaddle with strong, adjustable Velcro fasteners to ensure a perfect fit and resist breakouts. The design of this product allows room for kicking and hip movement, but it cannot be kicked off, so baby stays warm all night. Keep in mind that if you live in a warmer climate or you have a summer baby, this sleep swaddle may be too warm. The Velcro can also be a problem for some families—it makes a loud noise when unfastening if you need to do a middle-of-the-night diaper change. Plus, it can stick to things in the laundry if you don’t remember to close it first. Some consumers report that the zipper seems to be cheaply made, and in a few cases it has even broken. Others have complained that the top part of the swaddle rides up into baby’s face during the night.
Price: $15.56 (40 percent off MSRP)
- Inexpensive compared to comparable products
- Three-way adjustable swaddle: swaddle arms in, hands-to-face, one or both arms out
- Strong, adjustable fasteners ensure a perfect fit and resist breakouts for more secure swaddling
- Design allows room for kicking but cannot be kicked off
- Heavy material may be too hot for summer
- Velcro is loud if you need to change diaper in the middle of the night
- Some consumers complain that sleep sack rides up into baby’s face
- Some issues with zipper breaking