Think of it as a magical sleep burrito for your newborn: When deployed correctly, a baby swaddle is an essential piece of baby sleep gear that makes infants feel snug and secure, and buys bleary parents minutes (and sometimes even hours) of extra sleep. The goal of the best baby swaddle blankets is to calm and soothe infants by mimicking the feeling of a mother’s womb. Plus, they reduce what’s called the Moro reflex, which is when a baby makes a jerky movement and wakes himself up. Which is sort of precisely what you do not want.
When choosing a swaddle, keep a few things in mind:
The swaddle should be large enough that you can wrap it snugly around your baby. Yes, your baby will outgrow it quickly. That’s just life. Once babies can roll over, it’s time to ditch the swaddle for safety reasons and switch to a sleep sack.
The swaddle should be soft and weather-appropriate. In the summer, opt for lighter fabrics. In the winter, go for warmer ones but make sure your baby doesn’t overheat. If your swaddle has zippers or Velcro, make sure they’re not in contact with or irritating delicate baby skin.
Most of all, parents should easily be able to use the swaddle. Because midnight diaper changes, squirming or crying babies, and swaddles requiring engineering degrees don’t make for happy bedfellows.
You can thank Dr. Harvey Karp for this baby swaddle. It won't unravel. It's roomy enough for a baby's growing hips. And it has open-weave mesh, so your baby won't overheat. This baby swaddle is made from organic cotton, and it's basically idiot-proof. It zips from the top or the bottom for diaper changes. And it has quiet Velcro straps that won't wake your baby. The larger sacks have snaps so you can free your baby's arms.
Ideal for newborns, these organic cotton swaddles have hook and loop closures for arms, so they're close to the body. The hips, meanwhile, stay loose.
The bottom zipper on this sleep sack makes for easy diaper changes. And this keeps babies warm, especially in the winter. More of a wearable blanket, this is a good choice for babies who don't like being swaddled.
Instead of snaps, zippers, or Velcro, this swaddle uses a leg pocket and arm flaps to keep your baby from jerking around and waking up. It's recommended for newborns, and can be used up to 14 weeks.
The three-way zipper makes diaper changes even easier, and this particular swaddle lets babies sleep in one of three positions: Hands up, hands down, or hands out. You can remove the sleeves when the baby outgrows the swaddle and use it as a sleep sack.
Part sleep sack, part swaddle, this one has adjustable fasteners that lets you position your baby's arms either next to the body, or leave them exposed. The inverted zipper makes diaper changes fast and easy.
If you prefer that your baby sleep in the arms up position, there's a swaddle for that. This one has a dual zipper that simplifies diaper changing by eliminating the need to undress the baby. Because the baby's arms are still encased in the swaddle, just not stuck at their sides, the startle reflex is reduced.
The Woombie is meant for newborns, as they transition to being in the real world outside the womb. This swaddler confines arms, hugs the tummy and cocoons the infant to prevent him or her from startling themselves awake. The zipper is a nice add for easy diaper changes. The Woombie has enough stretch so your baby is comfortable, but also keeps the infant contained in a position that prevents face-scratching and other startle reflexes.
These adjustable infant wraps boast hook-and-loop closures for secure, easy, and safe swaddling. They’re made of 100 percent cotton and fit infants 0-3 months, who weigh between 7-14 pounds or measure up to 26 inches. Even Houdini-style babies won’t be able to bust out of these swaddlers, parents agree.They’re machine-washable, and the material is breathable.
Like a weighted blanket for babies, this one features a weighed pad on its chest to make your baby feel like their parents' palm is comforting them. Parents can swaddle babies with their arms in or out. And it grows with your baby: The legs fit in the small inner pocket for the first few weeks and then in the larger pocket for up to 6 months.
If you're a pro at swaddling, you'll love these breathable muslin swaddle baby blankets. They do triple duty as stroller cover, a burp cloth, and even a nursing cover. You just wrap your baby up like that proverbial burrito.
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