Friday, July 22, 2016

Baby Product Poll: Swaddles

So, as Jonathan and I get closer to welcoming Wee Baby Hyatt into the mix, I'd like to gather some opinions from my parent and frequent babysitter friends regarding products that worked particularly well for them with their newborns/infants -- especially if you have perspective on multiple children and how they differed.

The consensus I've gathered from various resources, and a few friends, is that sometimes we have to go through a few products to find what works best, since every baby is different. And what works for your first baby may not work for your second. This is all fine, of course, logically, but since we are in a small apartment on a tight budget, we are hoping to keep things as minimal as two recovering maximalists can manage when it comes to baby gear. Not get 10 products when one or two will do, you know?

This leads me to my first topic: SWADDLES.

I already know I will be registering for a few cotton muslin swaddling blankets (since they are multi-use, for everything from breastfeeding covers, tummy time blankets, burb cloths, etc., and take up very little space), but I am also considering a Miracle Blanket swaddle to try after doing a bunch of research. Seemed to be the best bet if we are aiming to pick just one, but still... Maybe there's something better? Maybe I should ignore my desire for minimalism, suck it up, and get a few things? Maybe swaddling is over-rated and I am silly and overthinking this?

Less than 8 weeks to go and I am grasping for my sanity and comfort in my choices.

So, parents: what are your thoughts?

At the end of the day, my overall goal is to avoid getting one of *every* type of swaddle or sleep sack or what-have-you. I want to keep it simple. I'd like to make a wise decision straight out of the gate that doesn't have me wasting money trying to rectify my mistakes. Your input may be just what I need to feel even a wee bit more confident.

Thanks, friends!


Since this post was all about asking for advice, I wanted to share some suggestions and thoughts I got from friends who commented on my Facebook page about this particular post. I think it may be valuable to anyone curious about swaddling and buying swaddles, because it got me thinking about some products I hadn't considered and ones I clearly didn't give enough thought to. (Newly-mentioned products linked below!)

"I 100% swear by the Miracle Blankets and have used them for all three kids. When my first son was born, almost 12 years ago, they were hard to find and not well known but saved us from hours of crying. I still even have the original one as I fear someday they will stop making them and someone will need one!" -- Jennie C.

"I haven't met a baby yet who didn't like the HALO Sleepsack. It has a swaddle version that converts to arms free, and you don't have to wrestle them on. The zipper is at the bottom, which is nice when they inevitably poop right after you have just finished the bedtime routine." -- Katie M.

"We used the SwaddleMe Velcro ones and loved them! Baby will wiggle out of a blanket swaddle pretty easily once they start moving more." -- Cristina M.

"We loved the lightweight aiden + anais blankets. Our son has always been a hot sleeper, so the light fabric was great. Second the HALO mentioned above, but he wore those when he was a few months old and wanted free arms. When he was super newborn, he had to have the arms in. He also really liked the Woombie, which is basically a sack with a zipper on the front: Comfort & Harmony Woombie Perfect Peanut Swaddle - All In A Row. I was never smart (awake) enough to deal with the Velcro ones. They always seemed so unnecessarily complicated." -- Shane S.

"We used all of the above suggestions at one stage or another. The Miracle sleeper never totally worked for us, but every baby is different and I know a few people who have sworn by it. The HALO Sleepsack is great for when they get a little bigger and start breaking their arms out of the blanket swaddles. But for the very, very beginning, the aiden + anais really did the trick for us. Easy to use and comfortable for the babe and also great as nursing covers/stroller covers in the sun because they are so breathable. We found that the blanket swaddles were the most comforting to our daughter in the beginning, because we could get them nice and tight, and she had a strong startle reflex and would startle herself awake if her arms weren't locked down." -- Sam P.

"Our son hated swaddling. He would somehow shimmy his arms out every time we tried. After a month of trying we gave up. He was all about his arm and leg freedom! So my parent advice is to get a few different kinds but not to open them all, as you might need to return them if baby girl doesn't like them!" -- Christine W.

"We loved the HALO sleepsacks. Great for a summer baby. My husband was great at swaddling with the aiden + anais blankets, but I never got the hang. The sleepsacks also don't constrict baby's hips, which was reassuring for us since our son slept in a sack for about 3 months." -- Katy L.

"We used the Woombie and the HALO sleepsacks. Our son used it until he rolled over at about 6 months and then we used the transition one that lets you free one or both of their arms but they still get the closeness of the swaddle on their chest. We thought he hated swaddling at first but after about 3 weeks, we swore by it! Use it for naps too!" -- Meghan G.

"Our son is apparently one of the many babies who is the reincarnation of Harry Houdini and can escape any swaddle that isn't firmly locked in place. He sleeps MUCH better/longer when swaddled, but he hates the initial act of being swaddled and tries to break his arms free... Once he settles down, though, the swaddle is a lifesaver! We've tried pretty much everything now I think -- SwaddlePods, Woombie, Velcro Swaddles, Miracle Blanket, and good old fashioned muslin swaddling... Our absolute favorite style with him has been the pods/Woombie -- they're super easy to use, you basically just bag your baby up till you've got a glo-worm instead -- and they're inescapable. They're also great when a middle of the night diaper change is necessary since they have dual directional zippers and you don't have to undo the critical arm swaddle portion. That said, the Woombie is way better than the less expensive pods; it doesn't stretch out and has a more snug hold throughout. We use the cheaper pods too (they're fine, but they stretch a lot and sometimes he even gets his hand out the neck!), and some Velcro hand me down ones, because he spits up enough that we have to wash whatever we're using after every use... but if I could have a whole bunch of Woombies, that would be my pick!" -- Katie H.


  1. Plain ol blankets are awesome! They have all kinds of uses, like shoving in your bra overnight to soak up breast milk because the little pads just don't cut it in the first few weeks. Or for putting under baby for a diaper change because fuck it if you're going to get up and walk over to the changing table uggghhh. Muslin ones are great, or the little cotton receiving blankets are good too. 5 is a good amount and they don't take up a bunch of space. But specifically for swaddling-

    Get the velcro ones. Miracle blanket or Swaddle me, either one is gold. Even if you're a swaddling master and can get it tight without baby busting out immediately, having a fast velcro option in the middle of the night is KEY for sleep and not fighting a cranky baby. They saved my life when I discovered them.

  2. I loved to swaddle! I have a bunch that I use for just about everything. Make sure you get the super large ones. At night I did a double swaddle with my son, and I'm just now taking him out of it because he's starting to roll and moving into a sleep sack. But it was such a life saver especially at night. He would sleep close to 8 hrs a night straight when I did that. I just used one receiving blanket to wrap his arms and then a muslin blanket to wrap his arms and legs. Sigh now we're in the dreaded 4 month sleep regression... That's a game changer.