Swaddling is the first parenting trick the nurses teach you in the hospital, and there’s a reason for that: Babies love the sensation of being wrapped up tightly and secure – after all, they did spend nine months all snuggled up tight! For preemies, swaddling is especially comforting as they came out from that warm snuggly environment a bit earlier than they would have liked. Our son Judah loves to be swaddled, and we’ve discovered four types of swaddles and swaddle blankets that help comfort him and give us an extra hour or so of (some much needed!) sleep each night.
The Traditional Swaddle
Pictured above, the traditional swaddle is one we can easily cobble together from any of his regular swaddling blankets (these swaddling blankets by aden + anais® are my absolute favorite). It’s the simplest to whip up on the fly with pretty much anything: a blanket, a towel – even an adult-sized t-shirt! The more we do it, the faster and easier it gets to put together a basic swaddle.
The Sleep Sack
When we first decided to move beyond the traditional swaddle, we tried out a swaddle sleep sack. Baby’s arms go through cutout sleeves and he’s then zipped up in the sack. Two swaddle flaps, one with two rows of velcro, on either side of the sleep sack keep him bundled nice and tight. I love the sleep sack because it’s great for nursing and allows my baby greater freedom of movement in his legs within the roomy sack.
The Miracle Blanket
At first I was dubious of the Miracle Blanket. Really? A miracle? C’mon. And then we tried it and oh my goodness… what a well-named product. The first night we put Judah in the Miracle Blanket, he slept for four hours straight. It was glorious. We actually woke up alarmed when we realized he hadn’t woken us up in the middle of the night! The Miracle Blanket is best for nighttime: no fasteners (the velcro on the sleep sack is a bit loud) and it offers the tightest swaddle. Don’t be intimidated by the long length of fabric: between the foot pocket, the individual pieces of fabric for each arm and two overall securing lengths of fabric (one long, one short as pictured above) – it’s the tightest swaddle you can make for your baby.
Honorable Mention: The Moby Wrap
While not technically a swaddle, my Moby Wrap keeps Judah super snug (and super cute!) when I wear him. The great thing about the Moby Wrap, and baby-wearing in general, is that it’s great for a mid-afternoon nap for baby while giving me the freedom of movement with both arms. I don’t have to leave him in a swing or his crib and feel tethered to any particular room. I can carry him with me and know that he’s still just as snug as a bug in a rug.
What types of swaddles are your favorites for baby? And feel free to share your “getting baby to sleep” tips in the comments!