Let's get real: Swaddling a baby can be stressful when you have no idea what you're doing. If you are like me, you probably took a video of the nurse at the hospital showing you how to burrito wrap your newborn with a simple hospital receiving blanket in under 20 seconds. I tried, I failed. So I decided to test mom-approved swaddles and wearable blankets that make our lives easier. Because, you know, we already have a gazillion of other things to stress about.
So here are my favorite swaddles and wearable blankest for all little ones that don't require a Ph.D. to figure out:
This is the first wearable weighted blanket for babies, it promotes relaxation and a deeper sleep. Honestly I personally cannot live with my weighted blanket so I totally understand the logic behind this sleepsack. It helps lessen the moro reflex and with its detachable swaddle wing, it's makes for an easy transition to sleeping without swaddling.
This swaddle is just perfection. Within five seconds, your little one will be wrapped in soft cotton and their arms protected from the startle reflex that keeps newborns awake. It has open mesh sides to keep baby cool and prevent them from overheating. They come in three sizes so you can keep your baby comfortably swaddled as they grow.
If your baby doesn't like have their arms restrained by their side (and honestly who can blame them?) this swaddle might the answer to all your problems. The Love to Dream swaddle allows for babies to bring their arms up, but not out of the swaddle, which reduces the startle reflex but allows self soothing by being able to have their hands up by their face like they are used to from the womb.
The Omni swaddle sack allows a bunch of different configurations as baby grows. Parents can wrap babies with arms in to prevent moro reflex, move to one arm next to face as baby grows out of the newborn stage to promote self soothing, or arms fully out. The arms also has hand cuffs that can cover or not baby's hands to allow thumb sucking. There's a two way zipper which allows for middle of the night diaper changes without having to fully unswaddle.
If you are looking for a simple alternative to traditional swaddles, this might be the right thing for you. It allows babies to sleep with just their arms strapped and rest of body free for a more natural feeling. It's designed to prevent the strap to ride up or down baby's body. It comes in two sizes so make sure you are getting the right one for your little one based on their weight and length.
This swaddle is ideal for those first weeks, as it's only recommended to use up to 14 weeks. It helps babies sleep longer and prevents them from getting startled easily. The brand claims even the strongest babies can stay swaddled in this, so I would love for you to put to the test and report back if you have a strong one!
If you do love wrapping babies in blankets (like my husband does) these new blankets from Aden and Anais are super soft and adorable. Because the fabric has a little stretch to it it's easier to wrap babies than with the hospital blankets you're usually sent home with.
Once your baby is ready to transition out of a swaddle and make their way to a sleep sack, the Magic Merlin is the perfect solution for that in-between stage. The suit will allow your baby to have hands and feet out, but because it's thick they won't be able to wiggle around too much or hit themselves on the face. It's made for babies who don't roll just yet as it is only for back sleeping. The suit comes in different materials (and colors!) so make sure you are buying the most weather-appropriate one to prevent overheating or getting cold at night.
This swaddle grows with your baby, as it starts with arms in to avoid startle reflex, but as they grow out of it and want to self soothe by sucking their thumbs, you can remove the shoulders of the sack for them to have one or two arms out. It's easy to use, and there's "no origami required" as they claim, which to be honest, is very much what it feels like when you are trying to wrap a baby in a blanket.
This thing is ah-mazing! Not only is it suitable for 2 months to 2 years old (trust me, I tested it!) it's also perfect for any weather. Yes, you read that right, you don't need to worry about if your baby will be too hot or too cold because it's made with Merino wool which is excellent at keeping body temperatures at its ideal temp. It also comes with a slit around the bottom, which makes it suitable to be used in a car seat. So if you're traveling at night you can make sure your little one will be nice and cozy in their sleep sack. And, it comes in a ton of awesome prints!
This boldly-printed 'wearable blanket' is super cozy, and the Kauai One print actually brings a smile to my face when I zip my baby into it. (She looks like she's off for a tropical nap).
The material is a bamboo-based jersey which feels very lightweight and soft; a good choice for warmer months. While a run-of-the-mill sleep sack might sometimes feel like a less exciting gift choice for a new mama, experienced mamas know how clutch they are! I'll definitely gift one of these fun prints to my next pregnant friend. (Also—as a feel-good bonus: MiliMili is a small business run by two mamas 💪).
This sleep sack is perfect for when your kiddo is already walking and moving around, but still too little to be sleeping with a blanket in the crib. The concept is similar to the two sleep sacks above, except it has little holes for the feet to come out from. Plus, it unzips from the bottom, allowing for easy diaper changes.