Baby swaddles on pink background

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Swaddling is an age-old practice that involves wrapping an infant securely in a blanket from the neck down. Both their arms and legs are tucked in tightly.

The technique is meant to mimic the way a baby is placed in the womb, with little to no room for their arms or legs.

Keeping a baby wrapped in a swaddle helps reduce the startle reflex, aka the Moro reflex. This is an involuntary response to being startled by anything from a sudden sound to no reason at all. It disappears by 3 to 6 months old, but it can really prevent sleep during those first few weeks and months at home.

“SWaddling will help your child sleep longer and more soundly, and it will also help you score some Zzz’s as well.”

You can swaddle a baby from the day they are born, although experts recommend allowing newborns plenty of time for skin-to-skin contact during the early days of life.

When a baby888-607-888-607-888-607-888-607-888-607-888-607-s can be888-607-s can be888-607-s can be888-607-s can be888-607-s can be888-607-s can be888-607-s can be888-607-s can be888-607-s can be888-607-s can be888-607-s can be888-607-s can be888-607-s

suckling is not necessary for every baby, but it can be helpful for some. Being wrapped tightly may help them feel secure and keep them from waking up.

Be sure to place healthy infants on their backs when they sleep. This is the safest position for an infant to sleep, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

This is especially true for babies who are swaddled. In fact, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) may increase for babies who are placed on their stomachs or sides to sleep while swaddled, according to the AAP. This may also happen if baby rolls onto their tummy while swaddled, per 2017 research.

You’ll want to stop swaddling as soon as your baby shows signs of trying to roll over, the AAP says. This is usually between 2 and 4 months of age. This is very important for safe sleeping.

There is no specific guidance on how long you can leave your baby swaddled. A good rule of thumb is to not swaddle your baby for diaper changes and feedings.

In fact, experts recommend only swaddling your baby when they are going to sleep. As noted above, it’s important to place your swaddled baby on their back when it’s time to sleep. Again, this is the safest position for infants, according to the AAP.

swaddles are not a one-size-fits-all item. Some types work better for your baby than others.

The two main types are:

  • Traditional blanket swaddles. These are simply large and soft blankets that you can wrap your baby up in using a swaddling technique. They can also serve other purposes — a blanket or burp cloth, for example — once your baby is no longer swaddling. Make sure your infant is swaddled securely so they can’t roll, nor can the blanket become loose and create a suffocation risk.
  • Swaddling sacks. For new parents who don’t have the swaddling technique down pat, these are much more appealing. They’re set up to basically swaddle your baby for you thanks to snaps, Velcro, and zippers.

“We reached out to new parents to find out what swaddle blankets and devices they found most useful over the course of their baby’s first few months.”

We used customer reviews and ratings to understand what features they liked most.

As your baby grows, some of the items mentioned can be used as blankets.

The best swaddles for baby will help your family score more sleep time.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $30
  • $$ = $30–$40
  • $$$ = $40–$50
  • $$$$ = over $50

Best swaddle blanket overall

aden + anais Cotton Muslin Swaddle

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: Beautiful, soft, breathable, washable, can be used as your child grows
  • Cons: There’s a learning curve to correctly wrapping these swaddles

Basic is what you should go with when it comes toaddling. This is how your parents and grandparents were swaddled when they were babies. The blankets from aden + anais are large, soft, and made from cotton.

“You can coordinate your baby’s nursery with the two dozen fun prints on the swaddles. They are great for swimming, but also great for blankies as they get older, according to parents.”

Best swaddle for newborns

Happiest Baby Sleepea 5-Second Baby Swaddle

  • Price: $$
  • Pros: Simple to use, soft, baby can’t wiggle out, easy access for diapering
  • Cons: May need to repurchase frequently as baby grows

Designed by Dr. Harvey Karp, inventor of the 5 S’s for soothing a baby, comes this sack-style swaddle that claims to keep your baby asleep for longer periods of time — and based on the reviews, it lives up to the hype.

The Sleepea swaddle is made from 100 percent organic cotton and features a mesh panel that is Breathable and a two-way zip that allows for diaper changes.

The best part? It is very easy to put on, which new and sleep-deprived parents and caregivers can appreciate.

People rave about the Sleepea but warn that you might need to buy a variety of sizes to get the right fit as you grow with your baby. They say that even the most Houdini-like babies were free of wiggle-free when the fit is right.

Best sleep sack

Gunamuna Sleep Bag Premium Duvet

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: Warm, zips open for diapering, arms out means this can be used for older babies
  • Cons: Some babies may not prefer the weighted bag, not as durable as expected

If your baby turns over mid-snooze, you need a swaddle that allows their arms to hang out to keep them safe. This option from Gunamuna is not for a lack of features.

“The Gunamuna Sleep Bag is made from a down-alternative fill and wrapped in a soft bamboo fabric. It has a four-way zip that allows for easy diaper changes and includes gentle weights evenly distributed around it to mimic mom’s hold.”

It is great for keeping older babies warm and sleepy. It can be frustrating for the price if a few people mention that they are not super durable.

Best budget-friendly swaddle wrap

CuddleBug Swaddle

  • Price: $
  • Pros: Affordable, easy to use, soft, washable
  • Cons: Shrinks after washing

The pack of three swaddle blanket wraps has outstanding ratings and reviews, but it is usually available for less than $20! The swaddle wraps made by CuddleBug have a soft, stretchy fabric that hugs your baby tightly while they sleep.

People seem to love these swaddles. The only problem is that the blanket shrinks in the wash after a few rounds, which makes it difficult to wrap the baby.

Best swaddle with wiggle room

HALO SleepSack Swaddle 100% Cotton

  • Price: $
  • Pros: Easy to use, allows hip movement, can be used as a regular sleep sack once baby can roll
  • Cons: May not be tight enough for some babies

“This is the swaddle for you if you don’t want to wrap. The easy-to-use design of the HALO makes it possible to SWaddling a two-step process. You can do it all by zip up the swaddle sack and then wrap each wing over the baby’s body.”

The best part is that their legs are free to move around, which helps prevent hip dysplasia, according to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. This swaddle sack comes in both newborn and small sizes and in several colors and patterns.

Best swaddle for tall babies

The Ollie World Ollie Swaddle

  • Price: $$$$
  • Pros: Adjustable length, super stretchy, easy to wrap
  • Cons: Pricier than some options

The personalization at The Ollie Swaddle will help you find the right fit. The bottom part of the swaddle is left open so that you can adjust the length with an elastic tie as your baby grows. It also has easy access to that dirty diaper at 3 a.m.

The swaddle is made of a blend of spandex and polyester and has large Velcro closures that make it easy to wrap a baby. The price is a downside. It might be the only swaddle you need, because of the amount of adjustability it offers.

Best zippered swaddle sack

Love to Dream SWADDLE UP Original

  • Price: $
  • Pros: Allows baby’s hands to be up by face, easy on/off, good hip mobility
  • Cons: Sizing can be tricky to figure out

This zippered swaddle from Love to Dream is incredibly easy to use. With a two-way zipper that’s ideal for diaper changes, you just zip baby inside, and they’re good to go.

The SWADDLE UP’s design allows your baby to sleep with their arms up (hence the name) and legs wide, which parents say helps with babies who loathe swaddling because they want to keep their hands by their face. It’s also recognized by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute for being a “hip healthy” product.

However, it’s worth noting that while this zip sack offers flexibility, it should not be used for babies who can roll over because it can restrict their range of motion. Also, zippers run the risk of catching on bare baby tummies, so this is best used over clothing.

Best swaddle strap

Anna & Eve Baby Swaddle Strap

  • Price: $
  • Pros: Can be used over other swaddles for extra wiggly babies, simple, good for warm climates
  • Cons: May slide up or down if not secured properly

Whether you’re looking for an arms-only solution or want to double-up on swaddling, a swaddle strap can come in handy. It’s essentially an arms-only wrap that stays put across baby’s torso.

This one from Anna & Eve is a popular pick among new parents because it’s made from 100 percent cotton, which doesn’t stretch over time, and is easily adjustable as your baby grows. Parents also mention that it’s great for warmer temps since it doesn’t cover baby’s legs.

With two layers of wrappable Velcro (including one that lays under baby’s arms to prevent the strap from sliding up) and comfy underarm cushions, it’s easy to use, especially during late-night diaper changes.

Most versatile swaddle

Woolino Swaddle Blanket

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: Beautiful, soft, natural fibers, good for temperature regulation, can be used as a blanket once baby is no longer swaddled
  • Cons: A bit pricey, may be hard to swaddle snugly enough

The blanket is made of 100 percent Australian merino wool, which is known for its temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking properties. This pick is great for all temperatures and can handle a little humidity.

You can still use this 35- by 39-inch blanket for a variety of purposes, from a nursing cover to a sunshade.

Although swaddling has its benefits, it’s important to practice safe swaddling. Here are some important recommendations from the AAP.

  • Keep the crib bare. Loose blankets, stuffed animals, and lovies can pose a suffocation risk, so you’ll want to keep the crib completely bare.
  • Back is best. Whenever you swaddle your infant (or whenever they’re sleeping for that matter), they should be on their backs at all times.
  • Tight is right. When it comes to sleep sacks especially, you want the fit to be more like a sock and less like a potato sack. Babies who can wriggle their arms up and out run the risk of strangulation.
  • Stop swaddling when your baby can roll over. If and when your child shows the ability to roll over, or by 4 months of age, stop swaddling altogether.

It is possible to swaddle a baby too tightly. A swaddle that is wrapped too tightly can cause a baby to have trouble breathing and can put the baby at risk for hip dysplasia.

Speaking about safe swaddles, Dr. Kimberly Edwards of the Austin Regional Clinic stated in a Healthline article, “Hips can move and it’s not too tight, but arms are kept in. You should be able to fit your hand between the blanket and the baby’s chest.”

Price Material Features
aden & anais Cotton Muslin Swaddle $$$ 100% cotton muslin washable; can be used as child grows
Happiest Baby Sleepea 5-Second Baby Swaddle $$ 100% organic cotton easy access to diapers
Gunamuna Sleep Bag Premium Duvet $$$ 95% bamboo viscose; 5% spandex four-way zipper
CuddleBug Swaddle $ 100% cotton Velcro flaps for easy access
HALO Sleepsack Swaddle $ 100% cotton easy to use; free leg movement for baby
Ollie World Ollie Swaddle $$$$ polyester and spandex adjustable length; super stretchy
Love to Dream Swaddle UP Original $ 93% cotton, 7% elastane good hip mobility; allows arms to be up by face
Anne & Eve Baby Swaddle Strap $ 100% cotton can be used over other swaddles (for extra wiggly babies)
Woolino Swaddle Blanket $$$ 100% Australian Merino wool temperature regulating

Need additional guidance?

For more tips, check out the AAP’s safe swaddling guide.

What is the safest swaddle?

According to the AAP guidelines for safe swaddling, loose blankets are a suffocation hazard for young babies. So while all of these swaddles can be used safely if proper precautions are taken, the top options from a safety perspective would be one of the sleep sack or zip-up style swaddles, as they can’t come off and get tangled if they are properly fitted.

If your baby shows signs of rolling around, you should not use a swaddle that restricts movement.

Why is swaddling not recommended?

While swaddling is an age-old practice that does soothe many young babies, there are risks that must be considered. According to the AAP, these risks include:

  • SIDS can be caused by swerving babies to sleep harder.
  • “A baby’s hip development can be harmed by sweraddling too tightly.”
  • A suffocation risk is whenaddling blankets come loose.
  • Babies who are swaddled and roll onto their stomachs are more likely to be suffocated.

Do I need a swaddle?

“Not every baby needs to be swaddled. Babies who are healthy learn to sleep happily without one. Some parents prefer to have their baby sleep outside the womb from the start, so that they don’t have to swaddle their baby when he starts to roll.”

For premature or snoozing babies, swaddle can be a very effective way to help them sleep better. If you have questions about whether or not swaddle is right for your baby, give your doctor a call.