Having never really mastered the trick of swaddling an infant snug and secure with a garden-variety receiving blanket like they do in the hospital, I was happy to discover a product when Finn was an infant that made swaddling super easy even for someone who is all thumbs: the SwaddleMe blanket. It worked really well for Finn, and he was a baby that demanded to be swaddled until he was probably 7 or 8 months old.
Having had such good luck with the SwaddleMe with Finn, when I found myself expecting another baby, I put a few SwaddleMe blankets on my shower registry (I had long ago gotten rid of Finn’s swaddle blankets, as well as most of all the other baby stuff, so absolutely sure was I that there would be no more babies for us). As it turns out, Scarlett is also a baby who demands to be swaddled. However, she’s a different sort of baby than Finn was; let’s just say she’s a lot more feisty. The SwaddleMe worked okay for her, but it had some drawbacks. Thankfully, I discovered that there are actually a number of different types of swaddlers on the market, so I decided to try a few of them out. Here are my reviews on them. You’re welcome.
This is a pretty straightforward wrap: you tuck Baby’s legs into the pouch, wrap one side over the arms, and then the other side, and the whole thing is secured with velcro. There is a lightweight stretchy cotton version for the warmer months, and a fleece version for colder months. This is by far the most affordable swaddler, priced at around $13.
As I said, the SwaddleMe worked well for Finn, who, once wrapped tight, was pretty docile as I recall. Scarlett, on the other hand, is pretty active, and strong, and although she seems to need to be swaddled in order to sleep (unless she’s snuggled up with Mommy, which just isn’t always possible), she manages to kick her feet out of the pouch on this one, and work her hands out through the top as well. She was born with a nuchal arm, and I swear this girl is just determined to have her hands up by her face. So the main problem we have with the SwaddleMe is that it just isn’t quite secure enough to contain her. Accordingly, I probably wouldn’t recommend this one for especially active infants.
The product description says it’s for birth to 3 months, although if you have a small baby, you’ll be able to use it beyond that. On the flip side, if you have an especially large baby, you probably won’t be able to use this for very long.
This one combines the genius of a sleep sack with a swaddler by way of “wings” attached to the sleep sack that wrap around Baby’s upper body and secure with velcro. The pouch of the SwaddleMe is eliminated, and so, too, is the problem of Baby working her feet out of the wrap. It’s very easy to secure: just pop Baby in, zip to close, and wrap the wings around her. It seems to hold Scarlett securely enough, too, that she doesn’t work her hands out of the top. The only drawback to this one, from our experience, based on our own baby’s particularities, is that it provides lots of room for Baby’s legs and feet to move around, and for babies who do better being swaddled tight from the neck down, this freedom of movement doesn’t always work so well. Still, sometimes it works just fine for Scarlett, so I keep it on hand. This one is priced at around $20, and is also available in both lightweight cotton and micro fleece models, and comes in sizes Preemie, Newborn, and Small for wearability up to 6 months.
So far, this one is our favorite, and I had never even heard of it until a commenter mentioned it here on my blog (thank you!). What makes this swaddler unique are the inner flaps that secure Baby’s arms, and the extra long outer “wings” that really hold Baby secure. There is no velcro or zipper on the Miracle Blanket; instead, the long wing is wrapped around and around Baby. Like the SwaddleMe, Baby’s legs are contained in a pouch, so a super active baby can kick her way out, but this has only happened a couple of times so far with Scarlett.
I wouldn’t say this one lives up to its “miraculous” name, as Scarlett still fights sleep in it and often has to be picked up and re-wrapped a few times before she settles down, but as far as features and effectiveness, I like this one the best.
Priced at about $25, the Miracle Blanket is available only in stretchy cotton, and not microfleece. The product description says it’s for birth to 14 weeks, but I’m thinking it can be used beyond 14 weeks for even an average-size infant. Scarlett is just about 13 weeks, and admittedly on the smallish size, and she still has plenty of room to grow in hers.
When I came across this one online, I loved the idea of it: simple design, easy to use, secure, with no way for Baby to work either her feet or hands out of it. It is by far the easiest to use: just place your baby in, zip up, snap, and voila! Scarlett didn’t like it, though, and neither did I.
The Woombie is supposed to mimic the close quarters of the womb, and it does hold baby very securely. I found it difficult to get her arms into a comfortable position, though, and the trouble is that once you zip it up, her arms are stuck in whatever position they ended up in when you stuffed her into the thing. My main concern, however, is the tightness of the neck opening – it’s too tight in my estimation. I’m actually kind of surprised they would make the neck opening so small. We did get the smallest size Woombie, which might explain it, but it’s supposed to fit up to 13 pounds, and Scarlett is well under 13 pounds, so . . .
Priced at about $27, this is the most expensive one we tried. It’s available in different models and sizes up to 6 months.
And there you have it. I’m sure there are even more swaddlers on the market, but these are the ones we’ve tried.
Tune in next week for my review of baby snot suckers! Just kidding 😉