Every Type of Baby Swaddle, Ranked
Before baby, you envision yourself a swaddling pro, skillfully burrito-ing your precious newborn in flowy (and most likely elephant-adorned) muslin cloths. Post-baby? Your triangle folds are a mess and your screaming infant-turned-Houdini is wrestling herself out of every attempt. Deep breaths. The good news is you’ve got options—we ranked them from best to worst.
1. The Sleepea
Yep, Dr. Harvey Karp, aka the man who wrote The Happiest Baby on the Block, made a swaddle—and it’s awesome. It’s also idiot-proof: All you have to do is insert baby, wrap a stretchy “smart band” around his middle, them zip him up into the sack. Done. Karp’s team even invented a special “quiet” Velcro that won’t wake baby up should you need to release him to tend to a diaper change epic poop-splosion. On medium and large sizes, the armholes come with snaps that you can open and close to adjust to your baby’s sleep needs as they grow.
Happiest Baby ($24)
2. The Swaddle Me
This one’s a solid runner-up in the idiot-proof category. Its foolproof hook and loop tab attachments wrap securely around your newborn to keep him or her nice and snug. The only drawback: The Velcro-covered wings are so secure (and loud!) that they have a tendency to jolt your groggy baby wide awake when they stir for a middle-of-the-night diaper change.
Swaddle Me ($13)
3. The Ollie
The ultimate baby straightjacket—this swaddle tightly contains even the most skilled newborn escape artist with a simple wrap. (Velcro tabs keep it secure.) It’s made with moisture-wicking fabric, too, so baby doesn’t overheat and can accommodate sleep transitions—arms in or out. Still, tying and knotting the bottom when you’re fumbling in the dark can be a bit of a challenge. Plus, the elastic has a tendency to stretch out/break.
The Ollie World ($59)
4. The Halo Swaddle
This three-way-adjustable swaddle is designed to secure arms in, up or out as your newborn transitions from one sleep pattern to the next. It also unzips bottom to top, meaning you can take care of a diaper change without releasing baby’s arms. One downside: The “wings” used to wrap add extra bulk—and heat—depending on the fabric type you choose. (This swaddle is available in cotton, micro-fleece, muslin and more.)
5. The Swaddle Up
Most swaddles place your baby’s arms by their side, but some infants prefer to sleep with their arms and (teeny tiny) hands up by their face. The Swaddle Up accounts for this natural sleep position with a design that lets your baby starfish—arms up—while keeping the rest of their body secure. Good in theory, but keep in mind arms up are not actually out and your baby knows it. Expect quite a bit of flailing and crying while they attempt to bust out—and put their hands in their mouth—as they come to terms with this fact.
Love to Dream ($30)
6. The Miracle Blanket
Velcro! Zippers! Snaps! You’ll find none of the sort on this swaddle which combines a foot pouch and fabric layers to secure your child with wrapping and wrapping alone. A big con: Unless you’re a genius at deciphering fabric folds, you’ll need to consult the directions—or watch the how-to video—more than once to nail the wrapping technique. And even if you do get your guy in tight, it’s pretty easy to break free.
Miracle Baby ($30)