We asked, and you answered! A few months ago we put out the call on our Facebook page for you to tell us about your must-have baby sleep products. And you all did not disappoint! We got so many answers that we decided to separate them into categories for our blog, so keep an eye out for the rest of the series over the coming weeks (including posts about blackout shades, white noise machines/gadgets, and sleep spaces). But to kick things off, we're talking about swaddles and wearable blankets—and there are lots of them!
Most newborn babies benefit from swaddling as a cozy and soothing way to transition to a much more spacious environment after birth. Swaddling also keeps babies’ immature startle reflex and normal body movements from waking them. Beyond the newborn phase, wearable blankets are a comfy alternative to loose blankets, which can be unsafe for babies and inconvenient for active toddlers. Here at Baby Sleep Science, one of our mantras for optimal sleep is: Cool, Dark and Quiet. Swaddles and wearable blankets help you keep your little one comfortable while maintaining an ideal, cooler room temperature of 65–70 degrees in their sleep space.
Before we get started, a few disclaimers:
**Please make sure that you’re familiar with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) safer sleep guidelines (found here) so you can make informed decisions about your little one’s sleep safety.
**Also, please note that, although the Baby Sleep Science team has reviewed the product information for everything listed below, we do not personally test or endorse each item. Use your knowledge of sleep basics and safety guidelines, as well as your family’s preferences, to decide whether a product would be a good choice for your baby or toddler.
Swaddles and wearable blankets come in a broad spectrum of style, price, materials, versatility and age/size suitability. The examples below are no exception, but the one thing they have in common is that they ranked among our readers’ favorites for keeping their little ones comfortable and warm (but not too warm!) during sleep.
These square muslin blankets are popular with our readers (and us too!) because they’re simple and versatile. Cut more generously than many other baby blankets, they offer ample room for swaddling a baby, and also boast a variety of other uses, including as an impromptu burp cloth, nursing cover, sun shade or floor covering for tummy time. This means that their usefulness can last long past your baby’s swaddling days. Watch Meg demonstrate swaddling with an aden + anais blanket below:
This is another swaddle blanket that many parents swear by, especially for those “Houdini babies” who seem to be able to push and squirm their way out of other swaddles. Although the flaps and pockets may seem confusing at first, this blanket is known for keeping babies snugly wrapped for optimal sleep. Meg shows how to swaddle a baby in a Miracle Blanket below: