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If you’re having a baby any time soon, you’ve probably heard of swaddling. Using a swaddle is a time-tested strategy to help calm a fussy baby and keep that dreaded startle reflex under control. Since there are so many swaddling options, I thought it might be helpful to talk about the different options and help you choose the right swaddle for your baby! Here are the options that we have used with M.
This is the traditional method of swaddling. Using a square blanket to wrap the baby. While it’s a good skill to know, it can be difficult if you have a Houdini baby that likes to bust their arms out at every opportunity. Here’s a great tutorial on how to swaddle with a blanket.
If you’re going to stick with this method, make sure to get some good quality swaddling blankets. I love the muslin ones from aden + anais. The prints are gorgeous, and they’re lightweight which is nice for getting a snug swaddle without overheating the babe.
The SwaddleMe swaddles were the first ones we used with M. These were great because they were SUPER easy to use. We just laid the swaddle out, slid M inside, and used the Velcro patches to swaddle him. I loved ho simple this was, especially when M was having a really hard time (frantic, flailing arms). Being able to secure his arms next to his sides (in combination with the techniques from The Happiest Baby on the Block) allowed him to settle down almost instantly. This was essential for us in the first few weeks of his life.
My only complaint with these is that you can’t use them for very long; meaning they aren’t meant to transition once babe starts to roll over. That’s where the next items come in.
The Halo Sleepsack was one that was given to us at the hospital. I love the Sleepsack because you can use it for traditional swaddling, as well as to transition baby out of swaddling when he starts to roll over. It’s also a huge plus that this one comes in a jersey/cotton blend AND a fleece option. Duluth gets cold during the winter and fleece is perfect for keeping our babe at a good temperature at night without overheating him.
The Sleepsack is great because you can slide the baby’s arms inside the sack, and use the wings to either lock their arms down, keep them out, or create a combination of arms out or contained. This has been very helpful for us, since M is starting to roll over now, and I love that he can still stay nice and snuggly, but has the option to use his arms if he needs to.
The Swaddle Up is a great option for babies who cannot stand to have their arms pinned down by a traditional swaddle. It allows babies to keep their arms up while they sleep. It’s great because it helps keep the Moro Reflex (startle reflex) under control while simultaneously allowing a bit more freedom of movement.
The nice thing about the Swaddle Up is that you can order one that allows the wings/arm holds to zip off when it’s time to transition for a rolling baby. They also have a quilted option for a bit more warmth if you live in a colder climate.
You may have seen the Zipadee-Zip on Shark Tank a few years ago. The Zipadee-Zip is a transition swaddle for babies 3 months or older. It’s a star-shaped swaddle that allows babies to have complete control of their arms and legs, but keeps the Moro Reflex a bit more controlled than sleeping without a swaddle. This is ideal for babies who are rolling over, but need something to zap that startle reflex that interferes with restful sleep.
The Zipadee-Zip also comes in a fleece option for cooler climates, but the majority of their products are a jersey/cotton blend. My only wish on this swaddle is that the zipper would begin at the top and zip down to their feet. It would be so much easier for diaper changes in the middle of the night. Not a huge deal, but something that I would have suggested during research and development to make it a bit easier for parents.
Did you use a swaddle with your little one? Which method or product did you prefer?