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Do Swaddles Really Work? And Which Ones We Love

Swaddles can help your baby get the sleep you both desperately want because they are super effective at helping infants sleep better. While not all newborns love to be swaddled, the majority of newborns and young infants actually do best when swaddled. Here’s why…

Do Swaddles Really Work? And Which Ones We Love

Swaddles can help your baby get the sleep you both desperately want because they are super effective at helping infants sleep better. While not all newborns love to be swaddled, the majority of newborns and young infants actually do best when swaddled. Here’s why…

At first, many babies can act like they don’t like to be swaddled, sometimes pushing their arms out and resisting the swaddle. Understandably, many parents and caregivers take this to mean that their baby doesn’t like to be swaddled. But for many babies, it’s quite the opposite: most newborns actually do best when they are properly swaddled, and they immediately grow to love it. Why? Swaddling helps decrease the startle reflex, which is something they are born with (and eventually outgrow), but this reflex disrupts sleep and does exactly what the name suggests – it startles them! When you swaddle them properly, you eliminate the startle reflex and help your baby feel as if they are back in the womb, which means they are calmer, more comfortable, and can more easily get some uninterrupted sleep. 

While you can swaddle your baby with any swaddle blanket (and parents and caregivers have been doing that for centuries), we love the pre-made swaddles because they make swaddling fool-proof (especially if you have a little Houdini on your hands!). In those early weeks and months, we’re major fans of anything that makes our lives a little bit easier. 

Our Favorite Swaddles:

  1. Swaddle Me Original Swaddle: This swaddle is simple and gets the job done!
  2. Woombie Swaddle Blanket: We love so many Woombie products, especially this wearable swaddle blanket.
  3. Ollie Swaddle: This one is pricey, but it can accommodate each of your baby’s transitional stages, so it is worth it. 
  4. Miracle Swaddle: Is your baby a swaddle escape artist? If so, the Miracle Swaddle is the answer! It has extra wrapping and velcro to keep a tight swaddle all night (or nap) long.
  5. Halo Sleepsack Swaddle: Halo makes great products, and their swaddles have velcro and easy zipper access.

When do you  stop swaddling? When your baby can roll over. Once that happens, swaddles are no longer safe, and it’s time to switch to a safe sleep sack or transitional swaddle. We love this sleepsuit to help transition out of the swaddle!

We love Dr. Harvey Karp’s sleep tips, so check out our episode with him, Getting Your Newborn to Sleep. In this episode, Dr. Karp breaks down the keys to calming a fussy baby. Trust us, he’s known as the baby whisperer for a reason! And check out An Easy Schedule for Your Newborn’s First 4 Weeks for more tips! 

As always, you know your baby best, so listen to your infant’s cues. If swaddling doesn’t work for you and your baby, that’s ok! It’s something that works for most babies but not all! So remember to give yourself some grace. It takes time for you to learn your baby’s particular cues and get into a good sleep pattern, so be patient with yourself. Trust that, with some time, you and your baby will get into the groove!