I have a newborn. This is not breaking news. Being a parent is lovely and totally fulfilling. As with the rest of my life, I like to know what will work the best, be the most efficient, etc. Baby gear is NO different. Take the swaddle blanket- a necessity for my little man who can houdini his way out of any blanket that binds him. Cute, right? No. Not when he works his little arms free (grunting like a crazed pig while doing so) and then proceeds to punch the air with his tiny fists of fury while he works himself into a full baby scream. He is supposed to be sleeping. Not so much. When he is actually swaddled properly, he falls right to sleep and STAYS asleep until we wake him to eat. Perfect, right? So a good swaddle blanket really equals more sleep, which translates to a happier me, and thus a happier husband and household. Happy wife, happy life is NOT A JOKE. It is a real thing, people.
On to the options. (These are the ones I’ve tried…)
The good ‘ol blanket.
I’ve used the ones from the hospital and these fancy Aden & Anais blankets. They are great for naps or when he’s already tired. If he’s cranky, he can get out of that thing in under 60 seconds even when it’s TIGHT. I use them for all sorts of other things (tummy time, as an extra layer when he’s cold and I’m holding him, etc.) but they don’t really do much for me in the swaddle area.
The Halo Sleep Sack
Great option. Think of it as a velcro straight jacket. The velcro holds it tight, but it is also loud. If it’s the middle of the night, or he’s already sleepy, that velcro can be kind of loud. Also, it’s hard to get his first arm flat to his side (super important if I don’t want him to break out of it) before I start on the OTHER arm. Ian has better luck with these than I do. I can’t seem to get it tight enough. Ian is the swaddle master in our home. If he does it, it works really well. ALSO, it zips from the top down, so if you need to change a diaper, you can do so without unbinding the top. Smart idea. Too bad my baby gets even madder if I try that, lol.
The Miracle Blanket
My favorite. Hands down. It is a complete baby straight jacket and I love it. Super easy to use and I don’t have to make it crazy tight to keep him in it. Check out the easy instructions/video here. The only downside is that I don’t want him overheating. You’re supposed to keep your house pretty cool at night with a baby regardless, so I don’t worry too much about it. If you don’t keep your house between the recommended 65-70 degrees, I wouldn’t use this.
I would love to try the Woombie as well as he gets bigger. My only issue that I could see happening is that he can move his arms underneath the material and that in itself makes him all grunty. It’s like the baby version of “So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance…” If he thinks he can get out, he is bound and determined to do so. Even if he can’t, he’ll keep trying until he gets louder and madder, and well… we all know that sort of defeats the purpose when you’re trying to get him to sleep. This might work well for babies that can handle a bit of arm freedom. Mine cannot right now. I do love that they have a Woombie Air, that allows more air flow for hot sleepers. Brilliant idea.
The swaddleMe or the swaddles from Aden & Anais are cute, but not tight enough for my little man. They hold his arms in, but he can break out of them SUPER easily.
If your baby isn’t fussy or super active, just stick with a basic SwaddleMe, the wraps from Aden & Anais or a receiving blanket. If you like the tight baby burrito idea, use the Sleep Sack. Simplicity? Go for the Woombie. My favorite is the Miracle Blanket. It comes is one size so it lasts a long time, and it holds his little arms INSIDE. Idiot proof. When I’m trying to swaddle my fussy, nay, screamy baby at 4 am, I need something that is easy. This fits the bill. I’m going to use it until he outgrows it, and then perhaps try a Woombie once he’s already accustomed to swaddling every night. (Also, it will be hotter in the Summer months, and the Woombie is lighter so he doesn’t get as hot.)
Do you have a swaddling preference? Let me know in the comments!