To swaddle or not to swaddle… that’s always a debate for new parents. I decided to swaddle my newborn based on my ridiculous amount of research and conversations I had with other parents. However, I had no idea that wrapping your kid in a burrito would be this complicated. My friends gave me five different swaddlers before my son was born—not just five blankets; they were all completely different swaddler styles! How was I supposed to know which would work best for my child? I spent hours watching YouTube videos and reading websites to find the best baby swaddler. Finally, I had an answer: there is no right answer. Each child behaves differently with every product. Using something that doesn’t work well won’t actually hurt my son; it just means a little less sleep for me. I tried a few and then tried some more. Eventually, I determined the best baby swaddler.
The best baby swaddler
Overall, I chose the Summer Infant SwaddleMe Adjustable Infant Wrap as the best baby swaddler. It has great features that easily catapulted it to the top of my list. First, it is simple and easy to get onto the baby. Even if the baby is struggling or squirming, you can quickly wrap the fabric wings around their body and secure them with the velcro tabs. The velcro panel is large enough that it works for a wide range of sizes—my baby was pretty small at first and filled out over time. I could secure the SwaddleMe as loosely or as tightly as I needed no matter how skinny or chunky he was. You also have the option to secure the wings around the baby’s chest with their arms out. This helps them transition away from the swaddler.
By far, the best feature of this swaddler is that you can use it in the car seat with the buckle safely fastened underneath. The back of the swaddler has a slit for the bottom buckle to pass through, and the wings wrap on top of the chest buckle. Thank you, Summer Infant! I could easily move my baby from crib to car seat and vice versa without disturbing him too much. It also helped him sleep better in the car seat when we needed to run errands or drive across town. My husband was super thankful for this feature, too.
Lastly, the SwaddleMe comes in two fabric choices: cotton or micro fleece. The micro fleece was perfect for those cold, snowy days when we needed to be out of the house. The cotton is ideal for a warm bedroom or warm to cool outside temperatures. They also have a variety of colors and patterns to satisfy any parent’s style choices. No matter what color or material you use, the SwaddleMe is the best baby swaddler.
Once my son aged past 3 months, we had to slightly change how we used this swaddler. He had gotten used to sleeping with his arms by his sides, but he had also grown stronger. He started wriggling his arms and hands away from his sides, so I needed something extra to hold his arms down. Enter a folded, cotton blanket. I did more research online (shocker), and I found this on the Styleberry Blog. Shawna has a photo guide and video demonstrating how the extra blanket holds the arms down with the simplicity of the SwaddleMe on top. It was perfect! If that still doesn’t do it for your strong-muscled child, check out this swaddle method using a large muslin blanket. This method wasn’t beneficial for us until my son was 3 1/2 months old.
The best baby swaddler competitors
During my research, I tested a large variety of swaddlers. I’ll quickly list which ones I used and why I did not choose them as the best baby swaddler. Thank you to my 3-month-old son who had some not-so-great naps while being my swaddler guinea pig.
The best baby swaddler runner up
HALO SleepSack Swaddle: This was actually my favorite swaddler for the first two months. It came close to being our best baby swaddler recommendation. We went back and forth between this one and the SwaddleMe. The main problem with the HALO was strictly age-based. By the time my son was 10-12 weeks, he could pull his arms up and out of the sack. For little babies, however, this is a great choice! The sack is perfect for keeping baby warm during middle-of-the-night feedings. It’s very simple to wrap the large, velcro panels around them when you’re exhausted and struggling to stay awake. This swaddler also allows you to wrap the panels around the baby’s chest to help transition away from a swaddler as they get older. It comes in a variety of colors and materials including cotton, micro-fleece, and muslin.
Other swaddlers I tested
- Woombie Original: I didn’t try using this one with my son until he was too strong for it. It might work for babies up to 6 or 8 weeks (I’ve had friends who loved it for their newborn), but the material has too much stretch to help after that point.
- ErgoBaby Swaddler: I was so excited when I saw this online. However, my son didn’t like his hands being over his chest; he had gotten used to them by his sides. Like the Woombie, the material has too much give, so he was able to easily move his arms. That made for some disastrous naps. Sorry, ErgoBaby. I wanted to like it, but I was sorely disappointed.
- aden + anais Easy Swaddle: This one is nice because of the material, but it snaps above the baby’s shoulders and around their chest. It takes more time to put on and doesn’t have the convenience of a stretchy material or velcro. There are a few snap options for securing it around their body, but the snaps weren’t always where I needed them.
- Lambie and Me Swaddle Blanket: My sister is amazing at using these blankets; it’s second nature to her. I was not so blessed. When I had a crying, squirming baby and a partially-functioning brain, the last thing I wanted to do was struggle with a blanket. We used these for lots of different baby needs.
My best baby swaddler conclusion
As a new parent, there are many decisions you have to make. I hope this best baby swaddler guide will make the swaddling decision a bit easier for you. Even after trying all these options, I know that babies and their needs are constantly changing. All we can do is make informed decisions to keep our children healthy and happy. I’m certain the Summer Infant SwaddleMe is the best baby swaddler for my child; I hope you come to the same conclusion. If you find another swaddler that works better for you, we’d love to hear about it. Rest easy, and happy swaddling.