I learned the magic of a good, tight swaddle when my first was days old, already spending most of his hours screaming. He was not an easy baby, and I was desperate for any kind of magical solution that would help him calm down. This was way back in 2008, and I kept reading all these amazing reviews for the Miracle Blanket. I learned how to swaddle with a basic swaddling blanket in our Bradley Method class, but I NEEDED a “miracle.”
I wound up finding one of these at a nearby baby boutique (long before the days of Amazon Prime Now). It was pink, and I didn’t care. It wasn’t a miracle, but it was as close as I could get. It DID help him fall asleep and stay asleep longer. We’ve been lovers of the swaddle ever since, but now there are SO many more options!
We have quite the swaddle collection built up to use with our 4th baby, Wallace, who is now 3 months old and on the cusp of outgrowing them. We took some time yesterday to try out every one we have, and I’m here to give you the details on each.
They are all “good” in some way or another. I wouldn’t have kept them and used them if they weren’t. So if it’s on this list, then trust that I personally think it’s worth the money and can function in some way that is useful. I’ll try to provide enough feedback about each that will help you decide which one(s) would be the best fit for you and your baby.
This was our OG swaddle blanket, though, obviously, THIS one is not pink. We wore the pink one out and replaced it with this thinner, stretchier natural beige version.
How does it close: The Miracle Blanket simply relies on wrapping and tucking the fabric around baby.
Difficulty: Once you’ve figured it out, it gets easy, but you’ll need to spend a few minutes learning what to do with the arm flaps inside. It will definitely require a tutorial if leaving with a caretaker for a bit.
Sizing: It’s generously sized, but can work for tiny babies, too, taking you all the way through the swaddling stage.
Price: $30 on Amazon
Why you may love it: This swaddle, for us, was unbustable. We’ve never had a baby break out of it. The arm flaps inside give you that extra layer of lock-down that keeps babies hands by their sides. You can also swaddle with one arm out for thumb suckers.
Why you may not like it: It takes a little more effort to wrap than a lot of the hook & loop or zipper closure options. Baby may not like having hands by their side.
How does it close: The gown part zips from the top down, meaning you can unzip from the bottom just enough to keep it on baby during diaper changes. The flaps secure with Velcro.
Difficulty: It’s pretty darn easy. I think if you left if with a caretaker and forgot to give them instructions, they’d probably figure it out quickly.
Sizing: Your baby will likely outgrow the newborn size before they are done being swaddled. Wallace is in a size small in the picture above.
Price: About $20ish– it varies a bit
Why you may love it: You don’t have to take it completely off baby for diaper changes, and it’s simple to figure out. Possible to swaddle with arms out as you transition away from swaddling.
Why you may not like it: Your baby will probably need two sizes to get them through the swaddling stage, meaning you’ll have to purchase 2x.
How does it close: One simple zipper. It unzips from the bottom so you can unzip just enough to change a diaper.
Difficulty: Super easy
Sizing: There are two sizes- 5-13 lbs and 14-19 lbs.
Price: About $30ish for the basic version
Why you may love it: Crazy easy to put on, and it let’s baby move their hands up closer to their mouth, which some babies use the self soothe.
Why you may not like it: It lets baby move their hands up closer to their mouth, which keeps some babies awake. You’ll probably need 2 sizes to get through the swaddling stage.
How does it close: You simply wrap the flaps over each other and it attaches with Velcro.
Sizing: One size fits all swaddled babies. There are two pouches in the sack that allow you to securely swaddle a tiny and then a larger baby. Wallace couldn’t fit in the small pouch long at all, but is fine in the bigger pouch still. He seems to be close to outgrowing the wrap around flaps, though. He’s 16.5 lbs.
Why you may love it: Super stretchy, soft, breathable material. Great for hot climates. Easy to put on. Can swaddle with arms out. Really cute prints that photograph well. One size will fit baby as long as they are swaddled.
Why you may not like it: Have to take it off completely to change baby’s diaper.
ErgoPouch airCocoon & similar
I don’t think this Australian brand is super popular in the U.S. but I’ve seen some other similar swaddles from Etsy, IG, & FB boutiques.
How does it close: It’s already closed. It’s basically a tube that you pull up around your baby from the bottom (see the foot opening pouch?) and then snap around the neck.
Difficulty: Not hard to figure out… but not an easy thing to do in the middle of the night.
Sizing: I think with most of these they are one-size.
Price: $36ish on Amazon for this brand, but other brands prices vary
Why you may love it: Stretchy, soft, breathable fabric. Let’s baby move their hands closer to their mouths to self soothe. Looks really adorable in pictures, which is why I love it the most. (I’m a photographer, though, and I get that a lot of people aren’t judging the quality of a swaddle by how it photographs.)
Why you may not like it: Kinda a PITA to put on, baby may be distracted by their hands.
How does it close: One zipper, unzips from the bottom, letting you change baby’s diaper without taking it off all the way.
Difficulty: Super easy
Sizing: 3 sizes. 4.5-7 lbs, 6.5-13 lbs, 13-18 lbs
Why you may love it: Wallace spent his life in the womb as stretched out as possible. I could feel him punching my cervix regularly. So he came out wanting his hands over his head. This lets you swaddle baby with their hands UP. Great for fellow stretchy babies or babies that want to self-soothe by putting their hands by their mouths.
Why you may not like it: Hand placement may keep baby awake. Baby will go through at least 2 sizes while in the swaddling stage.
Worth noting: No way to swaddle with arms out in the classic version, but there IS a version that allows you to unzip the “wings” and let one or both arms out.
How does it close: Flaps wrap around baby and secure with Velcro.
Sizing: one-size with two pouches for best fit as baby grows
Price: $30- $40 (Get 15% off at NestedBean.com with code BABYRABIES15)
Why you may love it: The unique feature of the Zen Swaddle is that it applies pressure to baby with lightly weighted pads on their chest and sides. You know how when you’re trying to get baby to sleep, sometimes it helps if you just place your hand on their chest? This mimics your touch in that way. It’s also made with super light and breathable fabric that is so soft.
Why you may not like it: You’ll have to take it off completely to change a diaper.
How does it close: Velcro and an elastic loop at the bottom
Sizing: Very generous, one-size fits all
Price: $60 (buy through this affiliate link and you can get 10% off)
Why you may love it: It’s super stretchy, the Velcro is very strong, giving baby a “hug.” It’s very easy to use. It sizes up and down beautifully. There are no seams you have to worry about ripping with use over time. It’s simple and photographs beautifully! (Again, I know I’m odd, but these things matter to me.) You can easily swaddle baby with arms out for transitioning out of swaddling.
Why you may not like it: Must remove completely for diaper changes. It’s expensive for a swaddling blanket.
Aden + Anais muslin swaddle blankets & similar
LOLOLOL Wallace knows I suck at swaddling with plain ol’ swaddling blankets.
How does it close: I don’t have enough time to explain that. You are folding and wrapping and tucking a big square of fabric.
Price: $35-$45 for 3, other brands vary
Why you may love it: These blankets, while not the easiest way to swaddle a baby, are super multipurpose. I generally use them for wiping up spit-up, light blankets, carseat covers, impromptu changing pads, and I always have one or two in my diaper bag. In a pinch, I can use it to swaddle, though obviously it’s not my strong suit. It does photograph beautifully, though, and there are a ton of really pretty patterns. A + A is not the only brand that makes these. There are so many out there I can’t even begin to list them. You can easily swaddle baby with hands or arms out.
Why you may not like it: You are not a baby origami master.
And there you have it. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of all the swaddles out there, but it’s what I could dig up from our stash. Feel free to tell us about your favorite swaddle in the comments! Some of these links are affiliate links.