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How to Properly Swaddle Your Baby and Which Swaddle is Best

Updated on March 9, 2012

Swaddling your Newborn

Swaddling has been a common practice for mothers since ancient times. Luckily, development has come a long way to provide more practical, affordable and comfortable swaddles.

Native American baby of the Nez Perce tribe, photographed by Edward S. Curtis, 1911
Native American baby of the Nez Perce tribe, photographed by Edward S. Curtis, 1911

Learning How to Swaddle

After having a very colicy daughter who was blessed with a scream that could break windows, I learned very quickly that swaddling was a must in our household. Honestly she never cried, she screamed bloody murder and would not stop for anything...that was until I found the perfect swaddle.

I learned from my doctor, many books, and other mothers and fathers that swaddling was the way to go when trying to calm a fussy, irritable child. I knew that was my only hope of bringing sanity into my home. What I was not told was that not all swaddles accomplish this task.

I started out by trying the receiving blanket method of wrapping my 8lb 4oz newborn up like a burrito. Well, she looked perfect until I picked her up and she squirmed around slightly and she was free!

So, I decided to move up a step and buy an actual swaddle. My first stop, Target. I picked up "The First Years Swaddler" and was so trilled to see how easy it would be to put on with the velcro closures. Unfortunately, when I tried this extraordinary find on my normal sized daughter I realized that the only possible way for this swaddle to work was if she was a gigantic 30lb baby! This swaddle was basically as useful as throwing a blanket over the top of her.

So, I took it one step further and went to a specialty baby store and lo and behold found the "SwaddleMe," by Kiddopotamus. This is one great product! I got this beautiful pink fleece "SwaddleMe" home and with its easy velcro closures got it on in less than 30 seconds and it fit like a glove. My daughter basically lived in the "SwaddleMe!"


When a Good Swaddle Stops Working

After a couple months and about 300 washes I soon discovered that it wouldn't stay closed any longer since the velcro had no stickiness left. Therefore, I immediately rushed to the store and purchased a new "SwaddleMe."

Unfortunately, within days my daughter was escaping from this one as well. Even with the new velcro she was able to undo the swaddle. She was too long and too strong for it and could just bust her arms loose. I tried getting her to sleep without it and after a few sleepless days and nights I again rushed off to the nearest specialty baby store.

I was desperately in search of something that could save me from a life of no sleep and a screaming baby, since I was about completely deaf at this time. The store clerk must have seen the desperation on my face and came to my aid. She then introduced me to the "Miracle Blanket!!" She went on and on about how I would never use another swaddle blanket in my life after trying this. I figured I had nothing to lose, until I saw the price tag! "For that price it better work miracles," I thought to myself, but I had no other choice.

I went home with this new swaddle and pulled it out of the packaging and realized that this was going to be much more complicated than the easy velcro. It had one very long end that I wrapped around my daughter 50 times it seemed, but there was no way she was getting out of this one! This truly was the miracle of all blankets! It was so snug and would fit a baby of any size. I ended up keeping her in this blanket until she was almost 6 months...I know 6 months! She could have fit in this swaddle until she was over a year old, but that might have been classified as child abuse. I now know that this is the one and only swaddle I will ever use on future babies.

I have also since realized that everything is cheaper online than in the specialty baby stores.

My Reviews of Swaddles

Miracle Blanket - By far the best! Fits any size baby, comes in a variety of colors and does not wear out quickly. It is the most expensive out of the four, but I would have paid double for this life saver! Price online is approximately $30 whereas the specialty baby store it cost me over $40.

SwaddleMe by Kiddopotamus - This swaddle is a close second. It comes in a variety of colors and even a travel style. It fits like a glove, but my child after about 3 months could break free of the velcro. I would definitely have a couple of these as spares due to their cheap price and ease of use. The price is considerably cheaper, about $10 online and $20 at a specialty store.

Receiving Blanket - This is a nice idea, but just didn't quite work out for my squirmy little daughter. The standard receiving blanket was not large enough to keep my 8lb baby snugly wrapped. You can purchase larger receiving blankets online, which would work better, but cost about $25, which is much more expensive than the SwaddleMe. The smaller receiving blankets are reasonably priced at about $9, but just ended up being an expensive burp cloth and car seat blanket.

The First Years Swaddler - This is by far the worst! A total waste of money! It is almost $20 and not nearly as cute as the others and didn't work worth beans. This swaddler had some major flaws in the placement of the velcro, making it completely loose and downright dangerous for my daughter to wear to bed.

I hope now you can make a wise swaddling purchase and have a sanity in your household with a content and happy baby. 


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    • camdjohnston12 profile image

      camdjohnston12 6 years ago

      Great hub, Good information.

    • Brooke profile image

      Brooke 9 years ago from Oregon

      Glad I could be of help Everyday Miracles. It is so much easier to have an idea where to start instead of doing trial and error on your own when dealing with a child. I always learn so much from friends and family on what products are the best before I waste my money on useless things.

    • shawna.wilson profile image

      shawna.wilson 9 years ago from Arizona

      I swaddled my son for about six months also. It was hard because as he grew, most of the blankets I used became way too small. I ended up buying some soft but slightly stretchy fabric and cutting it to the size we needed. This worked pretty well. It's amazing how a snug swaddle can calm a baby almost instantly! It was lifesaving (and sanity saving) for me! Great hub!

    • Everyday Miracles profile image

      Becki Rizzuti 9 years ago from Indiana, USA

      I wanted to thank you for this hub. At the bottom of the page right now I have an add for the Woombie and noticed that you didn't rank this one. You probably haven't used it.

      Our daughter needed to be swaddled for the first six months of her life, and we had a terrible time making it happen. My husband didn't want to invest in a swaddler and so we were stuck using receiving blankets and a hand crocheted blanket that we received as a gift when she was born.

      I will keep this hub in mind when we have our next baby!

    • Brooke profile image

      Brooke 9 years ago from Oregon

      You must be much more talented in India lol. I just could not get the hang of wrapping her up without an actual swaddle.

    • circusmama profile image

      circusmama 9 years ago from Michigan

      We swaddled our third at first as well, which kept him happy. We used the SwaddleMe which he quickly grew out of. After that, he decided he no longer wanted to be contained. Now, at 10 months, he's already cruising! There's no stopping him!

    • charanjeet kaur profile image

      charanjeet kaur 9 years ago from Delhi

      I did not know that swaddles were actually made i am so surprised here in india we keep the baby in this position using a long square shaped cloth. My precious little one would be wrapped in it after her bath and she would sleep like a log and they have a sense of security in love them..

      I can so feel for you for all those colicy nights, im happy you dealt with it in the best way possible. Kids can be quite a handful but they are just the best thing that can happen to us.

    • Brooke profile image

      Brooke 9 years ago from Oregon

      That is amazing isn't it! We are so spoiled here in America.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      The picture with instruction is soooo cute!

      Did you know that in South America the indians carry their babies "Swaddled" on their backs all they long while they get on with their dalily chores? I always wondered how do they manage to keep the baby in place.

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      You're telling me!

    • Brooke profile image

      Brooke 9 years ago from Oregon

      Thanks! I am just grateful I don't have to wrap my child that way!

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      What a beautiful papouse photo! Love it. Great idea, Brooke.