- 1 Blankets
- 2 Sleep Sacks/Swaddlers
When I was close to popping during my pregnancy, Tim and I went to a “Happiest Baby on the Block” class at our hospital to learn about how to help our babies be… well… the happiest. If you have the chance to attend one of these classes, I would recommend it in a heartbeat. If nothing else, buy the DVD so you can learn how to properly do the 5 S’s (swaddling, side, shushing, swinging, sucking) to help reduce unnecessary crying in your baby/babies. We learned some techniques for swaddling, and we were so excited to do them with our babies to help them get used to life outside the womb. Before they were born, I was overwhelmed with the number of choices with swaddles blankets and sleep sacks. I went out and bought some before they were here, but since their birth 3 months ago, we have tried so many others on the market. I wanted to run down the ones we’ve tried, as well as my thoughts on them and how they work.
Note: Besides the Original Woombie that I received for review, we purchased (or were gifted) each of these other blankets. All opinions are 100% my own.
A bit about my grading: We don’t regret ANY of the purchases or gifts that we received. I am simply grading each kind in regards to their swaddlability in our experience.
Hospital Receiving Blankets: C
These are the rectangular flannel blankets that they provide at the hospital. Technically, we aren’t supposed to have any at home, but let’s be real. They do manage to sneak their way into bags when you are leaving the hospital (plus we inherited a bunch from when my brother and I were infants. We learned how to swaddle using these, but I will be honest that they are not the best for swaddling. Their rectangular shape and type of material make it difficult to get a nice, tight swaddle-and-tuck. I would recommend having them on hand, however, for an extra layer as an actual blanket. When the babies are young, they also make great pack-and-play sheets (although I wouldn’t recommend using them when the babies can roll over).
Aden and Anais: A-
These were our absolute favorite blankets to use for swaddling both Audrey and David. Their muslin material makes them soft and breathable, but it also grips to itself to make it easy to wrap on itself. We also loved the size of the Aden and Anais blankets- perfect when they are itty-bitty and also when they are bigger. We did find, however, that the Aden and Anais blankets that they sell at Target (in 4 packs) are slightly smaller than the ones at Nordstrom and other boutiques. The Target ones were a bit softer, however. We ended up getting about 12 of them, because we were using them so much early on (and sometimes went through multiple changes if there were middle-of-the-night spit-ups or blow-outs. We completely stopped using them when David started breaking his swaddles (around 3 months), and we woke up to find that he had loose blankets around him. He was fine, but I didn’t want to take any chances, and we switched away from them.
Other Jersey, Muslin, and Flannel Blankets: D+
We have gotten a lot of other blankets, many as gifts and some that we bought before the twins were born. We love them all for different reasons: as stroller blankets, another light layer on cold nights, day-time blanket wrapping, etc. For the most part, however, they did not make great swaddle blankets because of their sizes. When we were recently in Charlottesville visiting family and we didn’t have our normal swaddle blankets, we used some jersey blankets in a pinch, but Tim had to be very creative (yay for his engineering mind) in order to keep them swaddled tight.
There are also some pre-made sleep sacks or swaddlers that are aimed at making it easier on us parents. I love the blankets, but when I had a choice, I would always go for one of these options, especially for the middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes. I was just too delirious to wrap a blanket in a good swaddle. If you are willing to spend the money, I would suggest going this route (but still have some blankets on hand).
Sleep Sacks: F (not for swaddling, but perfect for when they are older)
These are wonderful for when your little peanuts don’t need to be swaddled anymore. For a time around month 2, we let Audrey use these, while we kept swaddling David. She then went through a growth spurt, became needier, had trouble sleeping, and so we started swaddling again. We will be going back to these once they are turning over and don’t need the extra security of a swaddle again.
This is the Summer Infant’s Stage 1. When you first see this, you will think that there is no way that your baby will fit in there. It is reeeeeally tight-fitting, but that is what it’s supposed to be. It is similar in style to the Original Woombie, but I don’t think it works as well. We got ours second-hand, so maybe it was stretched out a bit, but the zipper kept falling down a bit whenever we used it. We also found that both Audrey and David were able to get their hands up towards their mouth when using this.
This is Summer Infant’s Stage 2. We LOOOOOOOVED our SwaddleMe swaddlers. We had two for each baby, and we used them exclusively for many, many weeks. They are so much easier to use than any of the blankets we tried, and we could make it tighter so that neither of our Houdinis could get their arms out. They look like baby straightjackets, but it was so worth the silly look of them for our babies to get the rest they needed. The only reason we stopped using them was because they outgrew them. They attach to themselves with Velcro, but it is so smartly designed. When you wash it, they have extra tabs that you fold over on itself, so you aren’t going to have the SwaddleMe stick to any of your other baby clothes, diapers, etc. We finally had to stop using them once David and Audrey outgrew the sizes that we had (around 2.5 months). We could have bought them the next size of this type of swaddler, but we knew that soon they would be turning onto their stomachs, and they needed their hands free. We then decided to move onto the Halo SleepSack Swaddles and Summer Infant Wrap Sacks.
I am going to group these together, because they are essentially the same type of swaddler. These act like a sleep sack, where you put your baby’s arms through the arm holes. You can then wrap the swaddle part around their arms and secure it with Velcro, thus still allowing them to be swaddled like with the SwaddleMe kinds. The biggest difference is that, when you baby is able to roll over, you can then swaddle their torso and leave their little arms sticking out. They get the security of a swaddle, but the safety of being able to use their arms during this critical roll-over phase. We have started by using the Halo version, and overall we like it. We have found that both David and Audrey can get their hands up to their mouths (no matter how tight we put them). A bit reason of this is because of the shape of the swaddle “wings” and the fact that they don’t tightly hug the collar-area. I think this will actually fit them quite nicely, however, once they are able to have their hands free. The Halo doesn’t have the great extra tabs, so it does stick to things when it is washed. We love the Summer Infant brand, but the ones we bought were too big at first, so we haven’t been able to use them yet. We are still giving them an A- grade because of trying them on and seeing how they are made just like the Stage 2 SwaddleMe swaddlers.
I received the Original Woombie in order to review it early on, when Audrey first started to escape her swaddle and her hands woke her up. I have to say that I love the design of the Woombie. Sometimes, it really helped Audrey and David sleep, but other times it just didn’t provide enough. I think the biggest problem was how light-weight it was, and David especially liked to have some weight on his chest (we were always safe about this, but I feel like he will like a weighted blanket when he is older). In addition, if we didn’t pull it down after putting it on, it could ride up and touch his cheeks, thus making him think that he was hungry. Once the babies grew a bit, however, this wasn’t a problem anymore and the Woombie became much more practical. By this point, however, we had found and fallen in love with the SwaddleMe swaddlers, although I will put David in the Woombie every now and then on a warmer night (but when he needs a good tight swaddle).
I got this second-hand, but in great condition. It has the same great qualities of the Woombie, but it has snaps so that your peanut has the options to have their arms stick out or not. It also has legs on it (like footed pjs), so they can kick freely to their hearts content. The feet aren’t as big of a deal for us, but I like the convertible nature with the arms.
This post was linked on the Virginia Bloggers’ Local Favorites Link Up #1.