How many swaddle blankets do I need for my newborn?
It can be hard to know how many swaddle blankets you need for your newborn. There are a lot of different types of swaddles and it’s not always clear which one is best for your baby. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you figure out the number of blankets you’ll need based on the type of blanket you’re using. You’ll also find tips on how to use them correctly!
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What is swaddling?
Many parents may have never heard about the concept of swaddling, but it’s actually a way to keep your baby wrapped up snugly in a blanket with their arms close-to-their-side.
Swaddling is great because:
- It prevents them from waking themselves with their startle reflex
- it helps your newborn feel calm while being tightly enveloped like they were still in the womb.
- it is a safe way to keep baby warm without loose blankets in the crib which can be a suffocation hazard
Types of Swaddle Blankets
There are numerous types of swaddling blankets on the market today.
But, they all fall into three categories:
- Traditional swaddling blankets – these large, thin blankets look just like blankets and you’ll need to learn the art of the swaddle to get baby wrapped up just right like a little burrito.
- Swaddle suits, sacks or pouches – an infinitely popular way of swaddling in a one-piece suit, so wrapping your baby can be as easy as putting on a onesie! These are great because they are so easy to use, however, you’ll need to upgrade sizes as baby grows which can make them an expensive option.
- Hybrid swaddling blankets – these are blankets designed specifically to make wrapping up baby easier. They may include a sack-like section for baby’s feet and most include velcro fasteners. These blankets are easier to use than a traditional swaddling blanket and are easier to make snug. You may be able to use the same blanket until baby is out of swaddles (but some may need to size up.)
How to choose the Right Swaddle Blanket for Your Baby
Which will you choose? The best way to decide is to try a couple of different styles when your baby is a newborn. Once you know what you like, you can invest in a full wardrobe!
Traditional swaddling blankets
These are great because:
- you can use the blanket for other things, like a stroller cover, or a blanket.
- you’ll be able to use the same blanket until your baby is too old to be swaddled. (super cost effective).
On the negative side, there’s definitely a learning curve to learning to wrap and as baby gets older, they get better at escaping! Having a loose swaddle can be dangerous to baby.
Swaddle suits, sacks or pouches
These are great, and my personal favorite, because:
- they are so easy to use! There’s also no room for error.
- Baby can’t pop out of them or loosen them.
On the negative side, you’ll need to upgrade sizes as baby grows and they tend to be more expensive than traditional swaddling blankets.
Hybrid swaddling blankets
These blankets are:
- easier to use than a traditional swaddling blanket
- and are easier to get a good fit.
- You may be able to use the same blanket until baby is out of swaddles (but some brands may need to size up.)
On the negative side, strong babies will still be able to wiggle free of these swaddles.
How Many Swaddle Blankets Do I Need?
Having trouble deciding how many swaddle blankets you’ll need?
Here are the number of swaddle blankets you need depending on the style you choose:
Traditional Blankets – Recommended #: 4-6
Swaddle Suits/Sacks/Pouches – Recommended #: 3-4
Hybrid Swaddle Blankets – Recommended #: 3-4
Note: Swaddling is a great way to keep your baby warm while they sleep. However, no matter what type of swaddle blanket you use, remember that loose blankets in the crib can be harmful so do check that baby’s blanket hasn’t come loose regularly before bedtime and during nighttime diaper changes.
How Often Should You Wash Swaddling Blankets?
I recommend washing your baby’s swaddling blankets after at most 3-4 uses. You’ll know if you need to wash them more frequently (in case of leaks, diaper blow outs, dribble or spit up.)
That’s why we recommend having at least three swaddling blankets, so that if one is in the wash, you’ve got one to wear and a spare.
Tips on how to use a Swaddling Blanket correctly
There are a few ways to make sure that you’re swaddling your baby correctly:
- Make sure the blanket is large enough that it won’t slide up or down, but not too large so that it’s very loose. Your baby should be able to move his legs and head easily while swaddled.
- Wrap your baby snugly, but not too tight! Leave a little room for his hands and feet and make sure he’s warm enough but not too warm! You can check his temperature by putting your hand just against the back of his neck, if it feels hot, you might want to rethink some of his layers.
- Don’t let the swaddle blanket go over baby’s face or head. You want to make sure that his face stays uncovered so he can breathe well.
- If you use a swaddle sack, baby should be able to fit in it easily without too much room and still have lots of space at his shoulders and hips.
- Stop using a swaddling blanket once your baby learns to roll over.
What If My Baby Wiggles Out of the Swaddle?
If you’re having trouble with your swaddling blanket, consider using an alternative swaddle that has velcro fasteners or a swaddle suit, or pouch.