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If you are searching the internet for the best swaddles for newborns, you are probably a bit confused by all the conflicting advice and opinions out there!
WWPD? (What Would a Postpartum Doula Do)
The truth is, EVERYONE is going to have a different opinion.
One mom will swear by a certain brand and the next one will hate that same swaddle… Sigh! How do you choose?
The truth is every swaddle is different, every baby is different and every mom is different… different styles, different preferences, different sizes, different needs, etc.
As a postpartum doula, I have seen many different swaddles, babies and mamas!
I hope that I can shed some light on this decision for YOU!
Best Swaddles for Newborns
Not all swaddles are great for newborns.
Some are just too large and bulky. Your poor baby is literally swimming in the dang thing! This defeats the whole purpose of even using a swaddle.
Worse yet, they often ride up over the baby’s face and that is simply NOT safe.
Even if they claim to be a newborn size, many swaddles are just too awkward for rookie parents to work with.
This is especially true for first-time parents who may have limited baby experience.
The swaddles with all the flaps and wings can be so intimidating for new parents!
How to Choose a Newborn Swaddle
There are a lot of swaddles on the market today, but I’m not going to review them all here.
The purpose of this post isn’t to compare all the different swaddling options out there. There are other comparison posts that do just that.
Rather, I am going to simplify the process for you by suggesting my 2 top picks for newborn swaddles.
If you’d like to read more about the hows and whys of swaddling, I suggest that you check out this post with some of my best swaddling tips!
Don’t Waste Your Money!
My goal is to give you a couple simple options and tell you why I like them for newborns and new parents.
Well, actually…. I’m going to do this in reverse order… tell you the features that I believe make for the best newborn swaddle and then share which swaddles actually have those features.
It’s not my intent to try and sell you anything in this post. I will, however, link to the swaddles that we are discussing, so that you can take a closer look at them yourself.
Believe me, I have seen too many parents waste their money on swaddles that they only used once!
The Best Swaddles for Newborns are the Correct Size
If you have read any online product reviews, the first thing you’ll notice is that there are people who LOVE and people who HATE the same swaddle.
I believe that this is usually because of sizing.
All babies are different sizes and some swaddles simply won’t work for your baby. You absolutely need to have the correct size.
How do you do that when your baby isn’t even born yet? How will you know what size you’ll need? Well… you won’t really…
Why a Snug Fit is Important
Take, for example, the Woombie Swaddle… one of my personal favorite newborn swaddles…
If you read the reviews for this swaddle on Amazon, you’ll see a mixed reaction. Most of the reviews are very positive, but the #1 complaint against the Woombie is that parents think that it’s too tight for their baby.
Speaking of too tight… I think that many parents make the assumption that their baby is complaining because the swaddle is too tight.
Keep in mind that it’s very normal for babies to complain while getting into a swaddle!
However, if you wait a bit, you’ll see that your baby will often settle down once picked up and snuggled a bit.
In reality, newborns actually prefer the feeling of a snug swaddle because it reminds them of the womb and helps them to feel safe and secure.
I often encourage parents to give the swaddle a second chance if it seems like their baby hates it, at first.
In many cases, parents are pleasantly surprised to see that their baby actually likes it, after all!
Now, having said that, I never want to discredit your new mother’s intuition or question your judgement…
If, after several attempts at using a particular baby swaddle, it still isn’t working, trust your “mommy gut” and move on to a different size or style!
Now back to our discussion about swaddle size…
Why Size Matters!
Pay close attention to the recommended sizes of the swaddle before purchasing it. You should choose a swaddle by the weight of baby, not age.
Also, some swaddles are adjustable and some are not. If you choose a non-adjustable swaddle, then size is even more important!
In the case of newborns, the most common sizing mistake is that the swaddle is too large. If the swaddle is too large, your baby’s arms will move too freely inside.
When they move their arms around inside the swaddle too much, four things can happen:
- They don’t feel safe and secure. (babies hate this)
- They more easily startle themselves awake. (this scares babies)
- Their arms will often bust out of the top of the swaddle. (this wakes babies)
- They pull the swaddle up over their face. (this is just plain dangerous)
If you have the correct size, it is less likely that these things will happen!
In addition to a snug fit around the chest, the swaddle should have plenty of room around the hips to decrease the risk of hip dysplasia.
The Best Newborn Swaddles are Safe!
Not only is hip dysplasia a concern when choosing the best swaddle, but I have other concerns about the safety of some swaddles.
I have seen arm flaps come loose and end up around baby’s neck, too-loose swaddles work their way up over baby’s face and swaddles that are too confining to baby’s hips.
There are also swaddles that cause concern with baby over-heating.
Needless to say, those swaddles are not on my short list.
The Best Swaddles for Newborns are Easy to Use!
If you’re like most first-time parents, you have had very little to no experience with newborns.
Not only that, but you are already feeling overwhelmed by all there is to learn about your newborn. The last thing you need is a complicated swaddle!
The Best Swaddles for Newborns are Durable and Affordable!
Keep in mind that affordable isn’t the same as cheap!
A well-made product will last longer and won’t need to be replaced as often. Some swaddles are just higher quality and made to last. Some are cheap.
Don’t buy a swaddle just because it’s cheap. If it doesn’t work well or needs to be replaced, then you are not really getting a bargain!
Besides, you should always consider the fact that you might be needing it to last through more than one baby!
My 2 Favorite Newborn Swaddles…
If you have read this far, you are probably interested in knowing which swaddles that I prefer and recommend for newborns…
Remember, they need to be snug-fitting, safe, easy-to-use, durable and affordable (not cheap)!
…Drum roll please….
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I really like The Woombie. It is appropriately named as it does a great job of mimicking the feeling of the womb for a newborn.
Newborns LOVE being reminded of the womb and this helps them transition more peacefully from womb to world!
Remember… a newborn that feels safe and secure will be a more peaceful baby and a better sleeper!
While inside the Woombie, babies can move their arms a bit, (like the womb) but since it’s so snug, they don’t usually get them out.
Also, I think this is probably the easiest swaddle to use since all you need to do is zip it up! The zipper is two-way, so you can leave your baby’s arms swaddled and unzip the bottom for faster diaper changes.
Another great feature of the woombie is the soft, stretchy fabric that allows a baby to move her arms slightly without startling herself awake.
Make sure that you order the newborn size (5-13 lbs.)
The biggest con with the Woombie is that the next size up is too large for most babies who are just “graduating” from the newborn size!
I don’t really recommend that size when it comes time to up-size. At that point, I’d recommend a different brand.
My Absolute Favorite Newborn Swaddle
Speaking of up-sizing to a different brand… what other brand would I pick?
Why would I recommend such an expensive swaddle?
…Because it’s freaking amazing!
And, think about it… all the other swaddles need to be up-sized as your baby grows.
By the time you’ve purchased two or three sizes, you have spent the same amount of money. So, you see…it really is affordable!
Not only that, but there is no comparison when it comes to quality.
The Ollie Swaddle is so. well. made!
If you hope to use your swaddles for more than one child, you will probably need to replace some of your old worn-out swaddles with future babies.
This Swaddle is Perfect for Newborns and Grows with your Baby
Another reason why I would pick this swaddle for newborns is that it is adjustable.
Newborns come in various sizes and you can easily make it as small or as large as you want.
It’s the only swaddle you’ll ever need… okay, so maybe you’ll need two for when the first one is in the laundry. 😉
Pros and Cons of the Ollie Swaddle
The Velcro. It’s both a pro and a con, actually!
It is very strong. Strong enough to hold even the squirmiest baby.
It’s also high quality. But the downside is that it’s pretty loud when opening!
The positives outweigh the negatives, though, when it comes to the velcro.
I have seen other cheap swaddles quickly wear out while this swaddle keeps on going strong.
I also really love that this swaddle is designed to be worn below-the-shoulder. There are so many good benefits of this, too!
Last, but not least, it’s soft, stretchy, easy-to-use and really really durable!
How About You?
What are your favorite newborn swaddles? Please share in the comments!