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10 of the best baby swaddles

Swaddling your newborn can help your them drift off by creating a womb-like environment. From cotton muslins to structured sleeping sacks, here are our top baby swaddles to get you started

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Swaddling is a centuries-old practice of snugly wrapping babies in a blanket, muslin or structured sleep-suit to help them feel secure and (hopefully) sleep better! The tightly-fitting fabric of a swaddle will help to cocoon your baby and mimic what life was like for them in the womb. With their secure, structured fitting, they can also prevent flailing arms (your baby’s natural startle reflex) from interrupting your baby’s precious sleep. Research has shown that swaddling a baby can possibly help alleviate symptoms of colic, too.

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I personally found them invaluable when my little boy was born. I only started swaddling a couple of weeks into having my son, but I’ll never forget the first night I used one as we had a longer stretch of sleep, and I was able to catch up on some precious snoozing time. I certainly missed using them when he started to roll.

We’ve researched and tested a variety of swaddles on the market to help you find the best one to suit your baby’s needs. From zip-up swaddle wraps to traditional swaddle blankets, we’ve chosen a range to suit swaddling newbies as well as those more experienced.

What to consider when choosing a swaddle

Age – Babies can be swaddled from day one. It’s important that baby is wrapped gently. They should only have their body covered, not their neck or head. Check individual products for their guidelines and recommended use.

Size – The swaddle needs to be large enough that it isn’t wrapped too tightly once the fabric is folded around your little one. Most shaped swaddles – which could come as a triangular fabric, or a sleep sack style – will be sized so you can choose the right one for your baby’s age and weight.

Materials – It’s important that the material you use is breathable, so you’ll notice many muslins and sleeping sacks are made from cotton or bamboo.

Tog rating – Check the tog rating for your swaddle to make sure it’s suitable for the time of year. The most popular in the UK is 2.5 tog which should work for most of the year. A 1 tog or 1.5 tog sleeping bag can also be useful for warmer nights, and a 3 tog is great if your house gets cold in winter.

Care instructions – Most are machine washable (we’ve indicated this for each swaddle in our round-up), but take care with some natural fibres as these can require a cold wash.

Cost –  Prices vary across the market – there are swaddles for all budgets and needs – in our shortlist, they cost anything with multi-pack options for just over £10 for 3 muslin squares to £49 for an individual sleeping bag.

Is swaddling safe?

It’s important that swaddling is done correctly and that baby is wrapped in breathable fabric – and not too tightly – to avoid overheating. Swaddling too tightly could inadvertently raise your baby’s temperature, but also increase the risk of them experiencing hip dysplasia, so always ensure there’s enough space for them to kick their legs.

Guidance also dictates that babies should be placed on their backs to sleep, and that swaddles shouldn’t be used once a baby can roll over (approximately 4 months).

How do I swaddle my baby safely?

If you do choose to swaddle it’s important to follow the NHS Choices team tips:

  • Your baby should not be swaddled too tightly
  • Still give your baby’s hips and knees room to move freely
  • Do not swaddle above the shoulders
  • Your baby’s face should also not be covered
  • Care should be taken that they do not get too hot
  • And, as advised by safe sleeping guidelines, you should always place your baby on his or her back to go to sleep

Here’s our pick of the best swaddles for your baby:

1. Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle, £20.99

– Best for versatility 

Suitable from: 0 to 6 months | Type: swaddle/sleep sack | Fabric: 100% cotton | Machine washable: Yes

This nifty product combines a swaddle and a sleep sack and in turn, allows for babies to sleep in different ways, whether that’s swaddled with their arms in, hands-to-face, or with arms out. To find the perfect fit, it comes with adjustable fasteners, so you can ensure your baby is secure.

We particularly enjoyed the spacious sack design – which is recognised by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as promoting healthy hip development – and the 100% cotton material; while it fits snugly around baby, it certainly doesn’t feel too tight.

Handily, it’s available in 2 sizes, 0-3 months (3-5kg) and 3-6 months (6-8kg) so it can accommodate babies of all different shapes. However, the 1.5 tog means that while it’s great for moderate temperatures of approximately 20-22°C, it’s probably not ideal for newborns born in colder months.

Available fromJojo Maman BébéKidly and Halo Sleep

2. Mori Newborn Swaddle Bag, £49

– Best for all year round 

Suitable from: 15 days to 3 months/2.2kg to 5.4kg | Type: swaddle bag |   Fabric: 30% organic cotton, 70% bamboo | Machine washable: Yes at 30°C

We love the simple functionality of this swaddle bag – it’s simply a case of zipping it up and doing up the adjustable arm poppers. The poppers also allow for your baby’s arms to sleep inside or outside of the bag.

Another benefit is its suitability for year-round temperatures, which isn’t the case for all swaddles. While it’s lined on the inside, it’s free from additional filling, so it’s suitable for a number of room temperatures without the worry of your baby overheating.

Baby Mori suggests using your own discretion to decide what your baby wears under the swaddle, depending on the temperature. For temperatures above 23°C it suggests a short sleeve bodysuit or nappy, for between 18-21°C a long sleeve bodysuit or full sleepsuit and for under 18°C both a sleepsuit and bodysuit.

Made from organic cotton and bamboo, it’s also incredibly soft with reviewers commenting that it’s gentle against their baby’s eczema prone skin.

Available fromScandibornNatural Baby Shower and Baby Mori

3. ErgoPouch Cocoon Swaddle, £32

– Best for moving from swaddle to sleep bag  

Suitable for: from birth | Type: swaddle/sleep bag | Fabric: GOTS organic cotton, bamboo viscose, elastane | Machine washable: Yes, gentle cold wash | Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2021, Joint Bronze – Baby and toddler sleeptime product

This is an ideal option for those looking for a structured sleeping bag that also provides the benefits of swaddling. It’s secured with a straightforward zip-up design and when your baby is ready to sleep arms-out, the arms come with poppers that can easily be unfastened.

Our testers loved the well-thought ergonomic design such as the generous bell-shaped bottom design of the sack, which provides plenty of room for baby to adopt a natural ‘frog-like’ sleeping position. Plus, the stretchiness of the material – made from organic cotton and bamboo – is designed to make the fastening process easy and straightforward for mum. Tester Claire, mum of 2, also found it to be “gentle on newborn skin”.

For tester Georgina, mum of 2, it helped to make the night time feeds with her baby a lot easier. “It keeps my baby asleep on transfer and since using it she has even started doing longer stints at night too!” she said.

Available fromUber Kids, Amazon and Natural Baby Shower

4. Little Seeds Baby Swaddle, £17.99

Best value swaddle wrap

Suitable for: 0-3 months | Type: swaddle wrap | Fabric: 100% organic cotton | Machine washable: Yes

Made with organic cotton, the material of this swaddle wrap is soft and stretchy. Popping baby into place couldn’t be easier; it’s simply a case of putting baby’s legs into the pre-designed leg pouch, then securing the arms with 2 pre-designed wings with velcro.

MFM tester Sarah said both her and her partner found them “simple and easy to use”. She added, “We found they helped our baby be so much more content and comfortable at night time. I found them so much quicker than swaddling them old school, meaning more sleep for not only bub, but mummy and daddy too.”

Unlike some other designs on the market, there isn’t the option for babies to remove their arms or legs from the swaddle wrap, but nonetheless with 3 in a pack, it’s a great quality affordable option for those looking for all of the benefits of swaddling, without having to do the swaddling themselves. Its gender-neutral designs – Grey stars, clouds and stripes – also make it a great option for baby showers.

Available from: Little Seeds

5. Done by Deer Happy Dots swaddles, £19

– Best for doubling up as baby sensory blanket 

Suitable from: 0+ | Type: square swaddle | Fabric: 100% Oeko-Tex Certified Cotton | Machine washable: Yes at 60°C

Measuring 120cm x 120cm, these traditional swaddles, made from a lightweight breathable cotton, offer style on top of function and come in a pack of 2 (always handy to have a spare when newborns are involved!).

The eye-catching polka dot designs are not just eye candy for mums; designers Done by Deer have made them with baby sensory in mind. So, these muslins can also double up as baby sensory blankets to help little eyes learn to focus.

If you’re not a swaddling pro these may not be for you, but if you’re a well-versed swaddler or eager to learn, these should most definitely be a consideration. At £19 for 2, they’re not the cheapest swaddles on the market, but you do pay for quality here and the sensory design is an added bonus too.

Available fromKidly, Uber Kids and La Redoute

6. Tommee Tippee Baby Sleeping Bag Easy Swaddle, £17.99

– Best for swaddling newcomers 

Suitable for: 0 to 3 months/2.3 to 5.4kg/to 60cm in length | Type: swaddle bag | Fabric: cotton | Machine washable: Yes at 40°C

Like many products across Tommee Tippee’s infant range, this soft cotton swaddle bag ticks all the boxes. We were particularly grateful for the lack of complicated fastenings; when you’re dealing with a tired newborn, you want to be able to get them to sleep as quickly and effortlessly as possible, and this helps to do the job.

While we cannot fault its functionality and quality, it’s worth noting it’s suitable for rooms with a temperature of 14-24℃. For babies born in colder months, you may want to look for an alternative product.

It’s also been acknowledged by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as a ‘Healthy Hip product’, and in practical terms means that while it fits the baby snuggly, there’s enough room for their legs to fall into a natural ‘frog legs’ position.

Available fromAmazon, John Lewis and Tommee Tippee

7. Love to Dream Swaddle, £29.99

– Best for an ‘arms up’ sleep position 

Suitable from: 0 to 4 months | Type: swaddle bag |  Fabric: 93% cotton, 7% elastane | Machine washable: Yes

This ‘arms-up’ design (a natural sleeping position for babies) is one of the only models we’ve seen on the market that is designed for babies to sleep in this position. While the snug-fitting fabric will help to alleviate any arms flailing (MORO reflex) which might inadvertently wake them up, there’s enough room for them to touch their face or self-soothe, if they’re particularly tactile.

MFM tester Laura found it “easy to use” with her baby and said “The stretchy fabric made getting baby girl in very easy and the double zip made it easy for me to change her nappy with little disturbance.”

Designed by a mum-of-2, it’s a well-thought out swaddle/sleeping sack, and there’s even designs in the range which go up to 4 years. This particular sack is suitable for up to 4 months and helpfully comes in small (to fit 3.5-6kg), medium (to fit 6-8.5kg) and large (to fit 8.5-11kg) to suit babies of all shapes and sizes.

Available fromAmazon, JoJo Maman Bébé and Uber Kids

8. Ergobaby Swaddle Wrap, £20

– Best for warmer temperatures 

Suitable from: 0 to 3 months/47 to 61cm/3.2 to 6.4kg | Type: swaddle wrap | Fabric: 100% cotton | Machine washable: Yes at 30°

From the makers of the supportive and much-loved-by mums ErgoBaby carrier, this cocoon-like sleeping sack mimics a swaddle, without the need to actually have to do the swaddling yourself.

It opens like a large Terry cloth, but it’s straightforward to fold around baby. The design encourages hand on heart sleeping position, with the aim of helping your baby to startle less when they’re sleeping (otherwise known as MORO reflex). There’s also a handy partition section for encouraging safe hip alignment.

Handily, it’s designed to have removable leg pouches, so you can easily change your baby’s nappy without taking them out of the swaddle completely. Plus, it’s secured with velcro, so no zips or snappers to contend with. Keep in mind the tog is 0.5, so this may not be one for colder temperatures.

Available from: AmazonJoJo Maman Bébé and Natural Baby Shower

9. Aden + Anais easy wrap swaddle, £34

– Best for a multipack 

Suitable for: 0-3 months | Type: swaddle wrap | Fabric: 100% cotton

These Aden and Anais swaddles handily come in a pack of 3, so are ideal for larger families or to have a couple spare at any one time. The swaddle wrap is also available in 2 sizes, 3kg-6.3kg (0-3 months) and 6.3kg-8kg (4-6months), depending on when you want to start swaddling and how quickly they grow.

These come with a pre-designed leg pouch, so to fit it around your baby is a case of popping their legs into the leg pocket, then placing the arm ‘wings’ over one another, and securing into place. There’s also a zip on the leg pocket, for easy access for nappy changes.

Functionality aside, we also love the cute designs in the range, from dinosaurs to flowers, animals and geometric shapes. Customers also commented on the softness of the material and that they come up well in the wash.

Available fromAmazon and Next

10. Bloomsbury Mill Swaddles, £15.99

– Best for a traditional muslin square 

Suitable from: 0+ | Type: muslin swaddle |  Fabric: 100% organic cotton | Machine washable: Yes at 40°C

These 120cm x 120cm traditional muslin squares, which come in a pack featuring grey and white stars, polka dots and chevrons designs, are made from soft, 100% organic cotton.

Given their generous size, they’re ideal for swaddling a baby in the traditional way, but can also double up as a blanket, bib or be used for cleaning baby. With this mind they’re best suited to those who have experience swaddling as there are no zips or pre-designed folds to help you.

As well as being delicate, they’re also durable, and can withstand machine washing at 40℃. Considering you get 3 for under £30, we found them to be incredibly affordable and enjoyed the fact that the set comes with spares – always needed with a newborn around!

Available from: Amazon  and Bloomsbury Mill

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About the author

Kayleigh Rattle, mum-of-1, is a freelance journalist and editor specialising in food, travel and parenting. Her words and reviews can be found published in the Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Good Food, Mother & Baby, MadeforMums and more.

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