Mamma – how was your night last night? Tiring? I feel you. Trust me, there is nothing longer than those first few days, weeks, and months of your new baby’s life. It feels like you may never sleep again. It feels like you’ll do absolutely anything to get a few uninterrupted hours of sleep. I am still haunted by the exhaustion that followed me during the first year of my little one’s life.
I’m sure you’re here because that same exhaustion has driven you to seek out ANY magic sleep sack or swaddle that will help. You’ll do almost anything to get in a few extra hours of sleep. While I can’t promise a full eight hours, I do have some great recommendations below. This post talks about all the different swaddle and sleep sacks we tried to get through the night.
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Many mammas can swaddle their infants using a muslin blanket and they’ll stay asleep all night. Although I could roll a baby burrito with the best of them, my little one wiggled out of a plain blanket pretty quickly. I wasn’t comfortable leaving her in a blanket overnight when we weren’t watching. After some searching, I found a few other options that made me feel a little safer.
The Sleepea is the newest swaddle we found for our second baby and is hands down my favorite. It removes all the barriers of swaddling and is truly the only swaddle we’ve needed for the first three months.
To be fair, we have been using a SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet, that has been an absolute lifesaver for our baby’s sleep. They use a version of the Sleepea swaddle that hooks directly inside the bassinet. We’ve used the Sleepea when she’s napping in her pack ‘n play and we’ll be using it when we transition to crib naps as well.
This swaddle has an elastic band on the inside that keeps baby’s hands down by her side, and then a vented sack that cocoons her for a warm and snuggly sleep experience. You don’t need to worry about any extra fabric that could get pulled up over her nose or mouth.
Even better, once your baby is ready to have her hands out, hidden snaps open on the side to allow her more freedom. It eliminates the need for a separate sleep sack and swaddle altogether.
SleepSack Swaddle Combinations
What we liked about this swaddle is that it takes the guesswork out of swaddling. You zip baby in, place her arms down, and velcro the arm straps in place. Easy Peasy.
What we didn’t like was that the outside arm straps can move when baby wiggles. Our little managed to wriggle out of this and a few times got it too close for comfort to her nose. We had a particularly gifted Houdini, but her ability to get out of swaddles is what led us to the Swaddle Strap that we recommend farther down.
I’m putting these on the list as they performed very similarly to the Halo, but the three packs were much more cost-effective. Our little lady was able to wiggle out of these as well, but we had a lot of people recommend them. I also loved how easy they were to use, so as long as your baby doesn’t fight swaddles or isn’t particularly gifted at escape this is an excellent option.
The Swaddle Strap
Although the Swaddle Strap looks a little controversial, it is the one swaddle we had with our first that allowed me to rest easy. Since we had an escape artist, I knew that my little wouldn’t get it up over her face when she wiggled. This strap is a thin band that wraps around the belly and then around the arms to keep them secured to baby’s side.
There is no extra fabric. Even if the baby manages to get an arm out, the outer straps remain down by her side. It was amazing to finally be able to rest without worrying about her safety. I did put her in long sleeve footie pajamas to keep her warm.
There are so many different types of swaddles and likely you’ll need to try out different options before finding one that works for your baby. Don’t give up, the perfect option is out there, even if you have to do a little trial and error!
Aden & Anais Sleep Sack (Blanket only)
We moved into this sleepsack (size small) at 3.5 months. This was when little lady went through the four-month sleep regression and started trying to roll. We went cold turkey without a swaddle because we were worried she would roll over in the middle of the night. It wasn’t a great time (check it out here) but we did end up loving our sleep sacks. We loved this brand of sleep sack so much, she wore them until almost two.
It is lightweight and keeps her warm with footie pajamas. We didn’t have to worry she’d overheat if the temperature went up in the house. We bought two in every size. I’d highly recommend them to keep your little ones warm once you’ve moved out of swaddles.
Should I experiment with different swaddles?
Although there are many different versions of swaddles and sleep sacks out there, you don’t need to go out and buy five of the most expensive version on the market. Choose the one that works best for your baby.
If it keeps her hands down and doesn’t allow her to wiggle free, it’s probably a good choice. I’d start with a Sleepea Swaddle first, and if that doesn’t work you can try another option.
If your baby has started to roll or can get out of the swaddle, it’s time to free her arms and/or move to a sleep sack. We’ve used all of the options recommended and liked them all for different reasons. I hope you find one that keeps your little one asleep. Feel free to email me with any specific questions!