My puppy boy began rejecting the swaddle at 3 weeks of age. During those first elated days at home I diligently wrapped the boy up tight in his swaddle, just as the nurses taught me, only to have my kiddo break free immediately or fuss hard, every time. It was Husband, following his keen Daddy instincts, who insisted that we do away with the swaddle, per baby’s request. Expose squishy baby arms for mom nibbles and kisses? Deal! Only problem was that damn startle reflex. So, we tried some swaddle alternatives.
1. Aden + Anais Easy Swaddle Wrap
- Snaps at adjustable intervals keep baby snugly swaddled as he grows
- Sack is roomy, like a wearable blanket, perfect for chunky baby legs and cloth diapered rumps
- Made of the breathable muslin to keep baby comfortable all year
- Comes in all the fun patterns that made Aden + Anais famous
This wrap came recommended from multiple sources on the almighty Internet, and my pregnant mama consumerist brain ate that up! Before bubs made his debut I had two of these wraps washed and ready for wear. The genius of this wrap is in the adjustable snaps – until it’s 4 in the morning and your sleep deprived fingers are fumbling in the dark.
We didn’t love this swaddle sack. Because it fits a weight range, it seemed too big for newborn bubs. And once secured in place, bubs’ legs still kicked all over the place, which woke him up. It’s also inconvenient to undo all the snaps for a diaper change, especially in a dimly lit room. Husband found the snaps especially annoying. Ultimately, a regular swaddle blanket seems easier, and if you purchase Aden + Anais brand, you can still get the adorable patterns.
<No picture because baby didn’t wear it long enough>
2. Baby Merlin’s Magic Suit
- Thick, soft suit holds baby snug to provide comfort and stifle his startle reflex
- Equipped with two zippers to make changing baby easy
- Choose microfleece or cotton in sweet pastels to keep baby cozy
- Recommended for use beginning at 3 months of age
My best friend and several Facebook mommy groups recommended this swaddle transition product to me. This suit is the cutest thing ever – it makes baby look like a tiny Michelin man. The idea is that the puffiness of the suit comforts baby & makes him feel as though he’s being held, while also stiffly holding his arms and legs down. If you have ever worn a stiff coat that hindered your movement, you get the idea.
We tried this suit at 3 months, at the height of everyone’s sleep deprivation, and it was an immediate no-go. Bubba did not like the stiff fabric, and I was too tired to listen to him fuss in protest. We tried the suit again at 4 months, when bubs started trying to roll over. Bubs liked the coziness of the suit much better at this age, but again, once he realized the suit was too stiff to let him roll on his side, he fussed. But he also slept better that night than he ever had before!!!! I stuck with the suit for a few days, but since bub was crying hard at every nap and bedtime, protesting his inability to practice rolling, and since we’d eventually have to transition him out of the suit once he could roll anyway, I took it off him. I wish, wish, wish you could use this for babies at a younger age, because I think my guy would have really liked it if we had started him on it sooner.
3. Love to Dream Swaddle Up
- Swaddle sack secures baby’s arms up near his face to enable self soothing
- Sack features a two-way zipper, so you can unzip baby’s bottom half for a change without taking his arms out of the swaddle
- Pocket on rear of swaddle allows parents to check for a dirty diaper or clip baby safely into stroller/swing/Rock ‘N Play/comforting product of choice
- Made of cotton and stretchy elastane
A brilliant mama friend recommended this swaddle to me when Bubba was 3 weeks old, and my wonderful sister jumped online and ordered the swaddle while I cried about being tired. When that package came in the mail I ripped it right open and (after washing) zipped a crying Bubs securely in – he quieted immediately and his eyes grew heavy. What the what?? I looked at Husband, who gave an optimistic shrug, and I giggled with timid relief.
The concept of this swaddle is simple: secure baby’s arms in his natural sleeping position & provide gentle, comforting pressure on baby’s torso. The swaddle sack is not stiff at all, which allows baby to move his arms and legs, and lets him chew and suck his hands to self soothe, but it still applies some pressure on the body, which feels womb-like and comforting to baby. Genius! Plus, baby looks like a cuddly little teddy bear while wearing the swaddle. All for the low, low price of $25. But buy two so you’re still covered when baby barfs on himself at 3am. We absolutely love this product!