As you prepare for your baby’s arrival, you’ll want to ensure you have everything you’ll need for the first few months. That’s why the question “how many swaddles do I need?” is common, to which new parents often seek the answer.
Finding the right swaddle for your baby can be a crucial part of restful sleep for your baby and you. Once you find the best swaddle for your baby, you’ll want to ensure you have the right amount of them!
In this article, you’ll find out everything you need to know about how many swaddles you’ll need for your baby. Plus, you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions, swaddle safety tips, and our favorite brands to give you some insight.
Let’s get to it!
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Things to consider when buying swaddles:
Before you jump in and add the cutest baby swaddles to your registry, you must consider some key points. Here are the top four points:
1. How often do you do laundry?
When deciding how many swaddles you’ll need, you must consider how often you do laundry each week. Depending on how often you do laundry, you may get away with buying fewer swaddles.
For example, if you do laundry only once a week, you’ll need the maximum number of swaddles for your baby (more on that below). But, if you do laundry every few days, say twice a week, you can likely have the fewest suggested swaddles!
Depending on the time of year your baby is born, you’ll need to ensure you have swaddles made of the appropriate materials.
Swaddles act as another layer of clothing, which in turn can help keep your baby warm. So if your baby is born in the winter, you would want to avoid swaddles made of muslin, which is the thinnest fabric swaddles are made of.
Swaddles can come in many different sizes. Standard swaddle blankets can come in various dimensions. In comparison, fitted velcro or sleep sack-type swaddles come in different sizes for your baby’s age.
Pro Mama Tip:
It’s crucial to know that you won’t want to invest in any swaddles that are in larger sizes, as they can become a safety hazard. Swaddling an older baby who might begin to roll over can be constricting and dangerous.
4. Spit-Up or Blowouts
If you’ve already had your baby and are wondering if you have enough swaddles, you’ll want to consider how often your little one spits up or has blowouts.
The more you have to change your baby’s swaddle because of an accident, the more swaddles you’ll need.
So, how many swaddles do I need?
After reviewing the key points above, you may still be unsure how many swaddles you’ll need. Typically, having no less than three swaddle blankets is ideal for your baby.
It’s beneficial to have between 3-5 swaddles, so you always have a clean swaddle between laundry days. If you usually do laundry once a week, you’ll undoubtedly want to go with the higher number of swaddles.
How many swaddles do I need in each size?
As I mentioned earlier, all swaddles come in different sizes. Here are some sizing guidelines to help you find the right amount of swaddles in each size:
If you know that you want to stick with traditional swaddle blankets instead of the more unique, fastening swaddles, I recommend you get swaddles that range between 40″ x40″ to 48″ x48″.
Many traditional swaddle blankets measure 30″ x30″, a size babies can quickly grow out of. Choosing the larger sizes will ensure your newborn has plenty of room to grow.
Most fastening swaddles, like velcro or swaddle sacks, come in sizes relating to your baby’s age. With this being said, I would avoid swaddles in newborn sizes and stick with 0-3 month-sized swaddles.
Also, as I mentioned above, it’s a good idea to steer clear of swaddles that are 3-6 months in size. Between 3-6 months, your baby could start rolling over, and you won’t want anything to constrict them.
Now that you know the sizes of swaddles, keep in mind that it’s wonderful to mix and match which swaddles you invest in. You could get two traditional swaddles and two fastening swaddles, or you can stick with all of one kind.
Filling out your baby registry? Check out these related articles:
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Different Types of Swaddles:
Now that we’ve established how many swaddles you’ll need, it’s time to think about which kinds you want. Here are the top four types of swaddles:
1. Traditional Flannel Swaddles
Many flannel swaddles may also be referred to as receiving blankets. These swaddle blankets are typically square or rectangle-shaped, measuring 30″ x30″ minimum.
While many traditional swaddles are made of flannel fabric, they can also be made of muslin and other materials.
Because many traditional swaddles are closer to 30″ x30″, I preferred them more during the first few weeks with my baby. Then as my baby started getting bigger, I liked the velcro swaddles.
Our Favorite Traditional Swaddle:
When it comes to traditional swaddles, I prefer larger-sized blankets. These ones from Swaddle Designs have a generous 42″ x42″ size. Plus, these swaddles are made of soft, breathable flannel, which is a great option to keep your baby warm.
2. Muslin Swaddles
Muslin swaddles are typically like traditional swaddles, meaning they are square or rectangle-shaped. The difference between a muslin swaddle and a flannel swaddle is that a muslin swaddle is a much lighter and more stretchable blanket.
Muslin fabric is a very loosely woven cotton fabric that is ultra-breathable, making them great swaddles if your baby is born in warmer months. Plus, many parents find them easier to use as a swaddle because they can stretch to secure your baby a little easier.
Our Favorite Muslin Swaddle:
The muslin swaddles from Aden + Anais are excellent. They typically come in a pack of four and measure 44″ x44″, giving your little one plenty of room to grow.
Plus, because muslin is so breathable and these swaddles are more oversized, you can use them as a breastfeeding cover if needed.
3. Velcro Swaddles
Velcro swaddles are a more straightforward, sometimes more secure, option than a traditional wrap swaddle.
Most velcro swaddles are similar to a swaddle sack, but the top half of the swaddle wraps around your baby’s chest, and the bottom of the swaddle is loose, giving your baby plenty of kicking room.
In my experience, velcro swaddles were helpful once my baby broke out of his traditional, wrapped swaddle but still enjoyed being swaddled. The velcro just made the swaddle a little more secure for him.
Our Favorite Velcro Swaddle:
There are many brands of velcro swaddles, but our favorite brand is SwaddleMe. These swaddles secure easily and are so simple to wrap your baby in. Plus, SwaddleMe swaddles come in so many cute prints and designs!
4. Swaddle Sacks
The last common type of swaddle is a swaddle sack. A swaddle sack is similar to a velcro swaddle, but you don’t wrap any part of it around your baby. Swaddle sacks are usually snug-fitting and have a zipper closure similar to a onesie.
Swaddle sacks can be an excellent option for your baby if they don’t enjoy wearing a regular swaddle but still need to be swaddled due to the Moro reflex. Many swaddle sacks allow your baby’s arms to be up instead of tucked at their sides or on their chest.
Our Favorite Swaddle Sack:
These swaddles sacks from Amazing Baby are a great option if you want a more transitional swaddle. These swaddle sacks are highly rated, come in many adorable prints, and are pretty budget-friendly.
Swaddle Safety Tips:
Sleep will take up a good portion of your baby’s day, so they must have a safe sleeping zone! Here are some safety tips for using a swaddle:
Wash Before the First Use
Like all of your baby’s plush toys, blankets, and clothing, you’ll want to ensure you wash swaddles before the first use.
Many brand-new items have chemicals, dyes, dust, and other allergens when you bring them home. Washing new items before using will ensure that the allergens and any dirt from the store/warehouse are gone.
Choose the Right Fabric
Choosing the correct fabric for your baby’s swaddles is essential. You’ll want to steer clear of swaddles made of polyester fabrics, as they are not breathable.
Instead of polyester, you’ll want to choose swaddles made of 100% cotton. Cotton is a natural, breathable fabric, and not to mention cotton is so soft for your baby’s skin!
Stop Swaddling Before Baby Starts to Roll
As I’ve mentioned earlier, you need to stop swaddling before your baby starts to roll over. Once your baby rolls over, they will need their arms free to push themselves off the mattress.
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How Many Swaddles Do I Need: FAQ
Why swaddle my baby?
When researching how many swaddles babies need, many new parents wonder if they are even necessary. Here are the top five reasons using a swaddle can benefit your baby:
1. Lessens the Startle Reflex (Moro Reflex)
Swaddling babies helps to suppress their startle (or Moro) reflex. As described by What To Expect, “If your baby is exhibiting the Moro reflex, you’ll know it. He’ll suddenly arch his back, fling his arms up and out, and open his hands.”
Swaddling your baby lessens the reflex and can prevent your baby from waking up frequently.
Once you notice your baby isn’t startling as much (or at all), you can start transitioning out of the swaddle if you feel the time is right.
2. Prevents Baby from Scratching Themselves
Babies have surprisingly sharp fingernails. Even if you trim their nails frequently, they can still end up with little scratches on their face or neck.
When you swaddle your baby, they won’t have as much chance to accidentally scratch themself as they wake up.
3. Reduces Germ Contact
If you choose to have visitors after delivery, swaddling can help lessen their germ exposure.
As people visit you and your new baby, your baby will be exposed to many new sights, smells, and germs. People love grabbing tiny baby hands and marveling at their size! Swaddling allows you to keep your baby mostly covered and away from too many germs.
4. Gives the Baby a Safe and Secure Feeling
One of the biggest reasons to swaddle is that it gives your baby that secure feeling they had in your belly. Babies don’t have much room to stretch in the womb, so it might be upsetting for your baby to have that free feeling.
5. Helps Regulate Body Temperature
Because babies have very little body fat, they can have a hard time regulating their body temperature.
When you aren’t doing skin-to-skin with your baby, swaddling can give them that extra layer of warmth to keep them cozy.
How many swaddles do I need for the hospital?
When packing your hospital bag, you’ll want to ensure you’re prepared with everything you need. But here’s a tip: save some room in the bag and leave the swaddles home.
When your baby is born, the hospital will provide you with traditional swaddles to use during your stay. And don’t worry; the nurses will be able to show you how to swaddle your baby if you’ve never done it before.
How many weeks should you swaddle your baby?
How long you swaddle your baby for might be up to your baby! Some babies might not like being swaddled, and you might have to stop early. While other babies might love the swaddle and you’ll have to determine the best time to stop swaddling.
As a general rule of thumb, most babies stop using a swaddle between 2-4 months old. Around 2-4 months old is when your baby might be ready to start rolling over, in which case swaddling could be dangerous.
Another sign your baby is done using a swaddle is if they are consistently breaking their arms out of the swaddle. If they can get out of their swaddle, it might be a sign they are close to rolling over or don’t enjoy being swaddled.
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What should my baby wear underneath the swaddle?
As a first-time mom in the beginning weeks, I always worried about what my baby should wear under his swaddle. I didn’t want him to be too hot or too cold! But a good thing to keep in mind when dressing your baby under their swaddle is the season.
In addition to choosing a swaddle in a suitable material, you’ll want to consider the weather outside. If it’s the middle of winter, your baby’s pajamas would likely be acceptable with the appropriate swaddle, like a flannel one.
Or, if it’s summertime, some short-sleeved pajamas with a muslin swaddle would likely be cool enough if you have proper ventilation in the baby’s room.
How many swaddles should I add to my baby registry?
As mentioned above, you’ll need about 3-5 swaddles for your baby. When creating your baby registry, I would add two different kinds of swaddles, like a pack of muslin and a pack of velcro swaddles.
I would also make sure that the packs of swaddles you add to your registry equal about 3-5 swaddles.
What should I do if my baby hates the swaddle?
Once you have your baby, you’ll know whether or not they hate the swaddle. If your baby wakes up frequently or starts crying as you begin swaddling them, that could indicate they don’t enjoy being swaddled.
If you think your baby hates the swaddle, check out this post for the best tips and advice for what to do.
I hope this guide answered your questions about how many swaddles you’ll need for your baby! It’s easy to get carried away and add too many items to your baby registry, so knowing the proper amount of swaddle blankets for your baby will help save you some space and money!
Before you go, check out these related articles:
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How many swaddles do you prefer to have for your baby? Which swaddles are your favorite kinds to use? I would love to know in the comments below!