How Many Swaddles Do I Really Need?

Babies come with no instruction manuals, and being a first-time parent can leave you clueless. 

Now that you're embarking on the beautiful journey of parenthood, it's time to address some of your concerns. For example, you may wonder, "how many swaddles do I really need?" 

You will hear different answers, but it's anywhere between three to six though more is better. 

Read on to find out why. 

What Is A Swaddle? 

What in the world is a swaddle! That could be your reaction when grandma advised you to get some for your new-born. So let's make life easy for you. 

A swaddle is a thin blanket that you wrap around your baby. Your baby looks adorable and like a burrito, but at the same time, they feel protected as if still in the mother's womb. 

The practise of swaddling has been around forcenturies. The aim is to avoid the Moro Reflex or startle reflex (involuntary response in newborn babies) by swaddling the baby.

For example, if you notice your baby's head falling back, and extending arms and limbs. Your baby may cry and then bring the arms together and legs back. 

A swaddle blanket will surely help! 

Different Types of Swaddles (And How to Choose The Correct One)

Last-minute shopping trips are exhausting, so it's best to stock your nursery in advance. You must know what type of swaddle is right for your child. 

There are two types of swaddles that you can buy for your newborn. 

Traditional Swaddles 

The traditional swaddles are thin blankets that help wrap your baby like a burrito. They help swaddle your baby, but you can also use them for various other reasons as your baby grows. The material could be cotton, muslin, or even bamboo. 

For example, check out these organic swaddle blankets and give your little heavenly being a warm welcome. 

It provides the following: 

  • Tummy time mat or a floor mat for your baby
  • Use it as a stroller cover to protect your little one from the harsh rays of the sun
  • Burp cloth
  • Use it as a blanket for your baby's cot
  • It's best as a nursing shield too
  • Suitable as a nest cover
  • And a lot more! 

Two-in-One Swaddles 

These swaddles are suitable for parents who find it hard to swaddle a baby as these come with various features such as zippers, Velcro, and snaps. 

The swaddling sacks are helpful until your baby starts rolling over. Once your baby learns how to roll, it's best to avoid using these swaddle sacks as suffocation and SIDs are a risk. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing How Many Swaddles to Buy 

There is no specific rule dictating to parents how many swaddles they should buy. Instead, various factors come into play when choosing how many swaddles would be enough with a baby. 

#1. How Frequently Do You Wash Your Clothes 

How many swaddle blankets you need depend on whether you are regular with laundry. You could be now, but you don't know how things will change once the baby is here. If you find it hard to wash clothes every other day, it's best to get extra swaddle blankets for the baby. 

#2. Diaper Leaks 

Again, you will need multiple swaddle blankets if your baby's diaper frequently leaks. It also depends on whether you know how to put the diaper correctly. As a new parent, many things would be going on in life! 

#3. Baby Is Spitting Out 

The swaddle blanket or swaddle sack will get dirty if the baby spits out a lot, so it's always better to keep an extra near you just in case you need it. But, worry not, reflux (baby bringing out milk) is normal, and your baby will grow out of it in 12 months. 

#4. Avoiding Frequent Trips to The Shop 

If you want to avoid frequent trips to the mall or don't want to place an order and wait for its delivery, it's best to stock up on swaddle blankets. Swaddle sacks could be helpful for approximately three months, but swaddle blankets will come in handy later. 

Summary: How Many Swaddles Do You Need? 

It's best to own three swaddle blankets, one the baby is wearing, one to change if the baby leaks, and one extra. But, you can buy six to stock your nursery and more is always better! Swaddle sacks will last up to three months or when your baby starts rolling over, while swaddle blankets will be helpful for other things (changing mat, nursing shield etc.) even when your child grows. 


Is Swaddling Safe for My Baby? 

Yes! As long as you follow the baby'sswaddling guidelines. For example, swaddled babies must lie on their backs. Never put them on the side position or front position. As soon as you spot signs of rolling over, stop swaddling. 

Remember, all babies are different. So, if your newborn doesn't feel comfortable being swaddled, it's okay. It's a traditional practice to soothe and calm your baby. However, if you spot a concern, it's best to discuss your baby's health and behaviour with a paediatrician. 

Swaddling has many benefits, but you must be aware of the do's and don't to make the most of it. 

What to Avoid in a Swaddle?

According to the NHS, 200 babies die unexpectedly every year. The risk of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SID) is low, but it's still there. There are factors involved in SIDs, so it's vital to understand how to swaddle your baby perfectly and what to avoid for a swaddled newborn. 

It's best to be on the safe side when it comes to matters related to your children. After all, the safety of your child has to be above all. When using a swaddle blanket or swaddle sack for your baby, you must know what's best for the tiny human. 

Consider the following:

  • Make sure the swaddle isn't too tight for the baby. If you are wrapping your baby tightly, it can affect their hips.
  • If the baby has hip dysplasia, avoid swaddling until you have permission from the paediatrician. 
  • The babies must be sleeping on their backs when swaddled.
  • Stop swaddling when your baby shows signs of rolling over. 
  • Never cover the head or mouth of your baby when swaddling them. 
  • Avoid too many layers of clothing when swaddling a baby would be too hot. Also, avoid the baby getting too cold. The temperature can be anywhere between 16C to 20C. 
  • There must be no stuffed toys or pillows near a baby in a swaddle. Otherwise, there is a risk of suffocation.

How to Know if a Swaddle Fits Correctly?

A good rule of thumb is to see if you can slide your hand (2 fingers) between the swaddle blanket and your baby's chest. It mustn't be too tight or too loose. There has to be enough room for the hips and knees to move. 

According to NCT, a newborn's legs have to be in a natural position in a frog style. Never swaddle the neck and head of your baby. Tightly swaddling your baby may cause hip dysplasia.

The swaddle or receiving blanket you use must be of lightweight material. Modern swaddling sacks are a convenient choice, especially for those who don't know how to wrap up a baby. 

Should I Wash the Swaddle Before Use? 

According toNHS, there is no evidence that bio powders or a fabric conditioner would affect the baby's skin. Keeping that in mind, it's best to wash the swaddle before use, even though you will find that many swaddles are available pre-washed. 

So, it's always better to wash your newborn baby's swaddle blankets and clothes to be on the safe side and avoid any chemicals on these products. 

How Long Does a Swaddle Usually Last? 

Your baby will start to roll over between two and four months. So, you must stop swaddling your baby at this time to avoid the risk of SIDs, as they may not be able to roll back over because of swaddling. 

Thus, a swaddle sack would last two to four months. On the other hand, a swaddle blanket would be helpful for the different needs of the growing baby.

For example, this wonderful Safari pattern extra large muslin swaddle blanket has a unisex print and is made from the finest organic cotton, making it luxuriously softer and gentler on your baby's tender skin. 

You can use these swaddle blankets for tummy time with your baby, as they would be great as a mat. In addition, it would be suitable as a nursing shield, changing mat, burp cloth, and more! 

Where Can I Find Baby Swaddles? 

While a local store can be helpful they tend to lack some of the higher quality baby essentials and it can be difficult to know if you're buying a swaddle that others have provided positive feedback on.

Buying baby swaddles online especially from a specialist retailer such as Little Blue Nest allows you more choice, swaddles of a much higher quality and the reassurance of a store with positive reviews

As a new parent it can be overwhelming on what baby essentials to buy. When all is said and done, always buy reliable baby products that have positive reviews from other users. It will give you a much better idea of what to expect. 

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Shop All Single Swaddles and if you're buying a gift a gift bag can be added to your order at checkout.

Ilaria Budgen

Ilaria Budgen

Founder of Little Blue Nest. Writing about all things motherhood related :)