Swaddling and Karp’s 5S worked like magic for us in the early months. Now that we have grown up and out of the swaddling phase, I have been able to look back at the various swaddling products that were tried and tested by our little one. We started with a simple receiving blanket {stage 1} when she was a newborn which we quickly outgrew.

Enter the land of swaddling gear!

With Stage 1 being a receiving blanket, we quickly moved onto:

We had been handed down a swaddling blanket by Swaddle Designs. These are A-MAZING.  They are much larger than a receiving blanket, which makes for easier and more secure swaddles. If you have a wiggly baby like us, the tighter the better.

Features:
* Swaddling instructions 1-2-3 sewn into tag for easy reference! (this was the *only* blanket hubby would use, because of this feature)
* Extra large for an easier swaddle
* Grows with baby – this fit our kiddo during the entirety of our swaddling days – she NEVER outgrew it!

Considerations:
* You do have to completely unwrap the baby to access for diaper changes. During the early months where nighttime diaper changes were necessary, this can further wake-up baby and make it slightly more challenging to get her back to sleep.
* Once your little hot dog starts to wiggle more, they can break loose.


 

The Miracle Blanket came highly recommended on many, many websites and forums.
Touted as the inescapable swaddle, I was keen to try this once baby started busting out of the swaddling blanket. I was also eager to see if I could manage a diaper change with this one without unswaddling her arms.

Verdict? Awesome. The internal arms flaps kept her arms down longer than the traditional blanket. I relied on this for some time, until she outgrew it in length.

Features:
* Very secure – longer, more reliable swaddle
* Separate arm swaddle vs. leg pouch allows for diaper changes without completely unswaddling (up to a certain age when legs are too snug in the pouch to slip out)

Considerations:
* Only comes in one size.  In other words, your babe will outgrow it in a few months or even weeks (depending on how big your babe is). I really wish they made a second, bigger size. However:
* You can easily transition to a “legs out” swaddle to help you wean off swaddling. In fact, because the internal arm flaps keep arms so secure, you can swaddle with one arm out without sacrificing a secure swaddle. I found with normal swaddle blankets that if you had one arm out, the whole apparatus was weaker; not so with the Miracle Blanket.
* Stronger, older and more persistent kiddos still able to wiggle out eventually.

*The makers of the Miracle Blanket are generously offering up a FREE Miracle Blanket to one lucky reader!

 

 

We alternated back and forth between the Woombie and Miracle Blanket at this stage. Because we swaddled until around 7 months, we were searching for something that was REALLY secure, now that she was bigger and stronger (i.e. able to get out of anything that wasn’t padlocked shut).

The Woombie is a completely different type of swaddling product. We were loaned one from a friend initially, and it was love at first swaddle. No wrapping or twisting. Just a zipper! Constructed of breathable, stretchy fabric, babe has the freedom to move around, while still having the comfort and security of a cozy womb-like environment. I LOVED that I wasn’t constantly re-wrapping her throughout the night.

Features:
* Two way zipper – allows for easy diaper changes without unswaddling upper body
* NO RE-WRAPPING! Secure the whole night!
* Allows lots of different positions – baby can make themselves comfortable.
* Multiple size and fabric options – no worries about outgrowing or changing seasons!
* Multiple options for weaning (Convertible Woombie with or without legs!)


Considerations:

* We tried 3 different Woombies. One we tried had a velcro tab at the top (holds the zipper closed) instead of the normal snap. I found the tab opened in the night and the scratchy end left some light scratches on her cheeks. She didn’t seem to mind but I did.
* Check the sizing – different styles (Houdini vs original vs convertible) seem to fit significantly differently on our little one.

 


 

 

We tried weaning from the swaddle using the one arm technique with both the Miracle Blanket and Woombie. Complete disaster. Well, I think I have blocked out most of it because I just remember frustration for everyone. She would sleep sometimes, but not others. She didn’t want to be swaddled, but did. Then our Zipadeezip came along (read our full Zippy blog post here), and life got better!

Features:
* Lightweight – dress baby as you please under the Zippy for changing seasons
* Provides gentle restriction of arms and hands with some freedom of movement
* Covers hands/fingers – this seemed to be key for us – she needed the complete coverage while we were transitioning away from swaddling. It also kept her little wolverine claws from scratching my face in the night!
* 2 sizes – no risk of outgrowing! In fact many moms use the Zippy well into toddlerhood.

Considerations:
* If you have a pacifier baby and you’d like them to learn to grab it themselves, the covered hands present a challenge. (But swaddling makes it completely impossible so this is still an improvement!)
* They can walk around in it in the crib, but it is slightly awkward so keep an eye on them while they are getting used to this to prevent face plants.

In fact, this little starfish suit did its job so well that we were fully transitioned onto PJs within a month or so of using it!

1. If you had to choose one swaddling product – which one would you choose?
I think it truly depends on your baby. For our little wiggler, in hindsight I would have put her in the Woombie from the start to avoid all the wrapping hassles during nighttime diaper changes. I liked that she could still feel cozy while allowing her arms to be up. I never did try one with “leggies”, but I think she would have liked this, knowing how easily she took to “legs out” swaddling using the Miracle Blanket.

2. How exactly do you swaddle? Is there a certain technique?
ABSOLUTELY. Our midwives showed us the *best* way to swaddle securely, that still leaves her hips loose. The normal three-cornered swaddle didn’t work for us. We used a variation on Dr. Karp’s Down Up Down method. Adding Step # 3 again, ahead of Step # 1 (which reinforces the shoulder).

3. Did your baby cry when being swaddled? Does this mean swaddling won’t work for my baby?
Heck yes she cried. Most babies don’t like the actual process of being swaddled. But once she was all snug as a bug, it was magical – she calmed down instantly. Until she was ready to grow out of it, then she fussed even once the swaddle was complete.

4. How did you know to wean off the swaddle?
When it didn’t work anymore! She wiggled her way out with ease, and started to roll IN the swaddle. It also wasn’t working to calm her anymore, she fussed even once the swaddle was on, which was abnormal for us. This made it both unsafe and ineffective, so we knew it was time.

Head on over HERE for a chance to win a FREE Miracle Blanket!

Did you have a favourite swaddling product? Did baby not like swaddling or prefer a sleep sac? Please share!

Always follow guidelines for safe swaddling.

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