Did you know that swaddling your newborn can help them sleep better and longer? Swaddling is gentle and can help comfort your baby–especially during the newborn days. Learn about where to find the best stretchy swaddle blankets and why you’ll love this style over other types of swaddle blankets!
Please note that this post contains affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission when a purchase is made at no additional cost to you. I am a Solly Baby affiliate and have been previously gifted Solly merchandise. All opinions my own. Read more here. As I reminder I am just a mama sharing my parenting favorites and am not a medical professional (Terms and Conditions here).
I remember the first few weeks of being a new mom. Everything was hard and strange and I didn’t have a clue. And I was so so tired.
Well, let me tell you, when we started swaddling our newborn it was a gamechanger. Absolutely. I didn’t try swaddling our baby until about three or four weeks and how I WISH I would have started right away.
We went from rough nights of 1-2 hour stretches of sleep (and trying to figure out how do you get them BACK to sleep?) to easily hitting 4-hour stretches and being able to get little girl back to bed so much easier when using the swaddle.
Why You Should Swaddle a Baby
Before you brought your baby home, you might have learned how to swaddle him or her at the hospital. The gentle, but snug wrap around baby can help soothe them as they adjust to life outside the womb. This can translate to less crying and longer stretches of sleep.
The swaddle also works great as a “cue” that it’s time to sleep. This can be continued even after baby is too old for swaddling through using sleep sacks. Sleep sacks can continue to be used in the toddler years–which stops crib-climbing in its tracks!
This article about swaddling from Healthy Children (AAP) details why swaddling is so effective as well as some cautions to be aware of before swaddling your baby. Read the article to learn more.
A couple precautions I want to echo from the article are to avoid swaddling babies after they show signs of beginning to roll over, always place baby on her/his back to sleep, and do not overly tighten the swaddle.
Another safety precaution is that a blanket swaddle does have the potential to become unraveled, especially if baby able to work their arms up and out. This could result in a loose blanket in their sleeping environment which like Healthy Children notes, can be very dangerous.
For this reason, if your baby loves the swaddle, you might opt for using blankets when you are able to supervise baby and using something like these more secure wrap-type swaddles for during the night. Read the linked article for all the AAP’s precautions before swaddling.
Even if you opt not to have baby sleep wrapped in a swaddle blanket, I still suggest adding a few of these stretchy blankets to your registry. They make beautiful newborn photos and are great for stroller blankets, tummy time, and even using as a nursing cover.
Are Swaddle Blankets Stretchy?
Most popular swaddle blankets are a large piece of fabric, about 45″-50″ square with hemmed edges. Because a swaddle blanket is wrapped around the baby on a diagonal (“on the bias”), the fabric (even though it might not seem stretchy at first) will stretch around baby.
However, you can actually buy stretchy swaddles made from knit fabric–which is always stretchy–and these are amazing. They wrap even more snugly around baby (without having to wrap the actual fabric so tightly) and they are much easier to use.
What’s the Difference Between Stretchy Swaddles and Muslin Swaddles?
Muslin swaddles which you can purchase (or try making your own swaddle blankets) are great for lots of uses, but I found them to be annoying when I was trying to swaddle my baby. It was challenging to get a snug fit and there was always a gap around the shoulders that allowed baby to pop her arms out almost immediately.
On the other hand, stretchy swaddles are easier to wrap snugly, harder for baby to “escape” from, and provide an ultra-soft fabric for keeping baby cozy. Plus, they look fantastic in newborn photos!
Stretchy Swaddle Blankets for Newborn Photos
If you are getting newborn photos taken of your baby (or taking some yourself), don’t neglect a swaddle shot. Wrapping baby in a swaddle with an optional matching hat or bow is a classic pose that is crazy popular these days.
Stretchy knit swaddles are easy to wrap, lend themselves to a variety of wrap styles (like this pretty knotted tie), comfort and soothe baby during photos, and look great in the final pictures. Highly recommend!
I mean, just look at this little babe!
If you are looking for a stretchy swaddle blanket specifically for newborn pictures, I suggest blankets from Solly Baby. Each season (Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter) they release new colors and prints that echo the season so beautifully and they always have their classic colorways available too. Plus, they have matching hats, pajamas, crib sheets and baby carriers.
The Best Stretchy Swaddle Blankets for Babies
I first fell in love with Solly when I tried one of their wraps with my newborn. But, their swaddles, crib sheets, pajamas, and more are all made from the same ultra soft and light Lenzing modal fabric that is just irresistible.
Like I mentioned earlier, these stretchy Solly Baby swaddles are my favorite for newborn photos and even after you are done using the blanket for swaddling you can use it as a light stroller blanket or even nursing cover.
The downside to the super-soft fabric is that it does get some light pilling after a while, but I think it’s a fine trade for the softness!
I bought one of these blankets with my Snuggle Me Lounger before my daughter was born and little did I know how much I would love it! Whereas the Solly swaddle blankets are ultra-lightweight, this fabric is a heavier and holds a swaddle wrap even better.
Once my baby was a little older/stronger (but still not rolling), I often used this blanket exclusively since it was harder for her to unwrap herself.
Note that these are actually more rectangular-size swaddles which didn’t bother me. I just wrapped baby as usual.
Copper Pearl Swaddles
I didn’t get a chance to use one of these with my own little lady when she was a newborn, but I’ve given them as gifts and they are lovely blankets. I used my Copper Pearl Nursing Cover all the time and the fabric is such great quality you can hardly tell it’s been used.
If you love lots of color in your prints, these are the stretchy swaddles for you!
I was excited to learn that Aden + Anais (the brand behind the hugely popular muslin swaddle trend) had branched out to stretchy swaddles.
They have two signature styles, a Snuggle Knit™ and a Comfort Knit™.
Here’s a closer look at the Snuggle Knit™ sets which come with a matching hat–adorable!
And here’s the Comfort Knit™ sets:
In addition to Copper Pearl blankets now being carried at Target, Target also offers a stretchy knit Cloud Island Swaddle. There is only one color right now, but I hope they add more because you can’t beat the price.
Kyte Baby is full of gorgeous products for babies, toddlers, and adults. Actually, it’s hard to stop browsing their site! They have a great roundup of quality stretchy swaddle blankets to try in a variety of beautiful colors. The blankets are a bamboo blend and breathable + super soft.
I hope this post was helpful in sharing the benefits of swaddling and why stretchy swaddle blankets are just so great! Enjoy shopping for your new little baby!