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Swaddle Blankets or Baby Sleeping Bags? Or Both!

Bringing your baby into the world is a life-changing experience, and as every new parent knows, getting everything “right” can be challenging. From milk formula temperatures and feeding routines to swaddling and bedtime, understanding what’s best for your baby is an experience every new parent goes through. In this blog, we outline the differences between using baby swaddle wraps and baby sleeping bags, and points to consider when deciding which to invest in for your bundle of joy. Read more…

What are swaddle wraps?

Swaddle wraps, or swaddle blankets, are designed to help you wrap your baby up to help them sleep better. Swaddle blankets are a way to help your baby feel safe and secure and is said to mimic their restricted movement inside the womb.

“Some experts think swaddling helps to recreate that feeling of security that your baby had in your womb, when she had less room to move about. Feeling “held” and snug can help to calm and soothe her, so you may find that swaddling your baby helps her to cry less often, too” (

Why else should I use a baby swaddle wrap?

Another main reason for using swaddle blankets is to help prevent your baby from startling themselves. The startle reflex is totally normal for babies, but the sudden jerking movements can wake them from sleeping, which could result in crying.

Swaddling your baby helps to restrict these reflexes, but not so much so that your baby feels suffocated. The key is to not swaddle them too tightly. Using swaddle blankets can keep your baby feeling cosy and snug, which will help them get a better night’s sleep.

Top tips: how to swaddle your baby

Here’s a quick step-by-step of how to swaddle your baby:

1. Lay your swaddle blanket flat like a diamond shape and fold the top corner down towards you. Carefully place your baby on their back with their neck on the blanket fold.
2. Gently hold your baby’s right arm flat against their side. Take the left corner of the swaddle blanket and pull it across your baby’s body, and gently roll them to the left so you can tuck the corner under their back.
3. Gently hold your baby’s left arm against their side and pull the bottom corner of the blanket up over their left shoulder (on your right). Tuck the excess blanket under your baby’s left arm.
4. Take the right corner of the blanket and pull it across your baby’s front, tucking any excess blanket under their back. Remember to make sure your baby can still move their hips up, down and to each side.

You don’t just have to swaddle your baby when you’re putting them down for the night. Try practising your swaddling technique during daytime naps, too. Get your baby used to the swaddle blankets from birth instead of introducing them at a different stage – this will make the stage of switching to sleeping bags much easier as baby gets older.

Why choose baby sleeping bags?

An alternative, or next stage up from swaddle blankets, are baby sleeping bags. Whether you decide to start your newborn in a sleeping bag or transfer them once they’re past the stage of swaddling, there are plenty of newborn sleeping bags and baby sleeping bags available.

If you’d prefer you can skip the swaddling stage entirely - it doesn’t work for everyone, so a great alternative is a baby sleeping bag. It mimics that cosy, wrapped up feeling without the chance of baby wriggling the blanket away. So, if you’re not feeling too confident about swaddling, give a newborn sleeping bag a try.

Ideal for wriggly babies, sleeping bags are designed to withstand reflexes and kicks that would dislodge normal blankets. They keep babies cosy and safe, without the extra restriction provided by swaddle blankets.

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Are baby sleeping bags safe?

If you’re concerned about your baby wriggling down inside the sleeping bag, don’t worry. Our baby sleeping bags are designed with press stud fastenings around the neck to keep this from happening. What’s more, our selection is crafted from British wool, which is proven to help babies regulate their own micro-climate in a constant temperature that helps them sleep better.

Because they prevent overheating, baby sleeping bags are also proven to help reduce the risk of SIDS. In Mothercare’s article on how to create a safe bedtime environment for your baby, they state “…blankets should never cover your baby’s head – rather, tuck them securely under their arms or consider using a baby sleeping bag” (Mothercare).

Both swaddle blankets and sleeping bags have their advantages, but it comes down to which one helps your baby get the most sleep. Both are ideal for recreating that secure environment your baby felt while in the womb, and both can help towards minimising the risk of your baby rolling and startling themselves with their own reflexes.

If you’re considering investing in a sleeping bag for your baby, see our selection of wool baby sleeping bags. For further advice on your baby’s sleeping habits, browse our Baby Sleep Advice Hub.