The Great Swaddle Debate

Who knew I had such an opinion about swaddles. I mean seriously, I am now officially one of those moms that has a strong opinion about what swaddles I use and how much they cost and all that jazz.

I definitely did not see this coming.

But yet here we are. With a Great Swaddle Debate going on in our house and I needed to voice my concern for the subpar swaddle situation going on in our world of parenting.

Seriously though. What is it with the swaddle thing? I recently took Taking Cara Babies’ Newborn class and it was fab. But in it, I learned lots about swaddling and how we are quick to assume that babies don’t like to be swaddled.

In fact, babies normally love to be swaddled, but not as a stand-alone thing. I mean, think of it this way – I am not a huge physical touch person, and when I’m wrapped in the arms of someone, I don’t love it UNLESS those arms are also hugging me and I’m being kissed on the forehead and told how much I’m loved. See? Hugs mean nothing without love. Swaddling doesn’t mean much without the whole shebang either.

The idea of being swaddled is to mimick a womb-like environment. And confined space is only part of that. The other parts being things like swooshing sounds and movement. 

That being said, I wonder, strongly, if I would have had better early sleep luck with Joey if I had understood that the swaddle wasn’t out to get me.

Anywho, Cece loves to be swaddled. I blame her early arrival but it could be nothing to do with that and simply the fact that she’s different than Joey or that I’m more educated. Nonetheless.

But swaddling is an artform, in my opinion. A good swaddle is more than wrapping baby in a blanket like they do in the hospital and calling it a swaddled baby.

In fact, the way they wrap babies in the hospital basically negates the purpose of the real swaddle, as they are bulky and likely too warm and have no idea what’s happening around them.

During our hospital stay with Cece, we took a lovely Lou Lou and Company blanket and swaddled her with that instead of the hospital recommended blankets. This worked great until she rolled out of my arms and onto the bed one night at 2 am because I was falling asleep while she nursed and there was just simply not much to hold onto. But beyond that isolated incident, it was the right choice to swaddle her in that while we were there.

Moving on.

For the last seven weeks, Cece and I have been getting to know each other, and what each other like, and I’ve been getting to know all about the swaddle world. 

First things first. Whoever decided to dub muslin blankets as swaddles is in fact, a dub. They do not work. And unless you have some magical power to stretch a non-stretchable fabric tightly around a baby and keep them that way, I cannot with good faith say you should ever swaddle a baby in one of those things. 

Blanket, sure. Swaddle… hell no.

So onward I looked for some other options for quick and cute swaddling solutions. 

Cece likes her hands and arms tucked, so we negated the swaddles that boast the arms up or arms out solution, and kept the burrito style in tact for our all intents and purposes. 

Lou Lou and Company

If you’re looking for the softest fabric ever, breathable, CUTE, and multiuse, this is your winner. I now own three and will buy at least two more before Cece’s swaddling days are over. You have to be comfortable to swaddle for the sake of swaddling, as there is no velcro or pieces to guide your process. But a quick YouTube tutorial, or the one on Lou Lou’s Instagram page, and you’re good to go.

Woombie Zip Swaddle

I love the idea of a zip. I mean, I’m all about the ease of things, and things that take very little space. The Woombie is just that. It’s fast, and small, and for the price, a great value. I love the idea that it’s one simple step, making it incredibly fast to get baby on cocooned up. I also love that there is no velcro, because washing velcro sucks. For naps, Cece loves this. However, for longer sleeps, she moves too much and the Woombie twists around, leaving the zipper on a side or twisted from the front. And even at only seven pounds, Cece was able to get her arms up and out of the top of the swaddle, waking her almost instantly. For naps, and on the go, the Woombie is definitely my winner. But not for overnight sleep or everyday use.

SwaddleMe

By far the most popular on the market, and as seen literally everywhere. You can go to any thrift store and find a SwaddleMe. I had one in my Amazon cart for quite some time, and then just ended up buying a pack of two at Target when I was there last. I needed to touch them, first, I guess. I went back and forth between the preemie/newborn size and the small/medium. I’m glad I went with the small/medium, as it already feels a little bit snug on my preemie and I think it would have been too small the other way around. The SwaddleMe is a fantastic concept. I do love the origami type of idea that it entails, making a swaddle less intimidating. However, there are some downsides, such as their little arms touching the velcro and their hands hanging out the bottom of the wrap. And if you have a wiggle worm like I do, the concept of three separate steps can be a little hard to accomplish. But, that being said, it does the trick and you can get them super tight.

The Ollie Swaddle

My experience with the Ollie Swaddle is what I think people must experience with the JoJo. The price tag stuns you a little, and then you bite the bullet, and then you wonder how you lived without it before. I actually found a used Ollie on Facebook marketplace, simply because I wanted to try this swaddle that was getting so much hype all over social. I even went to the used baby store in town, and the owner told me it wasn’t worth the hype, and she wasn’t impressed. I, however, have a much different idea than her now. It is, definitely, worth the hype. I was not too sure how, considering it’s a piece of (wonderfully soft) fabric with velcro and a rubber band. I actually considered glueing some velcro onto one of my Lou Lou blankets and seeing how that worked. But anywho… this Ollie swaddle is much more than anticipated.

Yes, it is in fact a piece of fabric with velcro. But it’s fabulous. The back has a little scallop so you know exactly where to place baby every time. There are three sections to velcro, making it stay put all night, and not ride up. The velcro is strong, the seams are tight, and the ratio of stretch to durability in the fabric is divine. I never feel like the swaddle is going to come loose, or ride up, and it’s never too close too her face because it basically tells me where it goes on her shoulders. Also, and this is big – I can change her diaper without unswaddling her. Whoa.

Yes, worth the hype. And I will probably buy another one. This time for full price. 

Moral of the story? The debate has been settled with winners being the Ollie and the Lou Lou blankets. I use both about the same amount, and definitely use the Ollie at night simply for the ease of diaper changes. I can basically do it without waking her up. I carry a Lou Lou blanket everywhere, and use it as a blanket, a changing pad, a swaddle, you name it. It’s the win all.