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Summer Swaddles Information

Summer Swaddles Information

Best Swaddles & Advice for Summer

Watch our top 3 picks for summer swaddles video

Compare summer swaddles

Fitted summer swaddle information

Factors to consider when choosing a swaddle

What clothing should baby wear in a swaddle?

Which swaddles have leg-out options?

What swaddles are best for arms-up?

How to tell if baby is too hot

Parents are often concerned that their baby will over-heat if they are swaddled in summer, but most newborns struggle to sleep well if they are not swaddled and quickly become both hot and over-tired without effective swaddling.

Overheating is one of the factors which contribute to SIDS deaths, so it is very important to take the temperature of your baby seriously. However, it is important to note that it is not swaddling alone that causes over-heating. Babies temperature results from the combination of clothing, swaddle wrap and technique, bedding and room temperature. Each of these factors can be controlled and minimised to ensure your baby does not get too hot.

Remember to consider all the layers on your baby - her clothing, her baby wrap and the blankets over the top. It is the total combination of layers, rather than one swaddling layer, that will determine if your baby is too hot, too cold, or just right.


Top 3 Picks for Summer Swaddles


Summer Fitted Swaddle Comparison Chart

(Table scrolls right on mobile)

Muslin Wraps

Miracle Blanket

Embe

Love to Dream

Halo

Folding Skill Level

High

Easy

Easy

Easy

Easy

Startle Control

Medium

High

High

Low

High

"Little Houdini" Resistance

Low, but can be used with a Safe T Sleep

High

High

High

High

Arm Position

Versatile

Down

Chest

Up

Down

Legs in or out?

In

Both

Both

In only

In only

Transitional Swaddle

No

Yes, combine with sleeping bag

No, transitional swaddle coming soon

No, use Love to Dream 50/50

Yes

Fabric Weight

Light

Medium

Medium

Light cotton or bamboo

Muslin or medium

Our Verdict

A lovely light swaddle for hot summer days and smaller babies

A versatile, all rounder which is easy to master & helps most babies to sleep longer

A unique swaddle with legs in or out design. Easy to use fitted swaddle, perfect for summer months

A great lightweight option for babies who don't have a high startle reflex

One of the lightest weight swaddles available and very easy to use

Stretch Wrap Blanket

SwaddleMe

The Sleep Store Fitted Zip Swaddle

Ergo Cocoon

ergoPouch Butterfly Cardi

Folding Skill Level

High

Easy

Easy

Easy

Moderate

Startle Control

Medium

Medium

High

High

Low

"Little Houdini" Resistance

Low, but can be used with a Safe T Sleep

High

Good

Good

Medium

Arm Position

Versatile

Down

Chest

Chest

Up or Down

Legs In or Out

In

In only

In only

In only

--

Transitional Swaddle

No

No

No

Yes

--

Fabric Weight

Medium

Light

Light

Light 0.2 Tog and mid-weight 1.0 Tog

Light

Our Verdict

A very cool traditional swaddle option if you're after an organic cotton traditional swaddle

A lightweight easy to swaddle option for the summer months

A super-soft organic cotton swaddle, that's easy to use

Our most recommended, lightweight summer swaddle

A good option to use over a sleeping bag, or for transitioning to arms out


Lightweight, fitted summer swaddles

Miracle Blanket - 2-3 layers of T-shirt weight cotton, so a warmer option than many fitted swaddles. Can be used with the legs left out, which makes it a lot cooler. You can also adapt the way the wrap is used to combine with a light sleeping bag or to reduce the layers. This is out most secure wrap so it still the best option for Houdini babies who need very secure wrapping. For day sleeps in summer you will not need any clothing inside during the day and will need to ensure the room is cooled down. Ideal for summer nights as you won't need any additional bedding and you will get the most secure wrap. Can also be combined with a light summer sleeping bag for older babies who still need a very firm swaddle. See our instructions below.

Embe 2 Way Swaddle- One of the few fitted swaddles with the option of legs in or out, allowing your baby to be cooled down, warmed up or have their nappy changed without being unswaddled. The 100% cotton is a jersey knit and the zipper has been designed for no breakouts and a longer, healthier sleep. The starter swaddle also features a no-rise neckline for SIDS Safety and, like all our swaddles it’s considered “hip healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

Love to Dream - 1 layer of cotton/lycra, in light T-shirt weight fabric. A snug fitting style with arms up. Suitable for babies who prefer their arms up or who don't have much startle reflex. Due to very snug fit you will need little clothing inside. Also available in the LITE version for summer. The LITE version is stretchier, so it has less startle control and may not be suitable for babies who need a very firm wrap.

Halo - The lightweight muslin option is a cool, fitted swaddle for summer days, whilst the medium cotton version is great at night. This is an easy to use swaddle and has plenty of room for legs. It is versatile as it can also be used as a transitional swaddle

SwaddleMe - An easily adjustable, lightweight, Houdini-proof swaddle. Easy nappy changes with the leg pouch opening and a harness opening for use in buggies.

The Sleep Store - A super soft, simple to use swaddle in a lightweight organic cotton fabric. Fitted through the body, the zip goes around the edge of the swaddle so it's easy to pop baby in and out.

Ergo Cocoon - 1 layer of organic cotton, in light T-shirt 0.2 tog weight fabric. A snug fitting style with arms up on the chest. Suitable for babies who don't have much startle reflex or who can sleep with their arms on their chest. Due to very snug fit you will need little clothing inside. Arms can be in or out.



Factors to consider when choosing a summer swaddle

To control and minimise over-heating in summer, remember to consider all the layers on your baby - her clothing, her baby wrap and the blankets over the top. It is the total combination of layers, rather than one swaddling layer, that will determine if your baby is too hot, too cold, or just right. Knowing what temperature the nursery is likely to be will also help you choose which swaddle.


Should I choose a wrap to swaddle or use a fitted swaddle?

This depends on the age of your baby, their startle reflex and your wrapping skills. In general a fitted wrap will stay very secure and keep baby cooler as they won't be wriggle around trying to escape!

● If you have a younger baby or a baby who is relatively still in their sleep, a muslin or cotton wrap would work well

● If you have an extremely hot room and need an option that's very cool, a muslin wrap, Ergo Cocoon, Love to Dream Lite or Embe 2-Way Swaddle will help keep baby cooler

● If you have a baby with a high startle reflex choose a fitted swaddle with high startle control, such as the Miracle Blanket or Embe 2-way Swaddle

● If you want something easy to use, a fitted swaddle such as the Miracle Blanket, Embe, Halo, Ergo Cocoon or Love to Dream


Which swaddling wrap?

Use light weight fabrics in 100% natural fibre only - muslin, cotton or bamboo are best for summer.

Do not use any wraps or swaddles made from synthetic fabric (eg polyester or fleece) or with a synthetic lining, as these can quickly result in a sweaty or over-heated baby.

Choose a wrap that is big enough to be effective - 100x100cm for a newborn and 120x120cm for a baby over about 8 weeks.


What clothing should baby wear in a swaddle?

Use light clothing inside you swaddling or just a nappy.

Choose only 100% natural fibres such as cotton or bamboo

Merino clothing (such as a merino gown) may be suitable for night-time clothing as it is very effective at regulating body temperature in small babies, but other layers would need to be very light.

A short-sleeve bodysuit or a nappy is likely to be sufficient when swaddling during summer days.

Never use a hat while swaddling at any time, particularly in warmer weather.


Muslin Wraps

Muslin is the fabric traditionally used for swaddling babies in NZ and Australia. It is an open-weave, very light-weight 100% cotton.

Muslin is ideal for summer as it is so light and breathable.

HOWEVER muslin is also the hardest fabric to wrap securely with, so may not be suitable for houdini babies unless you are a very skilled swaddler!!

We recommend you choose the best quality muslin you can afford, as cheaper muslin is absolutely hopeless for effective swaddling.

We recommend Little Unicorn muslin wraps and Aden + Anais muslin wraps if you want to wrap with muslin - they are beautiful quality and have a double-thickness, stretchier fabric than the cheap muslin found in most baby shops.

Another good option are the Cuski swaddle wraps

Using a Safe T Sleep over the top of your muslin wrap can help keep it secure.


Which swaddles have a legs-out option?

To keep baby cooler (and for easier nappy changes), the Miracle Blanket and Embe 2-Way Swaddle can both be used with the legs out for summer. When it becomes cooler at night, simply tuck baby's legs back into the pouch. It's also easy to add a blanket overtop before you go to bed.


Which swaddles are best for arms up?

If you’re looking for a summer swaddle with arms up, the Love to Dream option is the best. Sleepy Wings is ideal for extremely hot environments or to combine with a sleeping bag, though they have less startle control than fitted swaddles. Ergo Cocoon is similar, but arms don’t sit as high. This options allows babies a little movement inside the swaddle, allowing them to put their hands up on their chest.


Is there an arms only swaddle?

If your baby's startle reflex is wearing off or you are looking to transition from swaddling, using a Butterfly Cardi with a sleeping bag is a good option for warmer weather.

The ErgoPouch Butterfly Cardi helps control arms from flying all around, without them being firmly wrapped. This Butterfly Cardi is a transition aid worn over your baby’s swaddle or sleeping bag, to help them transition to sleeping arms-out. Not so suitable for babies who need firm swaddling as they still have a strong startle reflex.

You can choose the weight of the sleeping bag you use. For rooms 20 to 25 degrees use a 1.0 tog. For rooms 25 degrees and over, use a 0.5 tog sleeping bag.


How to tell if your baby is too warm

If your baby is red or sweaty, then they are too hot!! Remove some bedding or clothing immediately.

You can feel your baby's temperature on their chest, back of the neck or ears. They should be warm, but not hot and sweaty

Don't worry if baby's hands are a little chilly, as this should not affect her overall temperature, it’s the core temperature that’s the most important.


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