Best Swaddles & Advice for Summer
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.
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Love to Dream
|Folding skill level||High||Easy||Easy||Easy||Easy|
|"Little Houdini" Resistance||Low, but can be used with a Safe T Sleep||High||High||High||High|
|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||Lite 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.||An great lightweight option for babies who don't have a high startle reflex||One of the lightest weight swaddles availlbale and very easy to use.|
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The Sleep Store
|Folding skill level||Easy||Easy||Easy||Easy||Moderate|
|"Little Houdini" Resistance||High||High||Good||Good||Med|
|Arm position||Down||Down||Chest||Chest||Up or down|
|Legs in or out||Out only||In only||In only||In only||-|
|Fabric weight||Light||Light||Light||Light 0.2 Tog and mid-weight 1.0 Tod||Light|
|Our verdict||A very cool option, ideal for day sleeps in summer. Only offers a legs out option.||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 for babies who like arms up and don't have a high startle reflex.|
|View Range >||View Range >||Coming Soon!||View Range >||View Range >|
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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 Kicksie - If you need a cool option for summer day sleeps, the Kicksie is perfect as it's an arms-only swaddle, with legs uncovered. It's an easy to use, secure fit with medium startle control.
SwaddleMe - An easily adjustable, lightweight, houdini proof swaddle. Easy nappy changes with the leg pouch opening and a harness opening for use in buggy's.
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.
Sleepy Wings - a swaddling 'jacket' which just covers the arms. Made from light cotton/lycra T-shirt fabric. Can be combined with a light sleeping bag or with legs left out. Suitable for babies without much startle reflex or as a transition from firm swaddling, as baby will be able to move their arms to some degree. Can be worn with arms up or down.
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.
- ● 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 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.
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.
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 Sleepy Wings with a sleeping bag is a good option for warmer weather.
The Sleepy Wings help control arms from flying all around, without them being firmly wrapped. It can be used with arms up or down, and can also help with dummy replacement for older babies. 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.
- ● 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.