How many swaddles do I need? And what about receiving blankets? Are these two items the same thing? Oh, if only there were a parenting hotline that you could call for all things newborn babies.
If you were wondering, you weren’t supposed to just know the answer to these and other mamahood questions.
That’s why we created the Peanut community—to take the mystery out of all of this.
So, how many swaddles do you need? Let’s find out.
In this article 📝
- What are swaddles?
- How many weeks should you swaddle a baby?
- How long does it take baby to adjust to no swaddle?
- Is receiving blanket same as swaddle blanket?
- Do newborns need to be swaddled all day?
- How many swaddle and receiving blankets do I need?
What are swaddles?
First things first… um, swaddles? What exactly are they?
Basically, a swaddle is a thin blanket that wraps tightly around your baby.
The practice of swaddling has been used for centuries all over the world.
It’s a great way to recreate the warmth and comfort of the womb and help your baby (and you) get a good sleep.
One way it does this?
This is when, in response to a noise or movement, babies throw back their heads, extend their arms, and cry.
Swaddling your baby can help keep things a little less startling for them, which helps them sleep more peacefully.
If the idea of swaddling feels daunting, don’t worry—your nurse or midwife can teach you the tricks of the trade while you’re still in the hospital.
You can also check out our step-by-step how-to guide on how to swaddle your baby.
How many weeks should you swaddle a baby?
You can swaddle your baby from birth until they’re about 8 weeks old.
By this stage, they might start to get their roll on.
When they start, it’s a good time to stop swaddling.
The reason? They might be in more danger if they roll onto their stomachs while swaddled.
For more information on creating a safe sleeping environment for your baby, the American Academy of Pediatrics has published some handy guidelines.
If your baby is breaking free of their swaddle on a nightly basis, it’s also a sign that it’s time to start the transition away from the swaddle.
How long does it take baby to adjust to no swaddle?
There’s usually a bit of a transitionary period that goes with learning to nap without the swaddle.
Babies often take a week or two to adapt—but there are no hard and fast rules here.
(If you need to hear this right now: you will sleep again.
Here are some tips on getting into a sleep schedule, if you need them)
Is receiving blanket same as swaddle blanket?
The basic difference between a receiving blanket and a swaddle is the degree of technology.
Swaddles (also called swaddling sacks or pouches) typically have all sorts of features—straps, pockets, snaps, velcro attachments—whereas a receiving blanket is really just a simple blanket.
Swaddling can be done with either.
Each one has its benefits.
Receiving blankets are great to have around because they are so versatile.
When they retire as swaddling blankets, they may find a new life as a burp cloth, for example.
Swaddles, on the other hand, just make everything so easy to navigate.
All the fasteners help to get your baby snug, quickly, and easily.
You’ll find your groove.
You may find that a swaddle is useful at night while a receiving blanket works for nap times.
There’s no one way to do this.
Are sleep sacks and swaddles the same?
Not quite, no.
Sleep sacks are sort of like baby-sized sleeping bags, sometimes crossed with swaddles ‒ they allow baby’s feet to kick a little, but keep their arms wrapped up tight.
But not all sleep sacks have spaces for baby’s arms to fit inside ‒ some are better suited for slightly older babies with their arms free.
And swaddles are essentially blankets that are wrapped in a way that means baby’s arms and legs are secure while they sleep.
How many sleep sacks should a baby have?
First, you’ll need to decide whether you want swaddling cloths or sleep sacks ‒ or both!
Or maybe you can start out with swaddling cloths, then “graduate” to sleep sacks.
Whatever works for you and your little one, mama.
And as for how many sleep sacks you should have?
Ideally at least 3 ‒ one to use, one in the wash, and one spare.
Do newborns need to be swaddled all day?
No, it’s not advised to have baby swaddled all day, as their limbs need to move so they can build muscle and coordination.
But generally speaking, many mamas swaddle their newborn baby for bed, then let their arms and legs free while they’re awake and for tummy time.
How many swaddle and receiving blankets do I need?
So how many receiving blankets does a newborn need?
And what about swaddles?
Let’s take a look.
How many swaddling blankets do I need?
You’ll probably want a minimum of 3 swaddling blankets.
That may mean one swaddle and two receiving blankets.
Or three swaddles.
Or three receiving blankets—whatever works.
Think of having enough swaddles to have one on your baby, one in the laundry, and one in case of emergency.
Remember that babies love to drool, vomit, and release all sorts of bodily fluids.
The laundry is never-ending.
You know what’s best for you, how much support you have, and what laundry facilities you have at your disposal.
As long as you have a clean swaddling blanket waiting in the wings, you’re good.
How many swaddles should I bring to the hospital?
If you’re packing your hospital bag, you’ll want to know how many swaddles you’ll need for when baby makes their grand entrance into the world.
Well, most hospitals provide you with swaddles for baby, but it can be worth bringing your own, just in case.
Our Peanut mamas recommend bringing 2 swaddles with you to the hospital when the time is right.
Just make sure they’re washed and ready to use, along with a spare at home for when you bring baby back.
There you have it ‒ how many swaddles you need for your newborn baby.
If you’re still not sure, why not ask our veteran mamas of Peanut?
They’ll be happy to share their wisdom.