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’re building a community—to take the mystery out of all of this.
So, swaddling. Let’s have the conversation.
In this article 📝
- How many swaddles do you need?
- How many weeks should you swaddle a baby?
- How long does it take baby to adjust to no swaddle?
- Are receiving blankets and swaddles the same thing?
- How many swaddling blankets do I need?
How many swaddles do you need?
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? By helping out with what is known as the Moro reflex (AKA the startle reflex).
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 eight 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)
Are receiving blankets and swaddles the same thing?
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 their 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.
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 three swaddling blanket options.
(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.
You might also be interested in:
How Much Do Newborns Sleep? A Rough Guide
5 Things I Wish I Knew About Baby Sleep as a First Time Mama
Newborn Sleep Schedule: Patterns and Timings
Baby Sleep Temperature Guidelines to Follow
The Bedtime Routine: The Foundation for a Good Night’s Sleep
All About the Baby Sleep Cycle