How Many Swaddles Do You Need

How Many Swaddles Do You Need? 1 Simple Answer

How many swaddles do you need to get through a day?

That’s the question every parent with a baby who loves swaddling always asks.

Cute as it is to see your baby bundled up like a burrito, there is more to choosing the number of swaddles you need.

What Is Swaddling?

Swaddling is the act of wrapping a baby in a blanket from their neck downwards such that they can not wriggle out.

1. How Long Have People Been Swaddling?

For those who have never swaddled a newborn baby, it is pretty common to wonder if this is a recent practice. 

The answer, however, is no. Swaddling has been an ancient practice that dates back over a hundred years. 

Various civilizations around the world have been swaddling their newborns as a way to soothe babies. 

Since this makes as a substitute for the warmth of a womb, swaddling makes it easier or newborn babies to sleep for long periods.  

2. Do I Need To Swaddle My Baby?

There are plenty of advantages to swaddling your baby. Here are some of these benefits:

  • It gives them a sense of security, comfort, and warmth when wrapped up like they are still in the womb.
  • Swaddling helps prevent the startle reflex in newborns that are experienced when you wake them up. The swaddling keeps the baby’s arms wrapped tightly on their sides.
  • Swaddling also helps keep the baby without the use of a loose blanket, which is a leading hazard of suffocation in young ones
  • Swaddling lets your baby remain sleeping on his back to avoid the risk of SIDs.
  • It helps soothe colic babies.
  • It helps new parents get a good night’s rest since their baby is not waking up in the middle of the night.

Related post: My Baby Hates Swaddling! 4 Safe Tips To Win The Battle

The Different Types of Swaddles

First, there are two different types of swaddles.

If you are registering for gifts and want to add swaddles, it is best to include these two types on your list so you have a variety to choose from.

The two types are:

1. Traditional Swaddles

Traditional swaddle blankets are thin, large, and loose, allowing you to wrap the little one like a burrito. The good thing about these is that you don’t have to pack it up when the baby outgrows swaddling. You can use them for other things like burping clothes or as a blanket.

2. Swaddle Sacks

With a waddling pouch or sack, you can easily have a snug swaddle. They mostly have zippers, snaps, or velcro, so you can clip it closed and tight.

How Many Swaddles Do You Need

There are several factors to consider before filling your shopping basket with swaddles only.

1. Laundry Duties

First, how often are you willing to do laundry?

In between the baby poop, pee, and burping, you will be making a lot of trips to the laundry to ensure you have at least one clean swaddle on standby.

The more willing and open you are to doing laundry often, the fewer swaddles you should buy.

With this logic, two swaddles will do just fine.

When you change the baby to a clean one, you can clean the other for changing in a few hours.

2. Number Of Children You Have

The second factor to consider is the number of children you have.

Twins and triplets will definitely require more swaddles than you would need for one baby only.

3. Usage Of The Swaddle

Third, you need to consider whether you will be using the swaddle for other activities.

You can use more swaddles if swaddling is not the only activity you need such a blanket for.

Some parents buy different types of swaddles for variety.

For example, the muslin swaddles are best for just about anything.

The softness and breathability make it the perfect blanket to use on your baby’s car seat.

For the baby’s safety, ensure you do not place the safety buckle and the blanket over the top.

You can also use it when the baby needs tummy time lying on the carpet.

The cotton material is also warm. So you can use it as a blanket for the baby.

That said, having three to five swaddles for a start is ideal if you do not want too of these.

However, if your baby pees or poops and burps a lot, you will probably need more than five swaddles.

4. Spit Ups

Newborns commonly deal with spitting up.

As a matter of fact, research suggests that nearly half of healthy babies encounter spitting up in their first three months. This is because of their gastroesophageal reflux.  

If your baby is one of these infants, you will need to prepare several baby swaddles. You may even need to double the number of swaddles you buy since they can help you from doing laundry all the time. 

Some Considerations When Swaddling A Baby

Before you rush off to buy a swaddle for your baby, here are some of the things you need to put into consideration:

1. Can All Babies Be Swaddled?

We’ve already established that swaddling is good and safe for each newborn. 

There are some exceptions to its advantage, however. 

You need to avoid swaddling your baby if he has hip dysplasia or any other hip-related issue. 

2. How Long Can I Swaddle My Baby?

As doctors recommend, you should stop swaddling your baby when he reaches two months old. 

Otherwise, your baby may struggle with developmental issues.

Not to mention, a swaddle can be dangerous for your baby once he starts rolling around the bed.

3. How Many Receiving Blankets Are Necessary?

In a nutshell, it will depend if you will continue swaddling your baby too. A good rule of thumb is to buy 3 to 4 receiving blankets.  

You may even need up to 20 blankets so you don’t have to spend all your free time washing your clothes. 

4. How Do Receiving Blankets Help?

Apart from keeping your baby warm and comfortable, here are some of the advantages of using receiving blankets:

  • To clean baby’s spit-ups and burps
  • Cover self when baby is nursing in public
  • To keep baby’s tummy more comfortable
  • To use as a cover for your baby as he sits on a stroller or a car seat
  • Useful when you’re in the park

How many swaddles do you need? – Summary

Parents with such active babies have bought more than five, with some having more than 10.

If you are in this situation, you might need up to 15 swaddles, so you do not always have to do laundry when one swaddle is spoilt.

But if your baby is not that active, at least five to ten swaddles could do.


When to Stop Swaddling a Baby

Swaddling is good early in a baby’s life, but you need to know when to stop. The ideal time to stop swaddling a child is when they start to develop the ability to roll over, which is around ages two to four months.

If a swaddled child rolls over, they run the risk of suffocating because of their position and loose clothing.

To know when it’s time to stop swaddling, look out for the following signs:

  • They rock sideways and appear on the brink of rolling
  • They lose their startle reflex
  • They become uncomfortable in the swaddle and wake up often at night
  • They resist when you try to swaddle them
  • They break out of their swaddles

Your baby may take a week or two to adjust, but eventually, they’ll become used to life without the swaddling.


What’s the Difference Between Receiving, Muskin, and Swaddle Blankets?

These three blankets are quite similar, but they have key differences and perform unique functions.

The receiving blanket is the fabric used to wrap a baby as soon as it’s born. They help keep the newborn warm in the hospital after birth. They are soft and thin, yet thick enough to provide warmth to a baby. You can also use these blankets as towels.

When receiving blankets are made of muslin, they’re called muslin blankets. The muslin blanket is larger than most of the other kinds of receiving blankets, making them ideal for swaddling.

Swaddle blankets are non-wearable, loose blankets with Velcro, straps, zipper, or button designs. They are not the same as receiving blankets, and are specifically designed for swaddling babies.

Here’s a table to further illustrate the differences between swaddle, muslin, and receiving blankets:


  Swaddle Blankets Receiving Blankets Muslin Blankets
Weight of Material Light Thick Thick muslin
Purpose Swaddling Swaddling, burping, toweling Swaddling, burping, toweling
Size Largest Small Larger
Shape Round and sack-like Square or rectangle Square or rectangle


What to Avoid When Buying Swaddles

From our section that answered the question about how many swaddling blankets you need, it’s clear that you should buy multiple swaddles. Hence, there’s more to lose if you get the wrong product and can’t return them.

Buying the wrong swaddle sack or blanket can put you and your baby at risk. It’s also bad financially.  Here’s what NOT to do.

Swaddles for Babies Who No Longer Need Them

As stated earlier in the article, you should stop swaddling once your child learns to roll over. If your baby is over two months old, you may want to rethink restocking their swaddle collection.

Heavy Swaddles

You shouldn’t put too much weight on a baby. Always read the manufacturer’s guide. A weighted blanket may be difficult for a baby to break free of when they roll over.

Swaddles that Are Too Tight at the Lower Body

Some swaddle sacks or blankets may be too tight for your baby’s legs. This restriction is not only uncomfortable but also unsafe for newborns.


How to Swaddle Your Baby

Getting the perfect swaddle takes practice and experience. You also need to know the basics of a good swaddle. Here are some pointers:

  1. Fold the receiving, muslin, or swaddle blanket into a diamond shape.
  2. Place the baby back-first on the center.
  3. Grab the blanket’s right side and pull it across their chest and arm.
  4. Tuck the rest of the blanket underneath the baby while freeing the left arm.
  5. Fold the underside over their body to form a swaddle.
  6. Make this fold tighter and tuck the pointed end in.
  7. Cover their chest and arms with the remaining blanket area, making sure to tuck any loose fabric under them.


Tips for Safe Swaddles

Here are some tips to help you keep your baby safe while swaddling.

Wash the Swaddles Regularly

Babies need a germ-free environment, so their swaddles should be clean at all times. After each use, hand-wash the blanket or use a washing machine.

Don’t Double-Swaddle

When the weather is really cold, you may be tempted to wrap your baby in two swaddle blankets. Well, don’t. It will be too heavy for them and cause their body temperatures to rise quickly.

Keep Their Hands on the Chest

You shouldn’t swaddle your infant with their arms on their sides. Instead, lay the baby’s arms along the chest area. That way, you avoid potential joint problems.

Know When to Stop

As stated earlier, stop swaddling when you notice they can roll over by themselves.


What to Do with Old Swaddle Blankets

So, you’ve got a bunch of swaddling blankets, but your baby doesn’t need to be swaddled anymore. Here’re some ideas:

  1. Use them as play mats
  2. Use them as burp cloths
  3. They make good covers while breastfeeding
  4. Use them as sun shades
  5. They can wipe baby mess.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Do you need more than one swaddle?

Basically, you need to have at least two swaddles for your baby. 

There are many factors that contribute to your decision of how many swaddles to purchase. But to cut down on costs, you should stick to two swaddles. 

2. Do Newborns need to be swaddled all day?

You don’t need to keep your baby swaddled all throughout the day. 

If your baby is happy without swaddling, you don’t need to bother. 

3. How many sleep sacks do I need for a newborn?

The answer here will depend on your own personal preference. 

But usually, people prepare three to six baby sleep sacks at home. 


Iesha Mulla

Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She's an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.

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