How many sleeping swaddles do I need?

Quick Answer

The number of swaddles you need depends on how often you plan to do laundry. Most experts recommend having at least 5-7 swaddles on hand. This allows you to have enough clean swaddles available while others are in the wash. Some parents prefer having 10 or more swaddles so they don’t have to do laundry as frequently.

How Many Swaddles Do You Use Per Day?

Most babies need to be swaddled for naps and nighttime sleep in the first 2-3 months. On average, you will go through 2-3 swaddles per day:

  • 1 swaddle for nighttime sleep
  • 1-2 swaddles for naps

However, the exact number can vary based on your baby’s sleep patterns and how often you change their swaddle if it gets dirty from spit up, blowouts, etc. Some babies may only need 1 swaddle change per day while others need 3 or more.

How Often Should Swaddles Be Washed?

Swaddles that are just used for sleep can usually be reused for up to 3 days before washing if not visibly dirty. However, you’ll need to wash any swaddles that get spit up or poop on them right away.

Plan to wash baby swaddles every 2-3 days to keep them fresh and clean. Swaddles used for tummy time or playtime may need washing daily.

Calculate Swaddles Needed Based on Laundry Schedule

The number of swaddles you need is largely dependent on how often you plan to do laundry. Here are some estimates:

If you do laundry every 2-3 days:
– Use 5-7 swaddles

This allows approximately 2 days worth of clean swaddles ready while the others are in the wash.

If you do laundry every 4-5 days:
– Use 8-10 swaddles

This provides enough clean swaddles for up to 4 days while waiting for the next wash cycle.

If you do laundry weekly:
– Use 12-15 swaddles

This provides 6-7 days worth of swaddles before doing laundry.

Factors That May Require More Swaddles

Here are some situations that may require having extra swaddles on hand:

  • Frequent spit up or blowouts: Babies who frequently spit up or have leaky diapers may need more outfit changes and quicker swaddle washing.
  • Newborn stage: Young babies under 3 months use swaddles more frequently for both day and night sleep.
  • Twins/multiples: Expect to go through double or triple the amount of swaddles.
  • Daycare use: Providing swaddles for daycare may require separate sets.
  • Seasonal changes: Colder or warmer weather may impact how often you need to wash.

For these situations, consider keeping 2-3 extra swaddles beyond the minimum needed based on laundry frequency.

Recommended Number of Swaddles by Baby’s Age

The number of swaddles your baby uses can change a lot in the first few months as their sleep patterns change. Here are some recommendations by age:

Newborn (0-3 months):
– 8-12 swaddles recommended
– Swaddling is used more heavily

3-6 months:
– 5-10 swaddles recommended
– Transitioning out of swaddle, less frequent use

6-12 months:
– 3-5 swaddles recommended
– Used only for naptime and night

As baby gets older, the need for swaddling decreases. By 6 months, most babies are ready to stop swaddling for bedtime but may continue use for naps up to 9-12 months.

Tips for Making Do With Fewer Swaddles

If you want to keep your newborn swaddle stash minimal, here are some tips that may help:

  • Use swaddle blankets instead of sleeved swaddles. These can be reused more if not dirty.
  • Rotate between 2-3 swaddles in a day and hang to air out overnight.
  • Spot clean swaddles by handwashing stains before washing all together in the laundry.
  • Look for quick 30 minute wash cycles to wash every 2 days.
  • Use a laundry sanitizer or bleach to sanitize without needing to wash swaddles as frequently.
  • Buy a few multi-packs of cheap swaddle blankets if you don’t want to re-use higher end swaddles as often.

With a little planning, you can make do with minimal swaddles. But it’s always smart to have an extra one or two as backup for those messy days!

Reusing Swaddle Alternatives

If you want to reuse swaddles for multiple children, consider these precautions:

  • Wash used swaddles in hot water and sanitize before reusing.
  • Inspect for signs of wear – discard if elastic is stretched out or fabric is thinning.
  • Do not use if stained from eczema, thrush, or similar skin conditions that may spread.
  • Purchase new swaddles for your second child and use hand-me-downs as extras.
  • Use swaddle blankets instead of sleeved swaddles if reusing – they wash better.

While it’s possible to reuse swaddles for multiple kids, it’s recommended to buy at least a few new ones for each child.

Buying Guide: What to Look for in Swaddles

When buying baby swaddles, here are some features to look for:


  • 100% cotton is breathable, soft, and natural
  • Muslin cotton is lightweight and good for warmer weather
  • Flannel cotton provides warmth for cooler temperatures
  • Rayon from bamboo is very soft and silky
  • Jersey cotton stretches for a snug fit


  • Average size range is 0-3 months up to 18 months
  • Look for foot openings no higher than baby’s shoulders
  • Swaddle should wrap snugly around baby


  • Look for adjustable, velcro or zipper closures for adjustability
  • Sleeveless or hand sleeves to keep hands contained
  • Wings that wrap over front for security


  • Avoid loose fabrics, ribbons, ties due to suffocation risk
  • Should only be used for supervised sleep

Prioritize soft, breathable fabrics that keep baby cozy but don’t overheat. The safest swaddles have secure closures and no loose fabric.

Examples of Recommended Swaddle Brands

Here are some top-rated swaddle brands to consider:

Brand Details
Aden + Anais 100% cotton muslin, oversized design, Velcro closure
Miracle Blanket 100% cotton, strong Velcro tabs, hand sleeves
SwaddleMe 93% cotton + 7% spandex, adjustable Velcro, foot pockets
Halo 100% cotton interlock, zipper or Velcro closure, wearable blanket
Woombie 95% cotton + 5% spandex, two-way zipper, breathable

These are top-rated for comfort, safety, and keeping baby happily swaddled. Compare features to pick what suits your preferences and budget best.

Choosing Swaddle Fabric and Weight

The fabric and weight of a swaddle impacts the warmth and breathability. Choose based on your local climate and seasons:

  • Lightweight: Muslin cotton, jersey cotton – best for warm summer months
  • Medium-weight: Flannel, bamboo, light terry cloth – good for spring and fall
  • Heavy-weight: Thick flannel, wool mixes, fleece – ideal for cold winter temperatures

Muslin and jersey cotton work year-round. But opt for lighter or heavier fabrics depending on your weather and home temperature.

Transition Swaddles When Stopping Swaddling

Once your baby starts showing signs they are ready to transition from swaddling, there are a few options:

  • Transitional swaddles – Have zip-off wings or arms to adjust swaddle tightness
  • Wearable blankets – Can be used arms-in or out as needed
  • Sleep sacks – Allow arms free but contain legs for security
  • Swaddle wraps – Simply wrap around torso without restricting arms

Look for adjustable products that make it easy to gradually transition away from swaddling month-by-month.

Ensure Proper Size for Safety

For safety and effectiveness, it’s important to choose swaddles that fit your baby’s size:

  • Measure baby’s height to pick size range
  • Neck opening when swaddled should be at mid-chest level
  • Arm wings should fully contain arms without compression
  • Foot openings no higher than shoulder level
  • Fabric should firmly wrap baby with no loose areas

Using a swaddle that’s too large increases risk of the fabric loosening and covering baby’s face. Check fit regularly as baby grows into the next size.

Set a Budget for Buying Swaddles

Here are some examples of price ranges for baby swaddles:

– $8 – $15 per swaddle
– Simple muslin or flannel blankets
– Multi-packs help lower cost per swaddle

– $15 – $25 per swaddle
– Jersey cotton, flannel, terry options
– Adjustable closure designs

– $25 – $40 per swaddle
– Organic fabrics like bamboo or wool
– High-end brands like Aden + Anais
– Convenient zipper closure

Ideally, plan on spending $15 to $30 per swaddle depending on materials, brand, and fastening method. Buy multi-packs of 3 or more to help lower cost.

DIY Swaddle Blanket Tips

Some parents make their own swaddle blankets by sewing or using simple materials:

  • Flannel receiving blankets folded diagonally can substitute swaddles
  • Square muslin blankets approximately 40×40″ work well
  • Can sew two pieces together leaving arm holes
  • Add Velcro strips for easy fastening
  • Tie ends or use swaddle bands to secure

DIY swaddles may not contain baby as snugly but can work in a pinch or on a budget. Use softer, breathable fabrics and adjust until secure.

Swaddle Transition Tips by Age

0-2 months:

  • Swaddle fully with arms in for all sleep

2-4 months:

  • Start one arm out for naps to get used to feeling
  • Full swaddle at night still

4-6 months:

  • Both arms out for naps
  • One arm out for night sleep

6-9 months:

  • Try sleep sack or wearable blanket
  • End swaddling fully but keep transitional aid

Go slowly in increments to allow baby time to adjust at their own pace. Watch for readiness cues like rolling over.


The ideal number of swaddles depends on your personal preferences and laundry habits. Most babies need at least 5-7 swaddles on hand for recurring use. Optimally, have 2-3 days worth of swaddles ready between wash cycles. Consider extra swaddles if your baby spits up often or you dislike frequent laundry. Reusable swaddle blankets offer more versatility than sleeved swaddles. Choose breathable fabrics that adjust to keep baby secure and transition gradually over time as baby grows. With the right amount of quality swaddles, you can help your little one sleep safely and soundly.

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