To keep our guides free, we're reader supported. That means if you buy something via a link on this page, we might earn a commission. Thanks for that. Learn more
In this guide
The phrase ‘sleeping like a baby’, to imply that you slept well and peacefully, is a huge lie. There is nothing peaceful about a sleeping baby. They snort, snore, snuffle and startle, among other things. But at least with a swaddle they can be comfortable doing it. The best swaddle is easy to use and care for. It also keeps baby snug all night long without compromising their hips. If you’re looking for the best baby swaddle for a newborn, you’ll find lots of options - all our picks are suitable for use from newborn.* So grab a cuppa and discover the top swaddle in Australia, chosen from hours of reviewing consumer feedback and online window shopping.
*Note: Red Nose, Australia’s leading authority on safe sleep, says wrapping can “be used from birth or as soon as the baby is medically well and able to tolerate wrapping, in the case of premature or sick infants.”
How we picked
Our picks for Australia’s best swaddle came from trawling Aussie parents’ brains on ProductReview.com.au. We combed through hundreds of reviews to find the swaddles that most delight parents and babies. Armed with our list, we did some virtual window shopping to understand prices, features and types of swaddles.
From there, we created a shortlist, including our picks for the best swaddle for winter and summer. We aimed to include a wide variety of styles (from zip up swaddles to wraps) and price ranges to suit most Aussie families. This gave us our 7 top picks.
Is it safe to swaddle a baby?
The idea of swaddling your baby can conjure up images of Victorian parents tightly strapping their babies to wooden boards. Baby, we’ve come a long way.
Swaddling reduces the need for blankets in baby’s cot, which can get loose while they’re sleeping and can cover their face or head, which is a suffocation risk.
It’s safe to swaddle a baby as long as you follow the principles of safe wrapping as outlined by Red Nose, Australia’s leading authority on safe sleep. These principles include ensuring that:
- Baby is always put to sleep on their back with their feet at the bottom of their cot.
- Baby’s face is uncovered (so no doonas, pillows, cot bumpers, lambs’ wool or soft toys in their cot).
- You only use lightweight wraps like cotton or muslin.
- Baby isn’t overdressed under their swaddle.
You can read more about these principles on the Red Nose website.
Note that Red Nose states that “there is limited evidence that infant wrapping has a protective effect against sudden unexpected death in infancy.” Instead, they say that swaddling is a useful strategy to help your baby settle and sleep on their back.
Do newborns have to be swaddled?
No, not all newborns like to be swaddled and you don’t have to swaddle your baby if you don’t want to (or they don’t like it!). An alternative to a swaddle is a sleeping bag that lets baby sleep with their arms free.
Swaddling can help with your baby’s mono reflex. This is also called the startle reflex. It causes babies to throw their arms up and out which can disturb their sleep. Swaddling helps calm this reflex. The startle reflex fades naturally around 4-6 months, regardless of whether you swaddle or not.
Red Nose has pulled together some good info about why swaddling is good for baby. It can calm your baby and promote the use of the back sleeping position. It can reduce crying time and improve baby sleep by reducing the number of times their startle reflex wakes them up. You can read the full article on their website.
When should you stop swaddling?
You should stop swaddling once baby begins to show signs that they can roll over. Once baby can roll, being swaddled might stop them returning to their back during sleep, which is the recommended safe sleeping position. Babies usually show signs of rolling around 4-6 months but it can be earlier. After swaddling, you can switch to a sleeping bag.
Is swaddling bad for hips?
When we were researching this guide, we came across the term ‘hip-friendly’ so many times. A lot of swaddles claim their design is ‘hip-friendly’ - what does this mean and why is it important?
Incorrect swaddling can affect your baby’s natural hip development. When swaddled, baby’s hips should be bent and their knees should be apart, like a frog. There should be room for baby to move their hips.
If baby’s legs are wrapped tight, straight down, pressed together or in a swaddle that’s too snug around their thighs, their hip joint can be loosened. This can increase the risk of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH). DDH is a condition where the hip joint doesn't fit in the ‘normal’ position which can cause ‘clicky’ hips, uneven balance and limping.
Find out more about safe swaddling guidelines for hips on Healthy Hips Australia.
Or how to move your sleeping baby, without waking them (not guaranteed).
Or how to get stuff done while still being close to your baby.