For the youngest set of babies, swaddle wraps and swaddle blankets are the perfect way to transition your baby out of the womb and into the real world. It makes them feel safe and secure while simultaneously easing them into an overstimulating world they're not yet used to. But your baby can't stay in one forever. Just when you've finally got their sleeping down to an art and the swaddle is your miracle worker, all of a sudden they roll over and it's bye-bye swaddle. Luckily wearable blankets are perfect for the next stage. But which one should you get?
You'll definitely want to decide sooner than later so you'll have one ready to go when it's time. That's why we've put together this 2021 buyer's guide to wearable blankets!
After you're done reading, you'll know what to look for in a wearable blanket as well as which one is best in each category.
Why You'll Want a Wearable Blanket for Your Baby
Just as swaddles provide security and comfort for a young infant, wearable blankets can offer that same level of coziness as your baby grows. Since the AAP advises to never put your baby in a crib with loose blankets, stuffed animals, or pillows, you'll definitely want some form of comfort to give your little one as you leave them alone to sleep in their crib.
The wearable blanket is the perfect option.
Wondering if wearable blankets are safe? Absolutely!
In 1991, the first wearable blanket was created by the brand Halo. It was created out of a need to give parents a way to keep their babies blanketed, but in a safe way that wouldn't be a SIDS risk. You'll find this brand embroidered with "Back is Best" to always remind caregivers that babies should always be placed on their backs when it's time to sleep.
Healthychildren.org summarizes the AAP guidelines in this article, and writes, 'If you are worried about your baby getting cold, you can use infant sleep clothing, such as a wearable blanket."
But we know it's not just about getting cold, babies need comfort and wearable blankets are a huge help for that. You can feel confident you are giving your baby a safe option for this that will help them sleep better, too. Looking for more safety info? Check out this article!
A wearable blanket is the perfect element to include in your baby's sleep routine after they're old enough to be out of a swaddle. And honestly, some infants don't even like being swaddled at all, so a roomier wearable blanket is a great substitute.
Features to Look For When Buying a Wearable Blanket
The array of wearable blankets is growing. There are quite a few different design choices available now and that means it's a lot easier to find exactly what you need. Ultimately you'll want to choose the wearable blanket that is most comfortable for your baby and allows them to get their best sleep. Wouldn't that just be everything we'd ever want as a mom with an infant?! More sleep always sounds divine.
Here are some different characteristics you'll want to pay attention to when choosing a weighted blanket:
Fabric - Wearable blankets are often made of basic cotton, but not always. Some may be fleece, muslin, or even merino wool. Organic material can be found on a few, as well. Fabric is something to pay attention to if you live in a unusually cold or warm climate. If a home is heated properly or you have air conditioning this won't matter as much. It's always recommended that your dress your baby similarly to what you would for yourself based on the temperature in order to keep them comfortable and safe.
Weight - No, we're not talking about the weight of your baby, but the weight of the sack. You'll notice that some of wearable blankets on our list are thinner material whereas some have inside batting to make them warmer. On top of that, there even weighted wearable blankets now that induce calming (yes, similar to the ones you've see for adults but in a safe sleeping bag design for your baby!) We love the one from Dreamland Baby!
Size - Most wearable blankets come in multiple sizes. Just be careful to not just grab and go or you might end up with a baby sleeping bag that doesn't fit correctly. And don't size up to prolong use assuming your baby will grow into it. Not having the correct size could be a safety risk for your baby because there should never be any way that it could cover your baby's face.
Length of Use - Beyond the size guideline of the particular wearable blanket you're looking into, you'll also want to consider how long your baby will actually be able to use it. For example, many swaddles will fit babies up to 6 months of age, but they cannot safely wear a swaddle once they start rolling over. Therefore, you'll want to take this into account, too...and be ready with what you're going to put baby in next!
- Ease of Use - When you're fumbling in the dark with your baby's wearable blanket to quickly get them changed, you want it to be something easy to manage. Many wearable blankets have a zipper that comes up from the bottom to make this easier and you won't have to take the entire thing off. Every one on our list is super simple!
Ultimately, the wearable blanket you'll want for your baby is the one that helps them sleep the best during both nap time and night time wear.
Best Weighted Wearable Blanket
A weighted wearable blanket is a unique option now on the market. Surely you've read the benefits of the weighted blankets for adults and children...such as reduced anxiety, induce drowsiness, and help people sleep better? Those benefits are now found in a wearable blanket that's safe for babies.
We're starting off with our favorite wearable blanket of all, the Dreamland Baby Weighted Sack. If you've ever personally used a weighted blanket, then we don't have to tell you about the powerful affect it can have on your relaxation and sleep. This weighted sack for babies is covered on the front by weighted quilting. What can it do for your baby?
- provides a relaxing effect through deep touch stimulation
- mimics a caregiver's hug
- enhances your baby's quality of sleep by allowing them to sleep for longer periods of time
- gives your baby the security they need to fall asleep independently
Fabric and Materials: 100% soft cotton body and tightly sewn in food-grade pellets inside the front quilting for weight
Weight: This wearable blanket is weighted and follows the guidelines to never be more than 10% of a baby's weight when the correct size is used; perfect for year-round use
Sizes Available: 0 - 6 Months (you choose a sack/swaddle option, too), 6 - 12 Months, 12 - 18 Months
The reviews are resounding that this weighted sack is like no other for helping your little one get the sleep you've been longing for.
Best Organic Wearable Blanket
Don't feel like you need to be outfitting your baby in all organic everything. Most babies do great with other natural materials on their skin. With that said, if you only prefer organic clothing for your little one, than this is a good choice.
Halo is the creator of the original wearable blanket. It's been a trusted brand for many years and safety is their utmost priority. Not only will it help keep your baby cuddly as they doze off, it will stay put through the night until you go and get your bright-eyed baby after restful sleep. This is a pretty budget-friendly option, as well!
Fabric: 100% Certified Organically Grown Cotton
Weight: Not weighted, but is lightweight and ideal for warmer climates on its own or can be layered with warmer sleepwear
Sizes Available: Small (10 - 18 pounds), Medium (16 - 24 pounds)
If you need a basic organic option that's easy to use and will help signal to baby that it's time to sleep, this is the right wearable blanket for you.
Best Wearable Blanket to Transition From the Swaddle
Taking your baby out of her swaddle can be one of the hardest transitions to go through. By the time this is necessary, your baby has usually gotten into a good groove of sleeping and relies heavily on her cozy, tight swaddle to drift off to dreamland. The problem is that you can't keep a baby sleeping in a swaddle once they can rollover. That's why we love this transitional bag from Zippadee-Zip!
The Zippadee-Zip Sleeping Bag is great for helping your baby make a smooth transition from swaddle to wearable blanket. What's unique about this one is that it's not sleeveless...yet, it doesn't really have sleeves either! Instead, it's a completely enclosed and roomy bag that has special places for your baby's arms to go. Since your baby's arms are still able to move freely within the bag, it's not a danger risk. They can easily roll tummy to back or vice versa. Babies who are addicted to being swaddled will still get the enclosed feeling they love with a whole lot more wiggle room.
Fabric: Cotton Blend: 55% Cotton, 45% Modacrylic
Weight: Mid-weight makes it comfortable for year-round use
Sizes Available: Extra Small (3 - 6 Months), Small (4 - 8 Months), Medium (6 - 12 Months), Large (12 - 24 Months), Extra Large (2T - 3T)
Have a baby who needs to move out of a swaddle but you just can't bring yourself to buy them a sleeveless wearable blanket yet? This should work perfectly.
Best Budget Wearable Blanket
We know that having a new baby can become an expensive time in your life. Like, how can someone so tiny need so much stuff? In actuality, they don't need as much as you'd first think, but with the rising cost of diapers and clothing, it can add up fast. Here's the best budget-friendly wearable blanket we found!
We've seen the Carter's Cotton Sleeping Bag for less than $10! That means you can give your baby a comfortable and cozy option without breaking the bank. If you need multiple on hand for when one needs a washing you can also find these sold in a pair of two. It comes in a few adorable prints to choose from, as well.
Fabric: Supersoft 100% Cotton
Weight: Similar to the Halo SleepSack, this one will be perfect with light jammies or a diaper in warmer months, or layered in cooler months to keep your baby cozy
Sizes Available: Small (0 - 3 Months), Medium (3 - 9 Months)
Ease of Use:
Another buyer's budget tip when it comes to baby wearable blankets is to look for ones on consignment. Or find out from friends if they have an extra that their baby has grown out of. This is a great way to save money while also doing good for the planet!
Best Cold Weather Wearable Blanket
Even with the heat cranked, sometimes you just can't shake that chilled feeling that sometimes comes in winter time. And babies feel that, too! Or maybe your little one's room is in a part of the house that just doesn't get as much heat and they need a little extra warmth. If this is your family, you'll want to keep an eye out for wearable blankets that offer extra warmth. This might mean a thicket sleeper or one with sleeves.
For extra warmth, we chose the sleeping bag from JoJo Maman Bebe. When you see it you can't help but know it's going to keep your baby oh so cozy on those chilly nights. It is much thicker than typical wearable blankets and has sewn in quilt batting (wadding) to offer that extra layer of warmth. Not only that, but it also has detachable sleeves. On the coldest nights you'll want to leave them on, but when it warms up, it's easy enough to take them off for a more classic wearable blanket design.
Fabric: 100% Cotton Outer and Lining, 100% Polyester Wadding Inside
Weight: This sleeping bag has a TOG rating of 3.5, meaning it's on the heaviest side for wearable blankets. It's best used in colder months.
Sizes Available: 0 - 6 Months (27 inches long), 6 - 18 Months (35 inches long)
Keep your baby snug as a bug in a rug even in the winter with this extra cozy wearable blanket!
Best Wearable Blanket for Walkers
Not all babies who are walking will need a wearable blanket with legs, but if your baby is a little older and already sleeping in a toddler bed, this can be a great step up after it's time to move on from a more traditional style wearable blanket.
This wearable blanket is equipped with short sleeves and pant-type legs to offer your older baby a full range of motion when they are ready. They'll still get the comfortable "sack type" design throughout the middle of this wearable blanket to help with coziness and relaxation for sleep, but will be able to walk around which isn't very easy with a typical wearable blanket. The coolest feature is perhaps the "2-in-1" feet so that you can keep your baby's feet covered for sleeping, but uncovered for playtime.
Fabric: 100% Cotton Outer, 100% Polyester Filling, 96% Cotton, 4% Elastane on the cuffs
Weight: This particular one has a TOG rating of 1.0 making it best for moderate temperatures, but there is a heavier one available
Sizes Available: Size 0 (6 - 12 Months), (12 - 24 Months)
Even older babies need help relaxing and getting the ZZZs. The Love to Dream wearable blanket helps them with that while also being able to move into play after it's time to wake!
Still not sure? Be sure to read our Best Wearable Blankets of 2021 for more top recommendations.