Many new parents eventually find themselves looking for the perfect sleeper solution once their new baby is a few week old. Most babies love to be snugged up in a swaddle. And why wouldn't they? It's safe feeling and reminiscent of the comforts of the womb. Infants are equipped with what is called the Moro reflex, more commonly known as the "startle reflex". Infants will startle when they are surprised or feel unsafe. Which is a bummer when you get a coughing fit as you are rocking them and they just fall asleep.
I have found that every baby will have a different preference as to what swaddle to use. Here are a few that have worked well for me.
In the beginning the muslin blanket swaddle works like a charm. This is the basic first swaddle that you will most likely learn and use. When your baby isn't snuggling on you, this burrito is a great choice. There does come a time when your baby may start to demand their hands be free no matter how tight you wrap them up and it's back to square one.
Velcro swaddles are a great option once you get past the muslin blanket. (Above I have pictured is the Halo swaddle) They do not come loose like the blanket swaddle and are pretty good at keeping your baby's hands down by their side. These work well for the babes who don't mind their hands being down. Our daughter loved this and stayed in one from start to finish of her swaddling journey.
If your baby is comforted by having their hands by their face, you may want to look into something like the Love to Dream sleep sack. (Above I have pictured the 50/50) My middle boy always had his hands by his face and he despised the Velcro swaddle. I decided to give this swaddle a try and never looked back. The 50/50 is amazing because you can unzip the shoulders to eventually free their hands when needed. It's pretty awesome and worked well for him.
You may find yourself with a baby who doesn't fancy either of the swaddles or is needing to transition to having their arms free, the Baby Merlin's Sleep Suit is a great option. I called this the marshmallow suit. It helps them learn to sleep with their arms free while dampening the startle reflex. My youngest slept in this until he started rolling and getting himself all the way over. At that point it was game over and cold turkey.
Most babies will lose the Moro reflex in a couple of months and the need to swaddle won't be as necessary. But once your baby starts rolling you will need to put them in a sleeper that allows for at least one arm to be free so they can lift themselves if needed.
Not all swaddles are created equal and each baby will prefer a different kind. If you are on the hunt for the perfect sleep solution, try a few options for a couple of nights to find out what your baby's comfort preference is.