My children loved being tucked in like a baby burrito. They took to being swaddled like ducks to water, and I had plenty of those blankets on hand. There's just something really precious about wrapping your baby up in a tiny, infant-sized straight jacket that Houdini would have trouble getting out of, but it's also pretty beneficial for babies. So how many swaddling blankets do you need for those first few months? The last thing you want is to run out of their sleeping crutch.
There's only a finite period of time when swaddling your baby is considered safe, which is something to consider. Dr. Rachel Moon tells the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “I would stop swaddling by age 2 months, before the baby intentionally starts to try to roll. If babies are swaddled, they should be placed only on their back and monitored so they don’t accidentally roll over.” As for how many you'll need, it will depend on several factors, like how much laundry you're willing to do. Do you use the swaddling blankets for more than just swaddling? How many children are you swaddling? Determining your parameters will help you better assess how many swaddling blankets you need.
I went through way more swaddle blankets than I thought I would, to be honest. First, I had a variety of different types. I liked the velcro closure swaddle blankets for nighttime, the muslin swaddles for naps, and the sack-style swaddling blankets for hanging out when my babies got fussy. However, babies do what babies do best — poop and pee. Inevitably, it will end up on the blankets with alarming frequency. Since I sent my laundry out to be done (I live in Brooklyn and this is pretty common), I needed to have plenty of backups.
I also used the muslin swaddling blankets for everything under the sun because they were a soft blanket to lay atop the carpet for tummy time, and they safely kept out the chill when placed over my baby in the car seat. (Never put your baby in the car seat with a blanket and buckle over top. That's not safe.) Which meant I had about 15 or so in total. It seems high, but I had an explosive pooper and sent out my laundry only two to three times per week. To get a less New York City mom take, I spoke with some more real moms to determine how many they used, and see how I compare.
Author and mom Amy Cissell tells Romper, "More than you think you could possibly need plus five. (I probably had about a dozen, which worked OK since I did eleventy loads of laundry every day.)" So, judging by this, if she were in my shoes, she'd have purchased like, 20, easy. Like Erika Nicole Kendall, another Brooklyn mom and writer, who says she had about 12 because of her laundry situation, which is much like my own.
When it comes to swaddling, you'll hear the same refrain over and over — laundry. Attorney Danielle Liss tells Romper that her son "had some reflux issues, so there was always a ton of vomit and I really tried to not do laundry every single day. However, due to his sheer baby strength, we gave up on swaddles and put him in those sacks. (Kid wanted his arms free.)" All in all, she says she had about 10 in total.
Things change when you're on baby number three and also working from home running a successful business like Nicole Culver. She notes, "We probably go through four to five a day, but we also use them as burp cloths too, and I swap them out super frequently." So it just depends on how often you want to do laundry.
If you're using one type of swaddle, how many you need may shift because they get used so often. When registered dietitian Katie Hiddleston had her babies, she says that she's "pretty sure we had three of the 'four packs' of the big Aden and Anais swaddle blankets — our favorite." They're also my favorite, for what it's worth, and they're so versatile that they're really worth the money. (Some of ours are 10 years old and still get used.)
So how many swaddling blankets do you need? I'd plan for at least five at minimum so that you're not strapped into laundry every single day — more if you can swing it or if you like variety. Life is too short and motherhood is too busy to be stuck in the laundry room every day.