These Arms-Up Swaddles Are Perfect For Babies Who Are Ready For The Next Step

These comfy swaddles are perfect for babies who like to keep their arms free.

by Lindsay E. Mack

If your newborn likes to throw their hands up in the air sometimes, then traditional swaddle blankets may not be their favorite. In this case, arms-up swaddle designs may help your baby rest better through the night. There’s a whole variety of swaddle blankets that let your baby put their arms up, which will hopefully help everybody sleep a little better.

A common practice for newborns, swaddling can help calm infants and promote better sleep overall, according to a study in the American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing. However, this doesn’t mean every baby is going to love being wrapped up like a burrito. In some cases, babies are irritated with a swaddle because they aren’t used to having their arms down by their side. In these cases, swaddles that still allow your baby some arm movement provide the best of both worlds. The baby still gets all the comfort of a traditional swaddle, and they’re also able to find a comfy way to place their arms.

Whatever kind of design you choose, it’s also important to follow safety recommendations and know when to stop swaddling your baby. Once your baby is able to attempt rolling over, it’s time to retire the swaddle, according to the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. For the most part, babies are only swaddled for a very brief part of their lives, but the right arms-up swaddle for your baby can make the experience that much more comfortable and restful.

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Studies Cited:

Nelson AM. Risks and Benefits of Swaddling Healthy Infants: An Integrative Review. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 2017 Jul/Aug;42(4):216-225. doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000344. PMID: 28394766.

Pediatrics November 2016, 138 (5) e20162938; DOI:


Love To Dream: Snug & Zippered

This swaddle allows babies to raise their arms and self-soothe, but it’s still snug enough to help prevent the startle reflex. Plus, the two-way zipper makes those late-night diaper changes a little easier.


Halo: Customizable & Supports Healthy Hip Development

This design allows you to swaddle with both arms in, hands-to-face, or one (or both) arms out. Plus, the roomy bottom half of the design allows baby’s legs to move freely for healthy hip development.


Woombie: Comfy Cotton & Spandex Design

Designed to allow your baby’s arms to stay in or out of the swaddle, this swaddle is made with a cotton and spandex blend for your baby’s comfort. In addition, the one-step design won’t come unraveled like more traditional swaddles.


Swaddle Designs: A Safe Arms-Up Swaddle

The swaddle sack is designed to work when your baby is in the transitional phase between swaddles and sleep sacks. Babies who prefer to sleep with their hands over their head will appreciate this comfy take on the swaddle.


Zen Swaddle: Gently Weighted Swaddle

Gently weighted, the Zen Swaddle also has an arms-in or arms-out option for your baby. It’s available in both cotton and bamboo in a whole range of fun designs.


SwaddleMe: Arms-Free Comfort For Baby

Let your baby sleep with one or both arms out in the convertible swaddle. Plus, the zipper makes it easier to get through diaper changes.


ergoPouch: Cozy Swaddle Bag For Baby

Press stud poppers in the armholes convert this swaddle into an arms-free design. Created to be simple for adults to use, but difficult for the baby to escape, it’s a a swaddle designed to grow with your baby.