Summer swaddles

Baby lying awake on blanket in Embe two way swaddle in clustered flowers design with pink baby headband.

Best Swaddles & Advice for Summer

Watch summer swaddle comparison video

Compare summer swaddles

Fitted summer swaddle information

Factors to consider when choosing a swaddle

What clothing should baby wear in a swaddle?

Which swaddles have leg-out options?

What swaddles are best for arms-up?

How to tell if baby is too hot

Parents are often concerned that their baby will over-heat if they are swaddled in summer, but most newborns struggle to sleep well if they are not swaddled and quickly become both hot and over-tired without effective swaddling. 

Overheating is one of the factors which contribute to SIDS deaths, so it is very important to take the temperature of your baby seriously.  However, it is important to note that it is not swaddling alone that causes over-heating.  Babies temperature results from the combination of clothing, swaddle wrap and technique, bedding and room temperature. Each of these factors can be controlled and minimised to ensure your baby does not get too hot. 

Remember to consider all the layers on your baby - her clothing, her baby wrap and the blankets over the top. It is the total combination of layers, rather than one swaddling layer, that will determine if your baby is too hot, too cold, or just right.




 Summer fitted swaddle comparison chart

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Baby awake and swaddled in The Sleep Store deluxe merino blanket in aqua starburst design

Muslin Wraps

Baby sleeping in blue chevron Miracle Blanket swaddle

Miracle Blanket

Happy baby in 2-way Embe Starter Swaddle in Clustered Flowers design with legs out


Baby awake in smiling in 0.2 tog Swaddle Up Lite - Cream colour

Love to Dream

Love to Dream SwaddleUp 50:50 Transition Bag  in Pink Dot Lite

Love to Dream

Folding skill level High Easy Easy Easy Easy
Startle control Medium High High Low Low
"Little Houdini" Resistance Low, but can be used with a Safe T Sleep High High High High
Arm position Versatile Down Chest Up Up
Legs in or out? In Both Both In only In only
Transitional swaddle No Yes, combine with sleeping bag. No, transitional swaddle coming soon. No, use Love to Dream 50/50 Yes
Fabric weight Light Medium Medium Lite cotton or bamboo Lightweight
Our verdict A lovely light swaddle for hot summer days and smaller babies. A versatile, all rounder which is easy to master & helps most babies to sleep longer A unique swaddle with legs in or out design. Easy to use fitted swaddle, perfect for summer months.  An great lightweight option for babies who don't have a high startle reflex One of the lightest weight swaddles availlbale and very easy to use.
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Baby awake dressed in a SwaddleMe Kicksie in Woodland Smiles design with legs in the air

SwaddleMe Kicksie

SwaddleMe 0-3m swaddle in Little Jungle


Fitted Zip Swaddle - Grey with Bear Print

The Sleep Store

Baby awake, lying in cot in ErgoPouch Cocoon Swaddle in triangle pops design,  holding a wooden rattle

Ergo Cocoon

Baby sleeping with Sleepy Wings

Sleepy Wings

Folding skill level Easy Easy Easy Easy Moderate
Startle control Medium Medium High High Low
"Little Houdini" Resistance High High Good Good Med
Arm position Down Down Chest Chest Up or down
Legs in or out Out only In only In only In only -
Transitional swaddle No No No Yes -
Fabric weight Light  Light Light Light 0.2 Tog and mid-weight 1.0 Tod  Light
Our verdict A very cool option, ideal for day sleeps in summer.  Only offers a legs out option. A lightweight easy to swaddle option for the summer months. A super-soft organic cotton swaddle, that's easy to use. Our most recommended, lightweight summer swaddle. A good option for babies who like arms up and don't have a high startle reflex.  
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Shop Fitted Swaddles


Lightweight, fitted summer swaddles

Miracle Blanket - 2-3 layers of T-shirt weight cotton, so a warmer option than many fitted swaddles. Can be used with the legs left out, which makes it a lot cooler. You can also adapt the way the wrap is used to combine with a light sleeping bag or to reduce the layers. This is out most secure wrap so it still the best option for Houdini babies who need very secure wrapping. For day sleeps in summer you will not need any clothing inside during the day and will need to ensure the room is cooled down. Ideal for summer nights as you won't need any additional bedding and you will get the most secure wrap. Can also be combined with a light summer sleeping bag for older babies who still need a very firm swaddle. See our instructions below.

Embe 2 Way Swaddle- One of the few fitted swaddles with the option of legs in or out, allowing your baby to be cooled down, warmed up or have their nappy changed without being unswaddled. The 100% cotton is a jersey knit and the zipper has been designed for no breakouts and a longer, healthier sleep.  The starter swaddle also features a no-rise neckline for SIDS Safety and, like all our swaddles it’s considered “hip healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

Love to Dream - 1 layer of cotton/lycra, in light T-shirt weight fabric. A snug fitting style with arms up. Suitable for babies who prefer their arms up or who don't have much startle reflex. Due to very snug fit you will need little clothing inside.  Also available in the LITE version for summer.  The LITE version is stretchier, so it has less startle control and may not be suitable for babies who need a very firm wrap. 

Halo - The lightweight muslin option is a cool, fitted swaddle for summer days, whilst the medium cotton version is great at night. This is an easy to use swaddle and has plenty of room for legs.  It is versatile as it can also be used as a transitional swaddle.

SwaddleMe Kicksie - If you need a cool option for summer day sleeps, the Kicksie is perfect as it's an arms-only swaddle, with legs uncovered.  It's an easy to use, secure fit with medium startle control.

SwaddleMe - An easily adjustable, lightweight, houdini proof swaddle.  Easy nappy changes with the leg pouch opening and a harness opening for use in buggy's. 

The Sleep Store - A super soft, simple to use swaddle in a lightweight organic cotton fabric. Fitted through the body, the zip goes around the edge of the swaddle so it's easy to pop baby in and out. 

Ergo Cocoon - 1 layer of organic cotton, in light T-shirt 0.2 tog weight fabric. A snug fitting style with arms up on the chest. Suitable for babies who don't have much startle reflex or who can sleep with their arms on their chest. Due to very snug fit you will need little clothing inside. Arms can be in or out. 

Sleepy Wings - a swaddling 'jacket' which just covers the arms. Made from light cotton/lycra T-shirt fabric. Can be combined with a light sleeping bag or with legs left out. Suitable for babies without much startle reflex or as a transition from firm swaddling, as baby will be able to move their arms to some degree. Can be worn with arms up or down. 


Factors to consider when choosing a summer swaddle

To control and minimise over-heating in summer, remember to consider all the layers on your baby - her clothing, her baby wrap and the blankets over the top. It is the total combination of layers, rather than one swaddling layer, that will determine if your baby is too hot, too cold, or just right.  Knowing what temperature the nursery is likely to be will also help you choose which swaddle.

Should I choose a wrap to swaddle or use a fitted swaddle?

This depends on the age of your baby, their startle reflex and your wrapping skills. In general a fitted wrap will stay very secure and keep baby cooler as they won't be wriggle around trying to escape!

Which swaddling wrap?

What clothing should baby wear in a swaddle?

Muslin Wraps

Muslin is the fabric traditionally used for swaddling babies in NZ and Australia. It is an open-weave, very light-weight 100% cotton.

Which swaddles have a legs-out option? 

To keep baby cooler (and for easier nappy changes), the Miracle Blanket and Embe 2-Way Swaddle can both be used with the legs out for summer.  When it becomes cooler at night, simply tuck baby's legs back into the pouch.  It's also easy to add a blanket overtop before you go to bed.

Which swaddles are best for arms up?

If you’re looking for a summer swaddle with arms up, the Love to Dream option is the best.  Sleepy Wings is ideal for extremely hot environments or to combine with a sleeping bag, though they have less startle control than fitted swaddles.  Ergo Cocoon is similar, but arms don’t sit as high.  This options allows babies a little movement inside the swaddle, allowing them to put their hands up on their chest.

Is there an arms only swaddle?

If your baby's startle reflex is wearing off or you are looking to transition from swaddling, using Sleepy Wings with a sleeping bag is a good option for warmer weather.

The Sleepy Wings help control arms from flying all around, without them being firmly wrapped. It can be used with arms up or down, and can also help with dummy replacement for older babies. Not so suitable for babies who need firm swaddling as they still have a strong startle reflex.

You can choose the weight of the sleeping bag you use. For rooms 20 to 25 degrees use a 1.0 tog. For rooms 25 degrees and over, use a 0.5 tog sleeping bag.


How to tell if your baby is too warm:



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