From the offset, the Aden and Anais swaddle shouts class. At 120×120cm, it is also perfectly sized to do just about anything. Made with 100% cotton muslin, our tester rated it for its softness and breathability.
But by far and away our tester’s biggest win for these swaddles was the multiple uses they had. She managed to use them as a cot blanket on a warmer day, a blanket for the park, a cot cover for nap time, for burping – and of course as a swaddle.
Before you get carried away, however, remember with these bad boys you will need to know how to swaddle. Learning how to swaddle a baby can be tricky to begin with, but with a bit of practice, you're bound to pick it up. Inevitably, you'll need to change a nappy in the middle of the night when they're tiny and crying, so maybe if this instills fear in your heart, these swaddles aren’t for you.
They are expensive, but I said to DH that I was happy to spend good money on anything that would help us to get a decent night's sleep. Funnily enough he agreed!
It's a pricey £45 for four swaddles, but in a lot of ways it's a practical use of funds. The cotton is lightweight and soft enough to use in the height of summer, and the swaddles wash very well. Even if it’s just too complicated to use these as swaddles (we promise we won’t judge), they are beautiful pieces of kit to have around the house, and we were surprised at how often they really did come in handy during testing for their many other uses. If any non-parents are reading, these would make a very welcomed and luxurious present idea.
We tested a four-pack of (gorgeous) Winnie-the-Pooh designed swaddles (£46.95), but it is worth remembering that it is possible to buy Aden and Anais swaddles individually, too, for around £15.
Aden and Anais recommend most parents stop swaddling between three and six months, but always bear in mind that swaddles are unsuitable once your baby is able to roll over and lie on her front by herself. We have more information on the safest swaddling practices in our Buyer’s Guide.
I used to keep one in the bottom of the buggy so if I was at someone's house I could swaddle her there. I also still use them as a bottom sheet for her Travel Cot - in fact I imagine they'll still be used by DD for years for capes, dens etc.
Ultimately, we think it can be worth the cost if you're prepared to learn how to swaddle yourself. Sure, you’re paying more now, but in the long run you have a million (almost) products in one. For this reason, we’ve awarded Aden and Anais’ traditional swaddles Best for Versatility – their size means they will grow with your child, and we think you’ll find yourself reaching for them at all times, not just bedtime.
Fastening type: Traditional swaddle square – you’ll have to wrap it yourself! Dimensions: 120×120cm Materials: A blend of cotton and muslin Colours: All sorts of designs and patterns, including a fabulous new range of Disney prints RRP: £15-£17 for one, £29.95 for two, £42 for three, £44-£47 for four pack
Aden and Anais also sent us its more affordable range called Aden by Aden and Anais. If anything, these felt softer than their pricier alternative but they are much smaller. They also came in a plastic package that appeared more 'budget'. At £20, they're still a great buy and a lovely gift, and are more widely available in high-street stores like good old Boots. Because of their size, they're not quite as easy to use as the pricier but much larger swaddles, but they're still great for so many other jobs.
How we test
After lots of research, we handpicked eight of the most talked about and highly rated swaddles on the market and pitted them against each other to find our best of the best.