Is it almost time to transition your baby out of the swaddle? Here are the best transition swaddles to help make the transition out of the swaddle an easy one!

baby rolling from back to front in their crib

I think one of the best words to sum up the first year of a baby’s life (aside from the obvious ones like “love” and “adorable” of course!) is transition.

The first year of a baby’s life is full of transitions from one stage to another as they grow.

But before you hit some of the big transitions—like transitioning from a bassinet to a crib, or making all of the nap transitions—you might hit a smaller transition that not everyone thinks about.

I’m talking about the transition out of the swaddle.

If you’ve been swaddling your newborn, you’re eventually going to need to transition them out of their cozy baby burrito and into sleep attire that’s safe and appropriate for their growth.

Let’s talk about transition swaddles and how they can help you drop the swaddle.

newborn swaddled in hospital blanket

What is the Best Swaddle to Transition Arms Out?

There are a few favorite swaddles that make it super easy to transition your baby from swaddling, to one arm out, to both arms out.

These include:

Let’s see what each of these transition swaddles has to offer!

Kyte baby transition swaddle in a crib - best transition swaddles

1. Kyte Baby

Kyte Baby makes some of the softest baby swaddles and sleep bags and are one of the best swaddles out there for multiple reasons, including the breathable material and two-way zipper.

Their sleep bag swaddler comes with a removable velcro swaddle wrap. Once your baby starts to roll over, you can keep them in their familiar sack and just remove the swaddle wrap part.

Not only are Kyte Baby’s fabrics extremely soft and stretchy, but we love that this swaddle transitions with your baby from one stage to the next so you don’t have to purchase anything extra.

2. The Ollie Swaddle

The Ollie Swaddle is a great transition swaddle because it swaddles your baby’s middle, while allowing their hands to be free.

Its unique design allows you to put baby to bed with one or both arms free, while keeping the rest of their body wrapped up warmly.

One great thing about the Ollie Swaddle is the material. It wicks moisture and is designed to reduce overheating. When you’re worried about dressing your baby for sleep in the summer without overheating, the fabric choice is so important!

The sack-like design also has an opening at the bottom, with an elastic you can move up or down to adjust how much room baby has. That length flexibility is great because it can grow with your baby as their legs get longer. 

It also makes those midnight diaper changes so easy without having to completely unwrap baby.

SleepingBaby Zipadee-Zip Baby Sleep Sack 6-12 Months - Transition Swaddle with Zipper Convenience - Busy Road, M

3. Zipadee Zip

The Zipadee-Zip transition swaddle is another great choice at a more affordable price point.

I love this option because it keeps your baby completely covered for warmth, but also gives their arms some freedom to move and prop themselves up if they roll.

The Zipadee-Zip is one of the best transition swaddles for startle reflex because it still keeps baby’s arms and hands somewhat contained.

It’s also a great choice if you’re worried about baby’s hands getting too cold while they’re sleeping.

The starfish-like design of this swaddle will give your baby a cozier feeling than a traditional sleep sack, and it’s safe in case they roll over at night. That makes it a great transitional option.

Love to Dream Swaddle Up Transition Swaddle, Patented Zip-Off Wings, Gently Help Baby Transition from Being Swaddled to Arms Free When Showing Signs of Rolling, 1.0 TOG, 13-19 lbs, Gray

4. Love to Dream

The Love to Dream Swaddle Up is another unique transition swaddle option. Unlike traditional swaddles that wrap your baby’s arms down by their sides, the Swaddle Up positions their arms up by their shoulders with bent elbows.

The Swaddle Up is a more snug fit than the Zipadee-Zip or Ollie Swaddle, but that might be a good thing if you’re looking for something to transition a baby who has always liked a snug swaddle.

The Swaddle Up has removable shoulder panels that make it great for a swaddle transition. When you see signs of rolling, you can open up the swaddle to allow baby’s arms to be free.

You can even choose to free one arm at a time for a less abrupt transition if needed.

Woombie Convertible Baby Swaddling Blanket I Swaddle Converts to Arms-Free Wearable Blanket for Babies Up to 6 Months, Freebird, 14-19 lbs

5. Woombie

The convertible Woombie has removable shoulder panels to allow for a free-arms fit when your baby is ready to make the swaddle transition. 

The Woombie is made from a cotton/spandex blend that has a nice stretch to it, so it feels secure while also allowing movement. The fabric is also lightweight and breathable, so overheating won’t be a concern.

What I love about the Woombie is that it was designed by a nursing team and a certified Infant Sleep Care Specialist, so there’s a lot of intentionality behind the design.

It has plenty of room in the hips to allow for the same kind of leg movement your baby was used to in the womb.

Like the Swaddle Up and the Zipadee Zip, the Woombie has an easy zipper design. That means you don’t have to worry about your little baby Houdini slipping out of it in the middle of the night.

Are Transition Swaddles Worth It?

Dropping the swaddle with your baby can feel like a daunting task.

Some babies take to it easily. While others struggle.

These transition swaddles aren’t necessary, but may help the transition go a little smoother.

Most of the transition swaddles I recommend can be used for a few months after you’ve dropped the swaddle.

What is the Best Age to Transition Out of Swaddle?

As soon as your baby shows signs of rolling, it’s time to transition them out of the swaddle.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doesn’t provide a specific age to stop swaddling, but it usually occurs between 2 and 3 months old.

A swaddled baby who rolls over in their sleep can be a risk factor for SIDS. It is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Signs that your baby is close to rolling over:

  • Pushing up on their arms or hands during tummy time
  • Rocking back and forth while lying on their back
  • Starting to roll onto their side
  • Lifting their head and shoulders up when lying on their stomach
  • Crossing one leg over their body

Are Transition Swaddle / Sleep Sacks Safe?

Transition swaddles are safe. They just need to fit correctly and not provide excess pressure or weight on your baby’s growing joints or limbs.

In fact, transition swaddles are a super helpful tool if your baby is accustomed to swaddling. Once they start to roll, you’ll need a way to mimic the swaddle feel while still keeping your baby safe.

Transition swaddles help you enjoy the benefits of a traditional swaddle, like providing warmth and a feeling of security. But they also allow your baby to have one or both arms free.

Having a free arm or two is very important in the event that your baby rolls over in their sleep.

Rolling over while sleeping is a natural progression of your baby’s physical development. I know it can disrupt sleep for a bit, but it’s something you need to embrace and work through.

I don’t recommend using weighted transition swaddles or sleep suits to stop your baby from rolling. Try a transition swaddle instead if your baby is struggling.

If you have any questions about these best transition swaddles, leave them in the comments below.

Amy Motroni
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