Ultimate Swaddle Guide: Quantity, Size & Season

Parents often get started with one Love to Dream™ swaddle to see if it helps their little one to sleep, but once they discover the amazing sleep-saving results, they soon realise they need more!

Other times, expecting parents hear about Love to Dream from friends and family and want to be fully prepared from day one with a set of swaddles for their newborn’s arrival.

So, a common question we get asked here at Love to Dream is…

How many swaddles does a baby need?

We advise that three is the ideal number of swaddles to have in your baby’s current size at any given time. We call it the Wash, Wear & Spare formula. This means while one is in the wash, another is on your baby, and a spare is clean, dry, and ready-to-go in case of any sudden spills or leaks!

Love to Dream's rule of thumb for how many swaddles you need: Wash, Wear & Spare!

A wardrobe staple for sleep-filled days

Ultimate Swaddle Guide: Quantity, Size & SeasonConsidering the speed at which babies grow, three swaddles might sound like a lot to some parents. But given how many hours each day and night a newborn baby typically sleeps, your swaddles are likely to get more use than any other clothing item your baby has, giving you lots of value. 

Infants are also more prone to leaky nappies and milky spit-ups than toddlers, so the Wash, Wear & Spare formula is especially relevant for Stage 1 & 2 of our 3 Stage Sleep System™ (these first two stages will be the focus of this page).

At Stage 3, you may be able to move to just having two sleep garments – a ‘Wear’ & ‘Wash’ – which we recommend in our Quantity & Size Guide further down.

A dash of guesswork

But it’s not always as simple as one, two, three – because, as you know, babies are always growing and seasons are always changing, not to mention, your baby will progress through the 3 Stage Sleep System™ on their own developmental clock!

So, is it all just guess work?

Yes, and no. Every home is different in terms of climate and room temperature, and each baby develops at its own pace, so yes, parents need to apply their own judgement and be guided most by their child’s individual needs and environment.

However, our aim with the guides in this article is to take out at least some of the guess work – assisting parents in anticipating what they may be likely to need on their child’s Love to Dream™ sleep journey.

We will cover:

Guide 1: When to Wash – how frequently you may need to wash your child’s sleepwear

Guide 2: Let’s Talk Size – a typical approach to size and stage

Guide 3: TOG Tips – how to determine what TOG to choose, depending on the season and your baby’s room temperature

Disclaimer: This information is just a general guide, and ultimately it is up to the parent’s discretion. Every baby is unique, and our wide range has been made to accommodate different needs in different ways, which this guide can’t attempt to fully detail.   

Guide 1: When to Wash

A spare swaddle is essential when you have your other swaddles in the wash and your baby suddenly soils the one they're wearing! That's why we recommend the Wash, Wear & Spare formula!One thing is certain… babies can be messy! For something so small, they create a huge amount of washing – and swaddles and transition bags/suits are no exception.

From leaky nappies to milky spit up’s, there are a lot of reasons to wash your baby’s Love to Dream sleepwear regularly. And on those occasions where one swaddle is in the wash and the one your baby is wearing gets soiled by a surprise spill, the spare swaddle really comes in handy!

Below we share our guide for when to wash your baby’s sleeping garment, but again, these choices are of course up to you.

How often should you wash your baby's swaddles? Love to Dream NZ.

In short, we advise parents to:

  • Wash garment immediately if it becomes soiled in any way (vomit, reflux, or nappy spills, etc.)
  • Wash after use if your baby chews, sucks, or drools on the garment (check the neckline & wings/cuff mittens).
  • Otherwise, washing after every couple of sleeps is a good guideline to follow.

Please see our care instructions for the full washing instructions, which aren’t covered here.

How often should you wash your baby's swaddles? Love to Dream NZ.The reason for washing a garment after use if it has encountered anything described above is that fluids like saliva and breast milk contain enzymes, which – if left on fabric for too long – may cause bacterial growth and break down certain properties in the garment, causing discolouration, for example. Regularly washing your baby’s Love to Dream™ sleepwear will also help prevent allergy-causing dust mites.

Plus, we all know the joyful scent and feel of fresh bedding – it goes a long way towards helping your little one to feel cosy and settled, night after night. 

 A baby sleeping in their snugly fitted Swaddle Up by Love to Dream.

Guide 2: Let’s Talk Size

Size can be a tricky one – babies are all born at different sizes and grow at different rates, so figuring out what to buy and when to buy it can be a real challenge. But one way Love to Dream™ makes this easier for parents is with our overlapping sizing scale that goes right through Stage 1 & 2 of our 3 Stage Sleep System.

Stage 1 and 2 of the Love to Dream 3 Stage Sleep System. Swaddle & Transition your baby from sizes Newborn to Extra Large.Newborn (NB) and Small (S) are only available for our Swaddle Up™, and Medium (M) is available for both the Swaddle Up™ and our transition garments. The transition garments then also come in Large (L) and Extra Large (XL), as shown below in an excerpt from our Size Chart Overview.

For the full guide to sizing and all measurements, please see the Size Charts & Information page.

Transitioning age

Our Medium size is made to fit a typical 3 to 6-month-old, which is also the age when a baby is most likely to start rolling (4–6 months) – in other words, the time to transition to arms-free sleep using our Stage 2 Transition Bags & Suits.

However, larger babies may instead need a Medium sized swaddle before transitioning into a Large transition garment, as shown in the table below.

Buying Guide for Love to Dream Sleepwear

The charts below give a guide of how the Love to Dream™ range can cater for different sized babies and shows how many swaddles may be helpful to have over the course of your baby’s swaddle-to-sleep journey. Please note that this is only a general guide and that it only shows up to 18 months.

Love to Dream™ Quantity & Size Guides

Our Love to Dream Quantity & Size Guide helps you know how many swaddles you may need to buy at stage 1 and 2 of our sleep system and beyond.

What swaddles should you buy if you have a smaller or larger sized baby? We have just the guide for you at Love to Dream NZ.

Helpful pointers:

Ultimate Swaddle Guide: Quantity, Size & Season

  • A baby can wear a Transition Bag/Suit as a swaddle (with both wings attached) before they begin transitioning to arms-free sleep. However, please note that the garment will have slightly less stretch around the wings than a regular swaddle, due to the zips which allow the wings to be removable. For this reason, we advise against using a transition garment as a swaddle for an extended period of time, as our Swaddle Up™ is better suited for this purpose.
  • Once your baby has transitioned, they can continue to wear their transition garment without any wings, like a regular armless sleep suit/bag, until they grow out of that size. (In colder seasons, pair this with a long-sleeved romper underneath or our Love to Dream Arm Warmers.)
  • The transitioning period can be as brief as a few sleep cycles or as long as several weeks. Every baby is different, and some may take longer to adjust to arms-free sleep than others.
  • The row of the chart that examples a smaller baby shows the use of transition garments in both Medium and Large. This is because even if your baby transitioned when in the Medium size, they will then grow into the weight range of a size Large, which is half a size smaller than size 0 of the Stage 3 Sleep Suit and, therefore, may be a better fit (worn without the wings post-transition).
  • We recommend buying sleepwear as baby grows, not anticipating ahead too much, as then you will be able to select more accurately, factoring in your baby’s growing size, their developmental stage, and the season.

Guide 3: TOG Tips

Our garments come in four different TOG ratings to ensure babies are kept comfortably snug through all seasonal changes. Our 0.2 TOG is called ‘Lite’, the 2.5 TOG is called ‘Warm’, and the 3.5 TOG is ‘Extra Warm’. The 1.0 TOG offers moderate, year-round insultation and is often referred to in product titles by the name ‘Original’.

Our garments come in four different TOG ratings to ensure babies are kept comfortably snug through all seasonal changes. Our 0.2 TOG is called ‘Lite’, the 2.5 TOG is called ‘Warm’, and the 3.5 TOG is ‘Extra Warm’. The 1.0 TOG offers moderate, year-round insultation and is often referred to in product titles by the name ‘Original’.

Below, we will go through two generalised guides for how we commonly see families making use of the TOG options. Scenario 1 demonstrates how some families just use 1.0 & 2.5 TOG garments throughout the year, whereas Scenario 2 shows how other families – who perhaps experience a wider range of temperatures over the course of a year – make use of all four TOG options available.

Scenario 1: Moderate Year-Round Temperature

For some families, a 1.0 TOG and a 2.5 TOG are the only staples they need to get them through the year. The 1.0 TOG gets baby through the warmer seasons (and day naps, where you want a lighter TOG), and the 2.5 TOG gets them through winter and the cooler nights of Autumn and Spring. If your home stays relatively temperate, this may be all you need too.

An example of how this could look is shown below (the bottom row suggests the sizes, in line with the Quantity & Size chart above and, here, based on a mid-summer birth for extra context).

For some families, a 1.0 TOG and a 2.5 TOG are the only staples they need to get them through the year. The 1.0 TOG gets baby through the warmer seasons (and day naps, where you want a lighter TOG), and the 2.5 TOG gets them through winter and the cooler nights of Autumn and Spring. If your home stays relatively temperate, this may be all you need too.

Related Swaddle Up bundles:

Related Transition Bag bundles:

Scenario 2: Varied Temperatures Throughout the Seasons

For other families, the 0.2 TOG and 3.5 TOG are helpful for those extra hot days and particularly chilly nights. An example of how this could look is shown below, with changes to the above chart seen in Summer and Winter.

For other families, the 0.2 TOG and 3.5 TOG are helpful for those extra hot days and particularly chilly nights. An example of how this could look is shown below, with changes to the above chart seen in Summer and Winter.

Related Swaddle Up bundles: Related Transition Bag bundles:

Layer Up or Down

You can modify your baby’s warmth by layering up or down underneath their Love to Dream Swaddle Up™ or Transition Bag/Suit. This is particularly useful when it is a winter night where you want your baby to be nice and warm, but for example, you only have your 1.0 TOG on hand, as your ‘Spare’ swaddle, because the others are in the wash. Just layer baby up with a long-sleeved romper and a bodysuit underneath, as demonstrated in the chart below to keep them comfortable in a 20°C room.

Clothing By Room Temperature

You can modify your baby’s warmth by layering up or down underneath their Love to Dream Swaddle Up™ or Transition Bag/Suit.

We’ve covered a lot, and you’re doing well to have gotten this far!

To sum everything up, here are a few keys:

Quantity: Having a Wash, Wear & Spare for your baby at any given time should get you through comfortably.

Size: Typically, most babies need two sets of swaddles: one set in Newborn size & one set in size Small. They typically transition into a Medium or Large sized Transition Bag/Suit and will go through either two transition sets (from Medium to Large, or Large to Extra Large) as they grow in size or just one set, before moving into Stage 3 sleepwear.

Season: Homes with moderate year-round temperature may get through with just 1.0 TOG and 2.5 TOG garments, a combination dependent on the season. Homes with varied temperatures may like to make use of our 0.2 TOG and 3.5 TOG as well, again with combinations dependent on the season.

The table below shows what you ultimately need to have in mind as you shop Stage 1 & 2 of our range:

Love to Dream NZ - CHoosing the right swaddle. Have you got the right garment? The right size? And the right TOG? Our guide will show you how to get this right.

Support

If you would like support figuring out what might be right for you and your baby, feel free to get in touch with one of our friendly team members by email, chat to us live on our website chat feature, or reach out on Facebook or Instagram (office hours only). We are here to help!

Buying in bulk?

As shown above, we have a range of bundle deals, including 2 packs and 3 packs, that will save you around 10% off each swaddle. The bundles also give a helpful indication of what sizes and TOG ratings might be appropriate for various situations, like the newborn phase or particular seasons. 

The Ultimate Swaddle Guide: Quantity, Size & Season

We hope that overview has been helpful for you. If you wish to return to shopping, please see the following links:

Shop by Stage:

Stage 1: Newborn & Swaddling 
Stage 2: Ready to Roll 
Stage 3: On the Move

Shop by Temperature:

Lite (0.2 TOG: 24–27°C) 
All Year (1.0 TOG: 20–24°C) 
Warm (2.5 TOG: 16–20°C) 
Extra Warm (3.5 TOG: Below 16°C)

Shop Bundle Deals

Love to Dream NZ. How many swaddles do I need? Our Buyers Guide has you covered.