10 Wonderful Ways to Swaddle Baby in Snuggly Warmth

baby buntings - sleep sacks

Baby buntings, cocoons, sleep sacks: whatever they’re called, these sleep sack knitting patterns will keep babies warm

A few days ago, my younger daughter was a baby.

(Okay, it was in 2006. Why does it still feel like yesterday?)

Anyway, when she was but a wee babe, I discovered that she absolutely loved to be swaddled. When she was cranky and fussy, and I knew she needed a nap, I found that the fastest way to calm her and get her to dreamland was to swaddle her — that is, wrap her tightly in a blanket.

This confused me because her older sister never seemed to like it at all. (Older sister was a very challenging baby, which is why it took me 6 years to gather the nerve to have another.)

But the science is on the side of my younger; young babies are often calmed by swaddling. The theory goes that the snuggly feeling of swaddling reminds of the snug fit of their mother’s womb. When you think about it, this makes sense. Babies spend 9 months in close quarters, after all… and who wouldn’t be somewhat alarmed when moving from those close quarters to the loud, chaotic openness of planet Earth?

Science also tells us that swaddling offers a reduced risk of every new parent’s nightmare, SIDS. If you’ve been a new parent in the last 20 years or so, you’re well aware of the “Back to Sleep” campaign that reminds parents to place their babies to sleep on their backs.

Swaddling helps ensure that a baby placed on her back to sleep actually stays there.

The New Baby Knitting Craze: Sleep Sack Knitting Patterns 

I don’t actually know how long sleep sack knitting patterns have been around. But I can tell they’re more popular than ever!

Two huge benefits of sleep sack knitting patterns over patterns for baby blankets:

1) The aforementioned benefits of swaddling; baby sleep sacks offer both more comfort and more protection to infants than do baby blankets.

2) Uniqueness: Baby blankets are a frequent gift to newborns. But how many times do you see new babies gifted a sleep sack? Exactly!

You’ll find two kinds of baby sleep sack knitting patterns: one without sleeves, and one with sleeves. That’s why the collections below are divided into sleeveless and sleeved.

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Sleep Sack Knitting Patterns for Babies: Sleeveless Variety 

Cuddle Saque: Here is one of the simplest and most basic sleep sacks you could knit. It has a ribbed top and a simple 3-needle bind-off at the end. No decreasing or increasing necessary – the perfect mindless knit!

Swaddle Sac and Acorn Cap: This is a two-for-one pattern that contains a simple sleep sack pattern and an adorable acorn-shaped cap to go with it.

Snuggly Baby Cocoon: This precious sleep sack has a seed stitch border at the top and a sweet little button to close the top, too.

Baby Cuddle Sack: Here’s an incredibly simple sleep sack. Knit some stockinette stitch, knit a few decreases at the bottom, and close. That’s it!

Work Sock Baby (Monkey) Snuggler: This adorable pattern uses the red-white-gray color scheme of the popular sock monkey to create a precious sleep sack.

Owlie Sleep Sack: Be still my heart: a sleep sack with adorable little owl designs at the top!

Sleep Sack Knitting Patterns for Babies: Sleeved Variety 

sleeper sack knitting pattern
Toasty Sleeper
Photo: Laura Savastinuk

Toasty Sleeper: This is probably the simplest of the bunch. No drawstrings, no buttons, and it fits a newborn. This sweet little pattern is a nice, quick knit, especially wonderful for a baby gift.

Drawstring baby cocoon
Mrs. Brak’s Drawstring Bottom
Baby Kimono with Raglan Shaping
Photo: LuckyViolet on Ravelry

Mrs Brak’s Drawstring Bottom Baby Kimono with Raglan Shaping: Here’s a cute nightgown/sleepsack with a button front and a drawstring at the bottom. (Ignore the link at the bottom of the Ravelry page. The website is no longer up, but the “download from Ravelry” links work.)

Hazelnut - DROPS Design
Photo: DROPS Design

Hazelut: This adorable sleep sack has a hood, a button top, and a closed bottom. There’s even an option to create holes for car seat belt buckles.

Comfy Angel's Nest - baby cocoon knitting pattern
Comfy Angel’s Nest
Photo: Audrey Paquin

Comfy Angel’s Nest: This pattern is probably the most complex of the group, but oh, the beauty! It is completely buttoned down to the bottom, and it has a drawstring as well. (Again, ignore the link at the bottom of the Ravelry page. It does not work, but the “download from Ravelry” links do.)

So choose one of these sleep sack knitting patterns and produce the perfect baby gift. The baby’s mom will thank you when her infant sleeps like an angel in a sleep sack!

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  1. They look adorable, but how practical are they, really? If the baby needs a diaper change, the mother has to take the baby completely out of the sack. Shouldn’t they have a flap on the bottom that can be unbuttoned so the baby can be changed without taking the sack off?

    That’s why baby clothing has snaps for the crotch and legs – for easier diaper changing.

    1. Our charity has made thousands of these baby cocoons and the nurses at the hospital have shown us that when you take a fussy baby and put them in a baby cocoon, they are either asleep or quietly content in under 60 seconds. It’s amazing. The cocoons are made so that the babies feel ‘cocooned’ like they are back in the womb and it is very comforting to them. I have used these cocoons on my children and grandchildren and can tell you they are indispensable. They are quick and easy to take off the babies and super simple and easy to put back on. No struggling with receiving blankets or having toes and feet sticking out. Knit or crochet them like a hat, but long, with a curved end. https://tinyurl.com/3vzdcak5