When Ranger was a wee newborn we swaddled him for sleep. Initially I couldn't get the hang of it, the blankets just melted off him in the first few minutes. Jim was a natural though, so (being naturally competitive) I kept trying. I found the book Babygami extremely helpful (as well as being beautiful and funny).
Although we had a specialty swaddling blanket, I found it much easier to use a slightly stretchy cotton waffle blanket in the Babygami snug wrap. The specialty straightjacket-style swaddling blanket was hard to adjust for a newborn's small size. When Ranger was big enough to fit the custom swaddler, we were all quite comfortable with blanket swaddling.
Our hands-down favorite blanket for swaddling is the Gerber Thermal receiving blanket. We bought about a dozen of them in various colors (new expecting parents, trust us, bad things happen to blankets faster than you can launder them). They're useful long after the baby outgrows swaddling. We still have everyday uses for them with 2 year-old Ranger.
After swaddling ended (babies get too active to be contained), we moved on to ultra-cozy sleep sacks. Sleep sacks tend to be fleece and run around $20. We weren't going to buy a dozen of these because of cost, bulk, and a very limited period of use. We ended up with around six of them because generous grandparents found them extremely clever. We'd usually put these over a jammies, a onesie, or a baby gown.
Through craftster.org I recently found a good tutorial at Jan Andrea for making sleep sacks. This was really fortuitous as the end user of the girly baby booties I made was recently revealed by ultrasound to be male and I've been looking for a new gift project.
So, meet the Super Sleep Sack. It's for the offspring of an ace graphic designer/illustrator (I won't link because his sitemeter will reveal this page but you can see his blog at jacobelijahwalker.blogspot.com) and an incredibly talented portrait artist/printmaker. I had extra fabric, so I made some no-scratch mitts to spice up the newborn days.
Baby Toolkit is the independent opinion of Adrienne and Jim Jones. We have received no compensation of any kind from anyone affiliated with BabyGami, Gerber, any of the sleep sack companies, Jan Andrea, or Craftster.org. 2007, some rights reserved.