The Evolution Of Baby Sleep Aids

baby baby sleep aids baby swaddle swaddle

***Full Disclosure***  I’m going to try REALLY hard not to turn this blog into a shameless plug for what we consider to be one of the BEST baby sleep aids on the market. Yes - our rad CribCulture sleepsuits are featured in this article. If by the time you have read it and you want to try one for yourself, then follow this link to get one for yourself!

I thought it would be neat to revisit some of the methods that parents over the years have used. There’s not a parent in the crowd reading this that hasn’t tried one or more of these get-ups.

The Swaddle

Swaddles - it’s the word that never crossed your lips until baby came on the scene. For many, swaddles are a God-send. If you can actually figure out how to wrap your baby up in one of course. If they don’t work out, then you, your parenting partner and anyone else who lends a hand in the swaddling process is probably going to end up with smoke coming out of their ears. 

baby in a hospital swaddle

Assuming your baby was born in a hospital, the clinical emergence of the hospital swaddle blanket came in the 1920’s. That famous blanket with the blue & pink gender-appeasing stripes is instantly recognizable. No doubt swaddling had been around for a long time prior to hospitals using a specific swaddling blanket for newborns.

Aden & Anais became instantly famous for their muslin swaddles that they first launched in 2006. The delicate, breathable fabric and unique prints came in sets of 3 or 5. Now there are so many other variants on the market, which is testament to the popularity of this type of baby sleep aid.


  • Baby can be wrapped tightly so as to mimic the womb
  • Due to restriction, it’s impossible for the baby to move that much

*** Pros are 100% contingent on CORRECT swaddling ***


  • Improper swaddling lays risk to the blanket covering baby’s face during the night
  • Baby can’t develop it’s self-soothing capabilities if swaddles.
  • Swaddling is really only effective for the first month or so while he or she is in infancy.

 Sleep Bags

Some bright soul decided that babies needed a bit more freedom and flexibility. They still needed a covering of some sort, so they wouldn’t catch a chill in the night. However, being that blankets are NOT recommended for baby cribs, a solution had to be found.

baby sleepsack

Enter Sleep Bags. Part-swaddle, part sleeping bag (without the quilting). Kyte Baby's informative article tells us that the sleep bags have been around as early as the 1960's in Europe. Customarily, sleep bags will have a zipper or pop buttons down the front so baby can be popped inside for the night. 


  • Baby is never without a cover for heat
  • Baby can feel a moderate amount of protection during sleep
  • Baby has the freedom to move during sleep time.


What about that nasty Moro reflex?

For those of you who don’t know what that is, here's a run-down to what's commonly called startle reflex. Basically, right around month two or three of infancy, babies are prone to jerking their body as they drift in and out of levels of sleep.

It’s kinda cute to behold the first time or two if they do it while dozing in your arms. But that novelty wears off real quick then this reflex kicks off multiple times a night. Leading us to the biggest con:


  • Sleep bags don’t help a nickel with startle reflex.

Enter The Baby Merlin® Sleep Suit

Here was the initial market solution to the epidemic that is the startle reflex. The Baby Merlin® Sleep Suit was a game-changer in the baby sleep aids arena. It eradicated the issues of the swaddles and sleeping bags. 

The sleepsuit was created to tick all the right boxes:

  1. Cover baby’s entire body so he or she has cover during sleep without the fear of blankets smothering the baby.
  2. The material is slightly weighted so say ‘bye-bye’ to babies instant reaction to the startle reflex.

Yes - it seems that the previous issues had been solved. Almost.

CribCulture™ sleep suit

Upping The Sleep Suit Ante

Step in CribCulture™. Our patent-pending sleepsuit technology gives parents the ability to ventilate the sleepsuit when needed. We put in a convenient hidden zipper so Mom can ventilate baby whenever needed. Our sleepsuits are fashionably adorned with flared arm and leg holes, so baby doesn't feel so much of a hint of constriction. We chose premium organic cotton fabrics to suit even the most sensitive of skins.

Oh, and did we mention our fashion-forward color selection? Yes, people. Your baby can be a trend-setter whilst sleeping. :-)

Have a question about our sleepsuits? Drop us a line here so we can assist you.


The Evolution of Baby Sleep Aids by Crib Culture on Scribd

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