Swaddling has been a requirement in our house as far as babies are concerned. My son was swaddled til around 5 months, as he just would not sleep without it. He was a very light sleeper and any little noise would startle him (and up would go the baby arms, smack in his face, and then he'd be awake). We started swaddling after the nurses at the hospital showed us how, and it was a fantastic way to help him to be well rested (and also didn't hurt that we got more sleep too...). However, my son grew super fast...and so he outgrew the standard 30" x 36" receiving blankets in about, oh, three weeks or so. Something had to be done! I ended up purchasing 3 lengths of flannel from the local fabric store, and serged the raw edges, into a larger size swaddling blanket. It worked great, but by the time he hit 3-4 months old, we were getting into the warmer days of summer, and I hated bundling him up when it was already so warm in his room.
How I wish I'd had a set of aden + anais muslin swaddling blankets at that time! I don't know if they even existed, certainly I'd never heard of them, but when I did hear about them I knew right away I'd want a set for my daughter. I was lucky enough to receive a four pack of them as a new baby gift, and wouldn't you know it, my daughter did NOT take to being swaddled, at least not for a few weeks. It wasn't until after we got her home and a few weeks went by that her sleeping started to deteriorate (beyond the normal newborn interrupted sleep) and we decided to try swaddling again. This time it worked, she stopped crying just as soon as we had her all wrapped up. We used the flannel homemade swaddling blankets at first (and still do, if it's cool at night) but have used the aden + anais ones many times so far on hot summer nights.
They are a generous size (47" x 47"), big enough to swaddle her still at over four months old and almost 17lbs (!!). She has at times wiggled her soft little arms out of the swaddle but that could be due just as much to my swaddling technique as to the fact that she has such incredibly soft (and hence slippery) skin. The blankets really do get softer each time you wash them, and seem to be at their softest & fluffiest when tumble dried. I love using the blankets when we're out and about, they make a nice airy tent over her carseat when she's asleep in it, and are a nice lightweight way to keep the sun & bugs off baby when we go outside for a bit.
If you'd like to read more about the aden + anais swaddling blankets or find out about other products offered by aden + anais, pop on over to their website http://www.adenandanais.com/default.aspx. You can buy aden + anais products at stores all over (use the store locator on their website to find a retailer near you), on eBay, and online at retailers such as Amazon.com. A set of four blankets will run you between $35 and $60 depending on where you buy it (boutique stores seem to be the most expensive) and if the past four months of use & laundering is any indication, they will last you a good long time.
Today (Aug 10th 2011) you can still buy sets of 4 aden + anais blankets over on http://www.babysteals.com! But hurry, the deal changes to something else at 9pm PST!