Baby blankets, swaddlers, and sleeping…oh my! Like most things baby, blankets are no exception in the multitude of choices. There are many different options along with the question of when it’s safe for your baby to sleep with one. One main thing you’ll want to check is that the blankets are machine washable (we need easy cleaning). Keep reading to help narrow down the list of options for your baby.
Baby Blanket Types
Baby blankets are versatile, have many sizes, fabrics, and weights, not to mention an assortment of colors and patterns.
Also called receiving blankets, newborn blankets are great for tiny babies. They’re also useful underneath your baby for tummy time (read: protect your floor from spit-up).
There are outdoor blankets that are a bit thicker or have a water-resistant back. This way your baby can be on the ground without being on the ground.
Stroller blankets can cover your baby and to shield them from the sun. A nice feature is that they are a bit smaller so they don’t drag on the ground.
Bassinets, cribs, and toddler beds all have one use but come in unique sizes. Read below for more detail.
Baby Blanket Type Details
What Fabrics Are Used in Baby Blankets?
The most common fabrics used are cotton, organic cotton, cotton muslin, cotton knit, cotton flannel, synthetic fleece, microfleece, chenille, sherpa, chamois, and sometimes have satin trim.
What Textures Are Used in Baby Blankets?
There are different textures such as airy and breathable, gauzy, plush, stretchy, and varying degrees of softness.
What Are Some Common Sizes for Baby Blankets?
In an article from Sewing From Home, they lay out the most common sizes of baby blankets. They are as follows:
- Small Preemie Blanket: 18×20 inches
- Large Preemie Blanket: 24 inch square
- Average Newborn Blanket: 28×34 inches or 30 inch square
- Average Baby Blanket: 34×46 inches or between 34-36 inch square
- Crib Blanket: 30×36 inches
- Toddler Bed Blanket: 34×46 inches
What Are Some of The Best Baby Blankets?
Due to the large variety in blankets, Good Housekeeping has put together this collection of The Best Blankets to Keep Your Baby Cozy and Comfy.
How is a Baby Swaddle Blanket Different From a Traditional Blanket?
A swaddle blanket is different because the intent is to wrap your baby up securely so they can’t squirm their way out. The purpose behind this is for them to feel tight, avoid experiencing a startle reflex to wake them up, and help keep them warm while they sleep. Some swaddle blankets have special flaps, velcro, or tabs to help keep the baby’s arms safely tucked in.
All babies are different and some can sleep fine without being swaddled. This is a helpful technique for babies that are fussy as this can be very calming.
How Long Can My Baby Sleep In a Swaddle?
It’s recommended that parents stop swaddling their baby between 2-4 months. The reason is babies start rolling back and forth between their tummy and their back. To be safe, they should be able to use their arms.
Dr. Anne Edwards of The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) also explains that this is the time they start to self-soothe and their startle reflex diminishes. Baby’s need to be swaddled is not as strong as it was when they were newborns.
What Are the Best Swaddles?
If you’re wondering which swaddles are the best ones to use, What to Expect has put together a 2021 list of the Best Swaddles to Help Your Baby Have a Safe and Sound Sleep for you to explore.
The sleep sack a.k.a sleep bag a.k.a wearable blanket is the next step in a baby’s sleep wardrobe. It’s exactly what it sounds like, like a sleeping bag for a baby. This gives them full use of their arms as well as the space to move around their legs as needed. All the while, your baby is safely covered.
Sleep sacks come in different sizes to grow along with your baby. Some styles have no sleeves for the versatility of adding an extra layer for cooler nights while others have long sleeves. Fabrics vary from different types of cotton, cotton-wool blends, and microfleece.
What Are the Best Sleep Sacks?
Bonus for late-night diaper changes–zippers! Some have two-way zippers, zippers that open from the bottom, and zipper covers to protect your baby’s chin. Click here for 2021’s The 14 Best-Reviewed Sleep Sacks for Babies and Toddlers on Amazon presented by Parents.
Security blankets are also known as lovies, blankies, and other adorable names we give them. They’re a source of comfort and security for your baby. Much like when you were little and had your teddy bear or other coveted stuffed animal, these days, your baby’s stuffed animal is often attached to the blanket.
The most important part for your baby is how soft it will be when they snuggle it. They’re made from the softest fleece, microfiber, polyester, cotton, or organic cotton and often have satin trim. The most important part for you is that it is machine washable. Thankfully just about every one of them is.
What Are the Best Security Blankets?
MomLovesBest has compiled the list 10 Best Baby Security Blankets of 2021. This includes a variety of lovies as well as traditional blankets.
When Can My Baby Sleep With a Blanket?
Let’s face it: babies and sleep rarely go hand in hand. And if you’re a parent, you hardly remember what it’s like to wake up feeling rested. It is super tempting to do whatever you can to help your baby sleep for longer periods of time. You think about the room temperature, level of darkness, noise, and comfort.
Adding a blanket to their crib to help them feel safe and comfy seems like a great idea. However, safe sleep guidelines handed down by The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) states that babies should not sleep with a blanket until they are 12 months old. The risk of SIDS or accidental suffocation is not worth the possible few extra minutes of sleep.
Unfortunately, this also holds true for your baby’s favorite security blanket.
This doesn’t mean you can’t cuddle with your sweet little one and wrap them up in that adorable softer-than-soft blanket. It also doesn’t mean they can’t carry, drag, or love on their blankie during waking hours. So let them have it, cuddle away, and know they are comfortable–just not during sleep times.
Cover Them Up!
The moment will come when it’s time to give yourself a break and you’re ready for a babysitter. The experienced sitters and caregivers at Sittercity want you to enjoy your time and not worry about your baby. Let them know what your expectations are when they’re together and everyone will have a relaxed time.