Among the many gifts that a new baby will receive, the most beautiful item would be a baby blanket. When people think of baby shower gifts, the first thing that comes to mind is a baby blanket. They are much more than to keep the baby warm and cozy. Many families have handmade blankets that have been passed through generations and form family heirlooms. Blankets are essential for the new-born, and they will be used exclusively for the first few months of life of the baby. If you have been considering buying a blanket to give away as a gift, you need to first understand the different types of blankets and the purpose that they serve. In addition, you should also follow some rules about the blankets before you gift them. Here are some of the top things that you should know about blankets –
Swaddle Blankets – Some blankets are made especially for swaddling a baby. AAP recommends babies to be swaddled for the first few months of their lives as it helps calm the baby and provide them with better night’s sleep. Swaddling also helps lower the Moro reflex in infants. Swaddle blankets are usually made of cotton muslin, and its size will depend on the size of the baby. You can find these blankets in different sizes ranging from 40-by-40 inches to 48-by-48 inches. You need to make sure that the blanket is large enough to swaddle the baby properly.
Receiving Blankets – A receiving blanket for baby is thin blankets and is used for many different purposes. They are used to comfort the baby or use them to keep the baby warm after a bath. Many also use them as a protective barrier between the floor and the baby when they are playing or rolling around on the floor but only under proper supervision. These are much smaller than the swaddling blankets and are typically of size 18-inches square till up to 36-inches square.
Crib Blankets – Parents should not use any type of blankets in cribs for children below one year. Parents can use crib blankets for older kids to keep them warm at night. These blankets are generally of size 40 inches by 60 inches and will cover the whole body of the baby. The blanket should not have any buttons, yarns, loose threads, and other loose pieces that can be a risk to the baby.
Multi-Use Blankets – There are also other types of blankets that are widely used, such as stroller blankets or activity blankets. These usually measure between 30 inches to 40 inches square.
Blanket Safety Tips
According to the guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), blanket safety is the key to keep the baby safe. When placing the baby inside a crib or bassinet, it is essential that they are kept on their back. The crib should have firm bedding with a fitted sheet. There should be no loose items such as blankets, pillows, crib bumpers, or soft toys in the crib with the baby. The baby can pull these up to their face and increase the risk of suffocation.
The material of the blanket that you pick will depend on the purpose and the child’s age. Mostly, blankets for babies are made of cotton muslin as they are easier to swaddle. Fleece blankets are good for babies who are older than a year. Also, avoid using fleece blankets when the baby is in the stroller as they can make the baby too warm. Cotton blankets are also an excellent choice of materials as they are soft, washable, and do not irritate the skin.