Choosing a baby blanket isn't a particularly difficult task. There are some things to keep in mind, however, when selecting a blanket for a baby or a toddler.
- Newborn babies are most in need of receiving blankets. A receiving blanket is a lightweight blanket used to wrap a baby. Most newborns are swaddled in a receiving blanket while awake and asleep.
When choosing receiving blankets, make sure they are lightweight and breathable. 100% cotton is the best material. Also, make sure they are machine washable.
Most new parents are amazed at how often an infant can wet through a diaper, and receiving blankets get soiled quickly. It's not uncommon for a newborn to go through 3 or 4 receiving blankets a day, sometimes more. If you are choosing them for your own baby or as a gift, make sure to get multiples. These blankets can usually be bought inexpensively in packs of 4 or 5.
Babies need other blankets in addition to receiving blankets. Two popular types of baby blankets are thermal and fleece. Both are materials that can keep a child warm while sleeping. They are also both durable enough to be dragged around by a crawler or a toddler. Since they are likely to get dragged, make sure they are machine washable.
If you are looking to buy a handmade crocheted blanket, buy one of quality. The yarn that is used should be soft and machine washable. It's also wise to stay away from fringe or little balls at the end of these blankets. Babies tend to suck on them and they could be hazardous.
If you are looking to buy a baby blanket as a gift, find out if the mother has a gift registry. Chances are she has chosen some blankets already, and you can give her exactly what she wants for the baby.
If there is no registry, consider buying a blanket in a neutral color or design. That way the blanket will work with whatever nursery décor there is. Also, if the blanket is neutral it can easily be handed down to another child.
While blankets are certainly a well used baby item, it is important to remember that small babies should not be placed with loose blankets on top of them while sleeping. This poses a risk of suffocation. There are many sleep sacks and heavy weight pajamas that can be used in place of a blanket until a baby is old enough to sleep under the covers.