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Four Essential Baby Blankets: What Are the Differences?

Among the most common tips for new parents are those about the new baby’s sleeping. Sleeping is essential to new moms and babies, and advice about it will abound: You’ll learn that most babies will sleep facing right when laid on their backs; that babies cry only sporadically before their second weeks. You’ll learn what is the best way to handle night feedings for a nursing mom? Will a new mom be doing anything wrong by pumping and storing breastmilk for dad to use during night feedings? When will they start sleeping through the night? And many other tips for new parents.

A new mom is bound to find all the advice she needs among these common tips for new parents. But one thing is likely to remain mystifying: What are the differences among all the blankets you will purchase or receive as gifts? What is a security blanket? What is a receiving blanket? What’s the difference between them? Are they interchangeable? Does a new baby need one of each? Read on for the answer to a question that is not often answered even by all of the best-meaning and most generous tips for new parents.

Crib Blankets

A crib blanket is the blanket that will round out your baby’s crib, though she won’t sleep with it yet. When choosing, consider safety first, with comfort a close second. A new mama never knows which of the many blankets the baby will end up most attached to, so have a complete baby blanket set, and introduce the crib blanket when the baby is older.

Receiving Blankets

This is the one you will likely encounter first. Nurses at your birthing choice will wrap your newborn in a receiving blanket in some cases before - or shortly after - you hold her for the first time. Receiving blankets are the most versatile of the four main types of baby blankets: they will be the baby’s earliest swaddling, will keep your baby secure and warm as she is greeted by enthusiastic friends and family in the hospital, and may end up being a fixture throughout early childhood. They are typically unadorned, made of a breathable material, and softer than q-tips. For new parents, a quality receiving blanket is indispensable. Have a receiving blanket that delights you, and will comfort your baby, on hand at your birthing choice.

Swaddling Blankets

Traditionally, swaddling blankets have not been very different from receiving blankets, and have served much the same purpose: to keep your baby feeling secure, warm, and comforted. But luxury blankets, designed for secure swaddling, are becoming more and more common: they are structured for wrapping, with slightly skewed right angles, and are often made of more flexible material that lends itself to tight bundling. There also more swaddling blankets among premium baby gifts these days: cashmere baby blankets, swaddling blankets, and receiving blankets, and baby blankets made of other natural, premium materials, but still designed for ease of use and your baby’s comfort. More tips for new parents: swaddling in a quality blanket helps your baby sleep.

Security Blankets

Soft and comforting, made of premium materials like cashmere, baby blankets earmarked for security are essential for new mamas and babies. Though there are many choices among blankets designed explicitly for the purpose of providing comfort and security, any of the baby blankets in this post can be a security blanket, either by designation or chance. Choose one that’s durable, with high-quality construction from materials that will last: the security blanket is the blanket offered for comfort, and is the one your baby is most likely to get attached to and carry with her well into early childhood. They are also the most likely to be retained - by parents or grown children - as a memento of childhood.

Whichever combination of blankets you use - and keep in mind that your baby will have a say in choosing which blankets are preferred for which needs - always choose quality. There are more choices than ever for everything from the simple wrap for breastfeeding to the baby blanket made of cashmere or other treasured material. Choose the best baby blankets for all your baby’s needs from a retailer that specializes. Remember to watch for your baby’s choices


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